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Posts Tagged ‘Uttam Kumar’

Let me start at the very beginning that i am not a writer per see. Infact my writing skills are pretty bad. That probably explains why i am blogging after almost a gap of two years.

Well,  then what actually made me write again? Other than the fact that I am a huge Mannada fan, is the  thing that i, in my  very own humble way, want to bring to the fore those hidden gems of Manna Dey , about which many people aren’t much aware of.

Manna Dey, well as everybody knows was a great great singer of Bollywood film music. As far as i am concerned Mannada is the best singer Indian cinema has ever produced alongwith Rafisaab & Kishoreda. But here i am not going to talk about Mannada’s Bollywood songs or his innings in Bombay (oops Mumbai!!). Instead here i am going to talk about the songs of Manna Dey in his native language i.e. Bangla.

Yes, though not many people aren’t aware of this fact, but Manna Dey also sang with great ease, aplomb & success in many others languages of our great India apart from Hindi. Every Malayali still fondly remembers his song from the beautiful  film Cheemeen. But here as i said before, i am going to focus on his bengali songs & not on his songs from Hindi or other languages, primarily because of these two reasons:-

1) Because Bangla is  Manna dey’s mother tongue &

2)  It is in bengali, that Mannada’s contribution  as a musician is the most, even more than Hindi. And that’s why this post so that people (if indeed,by chance I am able to get any visitor this time!!!!), come to know about his Bengali jewels which probably because of less popularity  and reach of Bangla than Hindi, have been restricted to Bongs only.Image

So here i go. In the first part of this tribute, I am going to list my Fav Mannada songs from Bengali films in my order of preference from 10 to 1, alongwith their youtube links. I sincerely hope the links work this time as those people who know me, very well know that i am terribly good at posting invalid youtube links!! Anyways let’s start and hope for the best.

10) Baje Go Binaa ( Marjina abdulla, 1972)-Music & Lyrics by Salil Chowdhury.– Considered by Many to be the best Manna song composed by Salilda in bengali, this is a beautiful classical based song. Just listen to the song and you will realise how effortlessly Manna Dey could sing such tough classical songs. and yes give an ear to those gorgeous interludes and just marvel at the genius of Salilda!!

9) Na Na Na Aaj Raate Ar Jatra Shunte Jabo na (Nishipadma-1970)-Music by Nachiketa Ghosh & Lyrics By Gouriprasanna Majumdar- This song when released way back in 1970, became a rage among the bengalis. Almost every bengali would say ‘  Bhujle natobor. Tumi o Jabe Na, Aami o Jabo na’ and think of themselves as Uttam Kumar!!. The film too was a huge hit and is still considered as one of the best bengali film of all time. Little wonder then that this film was later remade by the legendary Shakti Samanta in Hindi,  as the masterpiece known as Amar Prem In 1972.

Watch the song and dance alongwith Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Yes Uttam Kumar dances in the song, though not much and at the very end of the song, but in a very entertaining manner!! Also giving him Company is the great Jahar Ray.

Another thing- Manna Dey won the National Award for the best Male playback singer for another song of this movie ‘Ja khushi ore bole boluk’. I did not choose ‘ja khushi’ because i like Na na na aaj more and also because i had decided beforehand that not more than one song will be selected from a movie while compiling this list.

Anyways, an important thing that one should know about ‘Ja khushi’ song is that when Amar prem was made, the lyrics of this song were translated into hindi as the now iconic song ‘Kuch Toh Log Kahenge’. Indeed a great tribute from one master Anand Bakshi to another master Gouriprasanna Majumdar. Watch the Ja khushi song below

8) Ami kon pothe je Choli ( Chhadmabeshi-1971)-Music & Lyrics by Sudhin Dasgupta. Well again a Uttam-Manna combo in the superhit film Chhadmabeshi, which by the way was later remade in Hindi as Chupke Chupke by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. While Chupke Chupke is a better film in my view,  Chaddmabeshi’s soundtrack win hands down over Chupke Chupke’s  any day. Coming back to this song, this one is a joy to hear. Combine with the fact that it is also awesomely picturised, what you have on your hands is a complete winner all the way.

7) Ke tumi ke tumi Shudhui dako ( Jeebon Rahasya-1974) Music by Abhijit Bandhopadhyay & Lyrics by Pulak Bandopadhyay- This is a beautiful song. Another classical based song, this one again shows how Mannada could make you think that singing such classical based song was cake walk only for you to realise later that how tough these songs are when u yourself try singing them!! Interesting thing about this song is this that it’a a meeting together of two giants, two of my faves, two Dadasaheb Phalke winners Manna Dey & Pran. Yes Pran did act in some bengali films. A truly versatile actor, Pran saab like Mannada passed away earlier this year and in the process broke my heart.. Anyways here’ my tribute to Pran Saab.Watch this song below

6) Lag lag lag velkir khela (Gali theke Rajpath-1959) Music by Sudhin Dasgupta & Lyrics By Pulak Bandopadhyay- A truly Rollicking song, this was the first time that Mannada did playback for Uttam Kumar. And man, what a beginning!! I bet that no can help but shake a leg to this super infectious number, helped generously  by Manna Dey’s superb vocals. Watch the song and by the way please pay attention to the damn entertaining dance performed By Jahar Ray, who steals the show in this song though the lips are given in the song by Uttamda.

