Fans of legendary singer Manna Dey were left disappointed with the arrangements made for his funeral. The singer, who was living in the city for the past several years, died of multi-organ failure at the Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital here early on Thursday morning.
His body was placed in the Samsa Open Air Theatre, behind Ravindra Kalakshetra, for about two hours (10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.) on Thursday morning for fans, admirers and well wishers to pay their last respects. Some noted names, such as actor Tara, and playback singers Muddu Mohan and Archana Udupa, were among those who paid their last respects.
Fans from Kolkata like Pankaj Ghosh, who was coincidentally in Bangalore on a business trip, were collectively let down by the lack of interest shown towards making the singer’s final journey a memorable one.
“At least three generations have grown up listening to Manna Dey’s songs. We saw on television that he had passed away and rushed here to pay our respects. But we were shocked to see that his body was kept here in the open…not even inside the auditorium. Had he died in West Bengal, he would have been given a grand farewell,” he rued.
Another admirer, Bikas Das, was open in his criticism of the West Bengal government too. “They should have come forward to perform the last rites in Bengal,” the goldsmith from Bangalore said.
While anger and disenchantment was writ large over the faces of the grieving fans, the celebrities who came to bid adieu had many kind words to say. Amidst rumours that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was expected come (which eventually did not happen), singer Muddu Mohan expressed his fondness and admiration for Manna Dey by saying that he had adopted some of the legend’s techniques in sugam sangeeth.
Actor Tara too sang his praise, while also expressing pride that he had chosen the city as his home for the past several years.