An analysis of the life and careers of four prominent Indian singers representing the cream of the industry has been laid out in a Marathi book Sur Manaatale (Melodies Remembered) published recently by Prabhat Publications in Mumbai.
The author is Dr Mandar V. Bichu, a paediatrician practising in Sharjah. His first love is music, especially old film music, and has a passion for researching and collecting old and rare Hindi, Bengali and Marathi songs. He is also an accomplished writer writing on music, movies and medicine-related topics in various newspapers, periodicals and websites.
Sur Manaatale examines the impact of Mohanmmed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Asha Bhosle on the Indian popular music scene, charting their rise and growth. Says Dr Mandar:
"For every singer there is a tale. For instance, as recounted by Kishore Kumar’s brother, as a child Kishore had one of the worst voices. After accidentally cutting his finger with a knife, he cried for two or three days, which changed his voice for the better.
"For the first 10 years of her career Asha Bhosle was nowhere to reckon with on the music scene. She rose as a serious contender to her sister Lata Mangeshkar from 1957. Her break came with O.P. Nayyar, the only successful musical director of his time, who had not worked with Lata. He drew the best out of Asha and thrust her into the forefront, However, Asha remained a 'director's singer' which is why she could never really challenge Lata's supremacy."
The earlier two books by Dr Mandar are Gaaye Lata, Gaaye Lata — a career analysis of the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, and Doctorki —a compilation of short stories based on his personal experiences as a doctor — some real and some fictional. The latter has especially proved popular with the general Marathi-speaking populace. His next planned ventures are two books written in English — a guide to parenting with lots of medical advice and one on music personalities, singers, composers and directors.
What inspired Dr Mandar to writing? "A writer writes because he has something to say. Writing gives me pleasure and it gives me more personal satisfaction than medicine, especially when I receive feedback from readers."
For those interested in buying a copy of the book, call 050-6284046 for details.