Mamata calls on Manna Dey
Yesteryear playback singer Manna Dey had a pleasant surprise on Thursday when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came calling on him.
Banerjee, on a low profile, whirlwind visit to the City, spent about half an hour with the nonagenarian singer at his daughter’s Ritu Gokulam’s residence in Kalyan Nagar.
In her brief tete-a-tete with the ailing singer, Banerjee is understood to have conferred West Bengal’s prestigious ‘Vishes Sangeet Mahasamman’ award on Dey, besides also enquiring about his health.
Since the 94-year-old singer would not be in a position to attend the state-sponsored Sangeet Mela, due to begin in Kolkata on April 6, Banerjee — an ardent fan of Dey — is said to have sought to bestow the honours on the singer in City itself.
The singer’s family members refused to speak to reporters to either confirm the award or reveal whether the singer intends to make the trip to Kolkata to receive the honour.
Likewise, Banerjee too refused to take questions from the reporters as she quickly made her way out of the residence.
Children in the locality gathered to meet Banerjee. “I went up to her and greeted her. She lifted me up,” said an excited 11-year-old Daivik. “This photograph will be on my Facebook page,” said his friend Akarsh.
Incidentally, a protest planned near the residence by members of Students Federation of India, turned out to be a non-starter as they could not arrive in time.
Banerjee made a snap exit after the meeting.