Manna Dey’s Non-film Hindi Gems on his 103rd Birthday

Nathli Se Toota Moti Re: A tribute to Manna Dey on his 103rd Birthday (b. 1 May 1919 – d.  24 October 2013)

Among his contemporaries- of 50s – Manna Dey was considered as versatile as others. His voice had unique strength even when being inherently soft. Devoid of any jerks, his voice radiated a feeling of eternal peace despite the extreme passion embedded in the rendition. As such the connoisseurs of film music fondly credited his voice to be capable of delivering the poetry along with music and melody. He was considered artist among fellow artistes and a singer of singers. It was perhaps his being so respectfully perched on a high pedestal that kept him away from being considered as ‘popular’, ‘mass’ singer.

However, I was lucky that my awareness, and in turn liking, for Manna Dey’s voice occurred during the very early years when I was unconsciously getting groomed to liking the films songs, much before I started reading about those divergent views about Manna Dey’s singing. As a result, all that I read about his singing never affected my very own liking for that enchanting voice.

That period was of that of the years of around 1966 to 1968, my second/third years of graduate=level engineering studies. The elder brother of my close classmate had recently joined in an executive position with a leading textile group of Ahmedabad after completing his MBA at IIM, Ahmedabad. His liking for Hindi film music had yielded into a hobby of purchasing vinyl records. We were quite raw in that field, however being ‘good’ friends of his younger brother, we were granted special privilege of listening to his records at my friend’s home. My friend’s brother was curating the collection of the records from the Hindi films of late 40s and 50s. As such, that opportunity introduced me to the voices of Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt. Interestingly, my induction to the voices of Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar was through their non-film songs which we could get to listen in these visits. I particularly liked the non-film songs of Manna Dey so much that I would insist playing those couple of 45-RPM EP records every time we paid a visit to my friend’s place.

The three non-film songs of Manna Dey that got so etched onto my mind that when I started collecting records, in 70s, the EP records of these songs were among my first few purchases of records. These songs are:

Sajani….Nathli Se Toota Moti Re…. Kajarari AkhiyaN Rah Gayi Roti Re… – Lyrics: Madhukar Rajasthani – Music: Manna Dey

It is not at all surprising that our raw minds were totally impressed with way Manna Dey flows into the song from the very first note.

Ye Aawara Raatein Ye Khoyi Si Baatein, Ye Uljha Sa Mausam Ye Nazaron Ki Ghaatein, …. …..  KahaN Aa Gaye Hum, KahaN Jaa Rahe The – Lyrics: Madhukar Rajasthani – Music: V Balsara

When I must have heard this song first time then, I had surreptitiously looked closely on the cover of the record to ensure that that the singer was indeed Manna Dey, for I could not believe that he is the same singer who has rendered Nathli Se…..I was to realize much later about the versatility of voice and of his diverse range of singing styles.

NazraoN Mein Ho Tum KhayaloN Mein Ho Tum, Nazar Mein Tum Jigar Mein Tum JahaaN Mein Tum Hi Yum – Chandrashekhar Pandey – V Balsara

The song had made so deep impression my mind that after I purchased the record myself, I would keep playing the record at night after putting off the lights. In the process, I unconsciously started appreciating the nuances of different elements of a song.

I would have very easily continued with other ‘popular’ non-film Hind songs of Manna Dey which I used to listen through those records or cassettes or CDs that I had curated during 80s and 90s respectively. However, when I broached up my intention of writing this article to my son, Tadatmya, he sent me across a link of YT channel of Archisman Mozumder and urged me to listen to Manna Dey’s non film songs curated there. I listened to around ten fifteen songs over next couple of weeks. That was my re-incarnation to the Manna Dey’s non-film Hindi songs.

I then searched YT in greater depth and could get hold of, and still counting, more than forty or so songs that I had heard for the first time and a few songs that I had heard so rarely that those songs had totally vanished from my memory (what a shame!)

So, I will now present here, in no particular order, Manna Dey’s non-film Hindi songs from my that newfound treasure. I have limited the choice to one song per lyricist. I have also remained within the geets and ghazals genre only.

Tum Jaano Tumko Gair Se Jo Rasm-o-Raah Ho, Mujhko Bhi Puchhate Raho To Kya Gunah Ho – Lyrics: Mirza Ghalib – Music: Manna Dey

Commencing the mukhada in lower octaves, Manna Dey easily slips into higher octaves during the interludes, thereby portraying the emotions so sensitively.

We will observe during this episode that many of the non-film songs have been competently composed by Manna Dey himself, perhaps to give more space to his creativity that Hindi film songs did not offer, quantitatively as well as qualitatively.

Tum Mere Dil Meri Chahat Pe Bharosa Kar Lo, Ye Haqeeqat Hai Haqueeqat Pe Bharosa Kar Lo – Lyrics: Kafeel Azar – Music: Murli Manohar Swaroop

Just as we listen to the song emphasis on Mere Dil, Meri Chahat or Ye Haqeeqat or the first line of interludes, we effortlessly get intertwined into the mood of the song.

