Song of The Day – Congrats Manna Da

My pick for today is the song Tu Pyar Ka Saagar Hai, from the beautiful move Seema, starring the awesome pairing of Nutan and Balraj Sahni.

The song is sung by Manna Dey, who has just been awarded the Dadasaab Phalke Award, at the ripe old age of 90.

My favourite songs of his include Kaun aaya mere man ke dwaare and Laaga chunari mein daag.

Tu pyaar ka saagar hai, Teri ek boond ke pyaase hum
Lauta jo diya tune, Chale jaayenge jahaan se hum

Ghaayal mann ka paagal panchhi, Udne ko beqaraar
Pankh hai komal, aankh hai dhundli, Jaana hai saagar paar
Ab tu hi isse samjha, Raah bhoole the kahan se hum

Idhar jhoomke gaaye zindagi, Udhar hai maut khadi
Koi kya jaane kahan hai seema, Uljhan aan padi
Kaanon mein zara keh de, Ke aaye kaun disha se hum

Enjoy the magic of Manna Dey,

Salim

Lata and Meena Kumari fanatic

39 Comments

  1. pardesi said:

    A beautiful song in a wonderful film. Manna De was unique and his talent not exploited to the fullest in Hindi cinema. My other favorites are:
    Phul Gendawa na maaro, Na maro
    Lagat kalejwa mein chot

    and

    Aaayo Kahan se Ghanshyaam
    Raina bitayi kis dhaam re

  2. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    Oh yes..truly deserved award. I’d seen this song and perhaps the film only on a tv airing, nevertheless the song was so compelling and Balraj sahni so charismatic, the feeling it evoked even at the time continues to be alive each time I listen to it.

    Another Manna Dey favorite is ‘ Poochho na kaise maine rain bitayee’ from Meri Surat teri Aankhen. as also kasme vaade pyar vafa sab baatein hain baaton ka kya. What lyrics, composition and picturisation. I think Manoj Kumar was a great maker in his hey days who the world has forgotten. Not just that but making him the butt of jokes is not correct.

  3. Qalandar said:

    Great songs, all. If I could pick only one Manna Dey song I would go with “Jhanak Jhanak Tori Baaje Paayaliya”; among the lighter songs I have a great weakness for “Chalat Musaafir”. Mercifully one isn’t required to choose, else one would be quite miserable!

    Re: Manoj: he had his moments as a filmmaker, but when one does a reckoning I’m afraid the bad outweighs the good (even at his best he seemed like a poorer version of/wannabe Raj Kapoor to me). In general I’d agree it isn’t good to make him the butt of jokes, but he doesn’t do himself any favors by being so thin-skinned, thereby almost tempting meanness.

  4. pardesi said:

    Chalat Musafir was wonderful too. Regarding Manoj Kumar, there is the sublime Shaheed, and a couple of good films, but anyone who gets caught in Chal Sanyasi Nadir mein type stuff on a regular basis has lost it completely, and Manoj got to that point and stayed there for years.

  5. Qalandar said:

    Your enthusiasm for Shaheed is infectious– I will have to re-visit this film, which I saw many many years ago…

    Speaking of Manoj, a fun song of his that I like is “Jai Bolo Beimaan Ki”…

  6. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    I think we need to recall the list of films Produced and Directed by Manoj Kumar and which I was alluding to when I referred to him as a ;great maker’. To name the few I remember are ‘ Upkar, Purab aur Paschim, Shaheed, Roti Kapda aur Makaan, Kranti. Besides these I think he made ‘Clerk’. I cannot therefore agree that the bad outweighed the good especially considering that all of the ones mentioned above have been films which were path breaking in their characters, story lines and treatment. He pioneered the patriotic hero school and by no means indulged in any hyperbolic frenzy. Case in point was Purab aur Paschim. Yes it was masala to an extent but the inherent sub text was praiseworthy. Raj Kapoor hang up? Not really. RK was a different genre and grammar altogether.

    Films like Sanyasi etc were part of any actors repertoire, his contemporaries or even the later heroes. Turkeys are a given in the life of a star.

    Qalandar we expect rhinoceros skinned attitudes and simultaneously sensitively handled films? The two shall never meet.

