Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 7

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, Prem Nath, Pradeep Kumar and Sunil Dutt , Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Pran, Joy Mukherjee in the present series till now.

We have reached end of ‘50s in the Manna Dey’s career. With that we will now also enter a third phase if career, wherein he playbacks for some of the third – generation lead players.

With Sanjeev Kumar (a.k.a. Harihar Jethalal Jariwala) [B: 9 July 1938 | D: 6 November 1985]

Sanjeev Kumar technically entered Hindi film with a very minor role of a polic offcer in Hum Hindustani (1960). He then got a role of a side-kick of Joy Mukherjee in Aao Pyar Karein (1964) – seen as one of the sycophant friend in Ye Jhuki Jhuki Si Nigahein Teri. His first step in lead role was Nishan (1965), a Wadia Brothers make B grade film.

Humkadam Humsafar Humnashi HumzubaN, Mast Apne Hal Mein Zinda Diilo Ka KarwaN – Nishan (1965) – With Usha Khanna, Mahendra Kapoor – Usha Khanna – Javed Anwar (a.k.a. Manohar Lal Sharma (father of Usha Khanna)

A boy of teen age years, in the opening lines of the song, Sanjeev Kumar transforms into a young man in the first stanza – so apt a metaphor that also mirrors Sanjeev Kumar’s graduation to lead roles.

As had been the case with several earlier lead actors covered in this series, Manna Dey sings here for Sheikh Mukhtar, who grooms Sanjeev Kumar in the film. So to say, Manna Dey plays the (indirect) role in mentoring Sanjeev Kumar to scale the heights of an illustrious histrionic career.

Apne Liye Jiye To Kya Jiye – Badal (1966) – Usha Khanna – Javed Anwar

Sanjeev Kuamr’s run with B grade film continues, so too continues his association with songs composed by Usha Khanna, who give Manna Dey a quite known, but underplayed in the Hindi film history, song in two versions

Part 1

Part 2

Mit Jogi Banke O Gori Aaya Hai Ab Tere Dware, Saiyan Se Gori Nazare Mila Le  – Badal (1966) – Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali

Manna Dey easily matches the playful, mischievous mood of the song.

Soch Ke Ye Gagan Zoome, Abhi Chand Nikal Ayega – Jyoti (1965) – with Lata Mangeshkar – S D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Sanjeev Kumar is in the lead role, along with one of those very unlucky, but highly, talented actress Nivedita.

Kanhaiya O Kanhaiya Koyi Murali Ki Taan Suna De, Mere Tann Mann Mein Aag Laga De, Laga De – Rajaa Aur Rank (1968) – with Lata Mangeshkar, Kaumudi Munshi – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

Sanjeev Kumar can be said to have started gaining the escape velocity in this film.., Manna Dey sings his lines in the background as a narrator.

Aye Dost Maine Duniya Dekhi Hai – Sachchai (1969)- With Mohammad Rafi – Shankar  Jaikishan – Rajinder Krishna

The first sign of transformation of Sanjeev Kumar’s stature is a major role with Shammi Kapoor.

In Part 1 Sanjeev Kumar plays philosophical

In Part 2, the roles are reversed and Shammi Kapoor becomes philosophical.

Phir Kahi Koi Phool Khila – Anubhav (1971) Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

Not directly lip-synched by Sanjeev Kumar on the screen, the film marks Sanjeev Kumar’s footprint as an accomplished actor.

Manna Dey’s singing career, too, has passed through such turns.

Goyake Chunanche….Ho Naache Gaye jhoom Ke – Manoranjan (1974) – with Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Here too Sanjeev Kumar has successfully charted his course as lead actor who plays a common police man. Rise of his stature is manifested by Kishore Kumar as his play-back voice.

In the reversal of roles that we had earlier seen the Sachchai song, Manna Dey playsback for Shammi Kapoor here.

Bindiya Jagaye Bindiya Jagaye Ho Rama, Nindiya Na Aaye Haye Bindiya Jagaye – Daasi (1984) – Ravindra Jain – Ravindra Jain

Manna Dey is possibly chosen more for the ground of song being based on classical mode, but can be taken as metaphor of Sanjeev Kumar having reached the peak of fame as an actor, to whom Manna Dey’s playback  suits as much as that by Bhupinder.

with Rajesh Khanna (a.k.a. Jatin Khanna)

He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat, directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz, directed by Ravindra Dave, both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers’ Talent Competition. G.P. Sippy and Nasir Hussain were the first to sign Rajesh Khanna after he won the contest.

Rajesh Khanna went onto chart a blockbuster career as the First Superstar of Indian Cinema, keeping in toe Kishore Kumar as his THE playback voice. But, he also enacted acting-as-an-art intensive roles as well. It was Manna Dey who was in his good company in such toles.

Chunari Sambhal Gori Udi Udi Jaaye Re, Maar Na De Dankh Kahin, Nazae  Kahin Haaye – Baharo Ke Sapne (1967) – with Lata Mangeshkar – R D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Baharo Ke Sapne was Nasir Hussain’s low-budget project to keep the unit engaged while his Teesari Manzil was getting delayed.

Perhaps to continue the set trend of Manna Dey’s career, here too Manna Dey directly plays back for Anwar Hussain on the film, but the focus of the song is on Rakesh khanna

For the records, this remains Manna Dey’s sole hit for the banner

Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Haae – Anand (1970) – Salil Chowdhury – Yogesh

Rajesh Khanna too charts on to a parallel track of acting in non-commercial films.

For the song Manna Dey was THE choice of Salil Chowdhury.

Tum Bin Jeevan Kaisa Jeevan – Bawarchi (1972) – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

Once again Manna Dey comes in to playback for Rajesh  Khanna in a non-commercial lead role.

Bhor Aayee Gaya Andhiyara – Bawarchi (1972) – With Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Kishore Kumar, Nirmala Devi, Laxmi Shankar  – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

Madan Mohan has also charted a non-commercial track by selecting of payback singers  from classical sinigang for female singers and Hridaynath Chattopadhyay sininging for himself. Manna Dey fits into the scheme of things like a T.

Hasne Ki Chaah Ne Kitana Hamein Rulaya Hai – Aavishkar (1974) – Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

Here too Manna Dey does not directly playback for Rajesh Khanna, but the song remains a landmark in the careers of Rajesh Khanna as well as Manna Dey.

