You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / Naushad the Perfectionist by Manna Dey

Naushad the Perfectionist by Manna Dey

This article appeared in the Bengali daily Anandabazaar Patrika on May 13, 2006; translated from the original Bengali article by Mr. Pocha Haldar.

Whenever I get the time, I listen to Naushad’s songs sung by Mohammed Rafi. Over and over again. Everytime I get the same feeling. The joy of realising that this is what is perhaps called the perfect jugalbandi, something that cannot be surpassed.

In our country, the ideal male voice for touching your heart was Rafi. And Naushad could get the best out of Rafi. If I have to list all of their songs, even at this age, I will have to go on and on. Suhani raat dhal chuki; O duniya ke rakhwale; Man tarpat hari darshan; Madhuban mein radhika; O door ke musafir; Koi sagar dil ko bahalata nahi. So many songs, which ones should I talk about? If I leave out one, everyone will say why Manna Dey did not include that song.

I can go on talking about Rafi as a singer and as a human being. He is such a favourite of mine. And I am deeply indebted to Naushad for elevating Rafi to a different level. In my opinion, Khayyam and O. P. Nayyar are the two other directors who made excellent use of Rafi’s voice. But Naushad was ahead of everyone. Naushad gave some memorable tunes to Lata too, but I am totally enthralled by Naushad-Rafi.

I have also sung a few songs for Naushad. Compared to Rafi, it is much less. But even now people ask me to sing Chuneriya katri jaye re or Dukh bhare din bitare bhaiya from Mother India and Mere ghar ke samne palki chali gayi from Palki during my concerts. I receive requests to sing the bhajan Sangeet hai shakti ishwar ki many, many times. This bhajan was composed for the film Shabab 52 years ago. What a feeling to be singing a bhajan written by Shakeel Badayuni and composed by Naushad! Anyone who listens to these songs would know how deftly Naushad saab infused Hindustani classical music into his songs. Take Rafi’s Madhuban mein radhika for instance. Whenever you hear it, you think of Naushad saab. How easily he could touch people’s hearts with his raga-based music!

How good was Naushad saab as a music director? The whole world was thrilled by his music. What can I say? But I want to point out two things that really impressed me. First, he was a total perfectionist. Second, he was totally Indian. This Indianness made him different from everyone else. I remember two assistants that he had: Sebastian and Joe. But while arranging the music, Naushad would have at least twenty violins and three cellos, and the music arrangement would reach a different level. Apart from giving Rafi’s voice an extra dimension, I deeply respect Naushad for incorporating western musical instruments in his songs. But he never deviated from his Indianness and was never influenced by other musical traditions. He could easily use legendary classical singers like Amir Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and D. V. Paluskar as playback singers in his films.

Naushad saab’s rehearsal style was spontaneous. He would make changes while chatting without the singers being aware. There was no question of showing any displeasure. He could not stand even the smallest of defects. Before recording, he would rehearse a song at least five-six times. Sometimes even that was not enough.

I remember rehearsing for one song in Palki with Rafi and Asha. We had already rehearsed before the recording. Before the recording, we sang it once again and Naushad saab praised us profusely. We were in a good mood, thinking that the recording would be over soon. Then he told me gently, “Manna saab, the way you sang it here, why don’t you do it again?” I did. After twenty minutes, it was okayed. In a similar way, he asked Rafi and Asha to make changes. Then he asked his arrangers to make changes to how some musical instrument should be played. By the time the final version was recorded, we had done so many retakes!

That is Naushad Ali. Could not stand even the minutest defect. No changes in the tune. He would not give you any freedom to make changes to his tunes. The music arrangers would be at their feet all the time.

There was one exception. That was when he left much of the song to me. It was around 1985 when I was singing under his direction for a Bhojpuri film called Rajpati. After hearing me sing, he said, “You can speak Bhojpouri so well. Such good pronunciation! Why don’t you do the song yourself?”

Once some of my acquaintances from Kannada Radio wanted to interview Naushad saab and they asked me for my help. Naushad saab immediately agreed to my request. But the condition was that I would have to go to his house and have lunch with him. When I went, I found that lavish arrangements had been made; Muslims are famous for their hospitality. We chatted for a long time. With a smile on his face, he said, “Everyone asks me, who is a greater singer? Mohammed Rafi or Manna Dey?” I smiled and replied, “Why don’t you tell them Rafi is a much better singer? I say that myself. That’s what I believe in my mind.”

