Monday, November 10, 2008

Manna Dey and bollywood films

Manna Dey and bollywood films

Manna Dey is probably the only legend who is alive along with Lata Mangeshkar. He had been an indispensable figure in the world of playback singing in bollywood films in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He had sung every type of song that had been composed by legendary composers during that period ranging from Qawallies to Rock and Roll compositions to bhajans and romantic songs.

The songs that stand out in his illustrious career include “kaun aya mere man ked ware” composed by Madanmohan in the film Dekh Kabira Roya, “sur na saje kya gayun mai” composed by Shankar Jaikishan in the film Basant Bahar, “pucho na kaise maine rain bitayi” composed by SD Burman in the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, “laga chunari me daag chupayun kaise” composed by Roshan in the film Dil Hi To Hai, to name a few.

Although Manna Dey had not sung songs for many bollywood stars other than Raj Kapoor, Mehmood and Pran, whenever there was requirement of singing any classical songs the composers had the choice of engaging either Rafi or Manna Dey. His songs had created history over a period of time and classical singers of the later generation follow Manna Dey as a model singer.

His romantic songs during the golden age include “pyar hua ikraar hua hai”, “mur murk e na dekh”, “dil ka haal sune dilwala” from Raj Kapoor’s film Shree 420, composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, “aaja sanam madhur chandni mai hum”, “jahan bhi jate ho” composed by Shankar Jaikishan in the film Chori Chori in the 50s. He also sang pure classical songs like “o mere naina” in the film Talaash, afghani songs like “ai mere pyare watan” composed by Salil Choudhury in the film Kabuliwala, chorus song “zindagi kaisi hai peheli hai” composed by Salil Choudhury in the film Anand.

In the 70s also Manna Dey had a huge demand with RD Burman using him for singing songs having South- Indian classical style in the film Seeta Aur Geeta including the song “zindagi hai khel, koi pass koi fail”, romantic song “yeh dosti hum nahi torenge” in the film Sholay. Manna Dey’s qawalli “yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi” composed by Kalyanji Anandji and picturised on Pran stands out as one of the most notable qawallies sung in the history of bollywood songs. The landmark qawalli sung by Manna Dey titled “na to karwaki talaash hai” composed by Roshan in the film Barsaat Ki Raat is considered as a grammer for singing qawallies.

Even his songs on sobre mood like “kasme wade” in the film Upkaar, “hey bahi zara dekhke chalo” in Mera Naam Joker, folk song like “chalet musafir” in Teesri Kasam, shows his range and sweetness of voice. His songs in the film Seema like “tu pyar ka sagar hai”, and other songs like “muskura ladle” had become immortal over the years.

The songs and the films should be preserved because classical singers like Manna Dey are born once in a life time and if Indians can feel proud about the contribution of Rafi and Lata in bollywood films they should also feel proud for the contribution of Manna Dey both in bollywood films and songs in different regional languages.

No comments: