I’ve been away from the blogworld for quite sometime now. Lots of other things kept me extremely occupied – I was looking for a change in job, so to start with, I was busy attending interviews. When I got a new job, I resigned from my previous company and was serving notice period for a month, and that just flew away in giving trainings. And now that I have finally joined the new place, I’m trying to get used to the atmosphere here.
So, I hardly had time to watch movies or post something here for the last one month. Now that life has come back to normal again, when the weekend approached I was glad that I could watch movies and get back to blogging again. Thanks to Vividh Bharati that I came to knnow it’s Manna Dey’s birthday today. So here I am with some of my favourite Manna Dey songs.
Born on 1 May 1919, Prabodh Chandra Dey is better known by his nickname, Manna Dey. As he celebrates his 91st birthday today, here’s wishing him a very very happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead!
1. Laaga chunri mein daag (Dil hi toh hai, 1963) : This is a real masterpiece, one of my all time favourites and one of the most popular Manna Dey songs. Roshan’s music, Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics, Manna Dey’s voice, Priyadarshini’s dance and Raj Kapoor’s screen presence – everything is just so superb. And this song has such a spiritual feel to it.
2. Yeh raat bhegi bheegi (Chori Chori, 1956) : Along with Mukesh, Manna Dey was also Raj Kapoor’s voice in many movies. And this movie is one of my favourite Raj Kapoor films. Raj Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the finest actors we’ve ever had and a great director too, with an amazing sense of music - all his films have such lovely songs. But his movies are usually so socially awakening that they leave me emotionally, morally and socially depressed. So I don’t re-watch many of his movies but this is an exception. It’s such a fun movie and has wonderful songs (Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics and Shankar-Jaikishan’s music) – be it Jahan mein jaati hoon, Aaja sanam or Panchhi banoo udti phiroon.
3. Gori tori baanki (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Manna Dey had a very strong classical base and was usually roped in to sing semi-classical songs. And this song, penned by Prem Dhawan and composed by Chitragupta is a semi-classical song set on Western music - a fun number picturised on Aagha where he tries to impress girls with his magic tricks.
4. Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Mera naam Joker, 1970) : One more Manna-Raj duo and Manna Dey won the Filmfare best Playback singer award for this song. This movie marks the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Raj Kapoor spent so much of his own fortune in making this movie, that when it flopped at the box office, Raj came close to being totally bankrupt. I had watched this film on Doordarshan during my school days but they had to cut it short to fit in the allocated 3 hours. But my dad says that this was almost 5 hours long and when he had watched it in a theater, it had 2 intervals.
5. Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge (Sholay 1975) : IMDB’s tagline for Sholay reads : “The greatest star cast ever assembled…….The greatest story ever told”. I doubt if there’s any Bollywood fan who has not seen this movie but I wont get into the details of the movie, let Raju Shrivastav do that. This Manna Dey-Kishore Kumar duet is one of the most popular songs on dosti – be it any occasion/event…this song is always played/sung.
6. Ek chatur naar karke (Padosan, 1968) : A musical battle where both Mehmood and Sunil Dutt lip-sync to Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar respectively as they try to win over Saira Banu. The singing by both the artist is sheer madness at its best.
As per wiki – ”Reportedly the song ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ (a duet by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey) was partly improvised by Kishore Kumar at the time of recording and Manna Day, 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 immortalized ‘Ek Chatur Naar’. Legend also has it that Manna Dey was upset by the fact that in the picturisation of the song, the singing competition between the two heroes (Dutt and Mehmood) was won by Dutt, for whom the background singing was done by Kishore. Dey didn’t like the fact that a classically trained singer like himself would have to lose, though only on-screen, to an un-trained singer (Kishore). In the song, at a couple of times Mehmood had to say “sur gadbad jee” against Sunil Dutt where Kishore was singing hence Dey refused to say those words so Mehmood gave his own voice for the same.”
But this is what Manna Dey had to say about this song in – “Memories Come Alive: An Autobiography” :
“I was especially cautious when asked to sing for Mehmood in Ek chatur naar with Kishore Kumar. The latter had a unique and unaffected style of singing which tended to eclipse the subtleties of classical music, and place his singing partner, in a duet, at a disadvantage. To be put in the shade by Kishore’s flamboyant style of singing was a distinct possibility and, to counter the risk, I decided to work with Pancham, striving to build on my strengths and find a way of holding my own.”
“On the day we were to record Ek chatur naar, the entire staff at the studio stood outside the glass-door to watch Kishore and me sing. For the two of us, the session had taken on the magnitude of a duel. It took us 12 hours – the recording started at 9 am and ended at 9 pm – to complete it, and I must admit, Kishore was in his element that day. Out of this tough battle to outshine one another, would emerge a new star in the world of music.”
7. Ae meri zohra zabeen (Waqt, 1965) : Another gem of a song – picturised on one of my favourite actors, Balraj Sahni; sung by one of my favourite singers, Manna Dey and from one of my favourite movies. This is just amazing!
8. Pyaar hua hai ikraar hua (Shree 420, 1955) : Yet another Raj Kapoor-Manna Dey duo. I think of Raj Kapoor and Nargis and this song is the first thing that comes to my mind. I think of a rain song, I think of this song. I remember reading that this song is one of the top ten romantic songs in Bollywood.
9. Tum bin jeevan kaisa jeevan (Bawarchi, 1972) : There are some songs which I just cant imagine anybody else singing, and this is one of them. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajesh Khanna playing the All-rounder Bawarchi is one of my favourite films too. And this film had a different music altogether, not the usual romantic numbers, as per the prevailing trend.
10. Jhanak jhanak tori baje payaliya (Mere huzoor, 1968) : Its a great song, great composition and great singing by Manna Dey – simply superb.
And there I go as usual, I was just getting into the flow and I have reached 10 songs already. There are so many other songs of his - Chalat musafir (Teesri Kasam), Jeewan chalne ka naam (Shor), Door hai kinara (Saudagar), Na maangoo sona chandi (Bobby), Kaun aaya mere mann ke dware (Dekh Kabira Roya)…….to name a few.