Legendary playback singer Manna Dey turned 90 years on 1st May 2009. He promised on his birthday for a live concert. It was organized on 10th May. Due to Internet checking, the show was late so ended also late. Here is the event report. For all the international readers of this blog, I have translated few songs lyrics in English.
First one gentleman came for some formalities. He is the same one who used to participated in Shabd Kavi Samlen. He started with "Aavaj Jaise...Unki AAvaj hi unki pahechan hai..." Short biography of Manna Dey. Kolkutta to Mumbai and now Bangalore. Later on he informed us yes, out of 2 daughters one is settled at abroad so he is with his second daughter at Bangalore. 24th December 2008, the university also awarded him doctor of literature. He is 90 years old young man. We heard about 60 years old man, but this is first time.
Something about this alumni association. It started with just 20 members in 1974 and now about 200 members and they conduct such regular events, like picnic, social service, musical show etc. Some formality about thanking the sponsers. Archna Udupaal, winner of Mega Final at Sa Re Ga Ma TV show. She started in Kannada and sang songs. Starting with
1. Allah Tero Naam
अल्लाह तेरो नाम,
इश्वर तेरो नाम
सबको सन्मति दे भगवान
2. Song from "Madhumati: Aaja re Pardesi
आजा रे परदेशी
मैं तो कब से खड़ी इस पार
की अंखिया थक गई पंथ निहार
आजा रे परदेशी
3. Anari "Voh Chaand Khila"
वोह चाँद खिला
वोह तारे हसे
यह रात अजब मतवाली है
समज ने वाले समज गए है
ना समजे वो अनारी है
Then Mr. K.C. Khurana came. He is traditional anchor for Manna Dey show. He is Manna Dey's friend for last 50 years. He was witty and lively. He talked many things in Urdu and one nice joke. He asked Prof Chopara in a university about chemistry (pronounce chemistry) department. So Mr. Chopara laughed and corrected that not chemistry it
is kemistry. Mr. Khurana replied, "Sorry Mr. Kopara" :)
Finally Manna Dey arrives. We all offered him standing respect. "Good Evning Ladies and Genetlemen" A fully confident voice, addressed us. At the age of 90 also, he was really a young man. Like Jagjit sing and all other singers, he instructed to adjust bass and treble. Then he thanked us for listening to Archna. He declared that first half, he will sing the song as per his choice. He wanted to check how is his throat today!
1. This song written by Madhukar Rajasthani. He wrote songs for Lata, Aasha, Mukesh, Talat etc. many singer. Unfortunately he is no more with us now.
Saavan ki rimzim me thirak thirak naache mayur pankhi
खुले गगन पे झुक गए किसीकी सुरमई पलक
किसीकी लट बिखर गई गिरे घटा जहा तलक
धूलि हवामे धूल गई किसीकी साँस की महक
किसीका प्यार आज बूंद बूंद सा गया छलक......
सावन की रिमझिम में थिरक थिरक नाचे रे पायुर पंखी रे सपने
I think, I heard this song for first time. Yes, the lyrics are good. It
is about peackok dancing in rain season. He asked for tea, that had already arrived. So keyboard player offered him from chair next to him.
2. Meri Bibi Mumtaj Thi.
By the way, later on, his wife came on stage and her name was Sulochana, not Mumtaj :)
सुनसान जमाना का किनारा
प्यार का अन्तिम सहारा
चाँदनी का कफ़न ओढे सो रहा किस्मत का मारा
किस से पुछू मैं भला अब देखा कही मुमताज को
मेरी बीबी मुमताज थी
A husband lost his wife Mumtaj at night time at the bank of Jamuna River.
3. This song is written by Roshan, the grandfather of Ritvik Roshan. It was a fast song
and we all enjoyed with clapping
Ful Gedava Na Maaro
फूल गेदवा ना मारो
4. Lyricist by Sakil, Music by Naushad and it has some influence of Uttar Pradesh (UP) folk music.
Chundariya Kati Jaaye Re
चुन्दरिया कटती जाए रे
उमरिया घटती जाए रे
काम कठिन है, जीवन थोड़ा पगला मन घबराए
The mindis scared now, about difficult task (of self realization) in limited time. The time is going on and so age is reducing. The song with spiritual meaning.
