Kishore Kumar died a very lonely man.

“Woh jitna hansaate the utna hi akele tthe(though he made people laugh he was very lonely)”, Lataji once said to this writer.

She also shared that a month before his death,Kishore Kumar(KK) phoned her and said he wanted to meet her. When they met KK opened the entire vault of his life to her.

“I came to know how much he has been through in life. I was stunned. I told him, ‘Kishoreda,you are constantly making everybody laugh while your heart cries.’ Do you know what his reply was? ‘When I entertain people by singing or clowning around, the heaviness if my heart decreases’.

Lataji called Kishore Kumar KK the most versatile singer of Hindi cinema. “He could switch from the very funny Ek chatur naar in Padosan to the very romantic Kehna hai kehna hai in the same film. I had the opportunity to sing all kinds of duets with Kishoreda.Recordings with him were always fun.”

I asked Lataji to name some of her favourite duets with Kishore Kumar and she mentioned Kora kaagaz ttha yeh mann mera(Aradhana), Karvatein badalte rahen(Aap Ki Kasam), Deewana kar ke (Mere Jeevan Saathi), Pyar hua hai jabse(Abhilasha) .

“There was no end to his versatility. He could do anything in the recording studio. But he was also a a wonderful actor. I loved watching him in Half Ticket and Chalti Ka Naam Gadi over and over again. Unko itni jaldi nahin jaana ttha(he should not have gone so early). He had so more to give,” Lataji had concluded.