Mere Lal Tum To Hamesha The Mere Mann Ki Abhilasha Mein – Aavishkar (1974) – Kanu Roy – Kapil Kumar

In the narrowest scope, the song would fall into a background song genre. However, I have selected it here as a token of demonstrating virtuosity of Manna Dey’s voice, with Rajesh Kahanna in the focus as an additional justification !

Gori Tori Paijaniya…..Man Khole Bhed – Mehbooba (1976) – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Rajesh Khanna being ina masquerading track and the song taking up a classical base, makes Manna Dey as the ideal choice to sing the song.

Aamli Ki Taamli GaoN Mein – Prem Bandhan (1979) – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

Laxmikant Pyarelal must have preconceived Manna Dey as the singer for the song to playback for Rajesh Khanna as an oldish head of the tribe on the screen.

We plan to transit for Manna Dey as singer for the lead actors to Manna Dey as the singer of comedy songs in our next episode on Manna Dey and Mahmood.

All seven episodes of the series ‘Manna Dey and His Contemporary Lead Actors’ can be viewed / downloaded as one file by clicking on the hyperlink.

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 6

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, Prem Nath, Pradeep Kumar and Sunil Dutt  in the present series till now.

We begin the present episode of our Journey with Manna Dey in his quest for THE big association with the Lead Hero of the film with an indirect association which becomes more pronounced in the later part of carriers of Manna Dey as well as That of that actor.

With Dharmendra

Manna Dey’s first – indirect- association happened with Shola Aur Shabnam (1962). The film had Mohammad Rafi playing back for Dharmendra for two of the most iconic songs – Jaane Kya Dhoondhati Raheti Hai and Jeet Hi Lege Baazi Ham Tum. Khayyam has chosen Manna Dey for the songs filmed on other characters of the film, of which two songs relate to Dharmendra’s character in the film.

Agar Dil Dil Se Takaraye – Shola Aur Shabnam (1962) – with Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutt – Khayyam – Kaifi AzmiThe song typically puts in the words from the main protagonists’ mind onto the lips of the actors performing the song on the screen. Dharmendra does sing a few lines @2.0 to 2.18 and @3.06 to 3.36 in Mohammad Rafi’s voice, wherein the third character of the love triangle chips in Manna Dey’s voice in response…

Phir Nahi Aanewali Pyare Aisi Milan Ki Raat – Shola Aur Shabnam (1962) –  with Asha Bhosle – Khayyam – Kaifi Azmi

This time is the song follows the same style of putting the words on singers; lips, nut the song is shaped as public folk song performance.

Hamne Jalwa Dikhaya To Jal Jaoge – Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966) – with Asha Bhosle – Sonik Omi – G L Rawail

In this film too major songs on Dharmendra have been played back by Mohammad Rafi, but Dharmendra and Nutan are masquerading in a disguise, so the playback singer also gets a change. Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle have perfectly teamed up to deliver a qawwali-flavoured light-mood song.

Are Zindagj Hai Khel Koi Pas Koi Fel, Khiladi Hai Koi Anadi Hai Koi–  Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)– with Asha Bhosle R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

The second pair of Hema Malini’s double role plays the couple perfoming on the street for living. As was the practice, the song has high dose of common philosophy flowing from the lips of common, street performers.

Abhi To Haath Mein Jaam Hai, Tauba Kitna Kaam Hai – Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

Manna Dey doubles up to voice the philosophy in the state of drunkenness.

Bandhu Re Ye Man Dole Bole Kya Re Koi Jane, Jal Bhara Megh Ye Dil Ke Pyasa Ye Man Suna – Anokha Milan (1972) – Salil Chowdhury – Jackie Hameed

Here is the film wherein Dharmendra is successfully seen in a so called ‘serious’ role, away from his usual dhishum dhishum commercial lead roles.  Manna Dey is on his familiar turf of a boatman song, composed by Salil Chowdhury in a typical Bengali boatman folk style.

Dharati Ambar Neend Se Jaage – Chaitali (1975) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

Dharmendra’s transformation to serious, meaningful roles can be credited to Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Here is one such fil, a remake of a Benagli film of the same name.

Yeh Dosti Ham Nahi Todenge – Sholey (1975) – with Kishore Kumar – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

‘Sholey’ has many records of success to its credit. This friendship-genre duet is one of those records.

With Shashi Kapoor

Manna Dey has played back for Shashi Kapoor, in all that I know, only once.

Aaya Aaya Abdulaa Hey Abdulla– Juari (1968) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Kalyandji Anandji – Anand Baksh

Two other songs filmed on Shashi Kapoor – Hamsafar Ab Ye Safar Kat Jayega and Jaaneman Allah Khabar– respectively a pathos and light romantic mood ones are played back by Mukesh and Mahendra Kapoor. In this song Shashi Kapoor is stage-playing a disguised role, hence probably Manna Dey has been chosen as his playback.

With Manoj Kumar

With Manoj Kumar too, I have only one duet wherein Manna Dey play back from him, from his very early film.

Zulfon Ki Ghata Lekar Sawan Ki Pari Aayi Reshmi Rumal (1961) – With Asha Bhosle – Babul – Raja Mahendi Ali Khan

We have one more case of an now obscure film, a very talented but not-so-successful music director, but a duet that always remain live at  the back of our memory.

More important aspect of Manna Dey- Manoj Kumar association is the song that Manna Dey was to sing for a film produced by Manoj Kumar. The film established Manoj Kumar as ‘Mr. Bharat’, the song cemented the place of Pran as character actor in his second innings.

With Pran

Kasame Vaade Pyar Vafaa Sab Baatein Hai Baaton Ka Kya – Upkar (1967) – Kalyanji Anandji – Indeevar

The song and the character of Malang Baba played by Pran have so become iconic landmarks, that with forgoing prologue, only this song will come up in our memory.

Kya Maar Sakegi Maut Use, Auro Ke Liye Jo Jita Hai – Sanyasi (1975) – Shankar Jaikishan – Indeevar

Pran is in one more of his second innings role, with Manoj Kumar as the focus of the message of the song. Shankar is also in his second innings, without the usual company of Jaikishan and Shailendra.

Pran got to sing songs on a more regular pattern in his second innings.Quite a few of them were played back by Manna Dey too. We have picked up just twoof such songs here.