I am saying it again, our and everyone’s favourite Rafi, India’s best male voice of all time, could transcend to a different level because of the magic in Naushad’s tunes. I do not have the words to express my gratitude and respect to Naushad for that.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

43 Blog Comments to “Naushad the Perfectionist by Manna Dey”

  1. sjh says:

    (I am a bit of perfectionist myself and just realised that there were some spelling errors in my earlier post. Can I ask the admin to delete the earlier post as I am posting it again)

    I thought the self appointed crusaders have taken my advice I made a while back in the other thread which is now subsequently rightly closed by the admin.
    I see that the self appointed crusaders are here too with statements that are not only incorrect but silly at best. More than often I choose not to respond to such an illogical dialogue as it is shear waste of time but having done most of my work and now listening to the songs of Rafisaab, I am taking some time out to reply to a few preposterous comments and I hope this time these self appointed messengers of KK either update their lack of knowledge about Rafisaab or leave this site with dignity so that we can use the space for a rational and factual discussions.
    I was reading an interview of our beloved Mana Da, a Rafian to the core who all his life has devoted himself to praise Rafisaab with all his heart. Just like many other great artistes like Naushad Saab, Ravi, Mahendra Kapoor, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Lataji, Chitraguta, OP Nayar, Kishore Kumar and the pioneer of playback singing, Saigal Saab who predicted even before Rafisaab even sang his first recorded song about the greatness of Rafisaab. All these legends (and many more) have said on many occasions that about the unmatched greatness of Rafisaab as a playback singer.
    It is not surprising that they should say so as they understand the art better than most of us. The unmatched greatness of Rafisaab is now considered as obvious as the directions of the rising and setting of the sun. Obviously there may be few who would disagree to the directions of the rising and setting of the sun. They surely can choose to but they would only end up in being described as ignorant or, duds or simply fools. The same applies to those who doubt and refuse to accept that Rafisaab is the benchmark of singing, the very best that we have ever seen.
    What I see here is a breed of misguided people who sadly seem to represent Kishore Kumar when the fine singer and person himself admitted with grace about him being a Rafian.
    “Whenever I get the time, I listen to Naushad’s songs sung by Mohammed Rafi. Over and over again. Every time I get the same feeling. The joy of realizing that this is what is perhaps called the perfect jugalbandi, something that cannot be surpassed. In our country, the ideal male voice for touching your heart was Rafi.” – the latest comment by Mana dey. Anyone who has being to a decent English school can understand the meaning of this.
    “No artiste like you has come before and no one will ever come. Your voice is a mercy for this tension ridden world” – Naushad
    “It was an honor for me that Rafisaab sang so many songs for me” – Naushad
    “He was the only singer whose voice could be molded to meet any situation, mood or actor”- Naushad
    His range was second to none and his ability to sing at any pitch was something only Lata bai could match – Naushad
    These are just a few statements from the guru of music directors. One who has read enough or cared to read enough about Naushad knows that he held Rafi in the greatest position, position of the number 1 singer of all times. There is no room for any misinterpretation. Hence if anyone still chooses to deny the facts either can’t understand English or are just being mischievous for reasons best known to them. I think they consider it a stigma, a humiliation if Rafisaab is considered the best ever, a humiliation that is self imposed as they have taken the personal burden of crusading for their favorite singer, in this case KK.
    I have met Mana da and he said that the media from time to time try to misinterpret his remarks. He said he believed it from day 1 that Rafi was better than him and he maintains it to date. When he was asked whether Rafisaab was the best ever, his answer was very simple , yes. Rafi fans must not believe anything else besides this if they read in any media that contradicts this view.
    Lataji probably the only one that comes close to Rafisaab’s class says that he was the one that filled the empty space left by the passing of Saigal and that the space left by the passing off Rafisaab is still empty. Simple English, anyone that has a basic understanding can fathom the meaning of these statements.
    At a Saigal concert in Lahore, the power failed and Rafi Sahab, then 17, was roped in to sing a couple of songs to keep the restive audience quiet. Not only he achieved in keeping them quiet but also delighting them as Saigal Sahab looked on amazed only to comment later that Rafi Sahab was destined to achieve lofty heights in singing and how true he was. Music director Shyam Sunder, who was in the audience, was so extremely impressed and later worked with Rafi Sahab on melodies that remain fresh to date.
    Rafi Sahab infact got his first break in Hindi films in a Shyam Sunder film and his dream of working with Saigal was realised when Naushad gave him two lines to sing in the Saigal film, Shahjahan.
    This marked the beginning of the greatest and purest journey of HFM, it marked the beginning of an unmatched tradition of singing that would become a benchmark for all singers forever.
    Rafisaab was destined to be the greatest force in singing and with the passing of time this hard fact becomes larger in magnitude. More and more people are realising and making the most of the greatest voice of HFM and it is lovely to see youngsters getting to know more and listen to the master. His fan base keeps increasing by the minute. In an informal Chat with Hemant da’s son Jayanto, I was surprised when he said Rafi was the best. One would have thought he would say his father was the best. I have great admiration and respect for such open minded people.
    Jayanto later went on record saying in an interview:
    “Rafi saab could sing any song, Rafi saab … is like ….. (a pause) No 1 to 10″.
    I could go on and on about the unmatched greatness of Rafisaab but then I would only be stating the obvious things that most are aware off anyway.
    I believe ignorance is not bliss but a curse and mischief is a sign of weakness. If these crusaders even have one sensible bone in their body then I hope they can realize that they are the odd ones out who are looked upon with disgust or simply ignored. You have a choice to make here.
    A request to all, do not use slur on this website and if you are not happy about what’s happening here then leave this site with peace and dignity rather then make a complete mockery of yourself and in the process insult the legend you seem to crusade for.
    Kishore Kumar was a fine artiste and a fine person so do not bring any disregard and disrespect for him as he had enormous respect for Rafisaab whom he considered as an idol and a brother.

