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27 June 2013

The Legends: Manna Dey - Part 2

01.05.1919 - 24.10.2013
It was interesting to learn that Manna Dey's first recorded song in Hindi was a duet Jaago aayi usha (Tamanna /1942) with reigning singer-actress Suriayya. In his long career spanning decades in the Hindi film industry, the veteran singer chalked up an enviable number of duets with almost all of his contemporaries, and even singers a generation ahead. Kavita Krishnammorthy, who considers him her mentor, talks fondly of having travelled the world with Manna Dey, accompanying him on countless stage shows.

If it was difficult to winnow my choices down to a dozen of Manna Dey's solo songs, how much more of a puzzle was it to sort through the hundreds of his duets with the other singers of his time to make a manageable list? Every Manna Dey /(other singer) combination on my list showed three or more other songs that were among my favourites. The problem facing me was not what to pick but what to leave out. In an unsuccessful bid to make things easier for me, I decided to keep the list down to pure duets - which meant no triads, no quartets/quintets (effectively removing two lovely qawwalis), no songs with a chorus. Just Manna Dey and one other singer. (Now you see, Pacifist, why Mausam beeta jaaye found no place on my list?)

Apart from removing some of my absolute favourite Manna Dey songs, this did not seem to make my task any easier. I still found myself with multiple choices, all of them songs that I absolutely love. So, like any student faced with multiple choice answers all of which seem to be right, I closed my eyes and picked one.  The only difference is that here, there was no wrong answer. I may have chosen them in a seemingly haphazard manner, but these songs will always be there among my all-time favourites.

So here, once again, I give you a handful of Manna Dey's duets, some popular, some not-quite, all of them sung with the veteran singer's characteristic elan. Keep in mind that these are my choices, and hence highly subjective (and also subject to change at a moment's notice). 

1. Manna Dey - Bhimsen Joshi
Basant Bahar (1956 )
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra
A lovely jugalbandi with classical music maestro Bhimsen Joshi, Manna Dey was wont, in later days, to wonder at music directors who pitted him against a classical music giant and had him win, while in Padosan, they had him, trained in classical music, lose to Kishore Kumar. In an interview later, Manna Dey confessed that he had thought of running away until S-J found someone else to sing the song. I found this clip on YouTube where Manna Dey talks about the song. (Watch from the 1.00 minute mark.)

2. Manna Dey - Sudha Malhotra
Main pyar ki laila hoon
Mr X (1957)
Music: N Dutta
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri 
The film starred Ashok Kumar and Nalni Jaywant, the hit pair of the 50s in a murder mystery caper that is the precursor to Mr X in Bombay and Mr India... (and perhaps others). Full of corpses, invisible killers, and mysterious men who appear and disappear at whim, the film may not have been the greatest of successes, but it did have a rip roaring musical score (think Mohammed Rafi's Laal laal gaal...) Similarly, Manna Dey got to croon a zesty number with Sudha Malhotra, quite different from the 'mendicant songs' he had been saddled with. Unfortunately, I could not find a video for the song. (Perhaps the entire cast made off with the invisible potion?)

3. Manna Dey - Mahendra Kapoor
Usko nahin dekha
Dadi Maa (1966)

Music: Roshan
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
I must confess to not having liked the song at all when I was younger. I used to liken it to a surfeit of sugar. It is only as I grew older that I began to like the melody. Beautifully rendered by the two singers, it is as usual picturised on two obscure (to the Hindi film-viewing public) actors, Dr Kashinath Ghanekar (well known to Marathi film-goers) and Dilip Raj. The maa, of course, is Bina Rai, who, I think, is worthy of all the admiration being heaped on her! When I was researching their collaboration, I also came across a lovely Bhojpuri song from a film called Bidesiya.  I liked it so much, I cannot resist posting it here.
4. Manna Dey - Suman Kalyanpur
 Na jaane kahan tum the
Zindagi aur Khwaab (1961)
Music: Dutta Ram
Lyrics: Kavi Pradeep
Another melodious gem from Manna Dey, this time in tandem with yet another underrated singer, Suman Kalyanpur. She had a remarkably sweet voice, and some lovely songs to her credit. This particular song, from a film that I hadn't heard of until recently (I'd heard the song but never knew which film it was from) is a very sweet romantic song, and though I did have to look at Rajendra Kumar, he didn't annoy me as much as he usually does. Manna Dey's voice took care of that. But even with Rajendra Kumar and Meena Kumari in the lead, the film seems to have sunk without a trace. Yet Dattaram's compositions have withstood the test of time, outliving the fate of the film they were composed for. It is interesting that the lyricist for this song was Kavi Pradeep who was better known for his patriotic songs and philosophical numbers. My other choice for their collaboration was Bheegi hawaaon mein from Shreeman Satyawadi.