Raam Raam Raam Krodh Lobh Maya Mai Taj Ke – Krodhi (1981)  Laxmikant Pyarelal – Anand Bakshi

We have picked up  this song because the message of the song is for Dharmendra, who we have covered earlier in the episode.

Yaari Hai Imaan Mera Yaar Meri Zindagi – Zanzeer (1973) – Kalayanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra

This is one more song which has to come up for a mandatory reference, whenever the matter of Pran’s second inning comes up for discussion.

With Joy Mukherjee

Joy Mukherjee has had almost an exclusive playback of Mohammad Rafi. So, this is a very unusual exception. We may assign the cause to, probably, the presence of Johnny Walker in the song. Jhonny Walker, and even Mehmood, commanded a very high respect – be it in price, footage, song allocation etc., in their films. He might have opted Mohammad Rafi as his first choice. So, it is Manna Dey for Joy Mukherjee.

Hum Bhi Agar Bachche Hot Naam Hamar Hota Babaloo Gabaloo – Door Ki Awaz (1964) – with Asha Bosle, Mohammad Rafi – Ravi  – Shakeel Badayuni

We have an archtypical, light, lilting birthday song. Manna Dey so effortlessly fuses with Joy Mukherjee that some time we wonder was it really him, or was it Mahammad Rafi, singing the lines filmed on Joy Mukerjee?

We will end this episode with a Manna Dey song for Prem Nath, that I had missed out in the earlier episode where we had covered Manna Dey’s songs for Prem Nath.

Jeevan Chalane Ka Naam Chalate Raho Subah Shaam – Shor (1972) – with Mahendra Kapoor, Shyama Chittar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Inderjeet Singh Tulsi

Manoj Kumar presented Prem Nath in his one of the major second innings role in this film. The song had attained avery wide-spread populairity, because the song sequence is one which is so well konwon the rural-semi urban areas – a non-stop cycling, mainly as bread-earning street performance.

In our next episode, we will now switch over to the third generation actors, for whom Manna Dey once gain plays back in their early phase of the career.

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…..

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 4

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 in the present series till now.

Our journey of Manna Dey’s songs for mainstream lead actors is till rests in the last few years of the decade of ‘50s. These are the years wherein most of the second-generation top male stars were struggling to search the key to the door of success in the Hindi films. We have enough number of Manna Dey’s songs for just two male actors for one post.

With Raj Kumar

Raj Kumar began his career as the typical lead actor but is known more to us for his unconventional lead roles, several of these being the anti-hero type, as well. One such game-changing role that he played was that of the husband of Nargis, in the role of Radha as the lead character in Mother India (1957).

Chundariya Katati Jaye Re, Umariya Ghatai Jaaye Re – Mother India (1957) – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

Technically, the song plays in the background, but is the unmistakable feeling of turbulence that Shamu (Raj Kumar) undergoes in his struggles on and off-the field.

The song not only occupies an iconic status in Manna Dey’s repertoire but is also rated as one of the best songs of Naushad, too.

Dil Ko Baandha Zulf Ki Zanjeer Se, Hosh Lute Husn Ki Tasir Se – Zindagi (1964) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipur

We now have a very unconventional Shankar Jaikishan composition, in the form of a recital.

Janak Janak Tori Baaje Payaliya – Mere Huzoor (1968) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Raj Kaumar was as his one the best in the unconventional lead role in this film. Shankar Jaikishan have very expectedly chosen Manna Dey for the classical based song.

Har Taraf Yahi Afsane Hai, Ham Teri Ankhon Ke Deewane Hai – Hindustan Ki Kasam (1974) – Madan Mohan – Kaifi Azmi

It is Madan Mohan who has chosen Manna Dey to vent the on-screen Raj Kumar’s emotional thoughts.

Here we take up one song out of chronological turn for its highly uncoventainal but so much creative use of Manna Dey’s voice.

Hum Dil Ka Kanwal Dege Jisko – Zindagi (1964) – Lata Mangeshkar and chorus – Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

Mannaa Dey just sings one line of the mukhda as part of the rehearsal of the dance sequence, that obviously is choreographed by Raj Kumar on the screen.

With Rajendra Kumar

Before Rajendra Kumar was acknowledged as ‘Jubilee’ Kumar in the industry, several voices have been tried for the playback of his songs on the screen. We have Manna Dey’s Rajendra Kumar songs from this initial period when Rajendra Kumar was still struggling to get his feet in the quicksand of success in the Hindi film industry, with two exceptions – the first exception has a link with the unconventional aspect of the song that we just heard from Zindagi (1964) and the other one will underscore the exception of the rule.

Muskura Laadle Muskura – Zindagi (1964) – Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra

Knowing well Shankar’s marked preference for Manna Dey, one may not feel very surprised by this exceptional us e of Manna Dey as Rajendra Kumar’s playback, but how would Rajendra Kumar have agreed to the decision does remain a question.

Tere Naina Talash Kare Jise – Talaash (1969) – S D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

If S D Burman has easily opted for Mohammad Rafi for a text-book romantic duet dance song, he would have equally easily chosen Manna Dey for this classical-based dance song.

We now comeback to the period of Rajendra Kumar’s struggle for survival the highly uncertain terrains of Hindi film industry.

Mere Jivan Mein Kiran Banke Bikharanewale, Bolo Tum Kaun HoTalaq (1958) – with Lata Mangeshkar – C Ramchandra – Pradeep

The song is filmed as the then very popular genre of someone else (mostly street song dancers) venting the feelings of the key protagonists. In the present instance too, the song is lip-synched by a rural couple, but we are left in no doubt that these are indeed the feelings of the lead pair Rajendra Kumar and Kamini Kadam on the screen.

Manna Dey so easily molds into the melody of the song and the intimacy of the feelings of the lyrics, whether it is the alaap in the pre-lude or interludes or seamless synching with Lata Mangeshkar in the body of the song.

O Babu O Memsaab Kya Rakha Is Taqarar Mein, Zara To Aankhen Dekho Mila Ke Bada Maza Hai Pyar Mein – Talaq (1958) – C Ramchandra – Pradeep

This time C Ramchandra has opted for Manna Dey to playback directly for Rajendra Kuamr, in a very light-mood duet.

