Indore/Khandwa: The people of the area are making all efforts to save Kishore Kumar’s ancestral house-Ganguly House Gaurikunj-from being sold to some outsider. Locals are demanding that government should convert this house into a museum and help preserve the memories of great singer. Bhaskar campaign has made a big impact and more than three thousand letters have already been written in support of the cause. These letters have been sent to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MP Cultural Minister Surendra Patwa.
Kishore Kumar’s son Sumit Kumar (from Leena Chanravarkar) and nephew Arjun Kumar visited their ancestral house on August 26, 2014. Although they claimed that they had come to see the condition of the house, many claimed that they were exploring the possibility of selling the house. Some real estate agents had also come with them which gave credence to the rumours.
This house was built was kishore Kumar’s father. Kishore grew up here and visited this place twice with family and friends even after making it big in Bollywood. Kishore Da was deeply attached with the house and wanted to spend his later days here only. But his sudden demise snatched away his last dream.
There are 11 shops in the property and the tenants have threatened that they would not let any outsider purchase the property and demolish what reminds everyone of Kishore Da.
Sita Ram, the caretaker of the Ganguly House for more than 30 years, who is now in his early 70s, told HT on phone: “Today around lunchtime, Arjun Baba (Kumar) and Sumit Baba (Kumar) had come here. There were three other persons with them. They stayed here for almost 30 minutes and inspected the house.” Ram said Sumit (Kishore Kumar’s son from fourth wife Leena Chandavarkar) had perhaps visited the house for the first time after his childhood visits with his father.
“Kishore da was attached to this house and loved to come here with his family members,” added Ram, who was employed in Kishore Kumar’s household as a servant in the early eighties, but is now the lone occupant. He vividly recalls the annual visits of Kishore Kumar with his wife. Ram recalled the house would be abuzz with activity when the family would come over.
However, the visit has made residents of Khandwa and 11 tenant shopkeepers of the Ganguly House apprehensive about the possibility that Kishore Kumar’s family might sell the property.
Ravi Kumar Khatri, tenant shopkeeper who runs a general provision store, told HT that they were happy to see Sumit and Arjun, but were also anxious about the rumours that the Ganguly’s might sell the property.
“We don’t want any outsider to buy this house. It is a national heritage and should be bought by MP government for its conversion into a memorial,” he said.
Another tenant Baba Bhai said they won’t allow the sale of the property to outsiders. “We have been tenants here from the times of Vaqeel Sahib (Kishore Kumar’s father). I hope these are just rumours. I don’t think anybody can sell Kishore Da’s memory for just money,” he said.
Spokesperson of Kishore Kumar Sanskritik Prerna Manch Sunil Jain told that the rumours were created as Sumit and Arjun were seen talking with some local real estate dealers. “They came from Mumbai via Indore and went to their ancestral house. Later, they paid tributes at Kishore Da’s samadhi and then left around 4pm. While leaving, they assured us that they were not going to sell the property,” he said.
A mere shadow of its past glory, the double-stored haveli in Khandwa’s Bombay Bazaar area is the house where Kishore Kumar, his brothers Ashok and Anoop Kumar and their family once lived. The property is presently owned by Kishore Kumar’s nephew Anoop Kumar’s son Arjun Kumar Ganguly.