Tumhari Jafayein Hamari Wafayein Barabar Ki Chotein Barabar Ki Sadayein – Lyrics: Beena Naaz – Music: Murli Manohar Swarup

One big advantage of listening to non-film songs is to get to know so many poets / lyricists who generally remain away from the glare of film music.

In the present case, we also get to listen how Manna Dey has so effectively conveyed the feeling of resignation as lyrics build up the case of neglect that the protagonist has been subjected to by his ladylove.

O Yaad Phir Aayi Dard Sang Laayi Woh Na Aaye Jaan Jaaye, Haye Kaisi Ye Wafa – Lyrics: Chandreshekhar Pandey – Music: V Balsara

The sheer force of a V Balsara composition has led me to present one more song from the same pair of lyricist and music director.

As I listen to non-film compositions of V Balsara, I simply wonder what sort of constraints he must have felt when he set the music to his film songs so that such depth, such feelings, such serendipity could not be created in those songs!

Ruk Ja Ke Subah Tak Na Ho Ye Raat Aakhri…. Shayad Zindagi Ke Lamhaat Aakhri – Lyrics: Irfaan Warsi – Music: Yunus Malik

The way song unfolds we feel that we are deep into the night of a ghazal mehfil.

Shaam Ho Jaam Ho Suboo Bhi Ho, Khud Ko Paane Ki Justjoo Bhi Ho – Lyrics: Zameer Kazmi – Music: Yunus Malik

If the mood of the previous song drew us into the atmosphere of late night mehfil, here the lyrics help accentuate that feeling.

Chandrama Ki Chandni Se Bhi Naram Aur Ravi Ke Bhal Se Garam, Hai NahiN Aur Kuchh Kewal Pyaar Hai – Lyrics: Ramnath Awasthi – Music: Satish Butani

Lost in his own world of imaginations, Manna Dey’s voice also pills us into that world and the way he pronounces Woh Nahi Aur Kewal Pyar Hai in the end firmly leaves us wandering in our world of imagination.

Do Panchhi Bechain Nayan Ke Do Panchhi Bechain  .. Kho Baithe Hai Chain Nayan Ke …. – Lyrics: Laxman Shahabadi – Music: Shyam Sagar

The uploader of this clip has put a photograph of Manna Dey as if he in a trans while singing. Whether he meant it that way or not is obviously not known, but that image so aptly conveys how Manna Dey must have got so completely involved while rendering such a song.

Hamse Achhi To Farishton Ki Basar Kya Hogi …. Gam Ki Raunak Idhar Hai Udhar Kya Hogi – Lyrics: Gulzar – Music: Deepak Chatterjee

Gulzar at his vintage best mood as poet is so aptly reflected in Manna Dey’s pensive rendition.

Nach Re Mayura – Lyrics: Narendra Sharma – Music: Anil Biswas

Only Anil Biswas can so perfectly create the feeling of drizzling rain outside and only Manna Dey can so deftly present such a difficult composition with so deceptive ease.

Sunsaan Jamuna Ka Kinara, Pyar Ka Antim Sahara, Chandani Ka Kafan Odha So Raha Kismat Ka Maara, Kis Se PucchuN Main Bhala Ab Dekha KahiN Mumtaz Ko…  Meri Bhi Ek Mumtaz Thi – Lyrics: Madhukar Rajasthani – Music: Manna Dey

If Madhukar Rajasthani and Manna Dey swept us into the pensive mood in the opening song of this episode, they draw us into this total mood of pure pathos as we draw curtains to the present episode.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer:

  1. I have relied upon to select the names of lyricists and music directors for the songs presented here.
  2. The song links have been embedded from the YouTube only for the listening pleasure of the music lovers. This blog does not claim any copyright over them, which rests with the respective owners of the rights.


This is the republished version of the post ‘Nathli Se Toota Moti Re: Manna Dey’s Non-film Hindi Gemson Songs of Yore.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs for Other Actors [1]

We have noted that Manna Dey’s formal association with comedy songs with the text-book comedians of the cinema roots in Manzil (1960) song Hato Kahe Ko Jhoothi Banao BatiyaN.. This certainly blazed a trail that distinguished the career of Manna Dey as well as Mehmood.  As can be expected many other music directors subsequently used Manna Dey’s voice for comedy songs with other comedians as well.

Before we fully explore this dimension, it is certainly worth its while to note that Manna Dey has recorded quite a few comedy songs for what is broadly termed as Hero in the cinemas. We begin our present, and last for the time being, leg of Manna Dey’s career journey.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs for Lead Actors.

We have had a multi-part series journey of Manna Dey’s Songs for the Lead Actors. Barring a few songs, we had refrained discussing Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs with Lead Actors there..

