Kundanlal Saigal, or KL Saigal, as he was popularly known, was a versatile singer and actor, who entered into the realm of legends. He has worked on 36 films in three languages in a span of 15 years. He is considered the first superstar of the Hindi film industry.
Saigal has sung over 185 songs throughout his career, with a distinct voice that has eternally enthralled his listeners. For many singers, especially those who lend their voices in the Indian film industry, KL Saigal and his voice have been an inspiration.
For aspirational actors, KL Saigal's versatility in his acting roles has also come in for praise.
KL Saigal's music education came informally, owing to the fact that he came from a modest background. He would sing along with people at a local shrine or would sing in religious ceremonies with his mother. KL Saigal pursued his singing on the side.
In fact, he dropped out of school and held many odd jobs. He was a timekeeper, salesman and manager. It was only when New Theatres, the film studio cast him in three movies, that he got his first big break in 1932.
In the next year, he began to sing songs, beginning with the film Puran Bhagat. The movie bought KL Saigal into the film industry's mainstream. New Theatres, seeing KL Saigal's increasing popularity, created many films till 1940, which was when he moved to Mumbai to work with Ranjit Movietone. He worked on the movies Bhakt Surdas (1942) and Tansen (1943).
For his final films, KL Saigal moved back to New Theatres. His last film Parwana (1947), was released posthumously.
Today's Google Doodle celebrates KL Saigal's varied career and his immense contribution to Indian cinema on his 114th Birth Anniversary.