Method in Madness

Method in Madness

A Story by Talal Hussain

A story of a bengali boy who aspires to be the number one singer of the sub-continent but his journey isnt that simple,the biggest obstacle being his comparison to his elder brother.



                            Method in Madness


 “Oh, Kishore is doing well but Ashok was a class apart.” These were the words that had started to haunt Kishore. He always wondered why he was compared to his elder brother Ashok. It was true that Ashok had accomplished a lot at a very young age and Kishore always had best wishes for his brother but Kishore wanted to make his own name, his own identity.

Kishore was born into the Bengali Ganguly family on 4th August,1929 in India. Kishore Abhas Kumar was the youngest of the four siblings, the other being Ashok, Sati devi and Anoop. Kishore’s father was a lawyer and was very close to Kishore. Unlike the conventional lawyers, Mr. Ganguly had a great sense of humor. The whole court, including the accused, would laugh at his spontaneous jokes. Perhaps this is from where Kishore got his great comedy sense. As a kid Kishore would wander around here and there, play in the streets with his sister and with his practical jokes,  would prove to be a source of nuisance for the whole society. But there also was a philosophical aspect of Kishore’s personality. Often he would spend hours besides the railway track and watch the train whistle by. He would bring an old cassette player along with him, which was gifted to him by his late grandmother, and would listen to K.L Saigal’s classical songs.

Kishore chasing the train is his childhood



 After graduating from college, Kishore’s elder brother Ashok moved to Bombay and made an entrance into the Indian film Industry. With his natural style of acting and charming looks, he soon became a prominent figure in the Indian cinema.  At that time there was a tradition that actors used to playback for themselves, so Ashok started singing and he was good at that too. Back at home in Bengal, Kishore felt very proud of his brother. He always had a dream to sing and to entertain people but whenever he tried, he was discouraged by the saying, “You sing well but not as good as Ashok.”

 Kishore was never a good student. He would barely pass his exams. He always said, “Teachers ask me questions that I don’t know so I give them answers that they don’t.”  Sensing the situation Ashok called his younger brother to Bombay and through his contacts, got him some movies. But Kishore never wanted to act, he always wanted to sing, as he considered acting to be fake and superficial. Singing came right from the core of the heart, it was rich and beautiful. He tried everything he could to escape from the film industry. He once came to the sets with his moustache and head half shaved and on questioning told that as he was paid half the advance he was supposed to be paid, so the director will get a Kishore Kumar half of what he was supposed to get. On one occasion when shooting in Bombay he had to park a car at a nearby stop, as the director said action Kishore drove the car and took it to his home town in Bengal only to return after two days. On questioning he told that the Director said action but he never said cut !! 

The biggest irony was that despite all his efforts, Kishore’s movies were doing great at the box office. Now like his elder brother Kishore himself was a star. Finally his dreams came true when he was given a chance to sing and playback for himself. Kishore did not disappoint. Kishore’s freestyle and flamboyant singing rocked the world but there was still an issue. Kishore was only getting comedy movies and his persona was that of a clown who could sing and dance a little. This image led to the downfall of Kishore. No one took him serious. Suddenly his movies started to go down the drain. People who used to be all around Kishore in his glory days where nowhere to be seen. Kishore was all alone, fighting a battle he had already lost.


Kishore in a pensive mood


Kishore was shocked to see the selfish attitude of people. People, whom he had worked with, whom he had entertained, had all forgotten him. His heart was broken. This led Kishore away from people and closer and closer to nature. He remembered as a child when he was upset, he used to sit beside the railway track and listen to the sound of the train’s whistle. That chirping of the birds, that blossoming of the flowers, childhood was so amazing, he said to himself.

News spread out in Bombay that Kishore had lost it. Kishore was getting more and more eccentric. He started to hate people. Did not socialize at all and had a sign board planted in front of his house saying, “Beware of dogs and Kishore. “ All these events were making him firmer and sterner. His voice was getting more and more deep. Kishore was definitely no more a clown.

