Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan

Posted on: October 24, 2021

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4846 Post No. : 16634

The song, tum jo aao to pyaar aa jaaye zindagi mein bahaar aa jaaye was from a ‘B’ grade film, ‘Sakhi Robin’ (1962) sung by Manna Dey and Suman Kalyanpur. The song was written by a then struggling lyricist, Yogesh Gaud which was set to music by Robin Banerjee who was trying to establish himself as the music director in Hindi films but did not succeed. If this song was to appear in an ‘A’ grade film, probably this duet would have been sung by Mohammed Rafi or Mukesh with Lata Mangeshkar. Another popular song, na jaane kahaan tum thhe na jaane kahaan ham thhe from ‘Zindagi Aur Khwaab’ (1961) was sung by Manna Dey with Suman Kalyanpur set to music by Dattaram who was also trying his best to graduate from assistant to Shankar-Jaikishan to an independent music director since 1957.

Personally, I was very happy that these two romantic songs were sung by Manna Dey with Suman Kalyanpur as they broke the monotony of our ears getting flooded with the familiar voices of the topmost male and female playback singers of that time. These two songs became popular as they were regularly played on Vivid Bharati.

What made me to remember these two songs is the 8th Remembrance Day of Manna Dey today, October 24, 2021. It is Manna Dey’s bad luck that his singing versatilities could not be fully exploited by the music directors. He could not become the mainstream playback singer as his contemporary playback singers, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood and later Kishore Kumar were preferred by producers, directors and actors. Nonetheless, Manna Dey who commenced his playback singing career in Hindi films in 1942 continued to sing until 1990s – a period of 5 decades during which he sang close to 1375 songs in diverse genres in Hindi films and composed songs as a music director for 15 Hindi films.

Probodh Chandra Dey, known by his pet name, Manna Dey (01/05/1919 – 24/10/2013) had the initial training in music from his uncle, K C Dey. When K C Day decided to shift to Mumbai in the early 1942 on the invitation of Chimanlal Trivedi of Laxmi Productions, Manna Dey accompanied him to assist him both in his filmy career as a music director as well as to look after his uncle who was blind. It was K C Dey, who gave Manna Dey his debut song, a duet with Suraiya, jaago aayi usha panchhi bole jaago in ‘Tamanna’ (1942). Neither the songs nor the film created any ripple on the box office front. He also got opportunity to sing three songs in ‘Ram Rajya’ (1943) which was first offerred to K C Dey but declined the offer by saying that he sang only his self-composed songs.

While Manna Dey continued to assist K C Dey, he was entrusted to Ustad Aman Ali Khan of Bhendi Bazar Gharana by his uncle to get him trained as a vocalist in Hindustani classical music. He also took training in learning Urdu to improve his diction. In 1946, K C Dey returned to Kolkata after which Manna Dey assisted music directors Hari Prasanna Das, Khemchand Prakash and S D Burman. Somehow, he detested the work of music direction and instead concentrated on playback singing.

Manna Dey started his playback singing career at a time when Mukesh had started his career as a singer-actor in 1941 followed by Mohammed Rafi in 1944. It would be interesting to know as to how they fared in their initial play-back singing career in the 1940s. As I expected, Mohammed Rafi topped among them with around 325 songs, followed by Mukesh (around 160 songs). Manna Dey came a distant third with around 60 songs only. It was apparent that Manna Dey getting branded as a specialist in classical singing and singing for character actors in the genre of prayer or philosophical songs, had affected his playback singing output significantly.

In the 1950s also, Manna Dey was not yet in the reckoning as one of the main playback singers for the lead actors. The producers/distributors of the films preferred Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, and Talat Mehmood in that order. Manna Dey would get the chance to sing for the lead actors only if the song was based on a classical raagas. Even in other genres of songs, he got only limited opportunity to sing for the lead actors.

In one of his interviews, Manna Dey had revealed that sometime in 1954, he had contemplated to quit the Hindi film industry out of the frustration of not getting opportunity to sing for the lead actors and also in diverse genres. It was his wife, Sulochana Kumaran who encouraged him to give up the defeatist attitude and prove that he could sing any type of songs.

