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News |  11 Apr 2018 15:00 |  By RnMTeam

India's first superstar, K. L. Saigal gets a doodle on his 114th birth anniversary

MUMBAI: Google has honoured late Indian singer-actor, K. L. Saigal with a doodle on his 114th birth anniversary today. Known for his exceptional singing and acting in the 1930’s, K. L. Saigal is remembered as the first superstar of Indian cinema. In a career spanning over 15 years, the music maestro holds a record of singing over 185 songs in both Hindi and Bengali besides acting in 36 feature films.

Born in 1904 as Kundanlal Saigal in a Kashmiri family in Jammu, Saigal always had a liking for singing. But, it was during Saigal’s tour to Lahore, while pursuing his typewriting job that led him to take his singing talent seriously via the encouragement of a new friend Mehrchand Jain. Further on moving to Calcutta, Saigal crooned at various mehfil-e-mushaira’s there until one day he was discovered by music director Harischandra Bali.

Bali, who was greatly inspired by Saigal’s singing, introduced him to the biggies of film industry like B. N Sircar. Sircar hired  Saigal for his Calcutta based film studio, ‘New Theatres’ and then began a musical journey, which still remains fresh in the heart of music lovers.

While Saigal’s first film was Mohabbat Ke Aansu (1932), it was the 1933 film, Puran Bhagat that made Saigal a household name in India. The four bhajans, he sang for the film became very popular. But, it was Saigal’s portrayal of the titular character in the film, Devdas that changed the course of his career, making him India’s first superstar. Apart from his fabulous acting, the songs crooned by him for the film like Balam Aaye Baso Moray Man Mein and Dukh Ke Ab Din Beetat Naahi also became a rage in the country. Based on Sarat Chattopadhyay’s novel with the same name, the movie was helmed by B. C. Barua. Besides, his other hit films include Yahudi Ki Ladki (1933), Chandidas (1934), Street Singer (1938), Dushmann (1939) and Dharti Mata (1938) etc.

Saigal was also regarded as a music icon and master by famous Indian legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. Singer Mukesh had also admitted in an interview that he used to copy Saigal during the initial days of his singing career.

Saigal’s contribution to music and films is etched in the glorious period of Hindi cinema. The maestro passed away in 1947, leaving behind a legacy to follow.

Meanwhile, Google has also earlier honoured Indians on their doodle chart. They include Begum Akhtar, S. Chandrasekhar, Nain Singh Rawat, Abdul Qavi Desnavi, Sitara Devi, Anasuya Sarabhai, Cornelia Sorabji, V. Shantaram,  Rukhmabai Raut, Indian film actress Nutan, Mahasweta Devi etc.