New Delhi: Here are some interesting facts about the legendary playback singer, Kishore Kumar, who mesmerized the audiences by his sheer singing talent for almost four decades.

•    Kishore Kumar was born into the Ganguly family in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh as Abhas Kumar Ganguly. His father Kunjalal Ganguly (Gangopadhyay) was a lawyer. His mother Gouri Devi came from a wealthy Bengali family. Kishore was the youngest of four siblings, the other three being Ashok Kumar (Eldest), Sati Devi, and Anoop Kumar. The music composer Bappi Lahiri is also related to Kishore Kumar on his mother's side.

•    After Ashok Kumar became a Bollywood star, the Ganguly family used to visit Bomaby regularly. Abhas Kumar then changed his name to Kishore Kumar and started his cinema career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies, where his brother worked.

•    Kishore Kumar's first film as an actor was Shikari (1946), in which Ashok Kumar played the lead role. Music director Khemchand Prakash gave Kishore Kumar a chance to sing "Marne ki duayen kyon mangu" for the film Ziddi (1948).

•    After this, Kishore Kumar got many other assignments, but he was not very serious about a film career. In 1949, he decided to settle in Mumbai.

•    Kishore Kumar sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Oriya.

•    He won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and  and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won in that category.

•    He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government and from that year onwards, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated a new award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" for contributions to the Hindi Cinema.

•    He became a fan of singer-actor Kundan Lal Saigal, whom he considered his guru, and tried to follow Saigal's singing style.

•    Kishore Kumar married four times. His first wife was Bengali singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta alias Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted from 1950 to 1958.

•    Kishore's second wife was actress Madhubala, who had worked with him on many films including his home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaai (1958) and Jhumroo (1961). When he proposed to her, Madhubala was sick and was planning to go to London for treatment. At this time, she didn't know that she had a hole in the heart), and her father wanted her to wait and consult the London doctors first. Furthermore, at the time he was married to Ruma. After his divorce, because Kishore Kumar was Bengali Hindu (Brahmin) and Madhubala Muslim, they had a civil wedding ceremony in 1960. His parents refused to attend. The couple also had a Hindu ceremony to please Kumar's parents, but Madhubala was never truly accepted as his wife. Within a month of her wedding she moved back to her bungalow in Bandra because of tension in the Kishore Kumar household. They remained married but under great strain for the remainder of Madhubala's life. The doctors in London told Madhubala that she would not live for long. The marriage lasted for nine years, and ended with Madhubala's death on 23 February 1969.

•    Kishore Kumar's third marriage was to Yogeeta Bali, and lasted from 1976 to 4 August 1978. Kishore's fourth marriage was to Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. Kishore Kumar has two sons, Amit Kumar (playback singer) with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena Chandavarkar.

•    The film Anand (1971) was originally supposed to star Kishore Kumar and Mehmood Ali in the lead. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the director of the film, was asked to meet Kishore Kumar to discuss the project. However, when he went to Kishore Kumar's house, he was driven away by the gatekeeper.

•    Kishore Kumar had put a "Beware of Kishore" sign at the door of his Warden Road flat, where he stayed for some time while his bungalow was being done up. Once, producer-director H. S. Rawail, who owed him some money, visited his flat to pay the dues. Kishore Kumar took the money, and when Rawail offered to shake hands with him, he reportedly put Rawail's hand in his mouth, bit it, and asked "Didn’t you see the sign?". Rawail laughed off the incident and left quickly. Kishore Kumar was a loner, and in an interview with Pritish Nandy (1985), he said that he had no friends – he preferred talking to his trees instead.

•    Once, when a reporter made a comment about how lonely he must be, Kishore Kumar took her to his garden. He then named some of the trees in his garden, and introduced them to the reporter as his closest friends.

Suchitra Kalyan Mohanty/ JPN