  7. pardesi said:

    Q – Shaheed is the prototype that inspired the Devgan version almost completely, and yet I find myself unmoved by the latter and completely in awe of the former. Each song is gem-like – O jogi hum to lut gaye tere pyaar mein, Pagri Sambhal Jatta, Aye watan Aye Watan humko teri kasam, and the final Mera Rang de basanti chola. Someone rightly said that if Manoj Kumar had just one film to his credit, Shaheed, his name would still be written in glowing letters in film history.

  8. pardesi said:

    Kavitaa – I found all but Upkar to be jingoistic and formulaic, often with the hero caught up completely in his “Bharat” avatar. He exploited the female form in a very RK like manner – right from horrific assault scenes, to a dripping wet Zeenat trying to entice him (Hai Hai Yeh Majboori) while he was the upstanding straight man who stood away to a side and ignored her wiles. Shaheed, and to a certain extent Upkaar, broke new ground and were unique, but not much else was for me. In fact I favored Manoj outside his production house environment in non-Bharat form in films like Gumnaam and Pathar Ke Sanam. Manoj in Jaane Chaman Shola Badan romancing a rain drenched Nanda was much preferable to Manoj resisting Zeenat in similar circumstances.

  9. Gorilla said:

    Congrats Manna De!

    My fav is chalat musafir.

    I think except for Zanjeer, I haven’t seen any of the movie mentioned above. I am also impressed that many have not only seen but also remember so many sequences about those films. Simply superb. Pardesi, you are more desi…desi girl…our desi girl girl girl girl… :)

  10. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    Pardesi to be fair to him we must keep in mind that its dificult today to indulge in in a completely unbiased and above par assessment of his contribution if we do not appreciate the times those films were made in and the fact that there was no precedent. To give you an example, the picturisation of the song in Purab aur paschim, ‘jab zero diya mere bharat ne’ was shot on a round trolley and unique for its time. Also Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de. was fantastic. For me an assessment of a maker has to go also with innovations creativity he has applied to any given film. One cannot afford to have a blinkered approach and in an umbrella like denouncement bracket him one way or another without a fair appraisal of all of his work. Manoj Kumar was not trained technically but was brilliant for his times. I can analyse each of his films detailedly.

    You mention juts one song ‘hai hai yeh majboori’ as reason to rip him of any credibilty. Lets consider the situation. Roti Kapda aur makaan was among his later films when sex and women were beginning to stage a huge imapct on an Indian viewers mend who hitherto had been rushing to cinema halls for pure family dramas. Yes he fell prey to commercial considerations. But so what? It does not take away from the genius of the man.

    Sone me bhi khot dalni padti hai agar zevar ki khwaahish hai.

  11. pardesi said:

    Kaveetaa, I appreciate your passionate defense of Manoj, in fact I mentioned that for me he is significant if one leaves all aside and JUST keeps Shaheed in the mix. But I cannot accept “technical” creativity in isolation from the content of the film. And the content went downhill for me, more particularly in his own productions. I also mentioned Jaane Chaman Shola Badan which I love! There was a hypocrisy in content in Hai Hai yeh and Chal Sanyasi that did not sit well with me. By the time Kranti came along it was hard for me to sit through any Manoj film. There he was shot, stabbed, filleted until his black blanket turned red with blood!!! But I can surely see the appeal others may have found. I prefer to remember him from the Gumnaam and Shaheed days – and he was such a handsome man in his prime.

  12. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    In my first comment on Manoj Kumar I mentioned him as a great film maker. My second spoke of his pathbreaking characters, themes, story lines and treatment. My third comment I specifically mention “For me an assessment of a maker has to go also with innovations creativity he has applied to any given film” Please note the term ‘also’ in reference to the above inferences. Yet if you wish to read it as ‘“technical” creativity in isolation from the content of the film’ then you misread and interpret.

    I do not dent that he was out of his element post Kranti but that should not take away from his past contributions. Ram teri Ganga maili was not a patch on Sangam or Jagte Raho but Raj Kapoor will always remain a legend. Manoj never was accepted in that league. That is fine. My contention simply was that seniority should be met with respect, talent should be recognised with humility. On hindsight its easy to sit back and pull apart films since a hundred thousand more have been released. Some better, smany worse and others take offs from the very same films of Manoj, so therefore the later ones would be easily recognisable and the earlier appear as boring clones when the reverse is true.

