It was the film Aradhana released in 1969 that had catapulted three names to fame. Lead actor Rajesh Khanna, singer Kishore Kumar, who was till then a singer -cum-actor and an occasional playback singer for Dev Anand and Rahul Dev Burman aka Pancham who had arranged the scores.
The seventies started on a high note for all three of them. Each of them was a trend-setter by their own means. Kaka, as he was fondly called, became Hindi cinema’s first superstar. Kishore became a tough competitor to the uncrowned king of playback singing Mohammed Rafi. And Pancham was the best thing to happen in film music. This trio has worked in 32 films in total. Then the biggest question comes as to why the success didn’t last long. The first casualty to fall prey to this tragic separation was Kaka’s loss of star value to a rank newcomer only two months older than him. Most makers backed out citing his whims as a predominant reason. Kishore died comparatively young at 57. So did Pancham.
But my observation is that Kaka had a vision. He always backed good literary works and storyline. He was culturally inclined but relied on the sycophants around him too much. If you make a note that most of the supporting cast in all his films are almost the same. They must have got something in return for their relentless chamchagiri. Same was the case of Pancham. His close followers warned him to take up Bobby as Raj Kapoor interferes in every department. Undoubtedly it was a blunder in terms of the decision. Not only that some of his assistants had milked him for cream. The end result- he was out of work.
Kishore though left before all didn’t have many close pals in the fraternity which helped him to stay on top. He never showed any disrespect to any fellow singer or composer which actually made him a natural choice as a lead singer. He died as the numero uno singer in the industry. He was the voice of the megastar as well followed by the rank newcomers of the 80s.
The bottom-line is when you are famous, people will be around you not to boost you up but to exploit your fame. Maintain a safe distance professionally. You will at least die peacefully.