The era of Kanodia brothers in Gujarati cinema

તું મારો મેરૂ…….. ને હું તારી માલણ………
નાના થી એ મોટા થઈશું તોય કદીના છેટાં રહીશું!
સાથે હરસુ ને સાથે ફરશુ……. સાથે જીવસું ને સાથે જ મરશું
સાથે જીવસું……… ને સાથે જ મરશુ રે!

This is the song they used to sing after their every stage program, performing beautiful Jugalbandi performance in their own way! Just like their performance their life recreated the same with સાથે જીવસું……… ને સાથે જ મરશુ રે! Kanodia brothers were Millennium Megastars of Gujarati film industry, who took the birth together and perished in the universe together. They died because of covid-19 and long-term illnesses. They always cherished their brotherhood in such an amazing manner, in some of their interviews they even used to say that they were one soul in two bodies , one bird with two wings.

Naresh Kanodia and Mahesh Kanodia at an event (Source: Google)

Mahesh kanodia and Naresh Kanodia were born at the village of Kanodia, now in Patan district of Gujarat, India. Elder brother Mahesh was born on 27th January 1937 and younger brother Naresh was born on 20th August 1943. Born in a poor but humble millworker’s family of Mithabhai Kanodia, their prior career phase was full of adversity though both brothers conquered the Gujarati film and music industry by their talent, hard work and passion towards films and music.

Let’s first talk about elder brother Mahesh kanodia’s music journry , as I watched one of his interview, he said that love for music was from his childhood. He used to go Nathuraam master’s home to listen radio as they only had one radio in whole village. He also said that his music understanding and singing skills were god gifted. Interestingly, he could sing in both male and female voices. He used to sing songs of noor jahan,lata mangeshkar and many other singers since the age of 5 or 6 years. After that they came to Ahmedabad. He completed his primary education from Shahpur School in Ahmedabad. For making career in music industry he went to the Mumbai. He struggled a lot in the initial phase but his talent paid him back. He worked in Gujarati cinema  for four decades as a musician, singer and composer.

Now come to younger brother Naresh Kanodia’s career. He kick-started his career while working with his brother. He used to sing and dance along with his elder brother Mahesh in many events. After a while, the duo became very famous for singing and reports claim that they travelled to foreign countries to perform. Many reports indicate that the pair travelled to Africa and  America to showcase their talent.

Naresh Kanodia (Source: Google)

Naresh made his silver screen debut with the 1970 film Veli Ne Avya Phool. In a career spanning four decades, the actor starred in over 350 Gujarati movies. Some of his more popular works include Jog Sanjog, Laju Lakhan, Unchi Medina Uncha Mol, Dhola Maru and Rajveer. His first big project was in 1980, with the film Akhand chudalo. He was also seen in a Hindi film named Chhota Adami. The film came out in 1986 and was directed by Krishnakant. The film starred Raju Barot, Nalin Dave, Dinesh Hingo, Nasir Hussain, Aruna Irani, Firoz Irani, Manik Irani, Arvind Joshi, Naresh Kanodia, Suraj Kanodia in different roles. 

Kanodia brothers performing live (Source: YouTube)

In 2012, Naresh Kanodia was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award for the film Tanariri (1974–75) where both brothers got Best Music award. Even after the great success and fame in life, both brothers were always humble, down-to-earth, polite and with no starry air as said by fellow actors. Also Producer Ashok Patel, who has worked with Kanodia on three films (two of which were “silver jubilee”) talked about the veteran’s sense of punctuality. Both came from a difficult background, having seen “sangharsh” to reach their superstar status. Shankarlal Pushabhai Parmar, who lived next to the brothers in Shahpur, went to night school with them and performed together in programmes, told Mirror how “naturally gifted Maheshbhai and Nareshbhai were”. Gujarati cinema industry definitely feels their absence after sudden death of Kanodia brothers.

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