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Saturday, May 9, 2015
Shankar Jaikishan utilized the versatile singing potential of Manna Dey.
Shankar Jaikishan and Manna Dey.
Manna Dey was a unique singer in bollywood history whose brilliant classical andaz commended respect from the giant composers of the golden age that Is 40s, 50s and 60s. Lifetime Achievement award, Padmabhushan are few feathers in his cap which show the esteem with which the country greets him.
He had very understanding with giant composers Shankar Jaikishan. Manna Dey rose to fame in 1955 with Raj Kapoor’s film Shree 420, where his songs “mur murkena dekh”, “pyar hua ikraar hua”, “dil ka haal sune dilwala” were all super hit. Shankar Jaikishan’s composition, Raj Kapoor’s lips and Manna Dey’s expression synchronized in the musical blockbuster.
In Basant Bahar, SJ gave classical tunes to Manna Dey. The song “sur na saje kya gayun mai” stands out. In Raj Kapoor’s Chori Chori, based on Hollywood film Roman Holiday, Manna Dey’s song “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, “yeh to batayo kit um mere kaun ho”, “aaja sanam” mesmerized the audience. The SJ Manna Dey combination was at their best in those songs. Raj Kapoor and Nargis played the same role which Gregory Pegg and Audrey Hepburn played in Hollywood and Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen played in the Bengali film Chawa Pawa.
SJ’s tune “tu pyar ka saagar hai” sung by Manna Dey in Balraj Sahani’s film Seema was a masterpiece. The other landmark songs sung by Manna Dey composed by SJ included “cham cham bajere payelia”, also the song “mai tere pyar ka beemar hoon kya arz karoon” picturised on Mehmood in the film Love In Tokyo, “ai bhai zara dekhke chalo” picturised on Raj Kapoor in the film Mera Naam Joker, to name a few.
In Shammi Kapoor’s film Pagla Kahin Ka, Manna Dey’s song “meri bhais ko danda kyun mara” became big hit. Besides Manna Dey’s folk andaz in Raj Kapoor’s film Teesri Kasam in the song “chalet musafir moh liyo re” was well appreciated by the critics. Also Manna Dey’s song “suraj aa pass” and “muskura ladle muskura” became extremely popular in the early 60s.
It is not possible to highlight the magical combination of Shankar Jaikishan and Manna Dey in a small article. Shankar Jaikishan were probably the composers who used Manna Dey’s talent to the best possible level considering the effort of Roshanlal Nagrath, Madanmohan and others. The films and the songs of SJ and Manna Dey combination should be preserved and restored.