Bigul Baz Raha Azaadi Ke Naaro Ka – Talaq (1958) – C Ramchandra – Pradeep

Manna Dey’s choice for a patriotic fervor song would have been a foregone conclusion. As we closely listen to the lower-scale opening lines as well as the regular mukhada of the song, we do seem to feel that, if the song would not have to scale very high notes, as it does later on, the composition has been so composed that C Ramchandra possibly would have sung the song himself,as he indeed did for Paigam (1959) song Daulat Ne Aaj Paseene Ko Laat Hai Maari.

Yeh Hawa Yeh Nadi Ka Kinaara, Chand Taaron Ka Rangeen Ishara – Ghar Sansar (1958) – With Asha Bhosle – Ravi – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Ravi has also depended on Manna Dey for playback to Rajendra Kumar. Since Mohammad Rafi’s voice has been used for playback to Johnny Walker, the choice of Manna Dey also can easily be taken as result of the highly probable success formula of Rajendra Kumar-Manna Dey in the cases of romantic duets.

Bole Ye Dil Ka Ishara Aankho Ne Mil Ke Pukara – Santan (1959) – With Lata Mangeshkar – Dattaram – Hasrat Jaipuri

Dattaram has opted for Mukesh (Dil Ne Use Maan Liya – Happy and sad versions) for a simple romantic solo, but has easily chosen Manna Dey for the romantically peppy duet.

Na Jaane Kahaan Tum The, Na Jaane Kahan Hum The, Jaadu Ye Dekho Hum Tum Mile HainZindagi aur Khwaab (1961) – With Suman Kalyanpur – Dattaram – Pradeep

Here too Dattaram seems to have opted for a highly probable chances of success, as he has done for Mukesh for a pathos songKabhi Kisi Ki Khushiyan Koi Lute Na


Mere Ghar Se Pyar Ki Palki Chali Gayi – Palkee (1967) – with Mohammad Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur – Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni

Technically, it is Mohammad Rafi who plays back for Rajendra Kumar in this triad. However, the very strong linkage of Manna Dey in the song, one of those rae Naushad – Manna Dey combination tempts me to include the song here.


Normally we do not include non-Hindi films songs on our column, but the very exceptional nature of the songs again tempts me to include them here.

Mahendi Rang Lagyo was a the then trend-setter film for the Gujarati screen. Roping in Rajendra Kumar and Usha Kiran form Hindi films was a very bold move at that time. It did succeed so well, too.

Mahendi To Vavi Malve Ne Eno Rang Gayo Gujarat Re – Mahendi Rang Lagyo (1960) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Avinash Vyas

(Approximate translation of the opening lyrics in English – Henna (lawsonia alba), planted in Malwa has blossomed to its full color in Gujarat)

If Avinash Vyas has deftly used Manna Dey to play back for Rajendra Kumar in this duet for an intimately emotional, romantic, soft expression of the budding love, he has fallen back on Maohammad Rafi for Nain Chackchur Chhe, Man Aatur Chhe (Eyes are intoxicated, Heart is Eager)

Dard Eka Ja Chhe Ke Hun Bedard Thato Jaun Chhun – Mahendi Rang Lagyo (1960) – Avinash Vyas

(Approximate translation of the opening lyrics in English – The only grief I have is that I have become grief-less. Don’t ask me if I anymore belong to someone.)

If the song would have been composed for a Hindi film, it would definitely have been a front-row ever song in the heart-broken pathos songs.

In the final conclusion, Manna Dey’s songs for Rajendra Kumar may count far less in numbers, but the quality, and the then popularity, does leave us wondering what was still missing to push Manna Dey to become the voice of the popular male lead……..

Our search for the elusive answer is still on…..

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 3

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

Our search for Manna Dey’s songs for the lead actor has basically reached the period of second half the decade of ‘50s. From what we have seen till now, it appears that it is not incorrect to infer that his songs that have attained fame have rooted deeper his image of niche singer and his romantic songs for the lead player still hunt for a permanent association that can turn out to be game changer for his career.

With Kishore Kumar

There was a period in Kishore Kumar career where he was so active as working as the main lead actor for the films that he has  accepted some of his songs on the screen played back by Mohammad Rafi, and as we shall presently see, by Manna Dey. In each of this case, the song would invariably be a one-off case in that film, all other songs being enacted and sung by Kishore Kumar himself. That would, normally, mean that the music director has some or other valid reason for opting for the other playback singer. However, presently, we have no intention to look out for such reasons. We will be content with listing such songs within the scope of our present series.

Din Albele Pyar Ka Mausam, Chanchal Man Mein Toofan – Begunah (1957) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Shanker Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Here we have an ideal romantic duet, once again Shanker Jaikishan choosing to use Manna Dey for such a lovely song. The song did become famous and is quite known even today. But, being filmed on Kishor Kumar, its fate as catalyst for Manna Dey being set as a lead actor’s principal voice does not help the cause. That Begunah was banned within just a few days of hitting the screen further aggravated the case.

Pahele Murgi Ke Pahele Anda Zara Soch Ke Batana – Krorepati (1961) – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Manna Dey matches Kishore Kumar’s comedy theatrics on the screen. The song is filmed as satirist comedy on the establishment. However, because of the presence of Kishore Kumar as the actor, the song does not fall into the cast of so called comedy genre that Jhonny Walker and Mahemood brought on the screen.

Ho Gayi Shaam Dil Badnam Leta Jaaye Tera Naam – Naughty Boy (1962) – With Asha Bhosle – S D Burman – Shailendra

Here too Manna Dey sounds so natural to Kishore Kumar’s acting. The song is a party song whereat Kishore Kumar resorts to his comedy acting while remaining very faithful to the romance in the lyrics of the song.

Alakh Niranajan – Haaye Mera Dil (1968) – Usha Khanna

One of those non-descript comedy songs that Manna Dey would get after getting type cast for comedy genre songs.

‘Haaye Mera Dil’ has one more Manna Dey song – a duet with Usha Khanna – Jaaneman Jaaneman Tum Din Raat Mere Saath Ho – which is filmed a club song.

With Shammi Kapoor                                                            

Shammi Kapoor’s acting career is normally divided into pre-Tumsa nahi Dekha and post-Tumsa Nahi Dekha films. If Talat Mahmood had a lion’s share for the playback songs for the former part, it was Mohammad Rafi who sang to Shammi Kapoor’s style in the latter part. We have two films which can be considered as twilight zone between these two phases.

