Bollywood loses its only classical voice

Bollywood loses its only classical voice

Manna Dey's songs live on

Bollywood loses its only classical voice

Singing legend Manna Dey passed away at a private hospital here early on Thursday. He was suffering from respiratory problems and put on a ventilator. He breathed his last at 3:52 am following a multi-organ failure.  

The 94-year-old singer was not keeping well. He was hospitalised for the last five months.  The body was taken to Ravindra Kalakshetra for fans to pay their last respects.

 A few members of the Bangalore Bengali Association sang “Aaguner poroshmoni,” penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, at the funeral. The singer was consigned to flames at the Hebbal crematorium, where son-in law Gyanranjan Dev performed the last rites.

“His daughter and son-in-law were around when he breathed his last,” said Vasuki S, spokesperson of Narayana Hrudayalaya. “Though he showed some improvement after he was put on intensive care, he began deteriorating since the last two days.” 
Dey had been staying with his daughter Shumita Deb in Bangalore for the last two decades.  Shumita said the singer had developed back problems four years ago. He was also suffering from kidney ailments. 

Shumita, whom Dey called “chum chum,” described him as a doting father. “He loved the food I cooked. He was a great cook himself,” she said, bursting into tears when requested to sing one of her father’s song. “His biggest regret was that I could not become a singer,” Shumita said.  

Before being admitted to the hospital, Dey was rehearsing for an album dedicated to his wife Sulochana. 

“If there was someone who could sing it, then it was him. Now that he is no more, it will remain incomplete. It was his last wish to complete the album,” Shumita said. Her elder sister, who lives in the US, could not fly down to India for Dey’s last rites because of ill health. 

Singers Archana Udupa, Shimoga Subbanna, Yeshwanth Halebandi and Sangeetha Katti, actors Tara and Umashree and the minister of women and child development were present at Ravindra Kalakshetra. 

Udupa, who had performed with Dey, said his death was a great loss. “He would treat other singers with so much respect, irrespective of whether the person was junior or senior to him,” she said. 

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have conveyed their condolences to the family. Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Bannerjee was also present. He had come to pay respect on behalf of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee. 

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