Mumbai: Google Doodle paid tribute to one of Indian cinema's finest artistes - KL Saigal on his 114th birth anniversary. The actor-singer is also often referred to as the first superstar of the Hindi film industry.
Born as Kundanlal Saigal on 11 April 1904 in Nawashehr, Jammu, the legendary film personality was the fourth child in the family. His father Amarchand Saigal was a Tehsildar in the court of the King in Jammu while his mother Kesarbai was extremely fond of music.
Saigal's musical journey began at a very early age since his mother used to take him to religious gatherings where devotees would sing Bhajans and Kirtans. He would also participate in Ram Leela plays in his younger days.
He didn't pursue higher education. He started working as a railway timekeeper and later worked as a salesman of the typewriter for Remington Company.
One of his friends Mehrchand Jain from Lahore encouraged Saigal to pursue singing. And this ignited the passion in him to convert his passion into a profession.
In the 1930s, Saigal joined the New Theatres in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and started working with the film studio for a salary of Rs 200 per month. Simultaneously, his musical journey too began.
Saigal worked in films such as Mohabbat Ke Ansu, Subah Ka Sitara and Zinda Lash in 1932 followed by Yahudi Ki Ladki in 1933. In the same year, he sang four bhajans for a film titled Puran Bhagat and these became popular across the country.
And P.C. Barua's Devdas in 1935 based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's namesake novel made Saigal an overnight sensation as an actor.
He moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1941 to continue acting in films. Within the next few years, Saigal took to drinking. Alchohol overpowered him and this started affecting his work. His health too got affected badly. He breathed his last in Jalandhar on 18 January 1947, at the age of 42.
Saigal worked in a number of films until 1947 and the list includes Pujarin, Street Singer, Dharti Mata, Dushman, Zindagi, Lagan, Shahjehan, Omar Khaiyyam and Parwana.