    Please treat this as my last post for this discussion. Anyone here who wishes to know more about our beloved Rafi then please feel free to ask, i would be more than happy to assist.

  2. sjh says:

    I thought the self appointed crusaders have taken my advice I made a while back in the other thread which is now subsequently rightly closed by the admin.

    I see that the self appointed crusaders are here too with statements that are not only incorrect but silly at best. More than often I choose not to respond to such an illogical dialogue as it is shear waste of time but having done most of my work and now listening to the songs of Rafisaab, I am taking some time out to reply to a few pre-poserous comments and I hope this time these self appointed messangers of KK either update their lack of knowledge about Rafisaab or leave this site with dignity so that we can use the space for a rational and factual discussions.

    I was reading an interview of our beloved Mana Da, a Rafian to the core who all his life has devoted himself to praise Rafisaab with all his heart. Just like many other great artistes like Naushad Saab, Ravi, Mahendra Kapoor, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Lataji, Chitraguta, OP Nayar, Kishore Kumar and the pioneer of playback singing, Saigal Saab who predicted even before Rafisaab even sang his first recored song about the greatness of Rafisaab. All these legends (and many more) have said on many occassions that about the unmatched greayness of Rafisaab as a playback singer.

    It is not surprsing that they should say so as they understand the art better than most of us. The unmatched greatness of Rafisaab is now considered as obvious as the directions of the rising and setting of the sun. Obviously there may be few who would disagree to the directions of the rising and seting of the sun. They surely can choose to but they would only end up in being described as ingorant or, duds or simply fools. The same applies to those who doubt and refuse to accept that Rafisaab is the benchmark of singing, the very best that we have haver seen.

    What I see here is a breed of misguided people who sadly seem to represent Kishore Kumar when the fine singer and person himself admitted with grace about him being a Rafian.

    “Whenever I get the time, I listen to Naushad’s songs sung by Mohammed Rafi. Over and over again. Everytime I get the same feeling. The joy of realising that this is what is perhaps called the perfect jugalbandi, something that cannot be surpassed.In our country, the ideal male voice for touching your heart was Rafi.” – the lastest comment by Mana dey. Anyone who has being to a decent english school can understand the meaning of this.

    “No artiste like you has come before and no one will ever come. Your voice is a mercy for this tension ridden world” – Naushad

    “It was an honor for me that Rafisaab sang so many songs for me” – Naushad

    “He was the only singer whose voice could be moulded to meet any situation, mood or actor”- Naushad

    His range was second to none and his ability to sing at any pitch was something only Lata bai could match – Naushad

    These are just a few statements from the guru of music directors. One who has read enogh or cared to read enough about Naushad knows that he held Rafi in the greatest position, position of the number 1 siinger of all times. There is no room for any misinterpretation. Hence if anyone still chooses to deny the facts either cant understand english or are just being mischievous for reasons best known to them. I think they consider it a stigma, a humiliation if Rafisaab is considered the best ever, a humiliation that is self imposed as they have taken the personal burden of crusading for their favorite singer, in this case KK.

    I have met Mana da and he said that the media from time to time try to misiterpret his remarks. He said he belived it from day 1 that Rafi was better than him and he maintains it to date. When he was asked whether Rafisaab was the best ever, his answer was very simple , yes. Rafi fans must not belive anything else besided this if they read in any media that contradicts this view.

    Lataji probably the only one that comes close to Rafisaabs class says that he was the one that filled the empty space left by the passing of Saigal and that the space left by the passing off Rafisaab is still empty. Simple english, anyone that has a basic understanding can fathom the meaning of these statements.

    At a Saigal concert in Lahore, the power failed and Rafi Sahab, then 17, was roped in to sing a couple of songs to keep the restive audience quiet. Not only he achieved in keeping them quiet but also delighting them as Saigal Sahab looked on amazed only to comment later that Rafi Sahab was destined to achieve lofty heights in singing and how true he was. Music director Shyam Sunder, who was in the audience, was so extremely impressed and later worked with Rafi Sahab on melodies that remain fresh to date.
    Rafi Sahab infact got his first break in Hindi films in a Shyam Sunder film and his dream of working with Saigal was realised when Naushad gave him two lines to sing in the Saigal film, Shahjahan.
    This marked the beginning of the greatest and purest journey of HFM, it marked the beginning of an unmatched tradition of singing that would become a benchmark for all singers forever.