5) Ami jamini tumi soshi hey ( Antony Firingee-1967) Music by Anil Bagchi & Lyrics by Gouriprasanna Majumdar. Well this film and songs started it all. Though Manna Dey had playbacked for Uttam Kumar earlier in Gali theke Rajpath & Sankhabela, it was effectively with Antony Firingee songs that Manna replaced Hemantda as the voice of Uttam Kumar. It’s altogether different matter that Kishoreda later replaced Mannada as Mahanayak’s voice with Amanush in 1975. Coming back to this song, this song is just sheer melody. Infact all the songs in this movie are gems so to choose one was difficult but this one is my favorite. Also, Antony Firingee is among Uttam Kumar’s best performances, Infact he won the National Award for best actor for this film. Watch the song below and if possible watch the movie too, it’s perfect in almost every department-be it story, direction, acting or the songs. And yes Manna Dey makes the best voice for Uttam’s Antony Firingee.

4) Emon Bandhu Aar Ke Ache ( Deep Jele Jai-1959)- Music by Hemant Kumar & Lyrics By Gouriprasanna Majumdar. One of my all time favorite song with fabulous lyrics, music and of course Manna’s singing from a movie which ranks among the best films made in India ever-Deep Jele Jai. Later on This film was remade in hindi as Khamoshi (1969) and this song too was remade/used in Khamoshi as ‘Dost Kahan Koi tumsa’. Sadly the Hindi version of this song lacks the magic of the earlier bengali one. Picturised on Anil Chatterjee, a superb actor.

3) Ei eto Alo eto akash ( Alo Aamar Alo-1972) Music By Pabitra Chatterjee and Lyrics by  Pulak Bandopadhyay- A wonderful song. An absolute gem  from a movie which was one of the last superhits of the most romantic on screen pair of Indian Cinema  Uttam-Suchitra!!

Wonderful orchestration too by Pabitrada. I myself feel like flying in the sky after listening to this song.

2) Hoyto Tomari Jonno ( Teen Bhubaner Pare-1969) Music & Lyrics by Sudhin Dasgupta. About this song what can i say other than the fact that this is one of the most beautiful romantic number i have ever heard in my life. Every bong knows and loves this song, even  those who are in their 20’s today. For most bongs, this is the best Manna dey song ever. And why Not, it’s almost even mine. The lyrics, the music, the singing are all just out of this world.

Watch the song from any of the above two links, though i personally feel that neither of these two links are of very good quality and infact do not do justice at all to how beautiful this song is both terms of video & audio.

Note- The earlier link has the full video.

By the way, there is an another song in this movie ‘Jibona Ki Pabona’ which till date remains a bengali party favorite. I myself love this song and would have placed it as my fav no.3 had i not set the criteria of not including more than one song from a movie. Coming back to  ‘Jibone Ki Pabona’, it’s a total bindaas song with great vocals by Manna Dey backed by even better dancing/twisting By the legendary Soumitra Chatterjee, one of the finest actors of all time in Indian Cinema.

Watch the songs and if also try to watch the film as it is one of the most romantic film made in India ever.

1) Ei duniya te bhai sobei hoye ( Ekdin Raatre-1956) Music & Lyrics By Salil Chowdhury. Now this is my favorite song that Manna Dey sang in for Bengali films from a film which i consider to be among the top 10 greatest movies ever made in India & possibly even in the world!! The 1956 masterpiece Ekdin Raatre. Based on the bengali play of the same name, the writers of the play Amit Moitra & Shambhu Mitra themselves directed this film to bumper success. A few months later the hindi version of Ekdin Raatre, directed by the same directors was released-Jagte Raho!! Ekdin Raatre is notable also for being the only Bengali film that the showman Raj Kapoor acted and produced.

Well, i while talk about Ekdin Raatre &  Jagte Raho  in more detail shortly when i review both the films here, but for now i would just say that if u love Jagte Raho then you should watch Ekdin Raatre as it is even more better than Jagte Raho for it effectively removes all those little flaws that Jagte Raho  suffers from.

Coming back to the song, it is beautifully written & composed by Salilda. A very tough song to sing, especially the humming parts. But when u listen to the song it does not feel so . But then that’s  the hallmark of the genius singer Manna Dey!!

The Hindi song that comes in jagte raho in place of this song is the equally wonderful ‘Zindagi Khwab Hai’. While Motilal was outstanding in Zindagi Khwab Hai, Chhabi Biswas is even better in ‘Ei duniya te Bhai’. It’s not just for nothing that Chhabi Biswas is considered the greatest character actor ever of Indian Cinema by many.

Watch  Ei duniya  here-

Watch Zindagi Khwab Hai here-

Watch Humko Samjh Baithi hai (The hindi version of ei duniya’s tune in chaar dewari. reused by salilda himself)-

With this i conclude this post of mine. I know that i might have missed songs which are very popular but then this  is my list of Manna favs!! A point to be noted is that while making this list, i had set myself only two criteria-1) That all the songs should be Manna solos.

2) Not more than one song will be taken from a movie as i have already mentioned earlier.

Even with just these two small criteria that i had set for myself, it was a very challenging task for me  pick 10 fav Manna bengali film songs considering the fact that Manna Dey sang so many  songs for so many bong films, out of which many are just outstanding numbers. Still I hope i did a good job.

Well, all said & done, I hereby conclude my Part-1 of Manna Dey tribute series. Hope you like it provided you read this!!

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