Tangewaali (1955) has a duet with Geeta Dutt – Tina Tan Ta Tina Kisi Ne Dil Hai (Music: Salil Chaudhari; Lyrics- Prem Dhawan) –  which Shammi Kapoor ought to have lip-synched on the screen, like a genuine tonga Rafi solo cast on a punjabi folk tune, and two duets  – A Rafi-Lata duet and a Tonga-genre Hemant-Lata duet. Unfortunately, we do not have a digital link.for this Manna Dey- Geeta Dutt duet.

The second film Ujala (1959) was an idealistic socialist theme film. The two songs of the film probably would easily fit in for Manna Dey’s voice, particularly when Shankar Jaikishan have composed the music.

Ab Kahan Jaaye Dil Ye Bata  Aye Zameen, Ab Kisi Ko Kise Pe Bharosa Nahi – Lyrics: Shailendra

This again a choir-Church tune and after the success of a similar song – Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai, Teri Ek Boond Ke Pyaase Ham (Seema 1955), choice of Manna Dey to playback for Shammi Kapoor is quite obvious. This song also went to get respect and fame.

Suraj Jara Aa Paas Aa, Aaj Sapnon Ki Roti Pakayenge Ham – Lyrics: Shailendra

The song is deeply stepped into a socialist moulid, and with Shankar Jaikishan having successfully executed  O Raat Gayi (Boot Polish, 1954) and  Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala (Shree 420, 1955) with Manna Dey it is again obvious that Shankar Jaikishna would repeat Manna Dey for this song, whoever would be the actor..

And it was not the sheer momentum that would have led Shankar Jaikishan to opt for two romantic, peppy duets with Manna Dey, when they had set one Mukesh – Lata duet and a Rafi-Mukeshi duet in  Mukesh and Rafi’s voice respectively for Shammi Kapoor in this film.

Jumta Mausam Mast Mahina, Chand Si Gori Ek Hasina, Ya Allah Ya Allah Dil Le Gayi– – With Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri

An excellent off-the-sets outdoor song, that is as much playful as is romantic. Manna Dey sings the song with a caressingly smooth ease.

Chham Chham Lo Suno Chham Chham, O Suno Chham Chham – With Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Shailendra

Here we have a typical Shankar Jaikishan folk-dance composition, based on a fast dholak-rhythm with a violin-ensemble orchestration. Manna Dey enters at the beginning of the 1st stanza on a very happy, positive note synching melody of the tune with the delivery of the song..

By the time Wallah Kya Baat Hai (1962) was released on the screen, Shammi Kappoor’s happy-go-lucky image formula had tasted great success @ Tumsa Nahi Dekha. Wallah Kya Baat Hai (1962) songs had naturally that Shammi-halo at the core of Shammi’s on-screen songs. Roshan suddenly opts to use Manna Dey for Shammi Kapoor in twin-version song – Katon Ke Saaye Men Phulo Ka Ghar Hai – Vallah Kya Baat Hai (1962) – Roshan – Prem Dhawan

Even when you are soaked with hugely playful Khanke To Khanke KyuN Kahanke, Raat Ko Mera Kangana or a pathos-laden Gam-E-Hasti Se Begana Hota in Mohammad Rafi’s voice, Manna Dey effortlessly slips into Shammi Kapoor’s playback in the first happy version

The second version has a pinch of worry as Shammi Kapoor seems to be in search of his child. The song varies in low to high pitch, maintain a moderately fast rhythm.

Yeh Umar Hai Kaya Rangili – Professor (1962) – Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

Young Shammi Kapoor is masquerading as an old professor, so Manna Dey(unfortunately) becomes a natural choice to playback for an old Shammi Kappor on the screen.

Tumhen Husn Deke Khuda Ne Sitamgar Banaya – Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai (1963) – With  Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle – Dattaram – Anand Baxi

Dattaram chooses Manna Dey to sing for Shammi Kapoor in this qawwali.

Chham Chham Baje Re Payaliya – Jaane Anjaane (1971) – Shankar Jaikishan – S H Bihari

Here, too, Shammi Kapoor is in a disguise of an old classical singer, so call of type-cast would befell on Manna Dey as the playback singer.

This is post-Jaikishan, post-Shailendra song, but Shankar has effortlessly maintained his hold on composing a Manna Dey song.

With Guru Dutt

In fact, to the best of the information that I could verify, most of the songs filmed on Guru Dutt have been played back by Mohammd Rafi, with Jaane Wo Kaiase Jinko Pyar Hi Pyar Mila (Pyaasa, 1957) and  Eetal Ke Ghar Mein Teetal and Umra Hui Phir Bhi Jaane Kyun (Bahurani 1963) being rendered by Hemant Kumar or Tumhi To Meri Pooja Ho (Suhagan, 1964) rendered by Talat Mehamood as only the exceptions.

However, there is one more unusual exceptional song that Manna Dey has indirectly played back for Guru Dutt. The song is Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par Woh Kahan Hai, which is recorded as a cover version for the officially filmed Mohammad Rafi classic in Pyaasa (1957)..

At present, we do not have any knowledge as to why this cover version will have been recorded. We have only the end result with us.

We draw curtains to our journey of Manna Dey’s songs for the lead actors, to await the opening bell for the next episode wherein we will continue with our search for Manna Dey’s songs with the second-generation lead actors like Raj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Manoj Kumar etc.

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 2

In the First Part of the present series, we have listened to the songs that Manna Dey played back for Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Ashok Kumar.

By the turn of decade of ’40, Manna Dey was well-recognized for classical-based songs. The trend continued in 1951 and 1952. He made more in roads into the big banner films like RK’s Aawara (1951), which was to set up a very special, strong bond with the music directors, Shanker Jaikishan, and in turn with Raj Kapoor. After having tried his hands with music composition, first assistants to music directors like S D Burman or H P Das in ‘40s, in the initial years of ‘50s, he also tried his hand with music direction when he worked with Khemchand Prakash for Shree Ganesh Janma (1951) and Vishwamitra (1952).Then in 1953 came Do Bigha Zameen, which unmistakably shot his fame as a (singer) star. So, he, very wisely, did give up pursuit of music direction and decided to concentrate on his singing career.

