My friend Anil and I share a passion for Indian music and two great singers particularly. They are Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Manna Dey. Whenever some particular piece by either takes his fancy, Anil will promptly send me a link so that I can also capture the moment.
His latest epistles have been no less with some magnificent bhajans by Panditji and today he stumped me with a story and links to three songs and I wish to share my joy with my readers who like Indian music.
Way back in 1960, when Anil was all of 17 he found himself traveling in the same first class coach with the great Manna Dey and overcoming his trepidation, spoke to the great singer and told him how Anil and his mother who was also a gifted singer, were very fond of a song that Dey had recorded for Akashvani. Manna Dey was very pleased if somewhat bemused and offered to sing it for him while traveling. Anil, to quote him, was literally levitating and says that till today, he keeps remembering the encounter with great admiration for the singer and his humility and generosity of spirit indulging a young lad on his way to college.
The first youtube version is the original recorded with Akashvani
The next one is the same recorded much later with more modern recording equipment and instruments.
A little later, Dey asked Anil if he would like to hear a new song that he had just recorded for a film yet to be released and on Anil’s urging sang this one.
The last one is a favourite song of mine from a film with an amazing cast and the one vocalising this song is Mehmood a favourite comedian of those days who used to enthrall all of us Hyderabadis beside other Indians. Just look at the effect in Black and White and the talent of the actor besides the song itself.
Alas both Manna Dey and Mehmood are no more but what personalities!
Thank you Anil.