    Rafisaab was destined to be the greatest force in singing and with the passing of time this hard fact becomes larger in magnitude. More and more people are realising and making the most of the geatest voice of HFM and it is lovely to see youngsters getting to know more and listen to the master. His fan base keeps increasing by the minute. In an informal Chat with Hemant da’s son Jayanto, I was surprised when he said Rafi was the best. One would have thought he would say his father was the best. I have great admiration and respect for such open minded people.
    Jayanto later went on record saying in an inteview:

    “Rafi saab could sing any song, Rafi saab … is like ….. (a pause) No 1 to 10″.

    I could go on and on about the unmatched greatness of Rafisaab but then i would only be stating the obvious things that most are aware off anyway.

    I believe ignorance is not bliss but a curse and mischief is a sign of weakness. If these crusaders even have one sensible bone in their body then I hope they can realise that ther are the odd ones out who are looked upon with digust or simply ignored. You have a choice to make here.

    A request to all, do not use slur on this website and if you are not happy about whats happening here then leave this site with peace and dignity rather then make a complete mockery of yourself and in the process insult the legend you seem to crusade for.

    Kishore Kumar was a fine artiste and a fine person so do not bring any disregard and disrespect for him as he had enormous respect for Rafisaab whom he consdired as an idol and a brother.

  3. Ali Baluch says:

    Dear Harvinder,
    as u said that we should not compare two best Mohd Rafi and Manny Dey,As Manny Dey said that Mohd Rafi should not be compare with any one offourse it is greatness of manny dey as human.
    after 26 years ago still we remmber Mohd Rafi because Mohd Rafi mean magic for music lover.

  4. Harvinder says:

    To all rafians and Manna Dey fans.

    I do not know as to why make an issue of a passing remark made by Manna Dey. Of all the replies I find Mr Haldar’s observations most appropriate. I have read in diffrent magazines, heard Manna Dey live in interviews on TV and radio and have CD where Manna Dey pays richest possible tribute to Mohd Rafi. He always described Mohd Rafi as a genius and very rare and the best male playback singer of hindi cinema.

    Closest to controversy was his remark that although Mohd Rafi was not as classicaly trained as me (word uneducated may also have slipped out of his mouth – which has been blown out of proportions and totaly out of context), even during classical singing duets, I always feared that Mohd Rafi will overtake me even in my expertise. Manna Dey admits with pride that at no stage did he feel defeated because he was only loosing to a genius. He called Rafi and Lata as something as God gifted which no amount of classical education or Riyas can bring.

    Being from a humble background and a large family of Barber, it is not surprising that he did not have opportunity to go to expensive school or obtain much classical training. But he did get just the right education in music also to sing songs which are still a rage. I do not know how much academic education he had, but I have seen his Urdu handwriting and it is very good and uniform (I can not read Urdu, but his flow is smooth).

    I request readers not to compare the two and appreciate Manna Dey’s tribute to Mohd Rafi. The “so called” remark could not have been Manna Dey’s intent.

  5. Roger Federer says:

    Hi Tim,
    Thanks. I share my pleasure with you, this time. The attitude displayed by you in your writeups seems to be that of a feminine individual. So assuming , I will refer to you as ‘she’ , ‘her’ ETC. FINE.
    By the way, you are becoming one of the serious contributers to these;as you term ‘forum.
    Surprised about my love for Indian music ehy? Ha! Ha!
    Alas! ain’t it? Aggasi has to leave the arena forever. Nadal is definitely a thorn in my flesh. Any way, looking forward to see you in Dallas for the U.S OPEN next month!

  6. P. Haldar says:

    In response to one of the previous comments:

    In Bengali music, among the male singers, Hemant(a) and Manna are perhaps the most popular singers. Hemanta is a rage among Rabindra-sangeet lovers, too. Kishore’s songs are also very popular but most of his major Bengali hits were before Aradhana and tuned by RD. In fact, songs like Tum bin jawoon kahan and Yeh sham mastani had Bengali versions that used to come out during Durga Puja. After Aradhana, Kishore didn’t use to sing in Bengali that often; RD, sometimes with Asha, would often sing the original in Bengali and have Kishore/Asha sing it in Hindi.

    In 1983, three years after Rafi’s death, Kishore had come to Calcutta for a concert. He started with a Rabindra-sangeet and then, in memory of his departed friend, sang Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare (the song that has been ranked #1 in a recent Outlook poll). In an interview that was published in the Illustrated Weekly, Kishore, a self-avowed Rafi fan, had said that he used to listen to Rafi’s songs during his spare time. Rafi was the singer’s singer, the ustadon ki ustad.

  7. Tim says:

    By “inconsistent statements elsewhere”, I meant Manna Dey’s statement that Kishore Kumar is the best (a KK fan fetched a hyperlink in the neighboring forum).

  8. Tim says:

    Hi Roger!

