Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: May 2020

Manna Dey – Chale Ja Rahein Hai…. – 1951 – 1953

Manna Dey, a.k.a. Prabodh Chandra Dey, (1 May, 1919 – 24 October, 2013) could have been said to have not succeeded in the mundane meaning of the word. But it is also an equally undeniable fact that he can never be considered as an ‘also ran’ competitor. If he was acknowledged as No. 1 in the classical raag based songs genre, several of his solos and duets remain all-time classics across all other types of Hindi Film genres. If his Bengali film songs and NFS have yielded him a place of high respect in Bengali, his foray into several other languages like Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Punjabi, Assamese, Oriya, Gujarati, Konkani, Marathi, Kannad, Malayali, Sindhi etc. remains well-respected in the respective languages. In so far as Hindi songs are concerned, it is not only the quality outcomes in terms of parameters like clarity of voice, purity of diction, fidelity of expressions and emotions that is accorded very high respect, it is also the quantity outputs, in terms of parameters like number of songs, number of active singing years, number of music directors and playback singers he worked with, number of awards bestowed on him remain well-respected. In fact, one will definitely find at least one Manna Dey song in each genre that is considered to be THE benchmark song.

We commenced an annual series – Chale Ja Rahen Hai, from 2018 wherein we focused on remembering his relatively less heard songs on this platform. As has been our practice, we commenced our journey from the beginning of his singing career and have been progressing forwards in the chronological order. Till now we have his

Starting from May 2019, till May 2020, we also took up a once-a-month series under the title Remembering Manna Dey to commemorate his centenary birth year. In this series we covered Manna Dey’s Songs for contemporary lead actors, Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Mehmood and Manna Dey’s comedy songs for other actors and comedians. As result, in our present series, we will not e include the songs that we have covered in these earlier series. As it so happens, that, still,  gives  us a very wide range of Manna Dey’s less heard songs to choose from.

Presently, we will recall here Manna Dey’s less heard songs for the years 1951 to 1953.


1951 had Awara, which gave Manna Dey entry into RK Films. He got to sing, one song along with Lata Mangeshkar and chorus – Tere Bina Aag Ye Chandani  -wherein he voices the deep anguish of Raj Kapoor’s character. However, except for that, he still remains confined to religious films.

Bhole Nath Re Naiya Paar Laganewale – Shri Ganesh Janma (1951) – with Geeta Dutt – Khemchand Prakash / Manna Dey – Bharat Vyas

It seems that Manna Dey has been assisting Khmechnad Prakash in this film. Is that why the song seems to have been based on Bengal’s folk Baul singing style.

We also have a Ganesh Stotra  Jai Ganesh Deva (with Sulochana Kadam and chorus) from the film, which is said to be based on Raag Asavari Sarang, wherein Manna Dey sings only the opening mantra.

Jao Jao Aa Gaya Bulawa Jung Ka – Rajput (1951) – with Madhubala Jhaveri, Talat Mahmood – Hans Rah Behl – Bharat Vyas

The first part of the songs is a dialogue between the recently married couple, Wife, in the voice of Madhubala Jhaveri, encourages her husband to go for the war and the husband, in the voice of Talat Mahmood, keeps vacillating. Manna Dey comes in as the narrator – @2.06- who takes over the tale to inform us what has happened after this dialogue ended.

Vande Mataram – Andolan (1951) – with Sudha Malhotra, Parul Ghosh – Pannalal Ghosh – Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

The court room gets converted into an open defiance platform as the accused commences to the song.

Subah Ki Pahali Kiran Tak Zindagi Mushkil Mein Hai – Andolan (1951) – with Kishore Kumar – Pannalal Ghosh – Niaz Haider

Kishore Kumar is o raw here, both as actor and as singer. Manna Dey comes in @1.30 to sing for another character- the actor not identified by me- who is already in jail.

Asides: There was one more film by the same name, released in 1975, for which music was composed by Jadev.


This should be one of the leanest years in the career of Manna Dey.

Jiyo Jiyo Mere Lal, Teri Tedhi Tedhi Chal – Maa (1952) – with Kishore Kumar, Arun Kumar – SK Pal – Bharat Vyas

The songs also is interesting as we get to see very young Bharat Bhushan (Kishore Kumar sings for him) , Sudesh Kumar, Asit Sen, and very lean, almost boyish Mehmood.. The song is set to a very hilarious situation. However, here too Manna Dey to o gets song his lines in the style of bhajan-singing @ 2.30

Asides: There were two more films with same name, one in 1960, for which Chitragupta composed the music and the other in 1976, for which Laxmikant Pyarelal have composed the music.


1953 was to see two films – Boot Polish and   Do Bigha Zameen – that gave Manna Dey his ail time best, and even popular songs. The irony of fate was also lurking behind this success, in that the fame of these songs now cast Manna Dey in tow more types of songs – rural or downtrodden people songs and comedy songs.