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs for THE Kapoor Brothers

The active singing careers of some of the playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, or Kishore Kumar or Manna Dey have spread over several decades and were so potently dominant in their own times that each one having rendered playback voices for the Kapoor Brothers Trio has not attracted any attention. Manna Dey singing a comedy song for each of the three Kapoor brothers, there for does require a special mention.

Manna Dey and Raj Kapoor

Manna Dey had emerged as the principal alternative playback voice for Raj Kapoor from the very first film – Awara (1951) – of their association. It was therefore very obvious that he would get to sing special situation songs like, a sad song Tere Bina Aag Ye Chandani or sheer romantic duet Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua or very light-station dance number Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh or a song bordering to a classical comedy song Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala.

However, the first truly comedy song that Manna Dey sang for Raj Kapoor for the first time came up in Paravarish (1958)

Mama Oh Mama Oh Pyare Mama.. Gharwale Khaye Chakkar… – Paravarish (1958) – with Mohammad Rafi – Dattaram – Hasrat Jaipuri

Manna Dey was used as (almost) a default playback for Raj Kapoor in this film. So it was very natural that Manna Dey would playback to Raj Kapoor and Mohammad Rafi to Mehmood.

Next big comedy song that Manna Dey sang for Raj Kapoor came up in Dil Hi To Hai (1963)

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag Chuupaun Kaise – Dil Hi To Hai (1963) – Roshan – Sahir Ludhyanavi

It was Mukesh who was the default playback singer for Raj Kapoor in this film. However, for so strong classical rag-based comedy song, Roshan easily seems to have preferred Manna Dey

Manna Dey And Shammi Kapoor

Manna Dey had had an occasional chance to playback for Shammi Kapoor – Ab Kahan Jaye Hum – in Ujala  and a few other films, which we have covered in details in our Manna Dey – Shammi Kapoor piece earlier.

Meri Bhains Ko Dand Kyun Mara – Pagla Kahin Ka (1969) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

It was Shankar Jaikishan who again recalled Manna Dey for a full-fledged comedy song, filmed on Shammi Kapoor, when Mohammad Rafi had become THE ShammI Kapoor Playback voice.

Manna Dey and Shashi Kapoor

Manna Dey also had his share of Shashi Kapoor songs. It was in Pyar Kiye Ja (1966) that he gets a very light song to sing for Shashi Kapoor

Sun Le Pyar Ki Dushman Duniya – Pyar Kiye Ja (1966) – with Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajendra Krishna

This is a cry against the tyranny of the world towards the young people in love, but presented in a lighter tone.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs with Other Lead Actors

We have had a detailed look at Ashok Kumar – Manna Dey Comedy Song Jaa Re Beiman Tujhe Jaan Liya (Private Secretary, 1962; Music Director – Dilip Dholakia; Lyrics – Prem Dhawan), in Ashok Kumar – Manna Dey piece @ Manna Dey and Lead Actors. So, we will be satisfied here with taking a note of that one excellent comedy songs of Manna Dey. Of course, no discussion of Manna Dey’s comedy sngs for Ashok Kumar can ever be complete without mention of Babu Samajo Ishare, Horn Pukare (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, 1958; Music – S D Burman; Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri)

One of the rarest find while working for this entire series is Manna Dey’s Comedy Song for Vijay Ananad.

O Mister, O Mister Suno Ek Baat – Agra Road (1957) – with Geeta Dutt – Roshan –  Prem Dhawan

Vijay Anand was considered to be one of the most competent drifters of the films. Picturization of the songs was his forte. He would suddenly briefly appear, in Alfred Hitchcock’s signature style, in some in  the films he directed,  His attempts to act, and that too as lead actors, have been considered to be equally rare, and by and large not very successful.

Agra Road was his first maiden such effort. The film direction was in th every able thriller film directors, (Nagina -1951– fame) Ravindra Dave.

Here Vijay Anand is seen lip-synching Manaa Dey in a very light situation dance sequence. Of course, he himself wi very seriously dressed in a full suit, a tie, shoes and all.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs with Other Comedians

After Hato Kahe Banao Jhoothi Batiyan (Manzil, 1960) for Mehmood, we get to listen Manna Dey’s comedy songs for full-fledged comedians in 1962 for Johnny Walker.

Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Johnny Walker

The default playback voice for Johnny Walker has always been Mohammad Rafi. Mohammad Rafi had in fact so much developed a style of throw of words that synched perfectly with Johnny Walker’s theatrics that just by listening  to a song one would know this is Johnny Walker song..

Arre Kisne Chilman Se Maara – Baat Ek Raat Ki – S D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

It is probably no coincidence that it is S D Burman who has chosen to use Manna Dey for Johnny Walker, taking on a contrarian step of not using Mohammad Rafi.. In fact SDB has already used Mohamad Rafi for Johnny Walker, right in this film – Aaj Ka Din Bhi Pheeka Pheeka. However, for this classical styled mujra, S D Burman has opted for Manna Dey. S D Burman has maintained spaces for Johhny Walker’s signature theatrics, while creating one of the most iconic comedy song in the annals of Hindi film history.

