Cultural organisations Protyoy, Mohiruho and Protipalok arranged a musical evening along with a memorial programme as a tribute to legendary singer Manna Dey at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on April 5.
Litterateur, singer and Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed, as chief guest, discussed the life and works of Manna Dey at the event. Special guests -- eminent composer and music director Sheikh Sadi Khan and noted singer Rafiqul Alam also spoke on Dey. Noted singer Subir Nandi presided over the discussion. Sheikh Sadi Khan presented many unknown musical anecdotes along with his personal memories of the legend. Pradip Sarkar, convener of the programme, delivered the welcome address while Abhijit Chowdhury gave the vote of thanks.
The event also featured an album launch. The album titled “Poroma Prokriti Ma,” contains devotional songs written and composed by Dr. Shyamal Chowdhury. Several noted and promising artistes performed songs either recorded or composed by Dey.
Subir Nandi took the stage first and rendered “Oi Maha Sindhur Opar Theke” and “Koto Na Nodir Jonmo Hoy” with his own improvisations. The artiste, with his apt diction and beautiful vocals together with emotive expression, enthralled the packed audience.
Noted singer Sujit Mustafa performed two lesser known songs – “Chander Ashaye” and “Tomaye Kichhui Bolini To.” The chief guest of the programme Masud Ahmed also performed a Manna Dey song “E Jiboney Joto Byatha Peyechhi” at the soirée.
Singer Bizon Chandra Mistry impressed the audience with his songs “Ei Taanpura-ta Bondhu Amar” and “Amaye Ektu Jaiga Dao Na Mayer Mondir E Boshi” while promising artiste Munir Chowdhury captivated the crowd with his fantastic performance of romantic songs “Shudhu Tomar Bhalobashate” and “Tomar Oi Hashite Ki Darun Jwala.”
Among others, noted singers, Rafiqul Alam, Priyanka Gope and Dr. Shyamal Chowdhury rendered solos at the programme.
Late Manna Dey, (real name Prabodh Chandra Dey), born in 1919 in Calcutta, was one of Indian film's finest playback singers of Hindi and Bengali songs, but also recorded songs in several other Indian languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Oriya, Assamese, Kannada and Malayalam.
He was honoured with various awards in his lifetime, including the Padma Shri (1971), Padma Bhushan (2005) and Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2007). Manna Dey recorded over 4,000 songs in a career spanning over six decades. He passed away on 24 October, 2013 in Bangalore, India. Dey's demise has left his fans teary-eyed. But his melodies will remain with us forever.