During the past few days two great singers of this sub-continent have passed away. Manna Dey the great Indian singer passed away in Banglore and great sufi singer Reshma who was born in India too passed away in Pakistan.
A humble tribute to Manna Dey
Manna Dey, who had a very long stint of singing film songs and non film songs was perhaps the most versatile singer of the Indian film industry. Listening to his songs, I feel that the recognition and respect due to him was not aptly granted. Among the modern Indian singers Manna Dey’s was second only to Mohammad Raffi. But he was not given as many songs as some of his contemporary singers.
When Manna Dey came to sing his first song – ‘Upar Gagan Vishal’, he was only 18 years old. The producer of the movie asked the music director how can this young lad sing a song so replete with lofty meaning. The music director was confident of Manna’s ability and convinced the producer. The song became one of the greatest hit of that time.
Both myself and my wife have been ardent fans of Manna Dey. A couple of years ago, we came across an ad. in the newspaper about the performance of Manna Dey’s songs. The adv was not very clear about the performance whether Manna Dey himself will sing his songs or some other singer. Yet we had gone to the concert. It was good but the singers were no match. However, a few days later, a big adv appeared that Manna Dey himself will perform. How could we miss the opportunity. I must say it was one of the greatest performances I had ever attended. More than ninety years old singer sang with great gusto and enthusiasm continuously for three hours. It was amazing. The hall was packed and Manna Dey received a standing ovation. Audience clapped and clapped for a very long time. Probably this was his last live performance.
I have selected five of his great numbers from the youtube. It will be a befitting tribute to a great singer if you all view these videos and listen to the soulful music of Manna Dey who is no more.
Laaga chunari mein daag…
Aye meri zohra jabeen...
Na to karvan ki talash hai…
Pyar hua ikrar hua…
Aye mere pyare watan…
Aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo…
In my next post I will talk about Reshma.