5. Manna Dey - Geeta Dutt
Apradhi Kaun (1957)
Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
My favourite Manna Dey - Geeta Dutt duet has to be Aan milo aan milo shyam saanwre from Bimal Roy's Devdas. But this one, from a lesser-known (though still a Bimal Roy production) Apradhi Kaun is such a foot-tapping, peppy number that I just had to include it in the list. I always felt that Geeta Dutt's voice best complemented Manna Dey's, even though he sang most of his duets with Lata Mangeshkar. Just listen to the sweetly romantic  Naya naya chand hai jee from another lesser known film Khuda ka Banda.

6. Manna Dey - Shamshad Begum
Arre haan dildaar
Bewaqoof (1960)
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
This is an interesting composition by SD Burman, with Majrooh Sultanpuri providing the necessary nonsense verse (in rhyme!). The film stars Kishore Kumar and Mala Sinha, along with Pran in a usual tale of babies exchanged at birth (or not!). In a situation where Pran is being taken for a ride, Manna Dey's and Shamshad Begum's vocal calisthenics find a perfect vehicle in the facial contortions of IS Johar (who plays the hero's sidekick) and Krishnakumari. What is also interesting about this song is the way the comic lyrics (in Hindi) mimic different accents - Bengali, Tamil, and Sinhalese as the 'listeners' keep changing 'radio stations' according to their taste.

7. Manna Dey - Kishore Kumar
Padosan (1968)
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Rajinder Krishen
Conventional wisdom would suggest I list Ek chatur naar karke singar as my choice for a Manna Dey - Kishore Kumar duet. My problem with that song is that its picturisation leaves much to be desired. I usually end up blocking the video. By all accounts, Manna Dey was not very happy either at having to 'lose' the competition to Kishore Kumar in this song. (He was classically trained; Kishore was not.) The day of the recording, Kishore Kumar was nowhere to be found; instead, Manna Dey received a telephone call asking him to go to Kishore Kumar's house, where the latter's mother had prepared luchis especially for him. So he trooped off to Kishore Kumar's residence, where he found RD Burman and Kishore Kumar waiting for him. The veteran singer recounted how they rehearsed for six hours and recorded for another six (partially because Kishore insisted on improvising in the middle) before the song was complete.

8. Manna Dey - Asha Bhosle
Ae kaash chalte milke
Manzil (1960)
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
I had three choices (winnowed from the many) on my final list of choices for a Manna Dey - Asha Bhosle duet. The others were the playful Saanjh dhali from Kala Bazar and the absolutely fantastic (both song and sequence) Tu chhupi hai kahan  from Navrang. The latter, especially because it highlights Manna Dey's command over sur even in the high notes and the picturisation is fantastic; then, I regretfully decided against it because a) Asha sounded a tad screechy as she hits the high notes, and b) I wanted to include some songs where Manna Dey actually sang for a top hero. So why not Saanjh dhali?  Well, it lost out when I closed my eyes and jabbed. :) Seriously, though, Ae kaash chalte milke has an irresistible sweetness to it, so even though Saanjh dhali has Manna Dey at his mischievous best, I chose this.

9. Manna Dey - Mohammed Rafi
Kalpana (1960) 
Music: OP Nayyar
Lyrics: Qamar Jalalabadi
Manna Dey has always spoken about Mohammed Rafi, his (more successful) contemporary with great respect and admiration, even though he was a far better classical singer than the latter. In interviews, where reporters usually pushed him for comment on whether he had been sidelined because of Mohammed Rafi, he was always quite clear that he thought Mohammed Rafi was a great singer and deserved every ounce of his success. In fact, he had once declared that he knew Mohammed Rafi was a better singer than him; more importantly, Rafi was such a gentleman, and between them, there was no sense of one-upmanship. (To hear Manna Dey's opinion of Mohammed Rafi in his own words, watch here until the 2.11 mark.) In return, Mohammed Rafi had once told the assembled media, "You listen to my songs, but I only listen to Manna's songs." It is a compliment that Manna Dey cherishes. From their collaborations (only pure duets), I also had the funny O Mama, o mama from Parvarish, and Muh se mat laga ye cheez hai buri from Johnny Walker, which has drunken revellers extolling the value of temperance. This choice made itself though, since Tu hi meri prem devta is vastly superior to the other songs in terms of composition and virtuosity that both singers brought to their craft. Its picturisation also wins hands down, showcasing as it does the dancing talents of two performers who were past masters of theirs.     