We have next three songs, all composed by Kalyanji Anadji.

Mere Mehboob Mujhko – Haseena Man Jayegi (1968)  – with Asha Bhosle –  Kalyanji Ananadji – Qamar Jalalabadi

This is a masala comedy song involving a sulking ‘the other half’ with our ‘comedian’ displaying all the theatrics available in his arsenal to win her over.

Ek Anar Do Bimar – Baazi 1968   -Kalayanji Anandji – Shakeel Badayuni

The templates are so rigidly cast, that even a new combination of music director – lyricist also is not able to inject any noteworthy variation.

Haye Re Raama Raam Qasam Kaisa Aaya Ye Zamaana  – Ek Haseena Do Deewaane (1972)  -Kalyanji Anandji –  Qamar Jalalabadi,

If a film has a comedian, and that too of the order of Johnny Walker, or Mehmood, he has to be allotted one song. By now there are some standard templates typecast. Any one of that template style will be lifted up and a song will be worked out by crafting some variation here or some variation there.

We would once again to end an episode in this series by ruefully noting the sudden drop in the quality of compositions that Manna Dey had to sing as the years pass, starting always from an iconic song to end with most certainly the forgettable song.

We have one song that can help us move away from that gloom –

Munh Se Mat Laga Ye Cheez Hai Buri – Johnny Walker (9157) – with Mohammad Rafi – O P Nayyar – Hasrat Jaipuri

This is an all-Johnny Walker- Mohammad Rafi song. Manna Dey has played back for some unknown ‘on-screen’ friends. But that has not made a shade of difference to Manna Dey – he matches a note-to-note with Mohammad Rafi.

That is the beauty of a really ‘class’ composition!!

We still have one more episode-worth material for Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Other Comedians. We would take that up in our next episode.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs – Mehmood [4]

Even though we have travelled to three episodes of Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Mehmood, we are still in the ‘65/’66/67 period of Mehmood’s career, even though the trails from there have led us to ‘70s and even ‘80s. We have seen that most of the songs on this later part of Mehmood’s career trail have yielded forgettable songs., from those music directors only who created some of the most memorable songs that Manna Dey played back for Mehmood. So, the root cause possibly is the trajectory that Mehmood’s career took as he grew more established in his career. Playing the roles of different types of the people from across the varied walks of the life from Indian diversity seemed to be the key to his success.  Even as he would on a new character, his acting style, dialogue delivery, basic build of the character, selection of situations for the songs was seen to be getting type cast into some his past successful roles as the chosen few model templates.

Simultaneous with this was the gradual decline with beginning of ‘60s, of the successful second-generation golden period music directors who formed the backbone for taking the Hindi Film music to a melody height in 50’s.  The music was getting more repetitive, less lasting and more commercial.

We take up this fourth, and last, link of Manna Dey-Mehmood chain in the backdrop of these circumstances. As we will see, the pattern that we saw in the previous episode, repeats here also. Of the three music directors we have for the present episode, two begin with reasonably ‘good’ Manna Dey- Mehmood songs, but then slip into the lane of churning out some quite unforgettable songs.

We once again would emphasize that basic intent of our ‘Remembering Manna Dey’ series was not judging the quality of Manna Dey’s songs across the passage of the years. We have only sincerely attempted to look at Manna Dey’s career with some specific angles so as to get as many varieties that we could come across under one common reference point.

In the chronological order of the year in which the film was released, it is Ravi who would be the fulcrum around which we would list Manna Dey – Mehmood songs.

De Data Ke Naam Tujhko Allah Rakhe – Ankhen (1968) – with Asha Bhosle|– Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

‘Ankhen’ was intended to be spy thriller themed masala film. The spies were made to go to the extent of combing the dusts on the streets as beggars to get the clue of the abductors / villains, with some honing device tucked in ther beggar wheelbarrow. Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle have made their best efforts to make the song quite vearble.

Muslim Ko Taslim Arz Hai.. Main Hun Ek Hazzam Pyare – Do Kaliyan (1968) – with Mehmood – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

Mehmood dons the role of an unemployed educated in this song. The idea of venturing into a mobile hair-cutting saloon does appear like an out-of-the-box- start up idea. But the song has turned up to be a run-off-the-mill average song .

Khali Dabba Khali Botal Lele Mere Yaar– Neel Kamal (1969) – Ravi – Sahir  Ludhyanavi

The household scrap purchase was an important street business. It was an important in the recycling cycle of many of the used domestic wares. So Mehmood ‘s choice of donning role of that character was a good idea, but the way the song is created and filmed, the idea turns out to be damp squib.

