The family of legendary playback singer Manna Dey, who passed away here on Thursday, is receiving unusual requests from his fans and friends across the country.
Several people from the music fraternity and the late singer’s fans have been appealing to the family to part with some of his belongings as memorabilia. Among those who have made requests to the family are playback singer Kavitha Krishnamurthy and music director Suparna Kanti Ghosh.
Revealing this to The Hindu, the late singer’s youngest daughter Shumita Deb said that the family was overwhelmed with the love showered upon them. “The family will honour these requests and give them something that my late father used, for them to keep as memorabilia,” Shumita said.
This apart, she also said the family received over 20,000 letters and cards wishing the singer a speedy recovery when he was battling for life in a private hospital here.
“While about half of these letters came from West Bengal and Bangladesh, the rest came from several parts of the world, including Zimbabwe and the Maldives. This shows the love and affection of his fans,” she said.
Manna Dey’s family has also decided to take his ashes to Kolkata for immersion after the 11 day ceremony is completed in the first week of November.
“I am taking the ashes to Kolkata to immerse in the Ganges as we do not want to deny his fans the opportunity to pay their respects to him,” she said.
On the spat over shifting Manna Dey’s body to Kolkata Shumita and her husband Jnan Ranjan Deb clarified that the call from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came too late.
“Though we intimated her office very early in the morning, we were requested to shift the body just when the mortal remains were being taken to the crematorium in the afternoon. The Karnataka Government had made arrangements here and we could not have changed plans. Had it come early in the day, we could have kept it here for sometime before taking it to Kolkata, where his fans could have paid their last respects,” the couple said.
“Though Manna loved Kolkata as he had spent his childhood and formative years there, he chose to live the last part of his life in Bangalore since Shumita is here and his wife Sulochana was from Bangalore. He loved the city,” Mr. Deb said.
Hospital dues to be paid soon
While a portion of the Rs. 41 lakh bill for the late playback singer’s hospitalisation here has already been paid by the family, his daughter Shumita said the rest would be paid soon.
“We have paid Rs. 16 lakh towards the bill and we hope to clear the dues in some time. The hospital has given us time to pay the rest,” she said.
About Rs. 30 lakh belonging to her father had been misused by her relatives, and the family hoped to clear the bills after recovering that money, Shumita added. She has already filed a complaint with the Girish Park police station in Kolkata about the misuse of money from a joint account in State Bank of India’s Vivekanand Road branch.
The family has also sought the Karnataka government’s assistance in clearing hospital dues.