It is going to be two months since I have attended this live in concert with Manna Dey and Ameen Sayani but the experience is still fresh. To be honest had attended the concert for one strong reason to see and listen to one person’s voice. The voice that had swooned listeners one and all across the nation. No, I am not talking of Manna Dey (with due respect and after seeing him perform even at 87, I was bowled over) but I had actually gone to see Ameen Sayani.
Being a movie buff and a RJ by profession, passion towards retro Hindi tracks is obvious. I guess I am more inclined towards these songs because I host Meethi Yaadein( in addition to the 2’o clock show and the request hour) on FM Rainbow on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Coming to the concert, the auditorium- Chowdiah Memorial Hall was packed filled with lot of Bengali enthusiasts and quite a number of other people. A co – RJ who had interviewed Manna Dey had mentioned to me earlier that he is short tempered. Had how artists can rise theri temper in front of a live audience during a Jagjith Singh concert. However was expecting Manna Dey to flare up just in case a mobile rings in the concert or if the audience asks him to sing for long. But Manna Dey went with the flow and though he ws strict in asking his musicians to get the ‘sur’ right, he was just magical. He made me wonder if I would speak continously the lenght he sang at his age.
Coming to Amen Sayani, had heard of India’s first RJ who had seen fame that no one else had seen, when I heard him speak on stage in conversation with Manna Dey, I thought is it luck god’s gift or sheer magic of the voice that got him adulation. In the tea break Manna Dey went to take some rest while people were rushing to talk to Ameen Sayani. I could not miss the opportunity and even I rushed to catch a glimpse of him. Mentally feeling like a young teenager I was in complete awe looking at him. Am attaching two snaps, one Manna Da performing and the other where Ameen Sayani is signing an autograph for me with my lucky green pen. Do I sound like a little girl (maybe I am!!).
When I mentioned that I am an RJ, he stared at me and smiled. I added saying no RJ or announcer in the country has seen the kind of popularity he has seen, he commented humbly, “You see at that time All India Radio had banned film songs, and I was on Radio Ceylon, people had no choice but to listen to Binaca Geet Mala.” Another point, which hit me because once I had mentioned it on radio on air, was when a couple of listeners had sent SMSes as though I was a diva and they thanked me profusely for making their day. I mentioned on air that I am not doing much, I am playing songs which someone else has sung, someone else has composed, acted, some one penned. Similar kind of thread with of course with great humility Ameen Saab mentioned that he wouldn’t be where he is if singers, music directors or lyricists didn’t exist and he is because of them.