Legendary singer Manna Dey, counted among the golden voices of the Indian cinema, breathed his last at a Bangalore hospital early on Thursday morning.
Dey, who was in and out of Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital in the last five months for respiratory and renal problems, died of cardiac arrest at 3.50am, hospital spokesman Vasuki said.
Ailing for over four months, 94-year-old Dey was admitted to the hospital with complaints of chest infection and renal failure. He had been in the ICU since the last 15 days.
He breathed his last at 3.50am on Thursday morning; his daughter Suroma was with him at the time. Dey's wife Sulochana died in 2012 after battling with cancer.
The artiste had been residing with his daughter and other relatives at Kalyananagar in northeast Bangalore for the last few years. Dey’s other daughter lives in the US.
His body would be kept at Ravindra Kalakshetra in the city from 10am till 12 noon for the public to pay their last respects and homage. Dey will be cremated in Hebbal cemetery in the evening.
His family said that Dey’s relatives have already arrived in the city after he was hospitalised and others are rushing to pay their tribute.
Born Prabodh Chandra Dey, fondly called Mannada, he had sung thousands of songs in several Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati etc.
His oeuvre boasts of a range of songs -- from romantic numbers to classical to fun songs Manna Dey started playback singing with the film Tamanna in 1942 and recorded over 3,500 songs in his career spanning over six decades.
His all-time hits include Sur na saje kya gaun main, Na to karanwa ki talash hai na to humsafar ki talash hain, Puchho na kaise maine rain bitayee, Laga chunari main daag, Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum, Dil ka haal sune dilwala, Ye raat bhigi bhigi, ye masta fijzayen, Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya, Tu pyar ka saagar hai, Chunari sambhal gori udi chali jaye re and Ay meri Zohara.
His career as playback singer from 1953 till 1976 is considered a golden period. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree and Dadasaheb Phalke award, the country's highest award in the film world.
Knowing the legend
Prabodh Chandra Dey (1919 - 2013), was better known by fans of Indian film music by his nickname -- Manna Dey. Alongwith Muhammad Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Dey was the last legend among playback singers of Bollywood's golden years.
A selection of his iconic songs:
Tu pyar ka sagar hain (Seema): If Mukesh was the voice of Raj Kapoor, Dey was Balraj Sahni's voice. Ashok (Sahni) the compassionate manager of an orphanage sings his plea to Gauri (Nutan), an orphan girl who works there.
Ae meri zohar jabeen (Waqt): Achala Sachdev will always be immortalised as the screen wife Balraj Sahni serenaded in the B R Chopra film. Manna Dey's warm rendition of the joys of a happy marriage is peerless.
Laga chunari mein daag (Dil Hi to Hai): Raj Kapoor sings this song with panache dressed as an aging music teacher. The setting is a stage and Pran makes a brief appearance towards the end of the song.
Ek chatur naar karke (Padosan): A laugh riot of the late sixties, this is one of Dey's most successful collaboration with fellow playback singer Kishore Kumar who plays a pivotal role in the film as the hero Sunil Dutt's guru.
Chaddh gayo papi bichhua (Madhumati): One of the earliest Hindi films to deal with the theme of reincarnation, this song of Madhumati was one of Salil Chowdhury's best compositions. The haunting lilt of Dey in this song is the perfect foil to Madhumati (Vyjantimala)'s frenetic dance of a scorpion.
Kaun aaaya mere dwar (Dekh Kabira Roya): Actor Anoop Kumar does commendable lip syncing to this melodious number in this Bollywood comedy about the vicissitudes of modern love. Dey was a perfect fit as playback in this story of three struggling artists who share a room in a house.
Tu chhupi hain (Navrang): Manna Dey does justice to this romantic song of a husband who yearns for his wife - "Tu chhupee hai kahan mai tadapta yahaan/ Tere bin fika fika hai dil kaa jahaan
Too chhupee hai kahan mai tadapta yahaan/ Too gayee udd gaya rang jaane kahaan/ Too chhupee hai kahan mai tadapta yahaan.
This is one of his memorable duets with Asha Bhonsle.
Lapak jhapak (Boot Polish): The song was picturised on actor David who plays John Chacha in the film. John Chacha is a bootlegger who teaches street urchins self-respect and urges them to work for a living instead of begging.
Yeh raat bheegi bheegi (Chori Chori): The music was a high point of this Raj kapoor-Nargis film with tracks ranging from soothing melodies such as "Aaja Sanam" and "Yeh raat Bheegi Bheegi" in the voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey, to fast beat songs such as "Jahan Mein Jati Hun" by Lata and Dey.
Dil ka haal sune dilwala (Shri 420): Raj (Raj Kapoor), an educated orphan comes to Bombay to make something of himself. Street dwellers are among his first friends in this city. This merry song is picturised in their midst.
Zindagai kaisei hain paheli (Anand): The unmatchable soar of Manna Dey in this song lifts the pathos of Anand (Rajesh Khanna), a terminally ill cancer patient, to another plane.
Yeh Dosti (Sholay): Dey partnered with Kishore Kumar in this unforgettable song on friendship in the Bollywood cult film Sholay.