At first I thought the title of this post should be “The End of a Legend”, but then legends never ends. Like the grand old man of Indian music, a legendary singer, who left the world today, but whose legend shall live on in his songs for a very long time. This will be the legacy of Manna Dey, one of the greatest singers we have been fortunate enough to listen to. His songs, masterpieces. Especially this favourite …
After all, the world is like a coffee house, isn’t it? People come and go, get together for a while, discuss topics hotly, drink endless cups of tea, and smoke endless cigarettes, and then go their own ways, never to be seen again. The next day, there is a new set of people who come, play the same games again, and depart on to their destination. The tables remain the same, the cups and ashtrays remain the same, but the people, ah the people … they are never quite the same, and once they go, they don’t come back, and that same group doesn’t ever meet again to discuss the topics they hotly debated once.
But Manna Dey’s voice, the songs he gave us, will be his legacy, which he will be remembered by. After all, isn’t there the song which goes:
Naam gum jayega, chehra ye badal jayega;
Meri aawaaz hi pehchaan hai, gar yaad rahe!
(The name will be lost, forgotten, and the face will change so that you wont be able to recognize me;
My voice is my only identity, if you care to remember it!)
Heres a set of some of those evergreen songs sung by the legend …
And as if to salute the legend, a song which sort of describes a philosophy of life, another song by Manna Dey which remains on our lips, brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eyes …
People shall forget, and people shall remember … Farewell!