He had a reputation for doing crazy things, but no one expected Kishore Kumar to shave off and turn completely bald to avoid being cast in Anand, a role that director Hrishikesh Mukherjee had planned to cast him in.
“We were all shocked,” recalls Gulzar, who wrote the screenplay for the film. “On top of that Kishoreda went around the office dancing and singing: What will you do now, Hrishi?”
Gulzar, 87, has just come out with his fascinating book, ‘Actually…I met them,’ in which he reveals his amazing encounters with some of the top names from the doyens of Indian cinema, music and literature: Bimal Roy, Satyajit Ray, R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Another incident relating to Kishore Kumar that Gulzar narrates is about a producer who went to his house for a meeting. But the actor-singer was in no mood for a chat; he opened his cupboard, walked in and disappeared, to avoid the interaction.
“He used to have this astounding cupboard that hid a secret staircase within,” writes Gulzar. “Kishoreda simply opened the cupboard, stepped in and disappeared! Leaving the producer waiting for him outside the open doors of the contraption. If nothing else, this underscores the immense effort and planning required to live a life of absurdities.”
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