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Why did Asrani have to sing the song which Kishore Kumar was supposed to sing?

This story is very interesting and this is related to the film Alaap released in 1977. In Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Alap, Amitabh Bachchan was the hero and Rekha ji was the heroine. Asrani ji played the horse carriage driver in this film.

According to the story, despite being from a rich family, Amitabh gets angry with his father and leaves the house. And then with the help of Asrani, they learn to drive a horse drawn cart. In this film, a song was picturized on Asrani Sahab whose lyrics were ‘O Rama Dar Laage Apni Umaria Se.’


Kishore Kumar ji was to sing this song. Musicians Jaidev and Hrishikesh Mukherjee had also talked to Kishore Da. In this song, Asrani had to stand with Kishore Da and record some dialogues. Those were such dialogues as a horse rider speaks when he goes out on the road with his horse carriage. Asrani Saheb arrived at the time fixed for recording. But Kishore Da did not come. Kishore da was waited for several hours. When he did not come, Rishi Da and Jaidev ji tried to trace him. It turned out that he was stuck in some other recording.


Hrishikesh Mukherjee got worried. Because he had booked the studio. No recording meant that all the money spent on booking that day was wasted. Rishi da was getting angry. They had no idea what to do. Suddenly Asrani appeared in front of him. Rishi da immediately thought that why not get the song sung by Asrani. Anyway, the song is to be picturized on Asrani only. Then Rishi da went to musician Jaidev ji and said, “Jaidev ji, this song will be sung by Asrani.” Asrani was standing nearby. Hearing this from Rishi Da, he became tense.


Asrani told Hrishikesh Mukherjee that sir, I just wanted to make some sounds. How will I be able to sing the entire song? Hrishikesh Mukherjee said, “You have played a horse carriage in the film. So sing the way a horse rider sings. That too without fear.” Then Jaidev ji also encouraged Asrani and said that Asrani you sing. We will take care of the rest. At the insistence of the two veterans, Asrani reluctantly agreed to sing the song. Then they rehearsed the song two or three times. And during the rehearsals, Asrani’s confidence grew so much that when the time came for the final recording, he recorded the song in one take.


Asrani Saheb sang another song in Alap. The lyrics of that song were ‘Bini sun le tanik’. Kishore Da had to sing this song also. But after the first song was recorded successfully, Rishi Da felt that this song should also be recorded by Asrani. Because according to the story of the film, the people of the locality remain sad due to Asrani’s songs. That means they sing dissonantly. Therefore, it would be more effective if Asrani himself sings this song. And thus, out of the three songs that Asrani ji sang in his entire career, two were sung in Alap only.


When Asrani came to the recording room to sing the third song of his career, Kishore Da was also with him. That song was in the 1978 film ‘Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan’. And his words were Mannu bhai motor chali pum pum pum. In this song, Asrani Saheb did jugalbandi with Kishore Da. And we all know how popular this song was.

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