10. Manna Dey - Lata Mangeshkar
Ja tose nahin bolun Kanhaiya
Parivaar (1956)
Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Shailendra
This selection proved to be the toughest of the lot! Not for nothing - Manna Dey sang the maximum number of duets with Lata Mangeshkar. I had, among others, Yeh raat bheegi bheegi  from Chori Chori, Bheegi chandni from Suhagan, Masti bhara hai sama from Parvarish, Jhoomta mausam mast mahina from Ujala... songs as varied from each other as chalk from cheese, the only similarity being the perfection with which each is rendered. I consoled myself with the notion that I could do a 'My Favourites - Manna Dey-Lata Mangeshkar Duets' post later. This song was chosen, again, for the sweetness of its rendition, the playfulness of the lyrics that Lata brings so beautifully to life and the mastery that Manna Dey displays over the sur as he joins in. Manna Dey's opinion of Lata? Listen to his own words.... 

So, what are your choices for Manna Dey duets? Pure duets, please...

Manna Dey's picture
Courtesy: The Hindu


  1. That is one well thought out list and a faultless one- if I may add- given the vast selection of songs that you had to choose from. If I had to choose one duet it would be 'Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Hum' from Chori Chori


    If I had to choose one solo song then it would be 'Ae Mere Zohra Jabeen' from Waqt.


  2. Indeed, a highly meritorious ( melodious, too) list to record the width and depth of Manna Dey's singing career, w.r.t. to the scope of the period that we normally select.
    Jaa To Se Nahin Bolun Kanhaiya would be the one song with which I would start any selction of Manna Dey duets.
    But, since you have already set the bar high enough, I may need some time to organize my forces and come up with some more songs where Manna Dey has paired with playback singer, and the music director, covered in this list.

  3. Thank you, Shilpi. I'm glad you linked Aaja sanam madhur chandni mein hum; I'm looking forward to seeing all the songs I couldn't list, in the comments. :)

    I have Ae mere zohra jabeen in my post on his solo songs; it is such an iconic number it would have been a crime to leave it out.

  4. Thank you, Ashokji. Jaa tose nahun bolun Kanhaiya is such a beautiful song, isn't it?

    Looking forward to your selections.

  5. Ja tose nahin bolu Kanhaiya was Salilda reprising Muthuswamy Dikshitar's immortal Hamsadhwani Vatapi Ganapatim.

    I heard the Malayalam version of this song first ... and then a live version of this on Bombay DD...


    One of the best Manna Dey/Lata duets, gorgeous orchestration, maybe the hero should leave the guitar alone

  6. Incidentally the Malayalam version was sung here in this episode by this young lady very well, considering the vocal nuances and swoops that S Janaki took in the original . The orchestration is different though the chord structure remains the same...


  7. I've had a bad night - good barely sleep at all - and was planning to lie down for a while. But this post of yours was too irresistible, Anu! Lovely songs, some more my favourites than others (I am very fond of Na jaane kahaan tum the). And there were a couple I hadn't heard before - that song from Mr X, for one. But all very worthy of being on any Manna Dey duets list.

    Here's one of my favourites that I don't think was mentioned in your list: Chunari sambhaal gori:


    And another that I simply love; O meri maina:


  8. Subodh Agrawal28 June 2013 at 02:27

    This is my third attempt to get past disqus (growwwlll!). I will keep it short to avoid another disappointment. My favourites in your list are 'Na jane kahan tum the' and 'Jaa to se nahin bolun.' I was looking for male-female duets only, so it was somewhat of a let down to find half the list taken up by male-male duets - without taking anything away from their excellence. Outside your list - all the songs of Chori Chori. Among the classical ones 'Re man sur mein gaa'.

    One Asha-Manna duet I like a lot is 'Zulfon ki ghata le kar' from Reshmi Rumal. It has a gentleness normally denied to Manna Dey, as the composers were keen to use the full range of his voice. Shakila is a visula treat as always, and compensates adequately for the presence of Manoj Kumar http://youtu.be/8YfCMTmtTto

  9. I ditto Subodh's crib about Disqus, but not your selection of his duets with male singers. We normally tend to view duets as male-female songs, often forgetting that there are a large number of outstanding male-male duets, which need to be counted somewhere.

