R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu

SNK

SNK

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Manna Dey – A Cultural Icon of International Stature – Thoughts by Venkataramanan Ramasethu



As the news started spreading that Manna Dey is no more,a deep sense of gloom and despair could be felt across Kolkata,a city which I have made my home for the past 10 years.It would not be right to say that it was only Kolkatan’s like me who could feel that,any genuine music lover with an ear for immortal melody with an authentic classical touch would have felt an era coming to an end with Manna da’s demise.A legendary icon and a musical genius on his own right who ruled the bollywood musical arena close to 40 years,at times I felt he was an unsung hero.As Lataji said in an interview recently,Manna da might have received innumerable awards in his long and illustrious career,but the true worth of this musical genius would be realized only after his life time.Ironically how true were those golden words,though he received Dada Saheb Phalke award much later in his career,he would have easily qualified for Bharat Ratna.

I have always had a special love for his Bengali renditions ranging from Light Classical,Private Albums,Pujor Gaan,Rabindo Sangeet and Bengali Folk Songs.I vividly remember watching some memorable musical interviews in DD Bangla with Manna da,the most notable being the one with the famous writer Pulak Banerjee and another with the famous actor Anil Chatterjee.

His ancestral house at Girish Park is still a source of solace and inspiration to innumerable music lovers and aspiring artists not just in Bengal but across the globe.The noted Rabindo Sangeet singer Srikanto Acharya recalled an event in the past, where he had been to Durgapur with the legend for a concert and the organizer had informed that Manna da would be starting his routine riyaz at 4am in the morning and if he was interested he could partcipate.But the singer felt, it might not be the case and the practice session might start a little late.But the next day sharp at 4am the melodius voice could be heard from the hotel room in full flow.Now that’s called discipline,dedication and passion towards ones art,it’s not surprising that even at the age of 94 Manna da had the same depth and melody in his voice.As Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty said it so beautifully,instead of mourning Manna da’s demise we should rather think that it is only his body that has passed away,but his immortal music is bound to stay eternally.

As in one of his own song, “Jodi kagoje lekho naam, kagoj cchire jabe pathore lekho naam, pathor khoye jabe hridoye lekho naam, se naam roye jabe”,so let’s imprint Manna da’s name in our hearts and make his music immortal.