Legendary Singer Manna Dey

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Manna Dey

1 May, 1919 - 24 October, 2013

A tribute to the Legendary Singer cum a thorough gentlemen MANNA DEY

24th October will be one of the saddest day for the music world when it lost one of the greatest film playback singers of India, the last living bastion out of the lost legends like Mohd. Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor. He was versatile in any genre of singing whether classical, light or comic songs easy but lilt on ear. Although he was hot favourite of Shankar Jaikishen, he was equally liked by other legendary golden era Music directors for any song befitting to his singing prowess. Perhaps he was one of the main pillars of the classic music of Raj Kapoor films like “Shri 420” “Chor Chori” and “Mera Naam Joker”. And can one ever forget his ever green classical number “Laaga Chunri Mein Daag”?

First time I had met this most acclaimed singer was in 1954 as a student in Nagpur when he had attended a music concert and had sang his then popular number from the film Seema “Tu Pyar ka Sagar Hai”. Back stage I had met him and asked if I can be his ‘Pen friend’ (It was in fashion those days, I had aready become with the SEEMA starlet Shobha Khote), he understood and replied in Hindi “Haan hum ‘Patrachaar’ zaroor karenge” and he gave me his Mumbai postal address.

My second meeting with him was in 1990s, when he was less heard in movie songs or rather out of tinsel craze. That time as the President of then “Ankur - The Bombay Youth Cultural Association” I had the privilege to present him and another legendary singer Talat Mahmood as a part of my charity show. It was an evening of ‘Live recall’ of an era of golden film melodies. Manna Da rightly deserved all the Padma awards, Best singer awards and Phalke award for life time achievement.

May God Rest his Soul in Peace.


Written by: 

Mohan Siroya


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