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“HUM RAHE YA NA RAHE, YAAD AAYENGE YE PAL” ~ REMEMBERING KK

“When an artist dies, the art that never was is often mourned with as much grief as-if not more grief than-the individual themself. The individual, after all, was flesh and blood. It’s the art that’s immortal.”


31 May 2022: The entire music fandom was left in a state of shock and disbelief after the news of singer and composer KK’s demise surfaced on Tuesday night. KK was performing at a college fest in Kolkata when all of a sudden, he complained of feeling unwell. Soon after his performance on the way back to his hotel, he suffered a cardiac arrest. After futile attempts to resuscitate him at the hotel, he was transferred to the CMRI hospital in Kolkata, where he was confirmed dead upon arrival. At the age of 53, he drew his final breath.


As a world-renowned Indian playback singer, Krishnakumar Kunnath (popularly known as KK) was the embodiment of variety and versatility. In his almost three-decade-long spanning music career, he recorded songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, and Gujarati. Before breaking into the mainstream Bollywood music Industry, he sang more than 3,500 jingles across 11 languages over a span of four years. In an era where almost every artist has been framed and embroiled in some controversy or PR gimmick, KK remained one of the few artists who had no dirt against his name. He emphasized that it is not important for a singer’s face to be seen – quoting he believes the important thing is that “a singer must be heard.”


As a musician, KK was never associated with any specific genre, style, or language. He could sing the fanciest upbeat commercial songs and, at the same time, make you weep through his heartbreaking romantic melodies. Love and friendship were a constant motif in his songs, as was the bittersweet weight of remembrance. But it was his ability to convey emotions like rage, passion, and boldness, which had hitherto been virtually absent from pop music’s lexicon, that cemented his place in the music industry.


Every KK song has a memory attached to it. Every lyric, like muscle memory, is etched in the brain and in our fragile beating hearts. Although it is impossible to distill such a spectacular career into a few songs, here are a few KK songs that will let you relive his iconic voice:


Labon Ko (Bhool Bhulaiyaa)

Dil Kyun Yeh Mera (Kites)

Tadap Tadap Ke (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)

Yaaron (Pal)

Ajab Si (Om Shanti Om)

Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai (Gangster)

Maine Dil Se Kaha (Rog)

Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana (Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein)

Zara Sa (Jannat)

Dil Ibaadat (Tum Mile)

Alvida (Life in a Metro)


His untimely demise has left us all – his fans, friends, and acquaintances in the music industry aghast. As a fan, losing him feels more like a personal loss. I am sure not a single day went by when we did not get to hear his soulful voice. He was an undisputed King of our childhood and the ‘Bluetooth Era’. Back when there were no smartphones and an easily accessible internet connection, he used to rule every playlist and music chart.


His sweet voice and love of singing struck a chord with us millennials growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, assisting us in getting through various stages of life. From diving into the feeling of love for the first time to our first heartbreak, from lying idle during sleepless nights to enduring daily morning struggles – he was there with us every time we tried to escape reality by plugging in our earphones.

Hum rahe ya na rahe kal Kal, yaad aayenge ye pal Pal, ye hain pyar ke pal Chal, aa mere sang chal Chal, soche kya chhoti si hai zindagi Kal mil jaaye to hogi khush-naseebi Hum rahen ya na rahen yaad aayenge ye pal Hum rahen ya na rahen yaad aayenge ye pal (KK’s last stage song before bidding this world adieu)

Rest in peace, KK. Your physical presence may pass away, but your soul will continue to live on in our hearts and memories through your work for generations to come and beyond.

Alvida...

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