    Gosh its karva Chauth, ..That is about all I can write on a hungry stomach :)

  13. Salim said:

    Being in a different continent to you guys is annoying – i miss all the fun discussion! Was good reading everything though.

    Some great songs of Manna Da that u’ve all mentioned – a couple i’m unfamilar with, that i’ll check out (Phool Gendwa)

    Regarding Manoj Kumar – I liked watching him in his early movies – Woh Kaun Thi, Upkar, Himalay Ki God Mein, Apne Hue Paraaye, Gumnaam, and of course Shaheed – what an amaaazing movie and incredible songs. Totally agree with Pardesi’s love of this movie.

    Hariyali Aur Raasta i didnt like but what an awesome soundtrack…Allah Jaane Kya Hoga Aage.

    I wish he wouldn’t get involved in all these controversies now, but at the same time I agree people should just keep quiet as he is an elder.

    I’ve not seen his Anita/Roti Kapda aur Makaan/Purab aur Paschim yet.

    Kaveeta – hope ur Karva Chauth went well :-) I found an awesome article about our Meena Kumari – i’ll post it soon.

    S.

  14. pardesi said:

    Kaveetaaa – hope the Karwa Chauth fast went well!! I am posting a Manoj song JUST for you!!

    I wonder why we are not bringing Dev Anand into this mix. He is a more reelvant comparison to Manoj than Raj Kapoor. He too made some ground breaking films (both in terms of technical innovation and content) but went rapidly downhill and became irrelevant, now he is treated as a geriatric joke.

  15. Akshay said:

    I was reading this article about Manna De about how he has received everything pretty late in life be it money, fame or awards. Great to see that his talent has finally been rewarded.

    Great gems that you all mentioned here. There is a particular Manna De song (besides the one you all mentioned) that I really like, its a personal fav for many reasons – “Kahan se Aaye Badra”

  16. Akshay said:

    NG is really helping me with my knowledge – I just googled about Kahan se aaye Badra and came to know that it actually has been sung by Yesudas. All these years I thought it was Manna De. Sorry for the SPAM guys :)

  17. Tango said:

    Akshay- I remember Dipti Naval singing that song in a film that also had Farooq Sheikh. Saw it on Doordarshan. It was I think Sai Paranjape’s Chashme Baddoor.

  18. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    Thanks for the song Pardesi :)Karva Chauth went off well..Thankfully chandamama didnt play truant and arrived much on time although one was apprehensive of cloudy skies and a hide n seek with him.But none of that happened.

    You really think that Dev Anand is a relevant comparison to RK? The films produced under the Nav Ketan banner and which have proven to be of great significance are the ones directed by Vijay Anand and who I would definitely without any shanka place in the list of top 5 Indian Directors. But evergreen Dev Saab , although unforgettable as an actor in the roles of Raju guide, Hum dono, Tere Mere sapne, etc wouldnt grace this list,imho.

  19. Zen said:

    Its is highly appropriate to discuss Karva Chauth with Bharat Kumar :)

    Manoj will always remain a Giant of Hindi Cinema for a number of reasons: He is the second biggest star turned director, he made two culturally significant films that one may term classics in Shaheed and Pukar, HE WAS AND REMAINS THE ONLY STAR TO STAR IN THREE SUCCESSIVE BLOCKBUSTERS (Roti Kapda – a film that remains in the top 10 most successful of the 70s, Sanyasi and Dus Numbri), a 30 year record that looks likely to be broken by Aamir after 3 idiots.

    Whilst being a reputable director, he continued to star in a number of hits directed by others besides shaheed (Do badan, Neel Kamal, Pehchaan, Beimaan, Dus Numbri) over a ten year period. In the 70s, He was in the top 5 biggest stars. Compare that with today’s big 5, and you will imagine the magnitude.

    But then above all this he is Bharat Kumar, and that alone outweighs any of his other achievements or tiny blemish on his career. IMO, the feminist or whatever you call it argument cannot be made against Manoj Kumar unless it is used against all the successful late 60s and 70s commercial directors. And who can blame them when Raj Kapoor paved the way with blatant exploitation of the fairer sex. RK really is the culprit here, as well as the audiences, who made sure that what he was dishing out was celebrated to blockbuster status. And yet, Manoj kumar managed to fill his films with such realism that we in seeking escape just do not want to see. The rape scene in Roti Kapda is grounded in reality IMO and successfully puts his message across. One may not like Manoj kumar, but lets not deny him his important place in hindi cinema history. I also strongly recommend his early hits to anyone who wishes to pass a judgement on him.