A major opportunity came to Manna Dey in the film ‘Shri 420’ (1954) when Mukesh after singing two songs for Raj Kapoor excused himself from singing more songs as he had signed a contract with the producer of ‘Maashooqa’ (1953) which prohibited him singing in other films until the release of the film. This gave opportunity for Manna Dey as he was chosen to sing for Raj Kapoor for 3 remaining songs. He also sang for Raj Kapoor in ‘Chori Chori’ (1956) and in ‘Parvarish’ (1958). All these songs became very popular. With these success, Shankar-Jaikishan got confidence to make Manna Dey sing 4 songs for Shammi Kapoor in ‘Ujjala’ (1959). But thereafter it was back to square one as in the 1960s, producers and actors preferred Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh over Manna Dey.

Probably, to prove his point that he could sing any genre of songs, in the 1960-70s, he sang a few beautiful non-film songs of the diverse genre such as nazaaron mein ho tum khayaalon mein ho tum, ye aawaara raaten ye khoyi si baaten, ‘nathhili se toota moti re’, ‘saawan ke rimjhim mein thirak thirak naache’ and many more.

In the 1960s, Manna Dey sang diverse types of songs some of which were not to his likings. But he accepted such songs to prove a point that he could sing any genre of Hindi films songs. Since he was regarded as a specialist in classical rendition, some music directors started using his classical rendition in the comical situations. For instance, he sang a Bhairavi thumri, arre hato kaahe ko jhoothhi banaao batiyaan in ‘Manzil’ (1960) which was made very famous by Ustad Faiyyaz Khan. In the similar situation, Manna Dey also rendered phool gendwa na maaro in ‘Dooj Ka Chaand’ (1964). He was also the main voice in one of landmark qawwalis of Hindi films, na to kaarwaan ki talaash hai in ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ (1960).

Manna Dey also sang fun songs mostly for Mehmood in the 1960s like main tere pyaar mein kya kya na bana dilbar in ‘Ziddi’ (1964), aao twist karen jaag uthha mausam in ‘Bhoot Bangla’ (1965), o meri maina maan le mera kehna in ‘Pyaar Kiye Jaa’ (1966) and the iconic song, ek chatur naar kar ke singaar in ‘Padosan’ (1968).

Despite Manna Dey proving himself to be a versatile singer, he never got his dues that he deserved from Hindi film industry. From his interviews most of which he gave after he took the ‘self-imposed exile’ from Hindi film industry in the 1990s, his frustration about the way he was treated by Hindi film industry is quite apparent. In his interviews, Manna Dey gave a few instances where producers openly said their preference for Mukesh in front of him for the songs he was to sing. Fortunately, in most such cases, the concerned music directors stood for him. One such instance which Manna Dey did not reveal openly but shared with Pulak Bandyopadhyay, the lyricist for Bangla films and non-films songs:

When Manna Dey was rehearsing the song, tere naina talaash karen from ‘Talaash’ (1969) with S D Burman in his music room, O P Ralhan, the producer-director of the film walked in and listened to the song. In the presence of Manna Dey, O P Ralhan asked Burmanda as to why not Mukesh sing. Burmanda replied that Mukesh can not sing this song. O P Ralhan’s repartee to Burmanda was that why did he compose song which could not be sung by Mukesh ? Burmanda lost his cool and told O P Ralhan that if he wants S D Buirman’s music for ‘Talaash’, this song will have this tune and it would be sung by Manna Dey only. If he does not like this arrangement, he can look for another music director. O P Ralhan retreated from his stand. On the day of celebration of the silver jubilee of the film, O P Ralhan said ‘S D Burman Saab, you are our Dada – our eternal Dada’ [from Pulak Bandyopadhyay’s autobiography in Bengali ‘Kathay Kathay Raat Hoye Jay’ quoted in ‘S D Burman – The World of His Music’ by Khagesh Dev Burman (2013)].

Probably, Manna Dey lacked the ‘glamour’ quotient which his contemporaries, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood and later Kishore Kumar had due to their large and strong fan-followings many of them could turn out to be the ‘fanatic’ fans. A large fan-following drives the box office demand for a playback singer. Nonetheless, Manna Dey has left with us scores of his immortal songs as a proof of his versatility to cherish his memory.

On the occasion of 8th Remembrance Day of Manna Dey, I have selected one of his trade mark semi-classical songs, ‘man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan’ which is the only remaining song from ‘Chandramukhi’ (1960) to be covered on the Blog. The song was written by Bharat Vyas which was set to music by S N Tripathi.

