A Humble Tribute to Manna Dey: He Enriched Hindi Film Music Forever

We got the sad news of the death of Manna Dey recently. He was of course 94 years of age and had been ailing for some time, but the fact is he was the last among the generation that brought Hindi film music to its pinnacle. Mohd.Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh died quite early as far as age is concened they were all less than 60. Talat Mehmood also died but Manna Dey was still alive and we thought at least there is a link to that generation. The strange part is that Manna Dey never got his due in his lifetime. If you see the records of Hindi films he became popular with Bimal Roys’s ‘Seema’ where he recorded ‘Tu pyaar ka saagar hai’. Ever since then he’s been called by S.D. Burman and other music directors  wherever they felt that Rafi or Mukesh could not do justice. Raj Kapoor is  associated with Mukesh’s songs. Most of Raj Kapoor’s songs which are popular are by Mukesh but  the significant part is today one scene comes on TV Raj Kapoor and Nargis and Raj Kapoor holding an umbrella  that is the most common scene as far as Raj Kapoor’s love stories are concerned and that is from ‘Shree 420’. The song, ‘Pyaar hua, Ikraar hua, Pyaar se phir kyun darta hai dil’ is by Manna Dey. People don’t realise, people think it is by Mukesh because Raj Kapoor is associated with Mukesh. The best song by Raj Kapoor in a way is by Manna Dey. Similarly in the film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ the joker song is by Manna Dey. Balraj Sahni who has done so much work in his life but whenever his biopic comes they show that scene from that ‘Waqt’ film- ‘O meri zohrazabeen’, which is hardly doing justice to Balraj Sahni. But again that song is by Manna Dey. For Raj Kapoor you’re saying ‘Laaga Chunri mein daag’ and ‘Dil hi to hai’. All the good songs Manna Dey has done; Manna Dey has done about 500-600 songs. But unfortunately he never got from the press or from the public or others the same affection and respect as Kishore Kumar or Rafi or Mukesh got and Kishore Kumar was not even a trained singer. Manna Dey was properly trained by his uncle, K.C. Dey and he himself later improved upon it in Mumbai  K. C. Day was in Calcutta and came up to where he was. We must all pay our humble tribute to him for enriching Hindi films and Hindi film music. May his Soul rest in peace.


Rahul Unconvincing, Secularism and Communalism, etc : Political Musings

Election fever is catching on and Rahul Gandhi has suddenly become aggressive but I don’t know who his speech writers are or advisors are. He doesn’t come across convincingly which is sad because if communalism has to be tackled, if Narendra Modi has to be faced, the Congress party has an important role to play and Rahul Gandhi because he’s only projected as their leader- he has to be more focused than what he is. He suddenly becomes emotional and says my grandmother was killed, my father was killed, I may also be killed- I don’t care. Good! But the BJP did not do that, the BJP did not kill his grandmother or father. So if you have to attack BJP, if you are to attack communal forces you have to be more focused. In fact for Mrs. Gandhi’s death, Congress itself is at fault by alienating the Sikhs. How is the BJP to be blamed? For Rajiv Gandhi’s death the Sri Lankan people did it. So though he becomes emotional which is good in a way but the example that he gives will not be able to stop Narendra Modi in his tracks. If you really want to stop Narendra Modi, you must point out Babri Masjid. That is the main thing  the BJP has broken the back of secularism in this country — RSS, BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad whatever it was. The Sangh Parivar has dealt a body blow to civilised living in India on 6 December 1992. I don’t know why the Congress is shy of mentioning that. In fact the state partisan bureaucrats in Uttar Pradesh took out a circular that there will be a meeting at the site to   discuss how a temple is to be made. The BJP people probably have their own bureaucrats parked in the Government also. See  Rahul Gandhi  if he wants to become serious, take up the mantle of the party ahead he has to become much more serious, he has to do a lot more research on the back speeches of Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi than what he has done. He is going around the  country –Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc. In Madhya Pradesh,  Jyotiraditya Scindia is more popular because he is a local man.   Of course Rahul Gandhi’s trip will help him, but how far they can contain the BJP there we don’t know. Rajasthan is actually a 50-50 race  and  if fought properly Congress can still retain Rajasthan. But unfortunately ticket distribution, subjects, propaganda everything is not in the top gear. I know our constituency because I’m in touch- they want to cut the sitting MLA and give it to another person. Now winnability of course is a criterion, but unless Congress follows its age-old rules they’ll find themselves in a further mess. One good development is that some parties — non-Congress, non-BJP parties — have decided to hold a meeting on 30 December in Delhi. The CPM, JDU, Samajwadi party and Anna DMK etc., are getting together to face  communal forces presumably. If they really give a call  that will become a core for the Third Front. The Front may be far away but if all the non-Congress, non-BJP parties get together and decide that communalism we’ll stop in its tracks,  that will be a very, very welcome sign. I hope it succeeds.

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