It is Manna’s day in Bangladesh

February 19th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 19 (IANS) “It is survival of the fittest,” Indian singer Manna Dey, 90, has said of the current competitive audio music market in Bangladesh and India.
He told an audience here Wednesday: “I’ve been involved with music for over six decades now; I am 90. I started my career in Bombay (now Mumbai), which has always been a tough gauntlet for a newcomer.

“In my day, I had to compete with legends like Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mahmud and Kishore Kumar, and carve a niche for myself.”

Even now, the nonagenarian practises for two hours every day to keep his voice in shape, The Daily Star reported Thursday.

From regaling enthusiastic music lovers with his golden oldies to releasing books and offering a few tips to those who want to pursue art - he was heard in pin-drop silence.

On his yet-again singing tour, the nonagenarian has held audiences spell-bound along with Haimanti Shukla.

He began this visit by declaring: “Dhaka audience is better than in Kolkata.”

He received a crest of honour Wednesday in Dhaka. His wife Sulochana Dey, a noted singer of songs penned by Rabindranath Tagore, was present.

“Music is something that one cannot learn properly without a mentor. One has to be devoted to learn music,” said Dey at a programme held at the campus of the Department of Music, University of Development Alternative (UODA).

The presence of living legend of Bangla song Manna Dey overwhelmed the crowd at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela Wednesday.

He unveiled covers of two books by Lipi Manwar titled “Dushtu Cheler Dol” from Miazi publications and a poetry collection titled “Shapnabilashi Mon” from Alpana prokashan at a brief ceremony at the fair premises.

During the unveiling ceremony, he said the huge crowd at the fair reflected the love of Bengalis for their language. A group of at least eight poets from Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai also visited the book exhibition.

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