    Nice serve. In fact, my comments also were just limited to the word “uneducated” and, akin to yours, it was my bias towards Rafi. A version, of a skeptic (and a wannabe satirist), nothing else…and did not mean anything more (once again my apologies!). The moment we break from the semantical part and take Manna Dey as a singer, obviously, we find a second rank holder of a class of a relatively good strength (there is another [KK]andidate fighting for this position in a neighboring forum; in fact for the first rank, if not second).

    Well, I liked your play in the other court in this forum (5-0). Never knew about your love for Indian music. Hopefully, there will be more forthcoming.

  9. Roger Federer says:

    Tim’s July 27th writeup (seeing Manna purely as a playback singer-his classical ability);I hold it as an amazing one. I can guess what it takes out of an individual to assimilate thoughts in such correct sequence.

  10. Roger Federer says:

    If any of my statements(inconsistant) appears to be offending Manna’s image,I beg pardon. P.Haldar, Mohanflora,Tim,Admin and a few others have made appropriate remarks to tame those seemingly ‘wild’ comments.

  11. Roger Federer says:

    Amaad sees an opaque structure in my July 25th writeup.
    And why not? It lacks a proper beggining,the body is a mixture of hot&sweet,the ending;well,it is like the way I ended the french open final against Nadal this year. One of the most stupid writeups I can come across.
    Tim has made a phenomenol comeback(considering his/her July 25th writeup). Manna dey is one of the top singers. I wanted to pay my tribute by some good words. Tim July 27th writeup has done my need-full.

    My holding the topic of ‘uneducated’ is being viewed as ‘biased’ towards Rafi. I assure all Manna fans tunning in to this page that I haven’t meant any thing untoward towards Manna.

  12. anon says:

    Heres a link to Some Manna Dey Songs

    http://www.ganguly.de/mannadey/index.html

  13. Ali Baluch says:

    dear Friends,
    I don’t know about Bengali music if any one know please tell me who was better in Bengali music Manny dey or KK as I know both are Bengalis.
    I think we should to compare Mohd Rafi with any singer as Manny Dey said.

  14. P. Haldar says:

    I agree with one of the previous comments that Manna’s Bengali songs are great. If you get the chance, listen to Aami je jolsaghorey from the film Antony Firingi; it has shades of Rafi’s Mere mehboob tujhe, and it is difficult to decide which one is better.

    Another thing to note is that there was a strong Bengali presence in Hindi film music from the 40s to the 70s: Pankaj Mallick, Raichand Boral, Anil Biswas, S. D. Burman, Salil Choudhury, R. D. Burman, Manna De, Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt, and Kishore Kumar. If you consider Anil Biswas, Salil and the two Burmans, apart from SD, no one had a particular liking for Rafi. Most of the others opted for Talat or Mukesh and in RD’s case, it was Kishore. Manna, despite being a Bengali, didn’t get much patronage either, except occasionally from the Burmans; his main patrons were Shankar and Roshan.

    Among the Bengali filmmakers, Bimalda (Sujata, Bandini, Madhumati) definitely preferred Talat and Mukesh, and sometimes Manna. Hrishida followed the same trend, though in his Asli Naqli, Rafi delivered such beautiful numbers. Just think of Abhimaan; the entire score (the male part) could have been given to Rafi. In Hrishida’s Mili, SD, who hardly ever made a mistake in selecting his singers, gave Badi sooni sooni hai to Kishore; well sung but Rafi would have converted that to another eternal gem like Hum bekhudi mein pukare chale gaye. After Aradhana, Shakti Samanta turned away from Rafi, forgetting that it was Rafi who delivered hit after hit, from China Town to Kashmir ki Kali to An Evening in Paris. Among the Bengali filmmakers, S.K. Mukherji of Filmistan was Rafi’s strongest supporter; I read in an interfiew that Mukherji had wanted Rafi to direct music for one of his films, but Rafi declined.

    RD started tuning with Rafi again after Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, and it’s anybody’s guess what would have happened in the 80’s if Rafi were alive. LP gave the entire score to Rafi in Sargam, and RD was beeing pressured to give more and more songs to Rafi (Shaan, Abdullah, Burning Train, etc.). My own guess is that he would start dominating the 80s like he did in the 60s.

  15. Emdad says:

    I beleive Manna Dey indicated Rafi’s education on music(training on classical music), not general education, by refering Rafi as uneducated singer.

  16. Tim says:

    God-father. Yes, Unknown is correct; Manna Dey never had one. Mukesh…well, was Raj Kapoor god-fatherly for Mukesh? Regarding Kishore Kumar, it holds true.

