Mumbai, Jul 23 (PTI) If there is a song which best describes legendary singer Mukesh, it is his own track “Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar,” says his son Nitin Mukesh, remembering his music icon-father on his birth centenary.
Born in Delhi on July 22, 1923 as Mukesh Chand Mathur, the artist was part of the famous triumvirate of singers alongside Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar, who ruled the Hindi cinema playback scene for decades.
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Known for evergreen hits such as “Mera joota hai Japani”, “Jeena yahan marna yahaan”, “Kabhi kabhie mere dil mein” and “Kai baar yuhi dekha hai”, Mukesh was “down to earth” and that never changed, said his son Nitin Mukesh.
“One thing that stays most in my memory is his humility and down-to-earth nature, despite being such a famous man and a legend. It was not an act he was putting on. It came naturally to him,” Nitin Mukesh told PTI.
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He was a simple man and that reflected even in his birthday celebrations which were always a private affair, he added.
“His birthdays used to be a very private affair… And like always we distributed food to the needy. That’s what we did. It made us feel so nice,” the singer said.
The family celebrated the birth centenary with the music icon’s fans at ‘Mukesh Chowk’, an intersection named in his memory, here. The event was attended by Nitin Mukesh, his wife Nishi Mukesh, their sons Neil Nitin Mukesh and Naman Nitin Mukesh, as well as daughter-in-law Rukmini Sahay and granddaughter Nurvi Neil Mukesh.
Nitin Mukesh said the only grand birthday celebration that he remembers was in 1976, a month after which he passed away in Michigan, US, due to heart attack at the age of 53.
“He loved celebrating with family. But, at the time, we were all grown up and convinced him to celebrate (on a grand scale). Four days later, we were to leave for the US and from there he never returned… So, that birthday is etched as a very special memory.”
Back then, the party was attended by the who’s who of Hindi cinema, including Mukesh’s close friend Raj Kapoor and his wife Krishna Raj Kapoor.
“It was providence that he could call his dearest friends, Raj uncle, Krishna aunty. We had a grand party. God must have known that this is his last birthday, so for whatever reason, we celebrated it in a loving manner,” he added.
Mukesh and Kapoor were frequent collaborators and emerged as one of the most successful singer-actor duos in Hindi cinema, known for hit songs such as “Awaara hoon”, “Dost dost na raha”, “Sab kuch seekha humne”, “Sajan re jhooth mat bolo”, “Ramaiya Vastavaiya” and “Bol Radha bol”.
After Mukesh’s sudden demise, Kapoor said in the singer’s death, he had lost his “soul”.
“There was Mukesh – my soul, my voice, I was a mere body. It was he who sang to the hearts of the people all over the world, not me. Raj Kapoor was an image, just a carcass of flesh and bones. When he died, I felt there goes my breath, there goes my soul. I know what went away from me. There was a void… but you get over it and move on,” Kapoor said, as mentioned in his daughter Ritu Nanda’s book “Raj Kapoor Speaks”.
Nitin Mukesh, 73, said it feels great to see that all these songs still resonate with the listeners.
“His repertoire was great. His songs are 47 or 50 years old or more. But all the songs are fresh in people’s minds even today. A song, which describes him the best, is ‘Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisar, kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar, kissi ke waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar, jeena isi ka naam hai’ from ‘Anari’,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday led tributes to Mukesh as he remembered “the maestro of melody” on his 100th birth anniversary.
“His timeless songs evoke a wide range of emotions and have left an indelible mark on Indian music. His golden voice and soul-stirring renditions will continue to enchant generations,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
Neil Nitin Mukesh responded to the PM’s post and thanked him for his kind words.
“Prime Minister Sri @narendramodi ji. Truly humbled & honoured by your magnanimity sir. This is indeed a proud moment for the entire Mukesh family. My father joins me in thanking you. This kind gesture of yours, on this special day, will be etched in our hearts forever,” the actor wrote.
In a tweet, cinema veteran Dharmendra said: “Mukesh sahab will always be remembered with great love and respect.”
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)