IT WAS virtually a musical feast as Ravindra Bhavan resonated with the mellifluous songs of Manna Dey on Tuesday. The programme was part of the two music and dance concerts of the Culture Department - Anushruti.
The hall was jam-packed and seats had to be placed outside the auditorium with a large screen for a live visual presentation.
Despite a bad throat (which he himself admitted), the veteran singer churned out several numbers of the yesteryears – from Bhajans to semi-classical ones. Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli Hai, Tujhe Suraj Kahoon Ya Chanda, Kaun Aaya Mere Man Ke Dware, Oh Meri Zohra Zabin were among the slew of songs that he presented.
Besides Manna Dey, Sheela Verma sang some beautiful numbers like Piya Tose Naina Lage Re and Waqt Ne Kiya Kyan Hasin Sitam during the second half. The auditorium echoed with huge applause, as the 86-year-old Padmabhushan master took to one of his life’s best and all time great semi-classical number ‘Laga Chunri Mein Daag, Chupaon Kaise’ from the film Dil Hi to Hai. Dey also sang a Bengali number from his album ‘Coffee House’.
The two singers also treated the audience to some duets like Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi, Tum Gagan Ki Chandrama Ho and Tujhko Rakhe Ram Tujhko Allah Rakhe. His singing on Tuesday transported a large audience to nostalgia. “It’s a life-time experience for me, to listen to a live programme of a singer of such great height,” said Saurabh Banerjee, a class IX student and a singer himself, who had recently presented a programme on Doordarshan (National).
Ustad Hifzul Kabir will give a ‘khayal’ presentation and Suresh Kumar Roy will give his recital on harmonium on Wednesday.