    Manna Dey, despite his caliber and background, could not get a face for which his voice suits. Mukesh had Manoj Kumar’s face (obviously, after Raj Kapoor), Kishore Kumar had Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachan, and Rafi’s voice suited for quite many heroes. “Faceless” songs were very rare in Hindi movies, but common in regional languages; Manna Dey flared in Bengali. Right? Had Mukesh’s voice not suited Raj Kapoor, there might not have been a playback singer called Mukesh (my apologies, if I am wrong). Had RD Burman not there Kishore Kumar might have lead a retired life in Khandwa. But they were all there; so there is no point in the “had there been” talk. What I am trying to say is that with all the God-fathers (to quote Unknown) around for others and having no face to do lip movement for his songs, Manna Dey made his presence felt and stood above many others…(not Rafi, certainly).

  17. ammad says:

    i agree with tim, mohan, unknown and others that it is just greatness of manaday that has been paying his utmost tributes to the legend throughout his life. to difficult to understand what Roger Federer actually want to explain???

  18. unknow says:

    Dear Tom,
    Manny Day is great singer not only in classical base songs but the problem was with manny Day has no God father like Mukesh and KK had, don’t forget 1950’s and 1960’s there was everwhere Mohd Rafi.
    Manny Day is only singer who can be compared with Mohd Rafi in classical base songs,there is no other singer who can be compared with Mohd Rafi in any style.
    As i think if there is other singer after Mohd Rafi I think he is Manny Day.

  19. Tim says:

    Now, leaving Manna Dey as an endorser (with apologies to the legend to consider him so), let me discuss Manna Dey as a great singer. I wish to deviate from his strong classical base and present him as a playback singer (by way of a personal experience). One of his most popular numbers is Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua – a romantic song picturized in a rainy sequence. I saw this scene only once. Since then whenever, I hear this song,my mind perceives a rainy evening (no matter the time), isolated streets – dimly lit by the street lights – with a motor car or pedestrian passing infrequently. I hear Manna Dey’s voice in this mental perception…it’s soothing. However, this could have been an isolated experience had this been the only Manna Dey song that evoked reminiscence. Take Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi; I have never seen the picturization, yet I feel a cool moonlit night…fragrance permeating the ambience, which is carried on by a breeze; I feel the damp air soothing my nerves. Manna Dey again creates magic. The skeptic in me could not believe this. I tried an instrumental version of the former song. Lo! mind’s animatronics is failing. The world that I saw a few minutes back is not materializing; I can only hear a guitar and see the grey shades around me. Then, I was convinced; it is the magical power of Manna Dey’s voice that had carried me into two that imaginatively pleasing world.

    Could that be from his strong classical base? I do not know. Whatever be, I loved that bliss….I do not want to know anything more.

  20. Tim says:

    I totally agree with Haldar Ji, if Rafi is subtracted then Manna Day stands next in excellence. His contributions are unforgettable.

  21. Tim says:

    There is no matter of odds; spectrumic views generate effective dialogue.

    Mannadey – the great. As advised by a genuine Rafian+Manndeian, he should be left untouched. He, save for certain inconsistent statements elsewhere, held Rafi as friend (even a co-kite flyer), philosopher, and guide…to the extent an idol, if not an overstatement. But does a singer like Rafi with God’s voice need endorsement? To use an imperial slang; it is the Crown that bestows titles, not titles are bestowed on the Crown. Yet, Manna Dey said it, quite often (officially), of late. It appears as if it is of the heart unlike the “name dropping” of another singer that we hear from elsewhere. However, why Rafians should (although not Rafi) need Mann Dey’s statement; Anon said it. Perfect!

  22. Roger Federer says:

    I have gone thro the after effects of my writeup.
    I seem to have aroused the odds from some.
    I simply put forth my point.

    I appriciate Mohan flora’s effort in collecting some of the videos.
    I am equally impressed by her writeups. She gives that punch to her discription.
    Mohanflora,I have contributed to your section as well sometime earlier.
    Even there I liked the she discribed her feelings on that chilly night.
    A gripping way of unwinding her thoughts. Nice.

  23. anon says:

    Being a Non-Bengali, I had the great fortune of listening to Manna Dey’s songs in Bengali. To completely gauge what Manna Dey – the maestro is all about- one needs to consider his immense repertoire in Bengali ( especially his songs for superstar Uttam Kumar). In Hindi films, he did not have so much room to display his potential in its entirety as he was restricted to mainly classical numbers. Therefore, if someone with such amazing talent has considered Rafi as the best ever, then one should understand how great Rafi was indeed!!

  24. Anmol Singh says:

    Khayyam’s tribute to Naushad Saab

    http://in.rediff.com/movies/2006/may/10naushad.htm

  25. Anmol Singh says:

    Naushad though didn’t compose may songs for Mukesh, but was instrumental in development of Mukesh’s own style of singing. The following article explains the Naushad’s contribution to Mukesh

    http://www.singermukesh.com/articles_files/raju1.htm

  26. Anmol Singh says:

    Manna Dey sang many classical numbers under SJ. Out of the duo Shanker always referred Manna Dey for their classical compositions. Shanker use to have arguments with film makers to prefer Manna Dey over Rafi.

