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Puja committee to mark Hemanta Mukherjee & Manna Dey centenaries

Kolkata: A community Durga Puja committee in North 24-Parganas has chosen the centenaries of two legendary vocalists— Hemanta Mukherjee and Manna Dey as their puja theme in 2019.

Sarbojonin Sri Sri Durgotsav Committee and Deshbandhu Nagar (Deep Prangan), Sodepur will celebrate the centenaries of these two legendary artists. Rare photographs of Hemanta and Manna will be put up and their songs particularly the puja numbers will be played during the four days. Though both of them had received all-India recognition, their songs in Bengali have made them immortal.

Till the 1980s, Durga Puja and music remained inseparable in Bengal. The record companies used to publish basic discs before the Pujas and the songs were played in the puja pandals through the amplifiers.

In 1969, two songs composed by Salil Chowdhury and sung by Hemanta Mukherjee, Amae Prashano Kore Neel Dhrubotara and Shono Kono Ekdin became instant hits during the Pujas. Songs sung by Manna Dey such as Lalita Go oke aj chole jete bolna, Sundorigo dohai tomae man koro na and Eto Raj noye go eje abhiman which were released shortly before the puja became very popular in the early 1970s.

Both Mukherjee and Dey were great playback singers and had sung songs for movies where the hero was the matinee idol Uttam Kumar. From the mid 1950s till mid 1960s, popular Bengal film songs like Surer Akashe Tumi je go Sukhtara, Jhar Uteche baul Batash ( Saap Mochan), Surya Dobar Pala (Indrani) and Ei poth Jodi na sesh hoe ( Saptapadi), which were sung by Hemanta and lipped by Uttam Kumar were very popular.

Manna Dey first sung play back in Uttam's lips in Sankhyabela and songs like Ke Prothom kache Esechi and Ami Aguntuk Ki Barta Dilam were instant hit. The Durga Puja committee has decided to hold An Agomoni concert on September 28. Sidhu, Debshankar Halder, Ujjani Mukherjee, Dipayan and Dipannita and Usha Utthup will perform on the Puja days.

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