5. Manna Dey acknowledge that yes, in those days, musicians named Shankar JaiKishan gave him the needed break to make some place for him, in the presence of great singers like Mahama Rafi, Mukesh etc. He instructed the Tabala player and informed us that yes, Indian classical music is like that, we have to make sure, all the muscial instruments are in tune. And the lyrics of the songs are also the same
Sura Na Saje, Kya Gavu Main? from movie 'Basant Bahar'
सूर ना सजे क्या गावू मैं?
सूर के बिना जीवन सूना
सूर ना सजे क्या गावू मैं?
A nice melodious song
6. one more song written by Madhukar Rajasthani. Raag Thumari.
Nathali Se Toota Moti...
सजनी नथली से टूटा मोटी रे
कजरारी अंखिया रह गई रोती रे
A description of a crying girl. Her ornaments for nose, is broken and a pearl is missing from it.
7. All time hit song
O Meri Johara Jafi
ओ मेरी जोहरा जफी तुजे मालूम नही
तू अभी तक है हसी और मैं जवान
तुजा पे कुर्बान मेरी जान मेरी जान
This song is between an old couple, who reconfirmed that we both are still young and good looking.
8. Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilvala
दिल का हाल सुने दिलवाला
9. Next he called Archana to sing duet songs along with him. He took the tea cup from the chair. Archana bow down for blessings. He asked her choice then suggested to sing this song.
Yeh Raat Bhigi Bhigi
यह रात भीगी भीगी गुमसुम है चाँदनी
सोने भी नही देता मौसम का यह इशारा
A description of full moon night. A nice melodious song.
10 One more such slow song. Manna Dey politely asked for forgiveness for any mistake as they both have not rehearsal it together. He instructed Archana to start with Aalap
Tum Gagan Ke Chandrma Ho
तुम गगन के चंद्रमा हो
मैं धरा की धूल हूँ
You are like moon of the sky and I am just dust of the earth.
11 A song composed by Chitragupat, and written by PremDhavan
Jodi Hamari Jame Naa Kaise Jaani
जोड़ी हमारी जमे ना कैसे जानी ?
हम तो है अंग्रेजी
तुम लड़की हिन्दुस्तानी
A good fast song, reflecting the feelings of era, when people started traveling to abroad. It explore the possibility of marriage between foriegn returned man with a typical Indian woman.
Now we had 5 to 10 Miniutes break. We had tea, cold drinks and some snack available outside. After the break, the lucky winners were announced from two sponsors. A Kannada movie actor VishnuVardhan came and honored Manna Dey. University facilitate Manna Dey. After all the formality music resumes. Manna Dey took some rest and Archana took over the stage again
12. Ajib Dasta Hai
अजीब दास्ता है येह
कहाँ शुरू कहाँ ख़त्म येह
मंझिले है कौन सी
ना वोह समाज सके ना हम .....
किसी का प्यार लेके तुम नया जहाँ बसाओ गे
Mr. K. C. Khurana cracked a good joke. Once, a dying wife asked her husband about his plan after her death. He replied, "I will become mad." So she felt releaf that thank God, he has no plan to marry again. He told, "Well, a mad man can do anything"
किसी का प्यार लेके तुम नया जहाँ बसाओ गे
This song was about a stange story where no one knows its niether beginning nor end.
Manna Dey came back. He is born Bengali. So off course he wanted to sing few Bengali songs. He has diary that contains about 2500 Bengali songs, with all flavors like Thumari, Dhrupad, Khayal. His wife is from Kerala. So he sang one Malayam song (from "Chemmeen") and two Bengali songs.
16. coming back to Hindi song.
Zindgi...Kaisi Hai Paheli Haye...