Then in the early 70’s a new actor was establishing himself at the mainstream cinema. His name was Rajesh Khanna. Rajesh had a very unorthodox style of acting and if there was anyone in the world who could be his voice, it was Kishore Kumar. Kishore sang for Rajesh in the movie Aradhana and what happened next is now a part of history. The skillful acting of Rajesh and the melodious voice of Kishore struck the sub-continent. Indian cinema had never seen such a turnout for a movie ever before. Kishore was number one once again and this supremacy would continue for the next 20 years, till his sudden death on 13th October,1987. Kishore's departure has created such a gap in the indian cinema which no other artist has been able to fill.Now people know Ashok kumar as the brother of the Maestro Kishore. No wonder Kishore was mad but he had a method in madness…

© 2013 Talal Hussain

Author's Note

Talal Hussain
This is only my second writing so please ignore any grammatical errors.. The style of writing is highly influenced by screenplay techniques used by Satyajeet Ray. Hope you people will like it.

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Featured Review

I love it. I can't help but wonder with all of the pictures, could this be a true story? You are a true story teller. At times the flow was stopped when you time skipped to progress the story but it is overshadowed by the great skill you have! I can understand the sibling rivalry at the beginning and a lot of people connect with that, you really made me root for Kishore! I was really glad when he got a happy ending. Awesome Job! :D

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Talal Hussain

10 Years Ago

Thank you so much Imara...Yes its a true story...Glad you liked it :-)

10 Years Ago

Wow! I am going to go find his music now :)


Great story telling. This did justice in the realm of getting the message across. Great message. There's lot of times where a story can have a great message to aim for, and have a lot of under lining things but then no one gets it, and if no one gets it, then the point has failed. But in my opinion this did well to get the message across. You made it clear, which is why I think it's good. Keep up the good work. What was also great was that I could imagine the story as I read it, and that is also a strong point of stories. The ability to have the reader imagine it because after all we're reading not watching it, but it was as if I was there as I read this, and that is great. Good job once again.

Posted 7 Years Ago

I have yet to discover your people and your culture. It seems that sibling rivalry is the same the world over and likewise, with elders who unknowingly pit you against each other. A beautiful and honest tribute to an artist! Kampai!

Posted 9 Years Ago

What a tremendous and brilliant tribute and/or reflection on Kishore da ! Being an admirer of his music, you have surely manifested an amazing pen-ship by this post !
you must continue writing - it suits you quite much ! Cheers.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Nicely written historical account of the life of another.
I was concerned about the "old cassette player" given him by his seemed to be out of place as his birth was 1929 and portable players did not come out until the mid-fifties early sixties.
Well written.

Posted 9 Years Ago

I usually just read poems on here, but the elegance of your words drew me in. Sometimes a synergistic combination of two people turns out to be greater then the sum of both. The singer and the actor together changed the world.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Good dtory , wow , I wonder if its based on your life , well done

Posted 10 Years Ago

Nicely done, I enjoyed learning about this man and reading some of your work. Keep at it

Posted 10 Years Ago

Well döne, do u read mine 2 Time and Anguish

Posted 10 Years Ago

Sibling rivalry has damaged me permanently, physically and emotionally... I hate my sister, and love her at the same time. She's abused me too much. This story is different, though. I also liked the saying, "Teachers ask me questions that I don’t know so I give them answers that they don’t." I don't understand what method in madness is supposed to mean.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Being Myself a Kishore Follower all I can say, Brilliance and Excellence both take you to a lonely place and the most disastrous move is to seek approval or look up to a world which is far behind you. He was incredibly talented, a true genius , and people like him would always be in odd with mediocre majority but their name will remain immortal as they are way ahead of their times.
Salute to the legend as well to writer of this beautiful Chronicle.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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60 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on April 24, 2013
Last Updated on April 26, 2013
Tags: short story, inspirational, cinema, singing, music, personality, life, india


Talal Hussain
Talal Hussain

Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

I am a 22 yr old medical student..though not a traditional writer, I write what i feel with words coming from my heart...i think if words are given the right path they can penetrate deeper than sword... more..


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