With Balraj Sahni

Balraj Sahni had made a noteworthy entry with his role in K A Abbas’s in Dharati Ke Lal (1946). His ideological leanings and histrionic commitment made him the ideal fit for the role of a poor farmer for Do Beegha Zameen. Salil Chaudhary used Manna Dey for two songs – Hariyala Sawan Dhol Bajata Aaya and Dharati Kahe Pukar Ke – which not only made Manna Dey a very widely-known name across the country, that also established Manna Dey’s association with Balraj Sahni.

Balraj Sahni was not the material for lead male actor in the traditional Hindi movie fold, but he had several films to follow wherein he played the lead role of (sort of ) anti-hero. The first such film was Seema (1955) where Shanker Jaikishan found an ideal fit in Manna Dey, to playback for Balraj Sahni for a choir-tune-based song Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai, Teri Ek Boond Ke Pyaase Ham (Lyrics: Shailendra)


It was Mohammad Rafi who was a parallel ‘seventh’ choice, for Kahan Jaa Raha Hai.

In 1957, Balraj Sahni was the co-lead actor for a Russian joint venture film ‘Pardesi’.  The film was based on XV century Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin’s travelogue ‘A journey beyond three seas’. Anil Biswas has used Manna Dey’s voice as playback for several Balraj Sahni enacted songs in this film.

Phir Milenge Jaanewale Ae Yaar, Dasvidaniya – Pardesi (1957) – Anil Biswas

For  a song that has an undertone of pathos, but is sung boldly, Manna Dey’s voice seems to be the obvious choice.

Tujh Mein Ram Mujh Mein Ram Sab Mein Raam Samaya – Pardesi (1957) – Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan

In line with the basic social egalitarianism of the film, the song is used to spread this message.

1961 had two Balraj Sahni films, for which music director was Salil Chaudhary.

Of these two films, Kabuliwala is considered to be a classic.

Ay Mere Pyare Watan  Ay Mere Bichhade Chaman Tujh Pe Dil Qurban– Kabuliwala (1961) – Salil Chaudhary – Prem Dhawan

The song is in fact filmed on Wazeer Mohammed Khan, but it is Balraj Sahni who is in the center of the song

Wazir Mohammed Khan is the actor who had acted in the first Hindi talkie film Alam Ara (1931) as well as its remake in 1956 and in 1973.

[Note: Akji(SoY) adds in his comment that WM Khan has the credit of singing the very first song of Hindi films, De de Khuda ke naam par for Alam Ara

The other film, Sapan Suhane (1961) was as obscure as Kabuliwala was famous.

O Gori Aaja Gadi Wich Baith Ja – Sapan Suhane 1961 – with Lata Mangeshkar –  Salil Chaudhary – Shailendra

Here is the song, which is truly of a romantic mood, though set in rustic settings.

Dil Kaheta Hai Zara To Dam Lelo, Dagar Kaheti Hai Ke Chalte Chalo – Sapan Suhane 1961 –  Salil Chaudhary – Shailendra

Here is another very playful song that embodies the philosophy of a life on the move.

The film had a third Manna Dey song, a triumvirate – Naam Mera Nimmo Mukam Ludhiana – wherein Manna Dey plays back for Master Bhagwan.

Balraj Sahni has sung a few more songs as the lead male actor, but these were played back by other singers like Mohammad Rafi (Sone Ki Chidiya) or Subir Sen (Kathputli). So we move on to two songs wherein Balraj Sahni is in the lead character role and Manna Dey chips in for the play back. Both songs were composed by Ravi.

Ae Meri Zohara Zabeen Tujhe Malum Nahi – Waqt (1965) – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanvi

This is the song which remains one of the front-ranking-ever Manna Dey songs.

Tujhe Suraj Kahoon Ya Chanda – Ek Phool Do Maali (1969) – Ravi – Prem Dhawan

The song can be considered to suit Manna Dey like a ‘t’. from any angle you look, and Manna Dey has made the best of the ideal opportunity.

With David Abraham

I think everyone will justly conclude that we are going to talk about Boot Polish’ (1954), where technically David Abraham is in once-in-a-life-time  supporting role of John Chacha, who mentors two young urchins away from the streets to the life of pride and self-respect.

Lapak Japak Tu Aa Re Badaria, Sar Ki Kheti Sukh Rahi Hai – Boot Polish (1953) – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra have come up with a winner of a song that is to blaze the future genre of classical-based-songs-for-comedy-situations.


Raj Kapoor was a great perfectionist when it came to making of his films. Shri Arunkumar Desmukh recounts a very interesting story in relation to this song. We get to know to what length Raj Kapoor would go to enliven the situation that has germinated in his mind.

O Raat Gayi, Raat Gayi Phir Din Aata Hai Isi Tarah Aate Jaate Hi Sara Jivan Kat Jata Hai – Boot Polish (1954) – With Asha Bhosle – Shanker Jaikishan – Saraswati Kumar Deepak

The song is classic depiction of hope in the face of gloom.

Song also has a mundane historical value of being the first duet of Manna Dey and Asha Bosle.

Thehar Jara O Jaaneale O Babu Mister Gore Kale… Kab Se Baithe Aas Lagaye Ham Matwale Paliswale – Boot Polish (1954) – With Asha Bhosle and Madhubala Zaveri – Shanker Jaishan –  Shailendra

Manna Dey comes up with vigor of full joy as he opens the song and then continues the mentoring with an encouraging lively tone as he opens the interlude.


Once again, Mohammad Rafi comes up the ‘seventh’ choice to replicate the voice of an elderly person in Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri Mutthi Mein Kya Hai

With Bharat Bhushan

It is very difficult to associate Bharat Bhushan with Manna Dey in the playback, since almost of the successful songs that Bharat Bhushan got to sing on the screen invariably has Mohammad Rafi for playback. However, the subject of ‘Basant Bahar’ (1956) revolves around a singer who is blessed with a classically-oriented voice, which makes Manna Dey as the very natural choice for the music directors Shanker Jaikishan.

Sur Naa Saje Kya Gaun Mein, Bhay Bhanjana Vandana Sun Hamari, or a classic competition song. Ketaki Gulab Juhi Champak Ban Phoole, are indeed best in the class songs. Perhaps, this would be classic tale where greater the height of immediate success seems to have undesirable long term effect.