झिंदगी कैसी है पहेली हाये
कभी तो हसाए कभी येह रुलाये
A philosophical song, that describe life as a puzzle that make us laugh sometimes and sometime cry.
17. Dr. Harivanshray Bachchan, father of Amitabh and garand father of Abhishek. He wrote a nice epic Madhushala. Madhusala means liquer bar. Manna Dey informed us it is a gems in poetry and if he sang the full Madhushala then it will take one hour. So he recited few selected lines.
18. If Jagjit Sing concert can not end without "Yeh Daulat Bhi Le Lo...", Pankaj Udhas "Chiththi Aai Hai..." and Manhar Udhas "Shaant Zarukhe..." Same way, how Manna Dey concert is complete without his signature song. Yes. He started "Haaye Rama..." Then confessed "Wrong, wrong wrong.." And then that evergreen AALAAP from evergreen song.
Laga Chunari Me Daag from movie "Dil Hi To Hai"
लागा चुनरी में दाग मिटावु कैसे...
चुनरी में दाग छुपावु कैसे?
घर जावु कैसे?
भूल गई सब बचन बिदा के
खो गई मैं ससुराल में आके
This song is about a married girl, who is concern about spot in her dress। She is returning back to visit her parents home and she is worrying about how to inform that dress is spoiled to her father.
मोरी चुनरिया आत्मा मोरी
मेल है मायाजाल
वोह दुनिया मेरे बाबुल का घर
यह रात ससुराल
जाके बाबुल से नजरे मिलावु कैसे ?
घर जावु कैसे?
It has deep spiritual meaning. We all souls are like that girl. We gave so many promises to the almighty before coming to this planet earth. However, here we forgot everything and lost ourselves in this worldly matters. Now, we have to return back as pure, divine, spotless soul.
This song has nice SA RE GA MA classical singing TARANNUM at the end. Manna Dey sang it very skillfully. I fully enjoyed it. It reminded me, that in college days, my friend informed me, that this part is missing even in HMV records/cassettes. Sometimes, we were lucky enough to listen to it, if the full song is played at radio. The audience was keep demanding songs from movie Padosan and Kabuliwala.
19 Next song was from movie "Mera Naam Joker".
E Bhai Jara Dekh Ke Chalo
ऐ भाई जरा देख के चलो
आगे ही नही पीछे भी
दाए ही नही बाये भी
ऊपर ही नही निचे भी
Be careful, while walking and look at front, back, left, right, up and down. This song also has some philosophy. It compare the life with circus show last for three hours. First hour is childhood, second your and third old age. After that nothing. Empty chair, empty tent, nothing is yours, nothing is mine.
20. A patrotic song from "Kabuliwala"
E Mete Pyaare Vatan
ऐ मेरे प्यारे वतन तुज पे दिल कुर्बान
This song has different emotion. A full love, respect and dedication for one's
country. Manna Dey told about this song in an interview: "Bimalda (director Bimal Roy) explained the scene to me. Kabuliwala r eturns home late in the night to his one-room tenement and is nostalgic about his young daughter away in Kabul. I was asked to render it softly, keeping in mind that Kabuliwala wouldn't like to disturb the other occupants of the tenement. Sound recordist Sharma wanted me to sing a bit louder. But Bimalda put his foot down. After the recording, Sharma hugged me and said the song was superb."
Manna Day again asked Archana to accompany him for duet. Last two melodious songs
21. Dil Ki Girah Khol Do Chup Na Betho Koi Git Gao
दिल की गिरह खोल दो
चुप ना बेठो
महेफिल में है अब कौन अजनबी
तुम मेरे पास आवो
22. Aaja Sanam Madhur Chanadani
आजा सनम मधुर चाँदनी में हम
तुम मिले तो वीराने में भी आ जायेगी बहार
And finally like all joyful events, this show also got over. The curtains came down. It was a very pleasant experience to listen to such a Padma Vibhusan singer at his age of 90. Enjoyed. It is a reminder about the times that will never come back — great songs and passionate lyrics
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