1953 also gave Manna Dey songs to playback all the songs for main lead actor. And as irony of fate would have had, the hero of that film – Hamdard – Shekhar did not hit commercial success. The two part season specific raag medley based duet Ritu Aaye Ritu Jaaye Sakhi and Pee Bin Suna Ree  (Hamdard, 1953, – with Lata Mangeshkar – Anil Bishwas – Prem Dhawan) is still remembered.

Tera Haath Haath Mein Aa Gaya….Ke Chiraag Rah Mein Jal Gaya – Hamdard (1953) – Anil Biswas – Majrooh Sultanpuri

This is one is a song of pensive mood. The song is set o very complex tune.

Mere Man Ke Dhadkan Mein Koi Nache – Hamdard (1953) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan –

The song is filmed as a stage song. The support activity on the stage is a dance, so the song essentially exudes feelings of happiness.

O Ghayal Karate Hai Khud Hi,Badal Gaya Rang Mehfil Ka – Hamdard (1953) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan

The song is positioned as song rendered by artists in hotels etc. for the entertainment of the guests.

Naina Bhaye Anath Hamare…Jab Aankhe Hi Na Di Malik Ne To Dil Bhi Na Diya Hota – Hamdard (1953) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan

The song is set to a qawwali style song, since it is filmed as fund raising stage show for charity organization.

Daata Tu Jaga Ka Tu Palanhar– Mahatma – Vasant Pawar – Ram Wadhavkar

Some authorities have recorded this song under ‘Other Male Singer’ category. A comment at the videoclip mentions ‘Prakash’ as the singer. However, since  http://www.mannadey.in/  and https://mannadey.weebly.com/ have included this as Manna Dey song, I have gone along with that.

Aas Ne Kitane Diye Jalaye ….Phir Bhi Ram Nazar Na Aaya – Mehmaan (1953) – Anil Bishwas – P N Rangeen

Flute is prominent in the prelude as well as interlude orchestration. It was considered customary that most of the major flute recitals in Anil Biswas songs were played by Pt.  Pannalal Ghosh,

Asides: There was a film by the same name prior to this, in 1942, for which music was composed by another stalwart, Khemchand Prakash and one film afterwards, in 1974, for which Ravi had composed the music.

Chali Radhe Raani, Akhiyon Me Paani – Parineeta (1953)– Arun Kumar Mukherjee – Bharat Vyas

Here is one more song that did get very wide acceptance then, and even now. This is Bengali folk style – baul – singing. The clip here has included both the versions of the song. Manna Dey’s clarity in expressing the emotions of the situations come out very clearly in these two versions. First one is a happier version, with Manna Dey playfully navigating the lyrics. The second one is of not-so-happy times, with Manna Dey so delicately caressing the feelings that lyrics express.

Asides: ‘Parneeta’ was filmed afresh in 2005. For which music was composed by Shanatnu Moitra

Sahi Ki Zanjire Todate Chalo – Shaneshah (1953) – S D Burman – Sahir Lughyanavi

After hiatus of three years, S D Burman has called up services of Manna Dey’s voice for this march-tune based song that seems to entice throwing off the shackles of authoritarianism and the high-handedness of the tormenting ruling class..

Krodh Kapat Ke Andhiyare Ne – Armaan (1953) – S D Burman -Sahir Ludhyanavi

S D Burman again chooses Manna Dey’s voice for this background songs.

Raat Ke Raahi Thak Mata Jaana Manzil Teri Ab Door Nahi – Babla (1953) S D Burman – Sahir Ludhyanvi

One more inspirational song comes to the fold of Manna Dey. The song did become very widely accepted so unintentionally hardening up his type-cast mold.

The songs has a Lata Mangeshkar twin version as well.

Sonewale Jaag Jara, Kyun Samay Suhana Khota Hai – Surang  (1953) – with Sulochana Kadam – Shvram Krishna – Shewan Rizvi

The film relates to a period where some of the casts, essentially the poor ones, had to stay away from the main town. These people normally would get together in  the evening and .would entertain themselves with songs or dance that would also give people a message for good living.

Chal Dil-e-Majbur, Is Zulm Ki Duniya Se Door – Surang  (1953) – with Sulochana Kadam – Shvram Krishna = Shewan Rizvi

This is song of pathos, but we get to listen Manna Dey in a quite different style, even though it is actually filmed on a community elder on the screen.  The singer so effectively voices the feelings of the hero that hero (Vinod Kumar) gets attracted to the congregation where the the elder of the community is singing the song.

Apart from these, we also can listen to some more songs in the audio clip form @ https://mannadey.weebly.com/  a site created by S P Chatterjee-  This site seems to be following the http://www.mannadey.in/    site, and has made available digital audio versions of as many songs as could have been located. The songs for which such audio digital link is not seen here, I have not mentioned in this post.

Our journey into the Hindi film Songs career of Manna Dey will move to the next milestone in the net (year) episode.

We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month……..

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from net. All copyrights of the respective image remain with the original owner of the image.