    My best Manna Dey male-male duet is Ek chatur naar, including its picturisation. :) Knowing your strong views I am aware one should not take pangaa with you, but I could not help giving my frank view. Without meaning to further irritate you, if Padosan is a classic, this song is its cornerstone. Sorry about that.

    O Mama is too good, primarily because of its picturisation. My first choice of Manna Dey-Md Rafi duet would be Ye do diwane dil ke:


    At least three songs were new for me - duets with Sudha Malhotra, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle. My favorite Manna Dey-Geeta Dutt duet is Main tere pyar mein kya kya na band dilwar:


    And with Asha Bhosle, Subodh has already mentioned Zulfon ki ghata lekar. My another great favorite, which is fast and peppy, Humne jalwa dikhaya to:


    With Suman Kalyanpur you have given a beautiful song. Another outstanding duet is Tum jo aao to pyar aa jaye. But I came across a duet recently with which I have fell in love instantly, Raat ne gesu bikharaaye from Sapera (1961), music Ajit Merchant:


    This song itself is based on the tune of Chanda loriyan sunaye by Lata Mangeshkar from Naya Sansar (1959), composed by Chitragupta, which again is a copy of a classic Dilip Dholakia song in Gujarati.

    The YT has removed the video of Bewaqoof song, but some other videos are available, you may like to restore it. They are quite a sadist! On Bewaqoof, an interesting trivia - the four main characters have the same screen name as their real name in the film - Kishor, Johar, Pran and Mala. I don't know the names of other actors, it is likely they also might have their real names - which is a unique record.

    Incidentally, a small correction - Tamanna is a 1942 film.

  10. A lovely theme, Manna Dey's duets! And an article written with passion and revised opinions!
    Loved reading it!

    The songs from Mr. x and Bewaqoof were new for me. I can't say I like all the songs from the list, but the first and the last are exceptionally outstanding. Love ae kaash chalte milke as well. Would have difficulty choosing between it and saanjh dhali as well.
    Thanks for the anecdote re. ek chatur naar. And am very muchs urprised that you considered that song for oyur list, knowing that you dislike that film. And was more surprised to see it in a list of duets, while the song is a terzett (a trio), with both Mehmood and Manna Dey singing for Mehmood. But it is your list, so you can put in whatever you like. ;) :)

    In the comment to last song, I think you have included all my fav Lata-Manna songs, so can't really say anything more.
    My fav Rafi-Manna duet:
    waaqif hoon khoob ishq ke from Bahu Begum

    My fav Geeta-Manna Duet
    aan milo shyaam sanware from Devdas

    Another fav duet with Manna Dey, this time with Usha Mangeshkar
    apne suro me mere from Dil Ki Raahen

    Thanks for the list, Anu!

    BTW, yes even I'm having problems with Disqus. I think this is one of the hurdles, which one has to pass for enjoying the pleasure of commenting on your blog! :) That is why I've started writing the comment first in word and then copying it here.

  11. Great list! My favorite songs are #3 and #4. I recall a song from Ziddi(1964) which was sung by Manna Dey & Geeta Dutt---"Main Tere Pyaar Mein Kya Kya Na Bana" filmed on Mehmood and Shubha Khote


  12. I hadn't seen the video before this, though I had heard the song, of course. :) I don't think this film was released though. I agree with you that someone needed to break the guitar over the hero's head. It is interesting that its Malayalam equivalent is a lullaby.

    But what a lovely song! This is the first time I've paid attention to the way the notes rise and fall. Beautiful!

  13. The link you posted ends in the middle of the first verse. :( (The clip is only 40 seconds long.)

  14. Poor you! You must be exhausted!

    Thanks, Madhu. I had both the songs you posted in my choices for the Lata-Manna Dey duets; it was so hard to choose. I'm so glad you posted them, especially Chunri sambhal gori... I love the aha! that Lata interjects, it adds such pizzaz to the tune. Apparently, SD added that after the first rehearsal because he decided the tune was flat. :)

    Yes, I like the Tu meri maina as well. As I said, some day I'll do a Lata-Manna Dey duet list and then I'll add all the songs I was forced to leave out here.

    I hope you manage to get some sleep today.