Cycle Pe Hasino Ki Toli – Amaanat (1975) – with Mouhammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

The film bears 1975 as the year of release, but looking the age of Manoj Kumar or Sadhana,or Ravi’s song composition style (recall – two quite the then known ones Matalab Nikal Gaya Hai To Pahechanate Nahi and Door Rahe Ke Na Karo Baat or not so known credit title song Har Ek Din Mein Aramaan Hai Amanat – all by Mohammad Rafi), the film seems to have been produced a decade or so earlier and seems to have been stuck for release. The situation of the songs – a group youngsters on a bicycle picnic- also belonged to that period. The lyrics and the singing styles of each of the singers helps in maintaining the mood of the song

Kalayanji Anandji have apparently only one song in Manna Dey, Mehmood genre. In fact they seem to have opting for Mehmood songs in Mehmood’s own voice, at least in these three instances –  Lori Suna Suna Ke (Purnima, 1965), Gali Gali Gaon  Mein (Paras, 1971) and Hoshiyar Rahena Khabardar Rahena (Vardan, 1974) – in a major departure from the then popular practice of using Manna Dey, or Mohammad Rafi.

Mere Dil Se Dil Ko Jod Do – Suhaag Raat (1968) Manna Dey– Kalyanji Anandji – Indeevar

By now, even this type of chhed-chaad romance songs of Mehmood had drifted to become too trite and loud.

For our present plot we now take up Manna Dey’s ssongs for Mehmood, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. In comparison of their use of Mohammad Rafi for a male playback singer slot in the years before ascendancy of Kishore Kumar in 1969, they have used Manna Dey very selectively.

Let me confess that I have not taken any extra pains to search all of Laxmikant Pyarelal’s Manna Dey songs for Mehmood on the screen. I have not gone beyond a few known films for this purpose. We may have missed out some of Laxmikant Pyarelal compositions of Manna Dey for playback to Mehmood on the screen, but, I am personally satisfied that,  the ones that we get to listen here do represent a fairly predictable pattern of what to expect from other such songs, if there are some more.

O Meri Maina Tu Maan Le Mera Kehna – Pyaar Kiye Jaa (1966) – with Usha Mangeshkar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajinder Krishna

Mehmood and very young, and fairly junior in those days, Mumtaz, dish out some loud dancing while singing this song.

A For Apple B For Baby – Sadhu Aur Shaitan 1968 – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajinder Krishna

Mehmood succeeds fairly in mimicking child-like mannerism here. Manna Dey, as usual, gamely matches Mehmood’s on-screen theatrics.

Qatal Hua Nazon Ka Pala Mera – Meri Bhabhi (1969) – with Suman Kalyanpur – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Laxmikant Pyarelal has experimented with parodying a bride departure marriage folk tune song.

Jawani Tera Bola, Budhapa Tera Munh Kala – Anokhi Ada (1973) – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Memhmood caricatures role of an old drunkard here.

It is on a not-so-happy note that we end this episode and our Manna Dey – Mehmood combination songs series. Pain is more when we look at the very promising beginning of their association. The feeling of sadness of both the talents not getting their due deepens as the years went on. Mehmood gradually slipped along to become very repetitive in his theatrics, even when he did stick to playing a multitude characters from across day-to-day life. Manna Dey, on the other hand would seem get most of the compositions that all these composers may have composed just to fill in the typical comedian song slot of a film. His best efforts to salvage the song with his high-quality singing could not raise the song to a n average song, from their very low-level birth DNAs.

In the next episodes we will take Manna Dey’s comedy songs for other actors.

All episodes of Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs For Mehmood can be accessed / downloaded in a single file by Clicking on the hyperlink.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs – Mehmood [3]

In the first part of this Manna Dey’s songs for Mehmood, we saw Mehmood’s career graph on the rising mode. The second part can be said to be the period when his career had peaked. The present, third part takes off from the year 1966 where we had ended second part. As we progress through this part, we come across a stage whereat we feel the beginning of the end of Mehmood’s career. As we have set a limit of end of ‘60s as our period of interest in so far as our core of focus in so far as Manna Dey’s sinigang career in Hindi Films, we are relieved form not being forced to witness the final decline of Mehmood’s career. However, we may, still, will have to bear some pain of listening to some not-so comparable Manna Dey songs for Mehmood

Allah Jane Main Hoon Kaun – Pati Patni (1666) – R D Burman – Anand Baxi

Pati Patni was produced by Mehmood. This was the fifth film of R D Burman’s career. The song is tailor-made for Mehmood’s typical theatrics, but Manna Dey is able to make tolerable.

Meri Patni Mujhe Satati Hai – Pati Patni 1966 – with Surendra and Johnny Walker – R D Burman – Anand Baxi

In a rare situation, Om Prakash, Mahmood and Johnny Walker, three comedians of different styles and essentially of different periods have come together, in a song. Surendra sings for Om Prakash and Johnny Walker for himself – another rare incidence.

Kaise Dekha Hai Mujhe Ji O Ta Ta Thiyo Ta Ta Thiyo – Pati Patni (1966) – with Asha Bhosle – R D Burman – Anand Bakshi

This eve-teasing song, which, in Hindi films, invariably succeeds in sealing up the relationship of mutual love, is also tinged with a touch of comedy.