  27. unknow says:

    Dear friends,
    As i think Manny day is great but the problem was Manny Day has no God father as other some singer had, If we go for Mukesh there was Raj Kapoor,KK there was RD but there was no one for Manny Day.As i think if we speak about the best male singer as I think after Mohd Rafi there is only Manny Day.
    As i think music start from Mohd RAfi and end with Mohd Rafi because if we speak about best music we will see that time Mohd Rafi has most hit numbers and after 1980 there is no good music.

  28. mohanflora says:

    Dear friends,

    I think Haldarji has given the right perspective to the “uneducated” subject and we should now focus on the positive side. Manna Dey always held Rafisaab in high regard and respect. He is a Rafian and Rafibhakt, too, like all of us! He has always maintained that Rafisaab was the greatest!
    Lets move on.

  29. P. Haldar says:

    It’s unfortunate that Manna Dey’s article evoked such negative comments. Here is one singer who has consistently acknowledged that Rafi was superior to him. And this is tough to do for someone who was kept at bay by Rafi for more than 20 years. If it were not for Rafi, Manna would have possibly become No. 1 in the 50s.

    The quote about Rafi being an “uneducated singer” has been taken out of context. I’ve read that piece; what he meant was that both Rafi and Lata were uneducated in terms of school/college education, but what he implied was that they surmounted all the odds against them to reach the pinnacle of success. In that same article, Manna-da had mentioned that he keeps crying when he listens to Rafi’s songs because they are sublime. Why bring down a man who has sung Puchho na kaise maine rain bitaye, Kaun aya mere dwar ke dare, Laga chunri me daag? How many times do you find Lata and Asha paying tribute to Rafi? Especially Asha, who keeps mentioning that another male singer was much better, forgetting all those beautiful duets she sung with Rafi: Abhi na jao chhor kar, Diwana hua badal, Gunguna rahe hai bhawnra.

    Let’s not forget that Manna sung several light songs that became very popular: Aaja sanam madhur chandni me hum, Yeh raat bheegi bheegi, Pyar hua iqrar hua, Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo. It was Rafi’s superior voice and his ability to emote that finally gave him the ege. As a singer, Rafi was most similar to Manna, and quite different from Hemant, Mukesh, Talat, and Kishore.

  30. Roger Federer says:

    I for sure see a difference b/w education and knowledge.
    Vivekananda says”I want to see education building charecter”.

    EXPANTION: Spiting on the road, rudeness in the public are some of the aspects we come across in merto cities in India. People who indulge in these actions may BE’s, BSC’s. Can you lable them-EDUCATED or simply KNOWLEDEBLE.

    In India,(generaly) only Knowlede is imparted which is branded as Education. Not in America.

    Well forget it.

    Take it from me, more important than gaining knoledge is where is its NECESSERY. Imagine, I do P.H.D in Physics;start teaching in a 12th std class. I might have learnt libraries on ‘magnetic effect of inductance’. But require to teach only the basics of that topic. Suppose I don’t get a promotion,what use is my extra knowledge for. Speaking it is a waste for my profession.

    Apply this to Manna’s case. He might have learnt a fair bit of classical music (more than Rafi in this case).
    QUESTION: Could he apply that knowlede to better his film singing.
    ANSWER:I feel,Yes but to only to the very classical numbers.
    Film singing is more of inborn talent and lees of learning from outside,I feel. To support this statement; It would be very absurd to say Lata Mangeshkar was taught by her guru/else how to bring in the melody in her gayaki. Equally true it is that Lata cannot impart her genius to any other aspirant though she willing to teach. What at the most she can do is sing and make repeat. Still it boils down to the calibre in the aspirant to repeat.

    Francly speaking Rafi din’t stop his classical course for doing some time pass work. Remember he also had the option of continuing with his classical course had film music not been written on his forehead.

    Simply coz he was a genius, he broke into film music(add to it his financial needs at that time). I don’t think even Gulam Khan could have taught him the mantra of film singing.

    School drop-out. May be, but is a whole load of Physics and Maths necessery for his profession. Even if he had done his schooling,of what use is it?
    Finally I can only say, god wanted him to be what he is .
    (more Comments to follow sometime later from my side.) THANKS.

  31. unknow says:

    dear friends,
    Manna Day was more classically trained than Mohd Rafi it not mean that who trainted more should be better,Maybe some one can learn a book in one week and other one he or she can’t learn same book in a month.I think it important that both learned classically and both was great in classically offourse we can’t compare Mohd Rafi with anyone in any tape of sogs as I think,Manny Day is the king of classically but Mohd Rafi is Mohd Rafi he is the best in all.

    Manna Day is great ,

  32. admin says:

    One may do well in a subject.. if someone who is more excelled comes along, should I give up and take sanyas? :) Live and Let Live.

  33. mohanflora says:

    I think when Manna Dey said Rafi was “uneducated”, he was referring to Rafi’s classical knowledge in comparison to the knowledge that he(Manna Dey) had. Manna Dey was classically well educated and trained.However, in the same breath, Manna Dey says that even though he was clasically more sound than Rafi, he was no match for Rafi when it came to singing classical or non-classical songs.

