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Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 5

We have covered Manna Dey’s songs with main stream lead actors Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Ashok Kumar, Balraj Sahni, David Abraham, Bharat Bhushan and Kishore Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Guru Dutt, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar in the present series till now.

As we move along this series it appears that most of the second generation frontline heroes were tried with most of the leading male singers of the mid-50s, before each of them settled for Mohammad Rafi ( barring a few exceptions)as their playback voice, once they succeeded by the advent of 60s. – or they succeeded when they settled for Mohammad Rafi as their playback voice.

With Prem Nath

Prem Nath has played the lead role in many films in 50s before graduating to more successful character roles. We can trace Manna Dey’s association – the indirect one-  with Prem Nath’s lead roles too getting converted to direct play back relationship with Prem Nath’s character roles, starting with Ek Ag Dahakata Raag Hai Jawani (Naujawan (1951 – S D Burman, Sahir LudhyanviI), which is the credit title song.

Naseeb Hoga Mera Maherabaan Kabhi Na Kabhi – 40 days (1959) – With Asha Bhosle – Baabul – Kaifi Azmi

Manna Dey can be considered in a supporting role in this duet, in which the heroine, Shakeela, seems to be on the hunt to search for the hero, Prem Nath.

Phir Tumhari Yaad Aayi Aye Sanam – Rustam Sohrab (1963) – With Mohammad Rafi – Sajjad Hussain – Qamar Jalalabadi

Here too soldier singers apparently express their own emotions, but their General (Prem Nath) lives each word in his own sweet memories.

The duet is documented as one of the best male-male duets in the history of Hindi film music. Rustam Sohrab is also the last film of Sajjad Hussain, rated as one of the most outstanding and path-breaking music directors of the Hindi Film industry.

Naa Chahoon Sona Chandi Na Chahoon Heera Moti Ye Mere Kis Kaam Ke – Bobby (1973) – with Shailendra Singh and Lata Mageshkar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Vithalbhai Patel

The song was as much a raze as was the character of Jack Braganza, a poor, but self-respecting Goan fisherman, played by Prem Nath on the screen.

In Raj Kapoor’s well-known style, the songs is used as an end-piece as well –

Khul Gayee Padhadi Gulabi Ho Gaya Budhdha Sharabi – Aap Beeti (1978) – with Kishore Kumar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

This is a very light-framed duet, with Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey in their signature jovial moods.

With Pradeep Kumar (a.k.a. Shital Batabyal)

Pradeep Kumar debuted in Hindi films with Anandmath (1952) and then soon had blockbuster successes in Anarkali (1953) and Nagin (1954). He had Hemant Kumar (Anand Math, Nagin) and Talat Mahmood (Anand Math) for his playback. It was only in Raaj Hath, that Manna Dey appeared for the first time in Pradeep Kumar’s career. Even here the songs filmed on Pradeep Kumar had Mukesh – Ye Vaada Karo Chand Ke Samne– and Mohammad Rafi – Aye Bahar Ban Ke Lubha Kar Chakle Gaye – as playback singers. However, the Manna Dey song remains so important landmark in Manna Dey’s career, that we need to take the note of that song here.

Chale Sipahi Dhul Udate Kahan Kidhar Koi Kya Jaane – Raaj Hath (1956) – Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

The song is filmed as background song in the film.

It was S D Burman, in Miss India (1957) who chose to use Manna Dey as Pradeep Kumar’s direct lead playback for Pradeep Kumar – and even that can be considered as an exception in S D Burman – Manna Dey professional relationship as music director -singer combination.

Jaoon Main Kahan.. Ye Zamin Ye Jahan Chhod Ke – Miss India (1957) – with Lata Mangeshkar – S D Baurman – Rajendra Krishna

Manna Dey opens the songs with a one-line Hey,,Hey in gay abandon of a spoilt wealthy youth, before pitching in @5.19 with a boisterous Ye Bheegi Bheegi Raatein Ye Ghumad Ghuamd Barsatein

Maalik Ne Haath Diye Kahe Do Do Diye – Miss India (1957) – With Asha Bhosle – S D Burman – Rajendra Krishna

Here Manna Dey comes in to present an inspirational message.

Mehnat Se Mat Dar Bande Himmat Se Kaam Le – Batwara (1961) – with S Balbir – S Madan – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Even as clad in expensive-looking pant-shirt, Pradeep Kumar gets attracted to the charm of labour and joins the team @ 3.48 with Aage Badha Himmat Se Kadam Ek Baat Mard Banke

Ye Din Hai Din Hai Khushi Ke Aaja Re Aaja Mere Saathi Zindagi Ke – Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai (1963) – with Suman Kalyanpur – Dattaram – Shailendra

Dattaram has chosen Manna Dey to playback for Pradeep Kumar in this pure romantic song. This is in the same year when game-changer successful film in Praadeep Kumar’s career– Taj Mahall – was to hit the screen, wherein it was Mohammad Rafi who was THE playback voice.

With Sunil Dutt (a.k.a. Balraj Dutt)

Sunil Dutt debuted with Railway Platform (1955) – playback Mohammad Rafi – and then had Manna Dey for playback in an obscure film Kismet Ka Khel (1956), then some more prominent films Sadhna (1958, Mohammad Rafi as playback), Post Box No 999 (Hemant Kumar and Manna Dey),  Insaan Jaag Utha (Mohammad Rafi) and so on. However, all the songs where Sunil Dutt and Manna Dey have – either directly or indirectly – have teamed up, have etched a clear imprint in the annals of Hindi film music.

Keh Do Ji Keh Do Chhupao Na Pyar – Kismet Ka Khel (1956) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Shankar Jaikishan have chosen to bank upon Manna Dey to render this playfully romantic duet.

Mere Dil Mein Hai Ek Baat Kaise Bataun Kya Hai – Post Box No. 999 (1958) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Kalyanji Veerji Shah – P L Santoshi

Kalyanji Veerji Shah has chosen Manna Dey for this pure romantic duet and Hemant Kumar for a pensive romanticc duet – Neend Na Mujko Aaye – as playback voices for Sunil Dutt.

Darpan Jhooth Na Bole – Darpan (1970) – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

This a background song, which directly reflects the thoughts of the character enacted by Sunil Dutt.

We will end our present episode too with a marching, farewell to the soldiers on way to the war, song  from Usne Kaha Tha (1960). That song is also a landmark song of Manna Dey’s career, would hardly need a mention.

Jaanewale Sipahi Se Poochho Woh Kahan Jaa Raha Hai – Usne Kaha Tha (1960 – Salil Chowdhury – Maqdoom Mohiuddin

The film had two duets films on Sunil Dutt – Dupatta Dhani Odh Ke and Chalte Hi Jaana Jahan Tak Aaj Yeh Rah Chale– wherein Mohammad Rafi playbacks for Sunil Dutt. In Chalate Hi Jaana, Manna Dey has paired with Mohammad Rafi for playback voice to Rajendra Nath.

We thus end one more interesting episode so-near-yet-so-far tale of Manna Dey’s illustrious career. And still, our search is on…..