Manna Dey : Legendary singer made to play a second fiddle all his life — Part VI

Manna Dey :  Legendary singer made to play a second fiddle all his life — Part VI

Lyrics were by Prem Dhawan and its music was Anil Biswas. Such songs established the singing prowess of both the singers as well as the composers. The result of such efforts was both sweet and beautiful. There were other beautiful songs by Manna Dey from this movie like Majrooh Sultanpuri’s penned song “Tera Haath Haathon Mein Aa Gaya”, Prem Dhawan’s “Mere Mun Ki Dharkan”, “Jab Ankhain Hi Na Deen” and “Ritu Aaye Ritu Jaaye”, the latter with Lata Mangeshkar, which was also a classical-based song.
Here I take the opportunity of mentioning other famous duets of the two singers, that is Lata and Manna Dey. Music composer Madan Mohan composed songs “Woh Chand Muskuraya” in 1958 for Nutun and Shekhar-starrer movie ‘Akhri Dao’. The song “Preetam Daras Dikhaao” was from the movie ‘Chacha Zindabad’ (1959) starring Kishore Kumar, Anoop Kumar, Anita Guha, Bhagwan, Raj Mehra, Om Prakash, Tuntun, Sunder, Manorama and Pinky. This movie was directed by J Om Prakash. Lyrics were written by Rajinder Krishan and music director was Madan Mohan Kohli. In 1965, Madan Mohan composed music for Guru Dutt’s movie ‘Suhagan’. Though I like Muhammas Rafi’s songs “Mere Pyar Main Tujhe Kaya Mila” and “Tu Mere Samene Hai” better but Manna Dey’s song “Bheegi Chandani Chaai Bekhudi” with Lata was also a lilting song. Mala Sinha was the heroine of this movie with songs sung by Hasrat Jaipuri. The other notable songs of this movie were “Tum Hi To Meri Pooja Ho” (Lata and Talat) and “Ik Baat Poochti Hun” by Lata. The movie was so good that I would like to share its storyline with music lovers. Vija Kumar (Guru Dutt) hired by a college professor Dubeji (Nazir Hussain) falls in love with his daughter Sharda (Mala Sinha). Vijay Kumar’s mother (Leela Chitnis) and sister, Uma (Lata Sinha) live in a small house in a far off village. They are poor. This affair between a professor and a student spreads like hot fire throughout the college campus. This situation annoys Dubeyji to such an extent that he complains to the college Principal Vidya Ratan and asks for Vijay Kumar’s dismissal. But Vidya Ratan is supportive of Vijay Kumar and Sharda and convinces Dubeyji that it will in everyone’s best interest if both got married. Dubeyji reluctantly agrees and the two get married and return to Vijay Kumar’s home. Once there, Vijay Kumar is approached by the Arts College Principal (David), who offers him a job at his college. Soon there is more good news when Vijay Kumar’s sister Uma (Lata Sinha) gets married to her boyfriend, Sukhiram (Deven Varma), son of the comically parsimonious, Dukhiram (Om Prakash). One day while making preparations for college day festivities, Vijay falls off the roof of the college building and is hospitalised. The doctors are able to save his life. However they warn the family that Vijay’s heart condition had become so weak that if he underwent any physical stress including a sexual relationship with his wife, he could die. The lure of the human flesh proves to be too much for Vijay Kumar, and as soon as he recovers he wants to consummate his marriage with Sharda, who must either give in to the attraction of the flesh herself, or live the life of a celibate, or alternatively separate from Vijay and marry Shankar (Feroz Khan), the young man her father had wanted to marry in the first place. The result is unfulfilled desires of the married couple beautifully pictured by Mala and Guru Dutt. It is a very unique story. 
Lata and Manna Dey also recorded some fusion songs, which used both Indian and Western instruments. Some of such songs are the duets “Kaanhaa Bole Naa” and “Balma Moraa Aanchaar” for the film ‘Sangat’, composed by Salil Chowdhury in 1975, which became very popular and was picturised on Rakesh Pandey and Kajri. In 1974, Manna Dey sang along with Lata and Kishore a song “Goyakechu Nanche” from the film ‘Manoranjan’ in 1974. Manna Dey continued to sing popular Bollywood songs during the 1971 to 1986 period, such as “Dulhan Banungi” from the film ‘Woh Jo Hasina’ (1983), composed by Raamlaxman, “Aankhon Ka Salaam Lo” with Lata and Rafi in the movie ‘Samraat’, “Dilwaale Dilwaale” from ‘Kranti’ (1981), “Yaari Hai Imaan” from ‘Zanjeer’, “Ye Duniya Hey Usi Ko” sung with Kishore and Usha Mangeshar from the film ‘Suraksha’ (1979), “Tum Besahara Ho To Kisi” from the film ‘Anurodh’ (1977), “Jo Likha Gaya Hai” from the film ‘Umar Qaid’ (1975) etc. The song “Sab Kho Diya Sab Pa Liya” from ‘Maqqar’ (1986), composed by Rajesh Roshan was the last duet of Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey for Bollywood. From late 1970s onwards Manna Dey worked with composers like Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kamlyanji Anadji, Pancham, Bappi Lahiri, Raam Laxman, Sonik Omi, S Rajeswar Rao, Ravi and Rajesh Roshan. Continued

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