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Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs

Fading Memories…. Unforgettable Songs: May 2021

Manna Dey – Chale Ja Rahein Hai…. – 1954 – 1955

Manna Dey, a.k.a. Prabodh Chandra Dey, (1 May 1919 – 24 October 2013) had sang more than 4000 songs in all languages. He has had some phenomenally successful romantic songs with almost all major actors of his times. But the lady luck seemed to bend upon ensuring him a ‘next-best’ place to him. The Hindi film industry considered Manna Dey too good for his own good. And in an industry once you are cast in a die, you remain stuck to that mold.

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 covered his songs for the year(s)  

1942 – 1946 in our 2018 issue,

1947-1950 in the 2019 episode, and

1951 – 1953 in the2020 episode.

In the present episode, we will take up his les heard songs for the year 1954 and 1955. As far as possible, we have studiedly avoided his songs from the mythological films.

Even after success of Awara (1951) and Boot Polish and Do Beegha Zamin (both 1953), the flow of non-romantic songs has not ebbed during the year 1954.

Shamo Sahar Hai Sahar Hi Sahar – Danka (1954) – with Asha Bhosle and chorus – Aziz Hindi – Arshi Ajmeri

This is an inspirational song, one more of a genre for which Manna Dey was to be typecast.

Jhini Jhini Re Bhini Chadaria – Mahatma Kabir (1954) – Anil Biswas – Kabir (Traditional)

Anil Biswas has imparted his own touch to this traditional bhajan.

Sangeet Hi Shakti Iswar Ki … Bhagat Ke Bas Mein Hai Bhagwan, Mango Milega Sab Ko Daan – Shabab (1954) – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

This again is bhajan, set to semi-classical tune. Naushad, in a rare use of Manna Dey’s voice, has used Manna Dey’s voice quality to a telling effect.

Jati Jati Hai … Aaj Naiya Meri…. Nila Hai Akash Dharati Hari – Baadbaan (1954) – Timir Baran S K Pal – Uddhav Kumar

We have selected this song over more traditional bhajan, Jai Deva Ho (with Asha Bhosle), because it being based on a Bengali folk tune.

Ye Jag Rain Basera Bande, Na Tera Na Mera – Ilzaam (1954) – Madan Mohan – Rajinder Krishna

We have a film from Madan Mohan’s early part of the career.

A singer is seen passing on the road singing this song. However, that voice has struck some chord with Meena Kumari, who runs after the singer.

As such, we see even a relatively new entrant like Madan Mohan too using Manna Dey for such ‘niche’ song.

1955 had two another great success to Manna Dey’s credit – Shree 420 and Seema. Each of Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala, Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua and Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh represented a different genre and Manna Dey as Raj Kapoor was playback, as well as singer, was hugely popular in  each of these songs. Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai can be classified as prayer, for which Manna Dey was already in the process of being typecast. So, the great success of the song only went ton to fortify the strength of the cast.

Murli Manohar Krishna Kanhaiya, Jamuna Ke Tat Par Viraje Hai – Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955) – With Ustad Amir Khan Saheb, Lata Mangeshkar – Vasant Desai – Diwan Sharar

Vasant Desai Has been using Manna Dey’s voice for a variety of songs. The present song is a semiclassical piece that has been used as a dance song. Manna Dey sings @ 4.48, for Gopikrishna who plays Krishna in this dance song.

The film had several more of Manna Dey songs. Of these, Mere Aye Dil Bata can be considered to be leaning towards romantic genre, while Gurur Brahma…. Rut Basant Aayi  Ban-Ban Upvan has more classical base even when the base feeling is that of Romance.

The music of the film was indeed highly successful, but that success was normally considered as an add-on to the over success of the film. So, neither Vasant Desai or even singers could make much of this success into far-reaching commercial success.

Chal Chal Paani Hamari Zindgani, Ye Chal Ke Rukna Jane Na – Amanat (1955) – with Asha Bhosle – Salil Chaudhury – Shailendra

Here too we have not considered a vicarious song, Chet Re Murakh Chet Re Avsar Bita Jaaye….Re Murarkh Tu Kya Jaane, filmed on an alms-seeking old man and his young companion couple . Such songs typically contain a message for the main character in the film.

The present song represents typical small celebrations in in a poor rural rea. Manna Dey comes in with alaap @1.40 and then takes over the next stanza on behalf of a village tradesman.

Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sawarey – Devdas (1955) – with Geeta Dutt – S D Burman – Sahir Ludhyanavi

Here we have typical example of Manna Dey not being used as main singer in the film. In fact, he along with Geeta Dutt, seem to have been selected because the song is based on Baul Bengali folk tune.

Saajan Ki Ho Gayee Gouri – Devdas (1955) – with Geeta Dutt – S D Burman – Sahir Ludhyanavi

This is song which is being rendered by the same Boul singers as in the previous song, but Paro has now grown as an adult. The songs reflect the feelings of adult Paro, in the song by these singers. Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt very deftly reflect the mood the song.

Hosh Me Aa O Murakh Bandey – Kundan (1955) – Ghulam Mohammad   Shakeel Badayuni

This essentially a background song which leaves a vicarious inspirational message to the key protagonist. That seems to be the reason why Ghulam Mohammad, who has not used Manna Dey much, seems to have leaned towards choosing Manna Dey as playback voice for the song.

Ha Main Lanka Naresh …. Mere Dus Hai Shis – Insaniyat (1955) – with Mohammad Rafi – C Ramchandra – Rajinder Krishna

Here again Manna Dey sings for a character that plays Ravan in the is belle. The song has Agha in the focus, but he lip-syncs playback of Mohammad Rafi.

Naino Me Neer Liye, Hriday Mein Peer Liye – Oonchi Haveli (1955) – Shivaram Krishna – Bharat Vyas is again a background genre song for which I could not locate a YT link.

Similarly, Bharat Mata Ke Laadlo Mein Hove Na Ladai – Teen Bhai (1955) – with Laxmi Shankar – Arun Kumar – Bharat Vyas is an interesting composition, which is based on Baul folk music, deriving its main message form A Ramayana episode.

Manna Dey is his usual best even in these non-romantic songs. It seems that perhaps it was this versatility that led him to be cast a niche-singer who was perceived as being too versatile for the lead actor who was supposed to sing songs on the screen that common man on the street can also easily sing.

For Manna Dey fans, these songs are a treat to remember and for others these offer a glimpse of hidden treasure of Manna Dey’s songs


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

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