Thursday, 24 October 2013


                                                                         Prabodh Chandra Dey, better known by his stage name Manna Dey was one of the best playback singers of our country.  A man who sang in more than 4000 songs between 1942-2013. He gave his voice for many of the evergreens of Indian Cinema.  He became nationally famous after release of Do Bigha Zamin in 1953 where two of the songs sung by him and composed by Salil Choudhury became hits. Salil Choudhury worked with Dey right from 1953 to 1992 in Hindi films and made Dey sing even in Bengali and Malayalam films right from late 1950s to early 1990s. His association with Shankar-Jaikishan and producer Raj Kapoor had begun while working for Awara, but their combination became famous while working together for Boot Polish in 1954 and the trio worked in many films together from 1954-1971 whose musical scores were appreciated, irrespective of its box-office fate, like Shree 420Chori ChoriMera Naam Joker. Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey had recorded only 6 songs together till 1968 and all proved to be hits, some of them being Tubhi Piya Chikara Hoon and Tu Jaam Liye Jaa from Bewakoof (1960), Babu Samjho Ishaare from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) all 3 composed by S.D.Burman and Baheta Pani Baheta Jaye from Dhaake Ke Malamaal composed by C.Ramachandra, Joyo Joyo Mere Lal composed by S.K.Pal in 1952 and their frist duet together - Subaho Ki Paheli Kiran in 1951 from Anadholan . In1968 R.D.Burman brought them together for Ek Chatur Naar song in Padosan. Reportedly the song 'Ek Chatur Naar' (a duet by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey) from Padosan(1965) was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Dey, determined to show Kishore Kumar how he would sing the duet better (since Kishore had not been trained classically), got into the mood of the song and immortalised 'Ek Chatur Naar' and though Manna Dey was disappointed that he looses to Kishore on-screen for the song at the time of film’s release but soon they became good friends again by 1970 and later in an interview in 1987 said with the kind of variety of songs – folk, pop, western and classical based songs sung by Kishore Kumar from 1968 to 1987, he was definitely greater than Dey himself and at par with Rafi and Mukesh. In the days of M. Rafi & Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey made his own fame & became the first choice of music directors. . The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. 
On 24 October 2013, he was admitted to the ICU in a Bengaluru hospital after a chest infection gave rise to other complications. On 9 June 2013, there were reports of his death, but the doctors put the rumours to rest by confirming that he was still alive and his situation was stable but critical, as the infection had led to other complications. On 9 July 2013, it was reported that his health was recovering and that doctors took him off ventilator support on the afternoon of 5 July. He died of a cardiac arrest at 3:50 AM on 24 October 2013 at Narayana Hrudayalaya. At the age of 94, he seemed to be still young and was as energetic has his young days. He was a true legend & I cannot say anything else about him. But, one thing is definitely sure that he was one of the best singers our country has produced & there won't be any other singer like him in future as well. Though, we all belong to the new generation yet, we know him & his songs & really liked his voice alot. This was his popularity & respect. We'll miss him & whenever classic music maestros of Indian music will be talked about, this one name will be taken with due respect. His songs will be remembered till our memories last & he'll have a special place in our hearts. R.I.P Manna Dey Sir....                                                                                                                           

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