  15. I am so sorry that Disqus is acting up again, Subodh, and very grateful that that didn't deter you from commenting. The strange part is that your comments don't show up on Blogger's comments either. :(

    All my posts in this category (The Legends) have their duets with both male and female singers. :) I'm sorry you were disappointed, but as I mentioned in my post (and to Madhu, below), I fully intend to do a Manna Dey -Lata post some day. Then perhaps you will have your wish.

    I like the song from Reshmi Rumaal; it *is* one of his 'gentler' songs, as you say. I think Manna Dey's issue was the same as Mohammed Rafi's - they could both traverse the higher octaves with such seeming ease that music directors always wanted them to do so. It is a curse that followed Lata around as well.

    And Manoj Kumar didn't irritate me in this song as he usually does. Perhaps it is because he is actually smiling for a change, instead of clutching his forehead or covering his eyes and looking deeply anguished. Shakila is always a joy to watch.

  16. Oh, I have no issues with people who enjoyed the film. I’m well aware that I’m in a minority when it comes to disliking the film in its entirety, and not just for its caricature of South Indians. And ‘Classic’ is subjective anyway. I do not consider Padosan in any shape or form a classic. But the
    song, oh, the song is a fantastic collaboration between two artistes.

    I loved the O mama picturisation as well. Ye do diwane dil ke was on my shortlist but I dropped it in favour of Tu hi mera prem devta for reasons I outlined above.

    I had Raat ne gesu bhikraaye in my list of choices, but dropped it because I wanted to use a song that was peppier than Manna Dey’s usual songs. I knew it had replicated the earlier Lata Mangeshkar song, but didn’t know that it was copied from Gujarati. Interesting. :)

    There seems to be some confusion about the release date of Tamanna - I have seen both 1942 and 1943 mentioned. But I just checked his 'official' website, and that says 1942 as well, so I'll change it. Thanks for the heads up.

  17. Harvey, thank you.

    I let Ek Chatur Naar in because Mehmood is not 'singing' for himself, he is talking. And that is because Manna Dey refused to say the dialogues, especially the 'Ayyo, sur gadbad hai jee part.

    Your favourite Manna-Geeta duet is mine too. :) I just wanted to add some peppy songs to the list, that is why I gave it a miss.

    Disqus seems to be causing problems everywhere. One thing that S mentioned when Pacifist was having issues with it was to update your browser because sometimes an earlier version is not compatible with it. Perhaps you could try that? I'm always grateful that you do not let that stand in your way to comment on my post. Thank you!!

  18. Thanks, coolone. :) I do like Main tere pyar mein kya kya na bana but I also wanted to include some songs that were not picturised on Mehmood. Hence...

  19. Shalini Razdan28 June 2013 at 14:02

    I like the diversity of your list, Anu both in terms of song and singer selection. My favorite among your picks is #10 and I'm delighted your finger landed on it instead of the other contenders.:-) Some more of my favorites are:

    Kanha jaa re w/Lata

    Yeh din hain khushi ke w/Suman

    Mere jivan mein kiran w/Asha

    Ek janib sham-e-mehfil w/Rafi

  20. Anu,

    I should have mentioned that I first came to know about Dilip Dholakia's original Gujarati song from Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh's comment on Mr Ashok Vaishnav's guest article on Hindi-Gujarati songs on my blog. Here is the song, Tari ankh ni affini from the film Diva Dandi (1950) sung by Dilip Dholakia, music by Ajit Merchant, whose tune was copied later in the two songs I have mentioned:


  21. How delightful, Anu. A special mention of the song na jaane kahan tum the
    which I like very much.
    I'm smiling at the artful way you've subtley pushed in a whole lot of other songs, in addition to the list :-)

    I love Manna's classical songs, and this one is so drugging;

    ritu aaye ritu jaaye from Humdard 1953 The sound is a bit rusty but fails completely to reduce the beauty of the song.


    ...and his romantic duets very much. na jaane has already been mentioned by you and a host of others.

    keh do ji keh do from Kismat ka khel.


    And of course you didn't think I forgot This;

    You have a very valid reason for excluding it from the list, though I can't excuse validity itself :-D

    For me, this song *is* Manna De. Like INdia and Taj Mahal.

  22. Oh, here's the link.


  23. And another romantic one. Hope it hasn't been mentioned yet.

    From Sakhi Robin.

    tum jo aye to pyar aa jaye


  24. Subodh Agrawal28 June 2013 at 22:41

    Looking forward to your post on Manna Dey's duets with Lata. It won't be easy - a search on Hamaracd.com brings up 76 results (with many duplicate entries).

