A commemorative postage stamp on Kundanlal Saigal, an Indian singer and actor, first superstar of Hindi film industry :
Issued by India
Issued on Apr 4, 1995
Issued for : The Dept. of post is happy to issue a commemorative stamp on this legendary singer.
Courtesy : Material supplied by the Environment Society of India, Chandigarh.
Stamp design : ISP, Nasik
FDC : Shri Pasricha
Cancellation : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Two Colours
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported Un W/M Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in reels of 47 cms. width
Number of stamps Printed : 0.6 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik Road
Name : Kundan Lal Saigal
Born on Apr 11, 1904 at Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Died on Jan 18, 1947 at Jalandhar, Punjab, India
- He received no orthodox musical training yet he sang his way into people’s hearts. A Sufi mystic, Salman Yusuf of the Yesevi Sect, is believed to have bestowed on him the rare gift of taking music beyond the reaches of tone and rhythm into the realm of meditation and self-realisation. Such was the magic generated by the legendary voice of Kundan Lal Saigal.
- This was the son born on 4 April, 1904 to Amar Chand Saigal & Kesar Devi. His father wanted him to study but Kundan Lal was an indifferent student. The “zikr” & “riaz“, imparted by the Sufi pir to whom his mother took him, was what led him to follow his star – he was most truly a “pilgrim of swara“. His voice had a quality where one could discern no divide between speech and melody.
- He entered the world of films when standing in for an absent singer at New Theaters in 1932. Saigal‘s rendition was such that he gained not merely acceptance but plaudits from the literary and musical stalwarts of Bengal. The pinnacle of this glory was encomium bestowed by Rabindranath Tagore upon Saigal for his mastery over Rabindra Sangeet.
- In the short period upto 1947, Saigal acted in 8 Bengali & 29 Hindi films. In each of them he has left behind a rich musical legacy. His range has covered bhajans, geet, ghazals, children’s songs, classical music and Rabindra Sangeet, his voice moving easily with vibrancy and strength from Tansen‘s “Diya jalao“ to the whispered delight of “Ek raje ka beta“ from the pure melody in his favourite raga bhairavi “Babul mora naihar chutohi jaye“, to such unforgettable cadences as “Soja Rajkumari“, “Do naina matware tihare“, “Karun kya aas niraas bhayee“ and “Jab dil he toot gaya“.
- Tributes have been paid to him frequently by layman and connoisseur alike. But none has perhaps put it better than two of his famous contemporaries. Pankaj Mullick once said that the sheer facility and naturalness of his singing covered the tremendous effort that he put in. He added hard work to a good voice. “What is happening to Saigal is that over the years he has become, in a certain sense, a musician’s musician.“ Praise indeed, for a man who claimed to know nothing of ragas and had no formal training! Today Saigal is no more, but as Naushad says –
“Naushad mere dil ko yakeen hai
Nagmon ki kasam aaj bhi zinda
hai woh Saigal.“
(Naushad swears by his lyrics that his heart is certain that even today Saigal lives on.)
Saigal‘s immortality is truly vested in his magical voice.