By Sridevi Narayanan
Manna Dey, a singer who made his place evergreen in the history of Indian film music has been immortalised like his songs, in our memories. The legendary singer with a magnificent voice, who ruled our hearts for decades and transformed divine.
A career that spanned over almost seventy years gifted us instant hits from different languages like Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Assamese and various other languages and he breathed life into more than 3500 songs.
Dey was one among the giants in Hindi film music who ruled the industry between the 50s and 70s when the Hindi film songs were at their peak. But Dey stood apart from other dominating singers like Mohammead Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh.
While their voices were in demand for romantic lead actors in Bollywood, Manna Dey with his deep, emotional voice conquered complicated and classical songs. He was a master in Rabeendra sangeeth and Hindustani classical. The lessons he acquired from his learning of classical music is evident in his songs. Some of his memorable songs like Laga Chunari Mein Daag, Tu Pyaar Ka Sagar Hai, Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen, Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi, Puchho Na Kaise, etc. enthralled the audience throughout the world. ‘Madhushala’ (House of wine) a collection of poems composed by great Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachan was also sung by the maestro.
Starting his career as a playback singer in the movie ‘Tamanna,’ Manna Dey was one of the most sought after singers in the golden period of Hindi Cinema. He has been honoured with the Padma Shree and Padma Bhusan awards.
Dey won national awards on various occasions for Best Male Playback singer at the Film fare awards, State awards and even won a Life time achievement award.
Music lovers especially the ones who like to cherish the golden era of the Indian Cinema music know the vaccum that has been created by his demise. But it is sure that the deepness of his voice and songs will be eternally remembered and flow in our hearts.