Nir Ta Ta – Chandan Ka Palna ((1967) – With Mohamad Rafi – R D Burman – Anand Baxi

This song is also a parody of classical singing. Rafi plays the role of Guru (Dhumal) to which the disciple, Manna Dey (Mehmood) plays pranks.

Baat Karate Ho Baat Karana Nahin Aata – Chandan Ka Palna ((1967) – With Asha Bhosle – R D Burman – Anand Baxi

Asha Bhosle (Mumtaz)  sings in the ‘modern’ style to Manna Dey’s (Mehmood) old-fashioned Bangla style, but that does not seem to have any adverse effect on their romantic feelings.

Aao Aao Aao Sanawariya – Padosan (1968) – R D Burman- Majrooh Sultanpuri

Padosan was the film wherein what is typically termed as supporting roles, play more dominant roles than the official lead pair. The song carries on the Mehmood’s parodying of south Indian (Tamil_ accented Hindi

Ek Chatur Naar — Padosan (1968) – with Kishore Kumar – R D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

The song is said to be inspired from  Saraswati Devi‘ s composition [Jhoola(1941), Singer – Ashok Kumar,  Lyrics –  Kavi Pradeep. Manna Dey losing to Kishore Kumar in this song   is also said to be his quiet repentence of having won against Bhimsen Joshi in Ketaki Gulab Champak Ban Phoole [Basant Bahar, 1956, Shankar Jaikishan, Shailendra)

Muthu Kodi Kawari Hada – Do Phool (1973) – with Asha Bhosle and MehmoodR.D. Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

The song is a direct lift from a Tamil film. The first two words mean – Give me a kiss.

Mehmood, by now, seems to resort more and more to some loud theatrics for his comedy acts. Music director(s) and Manna Dey battle to maintain the classical or regional styles.

We end this episode here by taking up Manna Dey – Mehmood Songs composed by R D Burman only. In the next and concluding episode of Manna Dey – Mehmood combination we will continue our journey form 1966, but through the songs of other music director

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs – Mehmood [2]

The 1st episode of Manna Dey’s comedy songs, we tracked development of Mehmood’s career, under the lens of Manna Dey’s voice as playback. S D Burman’s 1960 song Hato Kahe Ko Jhoothi Banao Batiyan did play major role in shaping Manna Dey’s career track on comedy songs, but Manna Dey virtually becoming Mehmood’s behind-the-screen voice appears to firm only by 1964. This impression will be further consolidated in our present episode, wherein we have only partially covered Manna Dey- Mehmood combination songs till 1966.

Incidentally, we carry forward trough in Manna Dey – Mehmood comedy songs under the baton of a particular music director, who has otherwise given some of the most notable Manna Dey songs – across different genres.

Kaisi Jhulmi Banayi Taine Nari Ke Mara Gaya Brahmchari – Chitralekha (1964) – Roshan – Sahir Ludhyanavi

Even if we do not consider Roshan’s two earlier Manna Dey comedy songs (that we plan to take up for detailed discussion in the subsequent episodes)  – Laaga Chunri Mein Daag and Phool Gendawa Na Maro – the song is an exceptional aberration from within other songs that Roshan – Sahir duo has so majestically composed for the film.

Haye Re Main To Prem Diwana Mera Dard Na Jaane Koi – Bedaag (1965) – Roshan – Shakeel Badayuni

Roshan now comes back with a tightly composed light, classical based tune. This time it is Shakeel Badayuni who has parodied the first line of a famous Meerbai bhajan Ae Ri Main To Prem Diwani, which Roshan has so melodiously composed as a Lata Mangeshkar solo in Nauabahar (1952)

Jaane Na Dunga Na Jaane Dunga  – Daadi Maa 1966 – with Asha Bhosle – Roshan – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Set to a very the then popular tonga rhythm genre, Roashan has once gain very skillfully deployed the semi-classical base tune while making room for comedy theatrics of the song. Shashikala who commenced her career in the heroine roles, and accepted well as vamp in the later part of her career, is seen here pairing with Mehmood in a comedy role.

Rehne Ko Ghar Do – Biwi Aur Makan (1966) – Hemant Kumar – Gulzar

Produced by Hemant Kumar and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Biwi aur Makaan centres round five young men, bosom buddies from their college days, who have vowed that they will stick together (which means living together) until each of them has a job and is independent. Mehmood, wielding his signature mannerisms, in a rustic youth role, is on the look out for a room for the five musketeers.

Duniya Mein Do Sayane, Ek Jhooth Hai Ek Sach   – Biwi Aur Makan (1966) – with Hemant Kuamr and Jayant Mukherjee – Hemant Kumar – Gulzar

Hemat Kumar has composed a very light mood song on a faster rhythm-based composition.