The film does have one of the most melodious duets to the credit of Manna Dey – Nain Miley Chain Kahan, Dil Hai Wahin Tu Hai Jahan – where Manna Dey matches Lata Mangeshkar’s natural melody on a chord-to-chord basis.

In Rani Rupmati (1957), a historical film, Bharat Bhushan played the lead role. One of the very popular song from this film – Aa Laut Kar Aaja Mere Meet – had Mukesh as playback singer. In a classical competition duet – Baat Chalat Nayi Chunari Rang Daali – Mohammad Rafi plays back for Bharat Bhushan. There are three more duets Phool Bagiya Mein Bulbul Bole, O Raat Andheree Dar Lage Rasiya and Jhananan Jhan Jhan Baje Payaliya, where too Mohammad Rafi is chosen as play back of Bharat Bhushan. However, S N Tripathi once again falls back upon a high-octaved poignant feeling song Ud Jaa Ud Jaa Bhanwar Maya Kamal Ka Aaj Bandhan Tod Ke.

Manna Dey again plays back to Bharat Bhushan in Kavi Kalidas (1959). Choice of Manna Dey seems directly linked to his now strong association with classical based songs.

Jai Saraswati – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

Here is the prayer to the Goddess of Education (Maa Saraswati).

Naye Naye Rango Se Likhati Dharati Nayi Kahani – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

This is the romantic poetry that describes the beauty of nature as it operates through the changing colors of the earth in different seasons.

O Ashadh Ke Pahele Badal – Kavi Kalidas (1959) – With Lata Mangeshkar – Music: S N Tripathi; Lyrics: Bharat Vyas

This is a poignant request to The Clouds to carry his message to his beloved.


S N Tripathi has fallen back on the ‘seventh’ choice Mahammad Rafi for a simple romantic duet Un Par Kaun Kareji Vishwas

Bharat Bhushan once again played a devotional role in Angulimal (1961) that naturally prompts music director Anil Biswas to use Manna Dey for a background song filmed on the main protagonist – Aye Manav Tu Mukh Se Bol Bhudhdham Sharanam Gachhami (Lyrics: Bharat Vyas)

Bharat Bhushan’s association with Manna Dey also should record one of the most famous classical-comedy genre song Phool Dendava Na Maaro of Dooj Ka Chand (1964) (Music: Roshan; Lyrics – Sahir Ludhyanvi). Dooj Ka Chand is produced ny Bharat Bhushan. The song is filmed on Agha.


The songs filmed on Bharat Bhushan himself – Sun Ae Mahajabeen Mujhe Tum Se Pyar Nahin, Chand Takta Hai Idhar and Mahefil Se Uth Jaanewalo have been rendered by Mohammad Rafi.

If Manna Dey was the classical playback singer choice for Basant Bahar, he too was THE choice for the romantic male lead of Chori Chori (1956), and a ‘seventh’ but quite an important choice for Shree 420 (1955) for Shanker Jaikishan. Each of the songs of these films were game changers and should have set any other singer right on the seventh heaven. Manna Dey did scale seven heavens, but as the niche playback singer only.

We will continue with Manna Dey’s journey with actors, who initially had Manna Dey as their play back, but their path to the first row seats of the commercial success of the cinema was travelled riding on the playback of other singers

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 1

Hindi Film World celebrates centenary birth year of Manna Dey. In a series of articles that I have planned to run in 2019 and 2020, I have tried to present songs from different angles, wherein focus is not on what is considered Manna Dey’s core niche areas, like classical songs, comedy songs etc.

We would confine our horizon of discussions to end decade of 70’s.

Satyajit Ray had once mentioned that listeners would be “more shocked than surprised if they were made to hear a voice outside a coveted set of six singers”. Maybe six was just an empirical number he had in mind, but throughout his career, Manna Dey certainly was not one of the six when the requirement was singing for the lead actor. He was always the seventh, in the role of a specialist.[1]

Manna Dey (a.k.a Prabodh Chandra Dey – B: 1st May, 1919 /\ D: 24th October, 2013) was groomed into the classical singing, with extra eye for perfection, experimentation and complete dedication. He was so much singer to the core, that he might probably never have explicitly thought of shaping his career path on the more worldly success matrix.

He has recorded songs of types and hues in around 16 languages. His classical songs are remembered fondly by critics as well as the common listeners. His comedy songs earned so high a respect that he got typecast for these songs. In fact, every type of song genre that he touched, led to typecast him for that genre. However, as the destiny may have chosen not to bestow Manna Dey with the coveted ‘commercial’ recognition of That Hero’s Voice even he had string of exceptionally successful songs for the leading male actor of the film. Many of his sings in this category for so called B category films earned fame, that turned out to be not enough to earn long term success to the heroes of these films, was also not that longer.

In our today’s article we will try to remember his songs for the lead male actors of different times. Our aim is not seeking any ‘whys’, but to collect Manna Dey’s representative songs from the perspective of the contemporary lead actors on one-page.

As is well-known Manna Dey commenced his Hindi film song career with a duet, Jaago Aayee Usha Panchhi Boley  with Suraiya for Tamanna in 1942. The song has been filmed on a beggar and his young assistant. Manna Dey played back for the beggar. His first song thus was a ‘beggar’ genre song. His second song was for film Ram Rajya (1943), a ‘bhajan’ genre song. However the wait for films which had strong social content and also had one of the three of Great Trinity of the lead male actors of Indian Cinema as the upcoming stars.

With Dilip Kumar

Manna Dey and Dilip Kumar have got together in Dilip Kumar’s debut film Jwar Bahata (1944). Manna Dey gets to sings Bhula Bhatka Path Hara Main Sharan Tumhari Aaya, Kah Do He Gopal, for which Anil Biswas composed music. The song is set to Bengal’s folk baul style, which the medicants used for their compositions. Dilip Kumar was the male lead, but the only song that he would have sang – Sham Ki Bela Panchhi Akela –  on the screen was played back by Arun Kumar Mukherjee. Manna Dey has never played back for Dilip Kumar. Closest these titans can have been said to come is in Insaan Ka Insaan Se Ho Bhaichara, Yahi Paigam Hamara (Paigam, 1956; Music: C Ramchandra) which rolls  around Dilip Kumar as the key protagonist and Manna Dey sings in the background.

