Thursday, April 8, 2010


( New Delhi , April 5): Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Vasant Sathe presented the First K.L. Saigal Awards to Harmandir Singh 'Hamraaz' of Kanpur who is the author of unique compendium of all songs of legendary singer Kundan Lal Saigal titled "Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya" and veteran film music historian Nalin Shah of Mumbai.. The Awards which have been instituted by "Saigal Sangeet Sarita" founded by singer Dinesh Sharma in 1974, were given at a Function held on 2nd April at Epicentre, Gurgaon on the eve of 106th birthday of Kundan Lal Saigal which falls on 4th April.

On this occasion film historian Nalin Shah presented "Dastaan-e-Saigal", a unique programme of live commentary and audio-visuals on the life of legendary singer-actor Kundan Lal Saigal. In a gripping story of two hours duration, Shah also illustrated the humane aspect of K.L. Saigal's life through live interviews of persons closest to KL Saigal. Saigal's muslim driver in Bombay Sami Bashir (nicknamed Paul by Saigal)who was also his personal assistant, told in his recorded video interview with Nalin Shah in 2003 that once he fell ill in 1945. When Saigal was informed of his illness, he came up in the attic of his (Saigal's) house & found him lying. Saigal started pressing his legs.Thinking that it must be the servant of house, Paul kept lying and said "chhokre, aaste daba" (Boy, press mildly).Later when Saigal started pressing his feet, he realized from the touch of Saigal's familiar soft hands that it was Saigal. He immediately got up and said weepingly "Maalik, aap kya kar rahe ho" (Good lord, what are you doing?). Saigal said "You are a human being like me. I am doing the same thing that you would have been doing, had I been ill." Paul who died about 4 years ago told Nalin Shah several incidents about Saigal's humane side and said "Wo to insaan nahin devta thhe" (He was not a human being but a divine being). At the time of this incident Saigal was the most famous star (The First Super Star) of Indian Cinema, adored by millions.

About K.L.Saigal :

Kundan Lal Saigal was born on 4th April, 1904 at Nawan Shahar in Jammu. Later family got settled in Jalandhar, Punjab. After He living in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh), Kanpur and Delhi, Saigal came to Calcutta in 1932 and was employed by BN Sircar, proprietor New Theatres who gave him break in film Mohabbat Ke Ansoo and many other films. In 1935 the film "Devdas" created a sensation and Saigal became a household name. In December 1941, Saigal shifted to Bombay & acted in many films including, Tansen, Shahjahan and Parwana. In all, Saigal has sung 185 songs in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi and Persian which include 142 film songs and 43 non-film songs. He acted in 39 films which include 31 Hindi, 7 Bengali and 1 Tamil film. Saigal died on 18th January, 1947 in his paternal house in Jalandhar( Punjab ). Saigal had one son named Madan (Mumbai) and two daughters named Nina Merchant (Mumbai) and Bina Chopra ( Delhi ). None of his children are alive.

Saigal's grandson Praminder Chopra (Son of Bina Chopra) attended the Function on 2nd April.

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