    I would also love to compare lists of Manna Dey's multi-singer songs. I think he figures in such songs more than others. The two qawwalis of Barsat ki raat, the two folk songs of Do Bigha Zameen, Ho ke majboor from Haqeeqat, Darshan do Ghanshyam from Narsi Bhagat, Panchhi banoon udti phiroon (mostly a lata song) from Chori Chori, Ramaiya vasta vaiyya from Shri 420 and many more.

  25. I'm smiling at the artful way you've subtley pushed in a whole lot of other songs, in addition to the list

    You are the only one who noticed that, pacifist! I thought I had managed to pull it off. :)

    And I did link to your song in my own artful way, even as I was mentioning why it wasn't on the list. :)

  26. Nope, though SSW posted a solo from the same film in my earlier post.

  27. Subodh, no, I'm well aware it is not an easy task, and the more I listen to Manna-Lata duets, the more songs I discover that I really, really like! But that is half the fun of making lists - discovering 'new' songs, listening to old favourites, and then opening up the comments to find even more. Delicious!

    After reading SoY's remark in the earlier post, I'd also formed a Manna Dey + Chorus post; now, I think I should also make a multi-singer songs post. :) What fun!

  28. Since a paicifist likes that Manna De/Salilda song so much perhaps she'd like this one with modern embellishments....Warning connects very slowly so you have to be patient but this is the original bit of artwork of the original chorus which was copy of the original by Lev Knipper.


  29. *shamefacedly* You are right! It is Usha, not badi didi. I don't know why I thought (all this while!) that it was Lata. [slinking off to remove O meri maina from the list I made.

    After I wrote the first post, that is what I was doing. Luxuriating in his songs. We had picked up SaReGaMa's Legends' series featuring his songs (four cds) and for a change, all the songs were good.

  30. I knew it was based on a Russian marching song, but this is the first time I've heard it. The cartoon is very funny. :)

  31. Since the reason for discovering this fabulous song is your post I thought it was appropriate to post it here :-)

    I LOVE it. The song and the actors. Manna De and Lata in Bengali

  32. Thanks for the link, pacifist. Hadn't heard this song before.

  33. Karthik Krishnaswami1 July 2013 at 09:27

    very nice theme Anu!
    2 of my favorite duets are "Tum gagan ke chandrama" and the other one which Harvey mentioned -"Apne suron me" from Dil ki Raahen

  34. Here are some songs that I could search from various sources:

    Yeh Rang Birangi Dor Re
    – Mazdoor (1945) H P Das – with Amirbai Karnataki - http://youtu.be/RR5_IZ3rX24

    Chhod Sakhi Aaj Laaj Kahe
    Jiya Dhadke : Geet Govind 1947 - Gyan
    Dutt – with Raj Kumari - http://youtu.be/ycTR574Di-o

    Woh Dekho Udhar Chand –
    Roop Kumari (1956) – S N Tripathi – with Geeta Dutt - http://youtu.be/a_WGe721gIE

    Mere Man Men Base Nandlala
    – Shakshi Gopal (1957) – Chitragupt - http://youtu.be/tZ7Q1zarprA

    Tedhi tedhi hamse phire saari duniya (Musaafir) (1957) Salil Chaudhary with Shamshad Begam, - http://youtu.be/cTKw5pV0Utc Trvia -
    Shailendra also appears in this song

    Phoole ban bagiya (Sautela Bhai)(1962) Anil Biswas with Meena Kapoor, - http://youtu.be/YvQ5RAWvhLI

    Muraaden leke Sab Aaye Hain – Johar in
    Kashmir (1966)– Kalyanji Anandji – Manna Dey + Mahendra Kapoor – http://youtu.be/RHdiVL9bzKo

    Bachpan ki haseen manzil se jab husn guzarke aaye (Johar in Bombay) (1967) Usha Khanna - with-Usha Mangeshkar, http://youtu.be/rKu5dggityE

    Dil Karata Hai Dekhoon Tujhko Bar Bar – Lady Killer (1968)
    Ajit Marchant – with Krishna Kalle - http://youtu.be/bYusoj-nwUk

    Mitwa More Man Mitwa – Parinay (1974) – Jaidev – with Vani
    Jairam - http://youtu.be/NBQn5j9wZgI

  35. I have the same reaction to Tum gagan ke chandrama ho that I have towards Tumhi meri mandir - both lovely songs, but the lyrics make me want to shoot myself (or someone else!). More doormat-ish lyrics I am yet to hear.