  20. Zen said:

    Aside, Bharat kumar with Rajesh khanna cornered the market on hit songs in their time; his films are littered with great songs from the early period (apne huway paraye, Who Kaun Thi, shaheed) to his classics (upkar, Roti Kapda,) to the 70s gems (Pehchaan, Beimaan, Chor). Kranti remains my favourite hindi soundtrack, and dus numbri is another perennial favourite. Bharat Kumar Zinda baad!

  21. pardesi said:

    That is a beautiful song Zen, thanks for reminding me of it. But I will remain fast on my stance that I preferred Manoj outside his own banner barring a few great films, including Shaheed. His films did have wonderful music though, but so did many Raj Kapoor films, and Navketan were the baap of good music. Even today, if we set aside patriotic emotions, the Guide music tops the music of any Manoj film.

    I had brought up Dev and Navketan because there was a synergy between Dev and Vijay – after the rift of sorts between them, Vijay was never able to recapture the magic he created in films that starred Dev Anand and were under the home banner.

    About three consecutive blockbusters – I thought SRK already achieved that with OSO, CDI and Rab ne. And by all reports TZP and Fanaa were NOT blockbusters, but I hardly want to pollute talks of divine music and film history with endless Box Office debates.

  22. Zen said:

    Kaveeta thanks for that reminder, why don’t they make music like this anymore?
    Fair Point Pardesi on bharat Kumar. Now I am going pull your leg once more and say that Navketan never achieved the heights of music in two other Dev Anand films: Baazi (S.D Burman) and C.I.D. (O.P nayar) :)

    SRK did not match the record because in between those films he had a role in Boothnaath, which is more than a special appearance in all honesty.

  23. pardesi said:

    Hahaha Zen, but that only cements the point that Dev film music topped Manoj film music ;-)

    About Bhoothnath – it was absolutely a special appearance – and exceptionally well used in the frequency that somehow hid the berevity. Usually people have special appearances happen in one stretch, but this debutant director knew what he was doing. For me this is not a valid quibble at all :)

  24. Zen said:

    OK, then I’m all the more happier for it that one of my favourite of the current lot gets to match the record and not Aamir ;)

  25. Rocky said:

    Great discussion, great comments about Manoj Kumar – kaveeta and zen.
    The Music, the picturization of the songs by MK is unbeatable and always took the story forward in the movie-
    1.Main na bhoolonga
    2 mehgani maar gai
    3.aur nahin bas aur nahi- gham ke pyala aur nahi
    4.chana jor garam- has atleast-6 top playback singers – a real treat to watch the song with MK and DK .
    5.jab shoonya diya bharat ne
    6.the cycle song in shor

    these are just songs, he has many brilliant scenes as well- abhee time nahi hai !
    Zen – Dus Numbari simply ROCKS !!!

  26. Rocky said:

    Kaveeta – those mehandi pictures on your blog are awesome.
    last year went to attend a wedding of my cousin in India and three mehandi girls took home a cool Rs.15,000 for applying mehandi for 4 hours during the sangeet.

  27. Zen said:

    Rocky I would add Looie Shama Sha to your list, which perfectly does the impossible job of moving the story forward whilst at the same time being a amusing diversion. and what melody… Lehja Pyar Zara Sa, Lehja Pyar Zara Sa

    Dus Numbri is a true blue masala classic, highly recommended to anyone who wants to relive the masala experience. BTW, I sometimes go back to the songs on line, and they usually come with Parental Advisory warning! The brilliant “Mujhe Dard Rahta hai” warrants that label ;) and not the others.

  28. Kaveetaa Kaul said:

    Heyy Rocky ..thanx :)

    Since a discussion on Mk is not an everyday event but something that just sporadically happened..how about this song from Upkar.. BTW Ashas name was Kavita in the film:)

    And yeah the mehndi walis make a killing at weddings perhaps exploiting the emotive atmosphere when shagun ki mehndi and its charges will not be made into an issue.

  29. Rocky said:

    LOL Zen-
    Hari naam ko jaap kar ganga jal pee lena..
    yadee phir bhee nahee mile tujhe aaraam..
    tau rakhsha kare teri Siya Ram !

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