Hamare Hal Pe Reham Karo Ke Humse Aur Nahi Hota – Biwi Aur Makan (1966) – with Mukesh, Hemant Kumar  – Hemant Kumar – Gulzar

Two of the musketeers, masquerading as girls, vent their frustrations of playing this roles, to which the third one (Mehmood) cajoles in classical style, by lauding the roles of women in this world.

Anhoni Baat To Ho Gayi Hai – Biwi Aur Makan (1966) – with Joginder, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh – Hemant Kumar – Gulzar

One of the musketeers has now been stung by the arrow of Cupid. Two other friends excitedly try to make him understand the futility of such errands. The fourth one resorts to serious dialogue, with a biting tongue-in-cheek counselling.  Hemant Kumar and Gulzar have worked out a very innovative song for such a situation.

Dekhi Anadi Teri Preet Re – Biradari (1966) – Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan

Like many times in his valiant career, Chitragupt so forcefully holds the fort in an otherwise forgotten film. He has conjured up a very light classical composition which is made more lively by Manna Dey’s now well-experienced voice modulations for such songs.

Tum Jo So Ho Khuda To Nahi – Biradari (1966) – with Mohammad Rafi – Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan

The song is performed by Shashi Kapoor, Mehmood and Kanhaiyalal on the screen. But only two singers – Mohammad Rafi and Manna Dey – have been pressed in to playback the song. So what happens is that each of the three performers gets to lip sync both the singers. As we follow the performers on the screen and the singing voices in sequence, we can clearly make out that all three are singing lines by these two singers, by rotation.

Beta Jamure Ek Bat Kahega, Hanji, Kya Jhuth Kahega,  Naji – Biradari (1966) – with Mohammad Rafi – Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan

The song is set to a classical Monkey and his Guardian master roadshow. Songs of the roadshow genre songs bring in load of benign messages for the erring humanity.

Arara Arara Rang Do Sabhi Ko Ek Rang Mein – Biradari (1966) – with Mohamad Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur – Chitragupt – Prem Dhawan

This is not a comedy song. However the festival of colours, Holi, is always celebrated with loads of earthen pleasure. The song is a very playful presentation of that gay mood.

Jodi Hamari Jaamega Kaise Jaani – Aulad (1968) – with Asha Bhosle – Chitragupt – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Chitragupt, in very able company of very versatile Majrooh Sultanpuri, once again pumps life into a a very simple comedy situation – hero trying to be a westernized guy, heroine pulling towards her tadeonal culture. Manna Dey and Ashaa Bhosle also ably chip in.

Manna Dey – Mehmood combination have still some more songs in 1966 itself. But we shall take them up in the next episode along with later year songs, to conclude the Manna Dey – Mehmood comedy songs set.

Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs – Mehmood [1]

Manna Dey, with his unique style and unforgettable voice, was marked out among his great peers – what was then known as male playback quartet of Mohammad Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. His versatility was unparalleled; his singing could convey the vast gamut of human emotions and he could effortlessly switch from serious songs to musical comedy. His many such songs of ‘50s are still remembered with same passion as they were liked then.

In our previous series of ‘Manna Dey and the contemporary lead actors several shades of Manna Dey’s singing style. With the passage of time, as the share of romantic songs showed a shrinking trend, we see Manna Dey slowly shifting to singing songs that were extremely challenging, but now for the character actors.

Steeped in the tradition of classical music, Manna Dey easily straddled over a diverse range of genres, from khayal and thumris to popular Hindi music with a Western tilt to traditional folk songs and Vaishnav kirtans and even Rabindra sangeet. But it was in his rendition of popular songs with a classical tinge that Manna Dey stood unmatched. It was this very distinctive style that made him an ideal choice for comedy songs on the pattern of classical music.

That also was the time when career of Mehmood, was taking the firm shape of a comedian actor. So it was more natural that Mehmood would gravitate to Manna Dey as his playback voice for creating his own different identity as a THE comedian.


Mehmood (Ali – B: 29-9-1932 – D: 23-7-2004), the eldest of sons the dancing star of ‘40s, Mumtaz Ali, was a very versatile artist who could act, dance or sing. However, he is best known as an actor who took the role of a comedian at par with the leading hero of the film. When he didn’t overstep the mark into the cheap antics or drippy sentimentalism, Mehmood could delight the viewer with pure physical comedy with his mimes and on-the-dot comic timing.

The very early footprints of Mehmood’s career can be seen by minutely observing films Do Bigha Zameen, 1953 (a peanut seller), Nastik, 1954 (a henchman), Pyaasa, 1957, ( hero’s negative shaded brother), C I D, 1960 (a cameraman), Kagaz Ke Phool 1959 etc. His first major break as a comedian was in Paravarish, (1958) and then in Chhoti Behan (1959), where he got nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Filmfare award.


Here is the first Manna Dey connection song of Mehmood’s beginning of the career –

Chhod Ayodhya Ke Mahal – Sati Pariksha (1957) – Sanmukh Babu – Saraswati Kumar Deepak

The main lead actor for this mythological film was Daljeet. Mehmood seems to have some side role, but his name does appear in the credits.