  36. Ashokji, I could only attend to this comment now, and it is too late to listen to the songs. But I will certainly listen to them tomorrow. Some of these songs seem new to me... and that is something to look forward to, indeed.

  37. Indeed, there many songs where Manna Dey has been teamed up in multi-performance songs. These songs are quite outstanding on their own standing, but some of them present Manna Dy as his solo or duet best level or even better.

  38. LOL!! Actually, even Aapki nazaron ne samjhaa pyaar ke qaabil mujhe has the same effect on me. :-D

  39. Maybe I should do a post on doormat songs. [grin] It can't (WON'T!) come under the tag 'My Favourites', though.

  40. errr Which song are we talking about *feeling very sheepish* :-/

  41. Strange to note that the eternal love/rain song "Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua..." finds no mention!!!

  42. Pacifist, pacifist.... *shaking head sombrely* :) Your song, woman! Mausam beeta jaaye...

  43. Umm, that is because Pyar hua iqraar hua is not my favourite Manna Dey-Lata Mangeshkar duet??

  44. LOL. It's just that I didn't find the tune in that link resemble any of the songs I'd posted, so I was mystified.
    No way. I don't see/hear *any* resemblance.

    Actually the Russian connection is another. I wrote about it in my 10 village songs post at Harvey's. This is what I wrote;

    "The MD is ROshan, but this particular song was composed by Salil Choudhary (actually from a Bengali film) when he was ill while visiting USSR. Wonder if that has anything to do with the raised sickle and at about 1:53 (that clip disappeared sp I've put up a tubechop - no timings) it doesn’t sound Indian (must be Russian)."

    ..and this is the song - from Heera Moti.


  45. LOL at 'Doormat songs' Please do post do!! At one song comes to mind which I 'coul' say is my favourite - uthaye ja unke sitam aur jiye ja yun hi muskuraye ja :-) I love the tune.

  46. There is much more than a resemblance, the Russian marching song is the inspiration for Mausam beeta jaaye, you have to listen to the underlying melody and the chord sequence and you'll hear it in the refrain.

    As for the song from Heera Moti, Salilda recorded a version perhaps for the first time in the Bengali film "Rickshawala" which was the original version of Do Bigha Zameen, I read somewhere that he was inspired to write the script after seeing Vittorio DI Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" and one can see the connection when you see both movies. Though the song was used in Rickshawala Salilda may have composed the original Bengali song for IPTA singers much earlier. I don't know anything about it being composed while visiting the USSR, it stylistically tends to follow Salilda's work when he composed IPTA songs for mass awakening etc.

  47. Pacifist, and here I thought I was tone deaf! [grin]

  48. I think I will! With such encouragement, and so many examples handed to me on a plate, how can I not? [grin]

  49. I can think of one more song which will fit in that category. Hum tree pyar mein ... From Dil ek Mandir. At one point in that song the lyrics go Is tere charan ki dhool se hamne apni jeevan maang bhari, Jab hi to suhagan kehlayi duniya ki nazar mein pyar bhari ... And it bothers me that she needed the Charon ki drool to get the pyar from the duniya. Or am I reading it wrong?

  50. nope, still don't hear it. But the tune there on the link resembles a whole lot of opera style songs from Europe, and folk tunes from Europe, especially Eastern Europe.

  51. Lalitha, I hear the line as;
    duniya ki nazar mein pyaar *bani*.

  52. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Both Salilda and Sudhin Dasgupta amongst Bengali composers were much influenced by the Eastern European composers and their throwback to using folk melodies in their orchestration as an attempt to break away from the stranglehold of French and German composers who dominated the Romantic and impressionist periods of Western Classical music. An added impetus was given with Salilda's leftist leanings which made him compose many songs in the same vein as the more modern Soviet composers. . Salilda was composing tunes like this back in late 1940s and if you listen to the background music in the films/documentaries where he provided scores you will hear a lot of influences of old Polish, Slavonic and Russian tunes. Maybe you could try warbling Mausam beeta jaaye along with the cartoon link and see the resemblance.

  53. N Venkataraman11 July 2013 at 13:45


    I enjoyed your selection of Manna Dey duets. I too expected a selection of Manna Dey’s duets with female singers, but I am glad that you included four duets with male singers. It is difficult to pick just ten songs from the large repository of Manna Dey’s duet songs. Yet you have done a good job to choose 10 duets with six different female singers and four different male singers.