  34. Anmol Singh says:

    Manna Dey referring Rafi as uneducated could be interms of acadamic qualification. Rafi was a school drop out.

  35. Tim says:

    Talking about versions; one is of frustration. There are many ways to get rid of it. One refined form is to declare “I am not of this world”, “you are all mortals, and I am celestial”. Now these titles – immortal and celestial – will save me from getting included in the earthly category where there is a likelihood of me being compared, and if compared, I am sure, I will have to stand behind. In this scheme, my safety is primary for me, no matter whatever is the terminology I use to qualify others – be it earthly or mortal. Well, if you leave me apart and look from an outsider’s perspective, the terminologies I have used to qualify others have no meaning at all. The same logic applies to “uneducated” as well.

  36. Roger Federer says:

    It is ‘version’.

    Yes, I can simpathise with the administrator.

    You say Manna was more classically trained. Good. But he also put his ‘vibrant’ foot into film music. If Manna claims to know a little bit of Physics then he must also know that ‘no 2 things can be done at the same time’.
    In his case this theory was prooved to the core. He niether achieved the tall standars set by Rafi in film music nor the one set by gulam ali knan in the classical version.
    He himself admits he doesn’t have what Rafi had in him. A BIG PITY! He realised it too late in his career only to cry over spilt milk.
    I will come back the ‘uneducated’ topic soon.

  37. Roger Federer says:

    This word ‘uneducated’ takes you back to the preindependence days when the british used the word to put down the Indians. They labled the sanskrit pandits and the learned bramhins also as ‘uneducated’ simply coz they weren’t aware of the English vertion of the ‘Inertia of Motion’.
    In their view even Tansen must have been ‘uneducated’.
    Again DON’T forget; Uneducated to suit their needs;which was to expand and consolidate their Empire.
    ‘uneducated’ in their context I assume could have simply meant ‘not useful for our need’. (to be cont.)

  38. Roger Federer says:

    Not birt;it is ‘birth’.

    Tansen as was his court name is said to be the greatest. He was so well versed in his art that he created his own raagas.
    The British invation gave a new twist to the age old way of ‘Gurukula’ system of education. Raja Ram Mohan roy in 1728 got’sati’ abolished-positive move,but brought in the’western’system of education.
    With that you have todays science,maths,chemistry ‘vagera’.
    I would like to’half-heartedly’question this move by Mr. Roy.
    (I have a reason to use the immediate above quoted word.)

  39. Administrator says:

    It depends on how one reads it. Uneducated, yes Rafi was not as much trained in classical as Manna was.

  40. Roger Federer says:

    It seems once upon a time Manna Dey made a remark making it known that Rafi was ‘uneducated’.

    Well, this word can have 2 ways to lead us,I think.
    1. Uncivilised(savage)
    2. Lacking Knowledge

    Now the very word ‘Education’ needs a bit of digging.
    Going by the dictionary ;it is a process of learning and teaching.
    Over time people have percieved it in many ways.
    ‘Ramayana’ shows that education is all about refining once ways psycologically in order to lead a civilised life.
    The muslim invation saw the birt of hindustani music in the court of Akbar. (to be cont.)

  41. Anmol Singh says:

    The following lines hold true for S D Burman also.

    “Apart from giving Rafi’s voice an extra dimension, I deeply respect Naushad for incorporating western musical instruments in his songs. But he never deviated from his Indianness and was never influenced by other musical traditions.”

    SDB was not a specialist in classical songs compositions, which he himself admitted and gave tribute to Naushad for his song “Madhubhan Mein Radhika Nache Re”.

  42. mohanflora says:

    Sorry! MALE voice not mail voice
    PL. check!

  43. mohanflora says:

    Rafisaab has always been the best mail voice ever!
    A few days back he was voted the best male singer ever by the Indian Film Industry –Click on

    http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060626&fname=ABestSongs&sid=2

    Thank you so much for the above article. With your final stamp we don’t have to look for more certification about Rafi being the best ever singer.

    We would rather like to go into the inner aspects of the Indian Musis Scene of the Golden Period and see what the present music scene lacks. Why has the music emanating from the Indian film industry now become so lacking and slackening? Something very wrong! Why are people harking back looking for Rafi ? It is because listeners want perfection-and that perfection-they are evaluating with Rafi. Rafisaab was a good human being along with being a great singer.When you have these two combinations-humaneness and music-none can beat them. This is what is lacking in present day singers. Sonu Nigam-who only became big because of his Mohdrafi adaptations- has got a swollen head already. Rafisaab remained humble till the last. That is the separating point between being Swollen(as Sonu is) and also-ran singer AND being GREAT-as Rafisaab will always remain.
    mohanflora

Post your Comment on Facebook





Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:





Other Writeups


Social Collaboration