Mehmood also started getting roles as the main lead actor at the early stage of his career.

We have one more duet, wherein the song is filmed on Mehmood –

Pyar Bhari Ye Ghatayein Raag Milan Ke Sunaye – Qaidi No. 911 (1959) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Dattaram – Hasrat Jaipuri

Mehmood is paired with Nanda in the lead role in the film.

Mehmood was again in the lead role in Pyase Panchhi (1961).

Babu Bol Ke Kaisa Roka Hamne Dhundha Kaisa Mauka – Pyase Panchhi (1961) – with Geeta Dutt – Kalayanji Anandji – Qamar Jalalabadi

The song is duet, classified under ‘teasing songs’. Here Ameeta teases her beloved Mehmood for making him stop where she likes – she conclusively closes the debate at the end of the song. Mehmood facial expressions narrate his innocence of a ‘gentleman’ hero.

This should go as a rare song wherein Kalyanji Anandji have chosen voice of Geeta Dutt !

In 1961, Mehmood also produced his maiden film – Chhote Nawab, where he gave opportunity to R D Burman to take up an independent music direction assignment. All male songs of the film, filmed on Mehmood, were played back by Mohammad Rafi.

Mehmood produced a comic-horror film Bhoot Bangla in 1965. He assigned music direction to R D burman again. R D Burman, now, dared to experiment with voices of Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar,, for the songs on the lead male character.

Aao Twist Karein Jaag Utha Hai Mausam — Bhoot Bungla (1965) – R D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri

The song, an inspired version of Chubby Checker’s 1961 hit, ‘Let’s Twist Again‘. The song has been sequenced immediately after O Mere Pyar Aaja, a classically oriented song, performed by Tanjua on the screen, as a mockery of the choice for a youth festival competition song. (Does it also ring the warning to the older generation music directors? )

On its own, Aao Twist Karein now stands as a benchmark icon for a ‘western song’ genre in the Hindi Films.

Manna Dey is so heartfully carefree in the delivery of the song, and seems to draw quite a tough competitive line while sinning “J..a…a…g Utha Hai Mausam”,  to Kishore Kumar in the other two songs in the film – Jaago Sonewalo Suno Meri Kahani and Ek Sawal Hai Tum Se Yeh Mera.

Pyar Karta Ja Dil Kaheta Hai, Katon Mein Bhi Phool Khila – Bhoot Bangla (91650  – R D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri

Manna Dey is once again in his carefree elements in this ‘young’ crowd picnic song. Mark the way plays the prelude alaap or the end the line Payr Karata Jaa, with his own version of yodeling.

Mehmood finds it convenient to give play to his inner comedian streak to deliver the expressions of carefree mood of the song.

On a parallel track he also was getting lucrative, and increasingly successful assignments as a comedian in films like, Sasural (1962), Raakhi (1963), Dil Tera Diwana (1963) etc. The songs filmed on him were either played back by Mukesh (In Sasural) and Mohammad Rafi. Mehmood’s comedian track went on a winning spree, so Mehmood seems to have concentrated on that path of his career.

Manna Dey – Mehmood association took up the shade of comedy song in a classical moulid with Manzil (1960).

Hato Kahe Ko Jhoothi Banao BatiyaN – Manzil (1960) – S D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

S D Burman has conceived this parody of originally Faiyaaz Khan Saheb’s Bhairavi Thumri Are Batiyan Banao Chalo Kahe Ko Jhoothi in all sincere classical mode, and Manna Dey was an ideal choice for the rendition of the song. Mehmood adds his own colors by his facial mannerisms on the screen,

S D Burman maintained this tempo in their next project together as well.

Pyar Ki Aag Mein Tan Badan Jal Gaya – Ziddi (1964) – S D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri

The practice of sugar-coating a comedy song in classical style moulid seems to have reached perfection now.

Main Tere Pyar Mein Kya Kay Na Bana – Ziddi (1964) – with Geeta Dutt – S D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri

S D Burman now gives us a pure comedy song, all earnestness.

Use of Geeta Dutt, after such a long time is welcome on one hand but being deployed for a comedy song is not so welcome.

Before we take a short break in our journey of Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Mehmood, we need to take a painful pinch of salt of falling standards of such songs as well. We will take up an out-of-turn song from Naya Zamana (1971), since this was an S D Burman song – the last in Manna Dey – Mehmood – S D Burman comedy song saga.

Aaya MaiN Laya Chalta Firta Hotel – Naya Zamana (1971) – S D Burman – Anand Bakshi

As we will see in our next episode too, the music directors who were instrumental in setting very high standards of Manna Dey’s comedy songs have also been instrumental in creating such abysmal lows in the genre.

For the time being, we will leave this discordant note for break and continue our journey of Manna Dey – Mehmood comedy songs in our next episode too.

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…..