    I do not remember hearing song #2 before. This duet was good. Although I have heard the other duets before I enjoyed listening to them again. The best of the lot was without doubt the song #10. The Manna Dey-Shamsad Begum duet was interesting.

    Unfortunately the song #6 and the link to ‘Muh se mat laga ye cheez hai buri’ has been blocked. New links to both the songs are available on YT.

    In addition you have fused more duets in between in course of your discussion, one each with Md. Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur, two more with Geeta Dutt. Whatever be the reason, you could not avoid introducing four more duets with Lata Mangeshkar. His duets with Lata Mangeshkar had a special lure! I also enjoyed those duets.

    You have repeated the link to the song ‘Bheegi hawaon mein’ to the duet ‘Naya naya chand hai jee’ with Geeta Dutt. The Bhojpuri song ‘Hasi hasi panva bidesiya’ was a bonus.

    Now coming to my choice!

    To add variety here are a few duets with Raajkumari.

    This song will not adhere to the conditions set by you. There is a chorus portion too in this song. I could not resist presenting this vintage duet beautifully rendered by Manna Dey and Raajkumari.

    ‘Apni hi Rang daroon Shyam tore’ from ‘Geet Govind’ (1947) by
    Manna Dey and Raajkumari , lyrics Baalam Pardesi (?), music Gyan Dutt


    Here are two more Manna Dey-Raaj Kumari duets from this film.

    ‘Kit ho Nandjumar’, lyrics Pt. Indra


    ‘Chhod sakhi aaj laaj’, lyrics Pt Indra


    Here is Manna Dey’s first duet with Geeta Dutt.

    “Dhanya Dhanya Avadh Puri’ from ‘Ram Vivah’ (1949), lyrics Moti BA, music Shankar Vyas


    ‘Sone wala jag zara’ from ‘Surang’ (1953), with Sulochan Kadam, lyrics Shevan Rizvi, music Shivram Krishna


    Here is another duet ‘Janeman janeman’ with Asha Bhosle from the film ‘Haye mera dil’ (1968), lyrics Anand Bakshi, music Usha Khanna. Manna Dey sings for Kishore Kumar.


    Here is another beautiful duet with Vani Jayaram.

    ‘Mitwa more man mithwa’ from Parinay(1974), lyrics Naqsh Lal Puri, music Jaydev


    Let me end the long list with a delightful Bengali duet with Sandhya Mukherjee

    “Champa Chameli’ from ‘Anthony Firingee’ (1967), lyrics Gouriprasanna
    Majumdar, music Anil Bagchi


    Sorry for the delay in posting my comments.

    Thank you Anuji. Awaiting your next episode on Manna Dey’s duets with Lata Mangeshkar.

  54. N.Venkataraman11 July 2013 at 14:25

    Most of the songs in the Comments section made good listening, especially the songs posted by Shaliniji (Razdan)

  55. Lovely post on Great Manna Dey.

    Another beautiful song -


  56. Keep it coming, you folks, and the post will soon write itself. :)

  57. I won't get in the middle of this discussion, but it was interesting to read. :) (I will second SSW, though, pacifist... try warbling mausam beeta jaaye and while the original tune is much slower, you will soon spot the resemblance. )

  58. Thank you so much, Mr Venkatraman. I'm sure many readers expected Manna Dey's duets with female singers when they saw the post. I think it is because we tend to associate the word 'duet' with a male-female combination, no? I'm glad, though, that you enjoyed the duets with the male singers as well.

    Thank you for pointing out the wrong/blocked links. I have made the necessary changes. Funnily enough, song #6 was not blocked for me - I wonder if it is region-specific?

    Yes, I couldn't avoid bringing in more Manna-Lata duets. :( There are so many that I like that it is so hard to choose.

    Thank you for the links to your favourites as well; I haven't had a chance to listen to all of them, but I will take the time to do so.

  59. Isn't it wonderful how the comments section throws up a list by itself? :)

  60. Thank you, Siddharth. :) Yes, Dil ki girah khol do is a lovely number, though I must confess that I prefer Lata's solo.

  61. How are you? Hope you are fine, you appear to have gone off the grid. Hope everything is fine at your end. Looking forward to your posts

  62. Sorry for the belated reply, Shilpi, and thanks for asking. Too many things happening at once, that is all. Was not in the mood to write. :( Will try to kick off that mood and post something soon.


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