With Dev Anand

It was as far as back as in 1947 that Manna Dey got to play back for Dev Anand, who was the lead actor for Aage Badho. HFGK credits the duet, Sawan Ki Ghatao Dheere Dheere Aana – (Music: Sudhir Phadake, Lyrics: Amar Varma) to Manna Dey and Khursheed, for Dev Anand and Khursheed respectively on the screen.


Even at the cost of being repetitive, it should be noted that the opinions are sharply divided along the loyalty lines in so far as credit for the male singer goes. Several other net-resources and many of Rafi’s keen listeners credit the male part of the song to Mohammad Rafi.

Manna Dey played back for Dev Anand again next year in Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (Music: H P Das, Assistant – Manna Dey; Lyrics: G S Nepali) . Ham Tere Hai Hamko Na Thukarana O Bharat Ke Bhagwan Chale Aana– is in the form of a prayer that Dev Anand, possibly as a teacher in the school or a children home type of institution. sings to the children.

Part 1 and Part 2 of the song, O Ghar Ghar Ke Diye Bujhakar Bane Hue Dhanwan , has idealist tone.

Dev Ananad and Manna Dey have, then, combined in Amar Deep (1958; Muisc C Ramchandra; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna) triad dance song Is JahaN Ka Pyar Jutha. The first stanza focuses on Johnny Walker for whom, naturally, Mohammad Rafi has provided the playback. Dev Ananad commences second stanza @ 3.47 with a hearty alaap of Manna Dey to dancingly sing Ab Kahan Wo Pahele Jaise Dilbari Ke Rang ….


Amar Deep had a twin version duet Dekh Hamein Awaaz Na Dena, filmed on the lead pair Dev Anand and Vyjayantimala, which has Mohammad Rafi playback singing for Dev Anand. The film had one more obscure solo – Lene Ko Taiyar Nahi, Dene Ko Taiyar Nahi – which is also filmed on Dev Anand and played back by Mohammad Rafi

Hereafter, Manna Dey got to play back for Dev Anand only when S D Burman chose to offer some specific songs like Tak Dhum Tak Dhum Baje (Bombai Ka Babu,1960), Sanj Dhali Dil KI Lagi Thak Chali Pukar Ke (Kala Bazaar,1960; with Asha Bhosle); Chand Aur Mein Aur Tu, Aye Kash Chalate Milke – with Asha Bhosle-,  Hamdam Se Mile Ham Dam Se Gaye and Ab Kise Pata Kal Ho Na Ho (Manzeel, 1960) etc.

Manna Dey did sing genuinely romantic songs for the hero in these songs, even if he was that ‘seventh’ choice.

Dev Anand – Manna Dey were brought together, once again. for one of the all time classics Chale Jaa Rahein Hai Kinare Kinare (Kinare Kinare, 1964; Lyrics: Nyay Sharma) by Jaidev.

With Raj Kapoor

Manna Dey was called on to sing for Raj Kapoor in Aawara (1951) in the classic two-song part dream sequence Tere Bina Aag Ye Chandani ….. Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi. Since then, Shanker Jaikishan have so profusely used Manna Dey’s voice for Raj Kapoor in RK films as well as other films that Manna Dey-Raj Kapoor- Shankar Jaikishan relationship can be dealt only as set of full-fledged articles.

Manna Dey’s voice has also been used quite extensively  for Raj Kapoor by other music directors as well.

I have selected two songs to present the glimpse of the relationship –

Duniya Ne To Mujhko Chhod Diya, Khub Kiya Are Khub Kiya – Sharda (1957) – C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna

Has Kar Hassa Masti Mein Ga, Kal Hoga Kya Hoga Ky Bhul Jaa – Bahurupiya (Shelved) (1964) – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Manna Dey’s playback singing relationship with the Trimurti of Indian Films – Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor – has so far followed the Manna Dey’s career in the chronological sequence. So, we will follow the similar pattern to explore his playback singing relationship with other mainstream male lead players.

With Ashok Kumar

Manna Dey’s first major association with Ashok Kumar was for the film Mashaal (1950) where he was assisting S D Burman. Upar Gagan Vishal for that film is considered to be the game changer for S D Burman as well as Manna Dey. However, it is not filmed on Ashok Kumar’s lips in the film.

During ‘50s, Ashok Kumar did maintain the status of a lead male actor, but generally not as the romantic hero. This probably created an ideal platform for Manna Dey’s playback singing relationship with Ashok Kumar. Manna Dey sings two songs for Ashok Kumar in Savera (1958, Music – Shailesh Mukherjee; Lyrics – Shailendra). The first one, a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Chuuppa Chuppi .. Aagad Baagad Jae Re, is light-mood duet, addressed mainly to the children in the film.

The other one, A solo filmed on Ashok Kumar, Jeevan Ke Raaste Hazar – is a background song.

It was in the same year that Ashok Kumar lip-synced Manna Dey in Baabu Samjo Ishare (Chalati Ka Naam Gaadi, with Kishore Kumar; Music – S D Burman; Lyrics;ajrooh Sultanpuri), wherein Manna Dey matched notes by notes Kishore Kumar’s theatrics.

Ashok Kumar – Manna Dey got together for Jaa Re Beiman Tujhe Jaan Liya (Private Secretary, 1962; Music Director – Dilip Dholakia; Lyrics – Prem Dhawan), a comic-situation oriented classical-based song.

in 1963, S D Burman used Manna Dey as playback singer for Ashok Kumar in Meri Surat Teri Aankein for an Ahir Bhairav benchmark Hindi film song, Poochho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitayi (Lyrics – Shailendra). However parallel use of Mohammad Rafi for a playful semi-classical Naache Man Mora Tikra Dheegi Dheegi succinctly epitomizes the entire career of Manna Dey – respected on high pedestal, but not preferred normally, exceptions accepted.

Anurodh (1977) also has a twin Manna Dey – Ashok Kumar song Tum Besahaara Ho To (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal; Lyrics: Anand Baxi). The first version is a happy version, where Ashok Kumar playfully sings the message to the children.

Second version is more in the form of a prayer, that also provides strong vibes to the main protagonist, Vinod Mehra as well.

We will continue our Manna Dey memoirs and take up Manna Dey’s songs for the ‘next-gen’ lead actors who entered Hindi Cinema in ‘50s.

[1] On Manna Dey’s 100th Birth Anniversary, a Look Back at His Journey