Classical Melodies Introspective melodies Laxmikant Pyarelal

An uncommon gem from an unrecognized genius

Today would have been the 104th birth anniversary of the amazing ( & to me the most complete singer) that has ever addressed a microphone in the history of Bollywood. The only one who could with complete ease span the entire spectrum from pure raagdari to rock and roll and everything in between.

Despite the presence of several great singers in his time, he not just created space for himself but also left an indelible stamp with his unique skills and amazing dedication.

He was born Prabodh Chandra Dey, (who we know as Manna Dey) & was undoubtedly influenced as a young child by his actor/singer uncle, K C Dey, who was his first guru. Very few would know he also was an accomplished wrestler and boxer in his younger days. He was the composer’s dream come true as he could sing in every genre that he was asked to, with an unusual degree of unequalled felicity. Look at this amazingly complicated and yet ( or therefore) extremely melodious composition. This is a raagmala, not as tightly bonded as one from the progenitor of the genre in Bollywood, Anil Biswas (who thought of the concept and pulled off what had never been thought of nor attempted before), but nevertheless a synthesis in harmony using various raag, as the song moves through various moods.

Written by the former fauji, Anand Bakshi, I feel this is one of the most elaborate and creative compositions from the duo who are sometimes derided as a Music Factory, Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

The complexity of the composition takes you through different raags with extremely diverse moods. I suspect the lyrics were made to order by the poet on specific demands by the composer duo.

The movie is a mixed up horror/action/romance movie with an unlikely lead pair: Feroz Khan and Kumkum, and was called Sau Saal Baad. It was uniformly scoured by the critics and shunned by the public, and expectedly flopped..

एक ऋतु आये एक ऋतु जाए,
दीप जलाये दीप बुझाये
कभी हँसाये कभी रुलाये,
एक ऋतु आये एक ऋतु जाए
जिया नाहीं लागे का करूँ सजना,
तुझ बिन सूनी लागे अंगना
जिया नाहीं लागे का करूँ सजना
आये ना मोरे नैनों में निंदिया
साजे ना मोरे माथे पे बिंदिया
बाजे ना मोरी बाहों में कंगना,
जिया नाहीं लागे का करूँ सजना
घिर आई कारी कारी बदरिया,
धड़के जियरा चमके बिजुरिया,
ऐसे लागे गरजे बदरा,
जैसे तोरे नैनों का कजरा,
छोड़ो सांवरिया,
घिर आई कारी कारी बदरिया
खिल गई कलियाँ, खिल गई कलियाँ,
नैना ढूँढे साजन की गलियाँ,
खिल गई खिल गई खिल गई
कलियाँ खिल गई

The raagmala starts off with a rarely performed variant that sounds a bit like Kalavati or even like Bhoopeshwari and has been called Dhan Dhaivati or Dhanyavad Dhaivati.

Second verse is clearly Abhogi (interestingly the violin piece was performed by the great Husnalal, the part of the legendary Husnalal Bhagatram brother duo)

The third verse is in Megh, and one can imagine dark rainclouds in the skies massed and ready to soak the parched earth with tons of water amidst thunder and lightning.

The fourth (& the last) verse is in Basant Bahar with Manna Dey sticking to Bahar and Lata to Basant, making this verse particularly interesting.

A true gem wasted on an utterly meaningless movie. But universally recognized by the knowledgeable ones as one of LP’s career best complex compositions. I am sure lots of you haven’t savoured this one, but I am equally certain you’ll love the amazing song if you hear it a few times.

Here is to celebrating the most amazingly versatile singer that Manna Dey undoubtedly was, on his birth anniversary.

You gave so many millions so much joy and amazement at your unrivalled vocal wizardry.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

21 replies on “An uncommon gem from an unrecognized genius”

Just as when I say this is your best… you come out with yet another masterpiece and I am left speechless for an adjective 🤔🤔🤔🤔🙏🏾
I never heard this before 🤔🤔🤔🙏🏾🙏🏾
What a brilliant share , each word what you say is nothing but the truth 👌👌👌👌✅🙏🏾
God bless you for letting people like me to listen to such masterpieces one after the other!
My life wouldn’t b complete without listening to this song…. Really 🙏🏾so unique, awesome, fantastic song share🙏🏾

Liked by 1 person

Great nephew of great Krishna Ch. Dey who was an iconic singer of yesteryear. Thanx Dr. Sahab for your true description about Probodh Dey (Manna) by your own style with using splendid language.

Liked by 1 person

👌👌Thank you very much sir for this one of a kind song by two precious GEMS! Had never heard about this song surprisingly.. Each raag of the raagmala used is among the favourites. Especially, Abhogi.. rarely used raag in bollywood is here.. Enjoyed this a lot! धन्यवाद 🙏🙏

Liked by 1 person

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