The song that activated 'love' in me was Gunche lage hain kehne. I was nine years old then, in class four, and every time I heard the song, it would make me pine for a classmate of mine, Sweety. The song is from a movie called Taraana. Sung by Shailendra Singh and composed by Ram Laxman.
In class five, the famous Rocky song, Kya yehi pyaar hai, made me fantasise about another classmate, Vandana. The fantasy would be meeting her in the school field during one of those rare evenings when the setting sun illuminates the sky with deep orange, so deep that you can barely see anything beyond the outline of people's faces. Just me and her. Sex was not even remotely on the horizon then, so the ultimate gratification lay in having her full attention. How desperately I wanted to be Sanjay Dutt. Whoever thought of R.D. and Kishore Kumar! That was 1980.
Soon after, I became an R.D. fan, thanks to Satte Pe Satta, which was released in 1982. The song, Pyar hamen kis mod pe le aaya, made him my God, and he has stayed on the altar ever since. But Kishore Kumar remained just another singer. I liked him, but that's about it.
In 1986, I was appearing for my board exams. I had always found it difficult to study without a source of music being at hand, and now I didn't have to rely on the old Murphy transistor or the Bush tape-recorder (a small slab with just one speaker): my father had just returned from a project in Germany (West Germany, then), and he had got a red, gorgeous Sony two-in-one.
From 4 to 7, my mornings would belong to text-books. At 8.30 am, Ameen Sayani would take over. The famous host of Binaca Geetmala, the programme that kept millions of Indians glued to their radio sets in the 1970's, would, in his inimitable voice, advertise the new releases. The advertisement would be followed by a song from the movie. I would listen to the programme (I forget its name), from 8.30 to 9.30, while doing last-minute revisions, filling ink in the pen, and getting dressed in the school uniform. At 9.30, I would be off for the examination hall, on my bicycle.
One Kishore Kumar song had caught by attention, and I looked forward to it every morning. It was from a newly-released Rajesh Khanna film called Adhikaar, and it went like, Main dil tu dhadkan, tujhse mera jeevan, kaanch ke jaisa toot jaoonga, toota jo yeh bandhan... (I am the heart, you are its beats. I will break like glass if our bond breaks). I taped the song on a blank cassette so that I didn't have to rely on the radio programme, and soon, I was madly in love with his voice. I went back to his other songs, and I didn't have to look hard because in 1987, he died and the market was flooded with his cassettes. I went to the altar, shifted R.D's image a bit and placed an invisible statue of Kishore Kumar there as well. My musical journey had begun. I knew what I was looking for.
The next 20 years were spent on a mission -- a mission that continues even today: to know everything about the two, to collect all their songs, to convert people into worshipping them. Along the way, Main dil tu dhadkan was forgotten, till I found it again, thanks to internet. Nothing gives me more pleasure than sharing music. Not even sex, believe me.
So here it is, dear reader, the song that started it all. As the Vividh Bharati announcer would say: "Aawaz hai Kishore Kumar ki. Swarbaddh kiya hai Bappi Lahiri ne. Aur film ka naam hai Adhikaar."