‘Chandramukhi’ (1960) had 8 songs of which 7 songs have been covered on the Blog as under:

Songs Date of Posting Singers
Nain ka chain churaakar le gayi 29/03/2010 Mukesh
Aaj rituon ka raaja aaya 18/04/2011 Rafi-Suman Kalyanpur
Tera man mera man miley preet yoon khile 20/05/2012 Lata-Mukesh
Nadi kinaare koi pukaare 09/12/2012 Geeta Dutt-Rafi
Nainon se nainon ki baat huyi 08/02/2013 Lata
Chaandni jhilmil kare taaron bhari ye raat hai 03/12/2016 Sudha Malhotra-Lata
Bas gayi hai aankhon mein 18/12/2020 Manna Dey-Suman Kalyanpur

With the last song being covered now, all the songs of ‘Chandramukhi’ (1960) have been covered on the Blog.


Note: The information used in this article on the life sketch of Manna Dey has been taken from his interviews which appeared on print as well as electronic media.

Audio Clip:

Song-Manbhaawan sangeet suhaawan (Chandramukhi)(1960) Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Bharat Vyas, MD-S N Tripathi



man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan
man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan
madhur madhur madhu been bajaawan
sa ma ma ga dha
pa ma dha ri
sa ni dh pa ma ga ri sa
man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan

aadi bramah lay sur upjaaye ae ae ae
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aadi bramah lay sur upjaaye
sapta suran ke haath sajaaye
mahaguni Naarad ne apni
veena par kiske gun
man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan

saraswati ki taan sureeli
sunkar dharti dol uthhe
aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aaa
saraswati ki taan sureeli
sunkar dharti dol uthhe
jan jan ki sangeet sudha se
dason dishaayen bol uthhe
ma ma dha
ni re gaa re gaa re saa
ni re saa
paa ni saa

jal thhal dole ambar dole
dhara kaa kan kan bol uthe
mahadev kaa maharaag sun
sheshnaag bhi dol uthhe

[Tabla notations recited by
Manna Dey and an unidentified male voice]

aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aa aa aa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aaa
aa aa aa aaa
man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan
man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan

8 Responses to "Man bhaawan sangeet suhaawan"

Thank you Sadanandji for this tribute to Manna Dey.
Sheer coincidence, I just heard the two songs that you mentioned at the start of this post on vividh bharati’s tribute program


Peevesie’s Mom.
It is a pleasant surprise for me that lthe programme host of Vividh Bharati remembered these the two songs which I mentioned at the start of my article.

Liked by 1 person

Thanks for sharing the nice song which I have heard for the first time on this death anniversary of Manna Da! Thanks again!

Shrikrishna Sathe

On Sun 24 Oct, 2021, 7:29 AM Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs, wrote:

> Atul posted: “This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow > enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. > This article is meant to be posted in If this article > appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of” >


Shrikrishna Sathe ji,

I am glad that you liked the song.


Sadanand ji .
Thanks for the great tributes paid to Manna Dey in the post. Yes, Manna Dey did not get his dues. Personally , I would always place him next to Rafi if not on same level. I would say he was more versatile than his ‘ other’ contemporaries.


Satish ji,
Thanks for your comments.
I always felt that S D Burman had the neck of selecting the best among the top male playback singers of his time for a given situation of the songs in the films.


Sadanand ji,

Many Thanks for this well deserved tribute to Mannada.

The BIG 3 factor was also a reason for his sidelining. Though in hindsight, it feels that his voice was more suited on RK than Mukesh, RK knew the pulse of audience acceptability and continued rightly with Mukesh albeit some special songs such as the one in Dil hi tho hai.


Mahesh ji,
As I said in my article, it is the fans of the top three playback singers which acted as the pulse of the audience as you said. And Manna Dey did not have a large fan following.

I personally feel that Raj Kapoor’s voice was a blend of both Mukesh and Manna Dey. You may check the songs Raj Kapoor sang for himself in ‘Dil Ki Rani’ (1947), ‘Jail Yatra; (1947) and ‘Gopinath’ (1948).

Alternatively, you can listen to Raj Kapoor’s rendition of ‘ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo’ from ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970). He had to sing this song humself at a function for Indian Navy in which he was show-casing the songs from the film before its release when Manna Dey could not make it to the function.


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