Stay tuned to our new posts and updates! Click to join us on WhatsApp L&C-Whatsapp & Telegram telegram Channel
ISSN 2231 - 699X | A Publication on Cinema & Allied Art Forms
Support LnC-Silhouette. Great reading for everyone, supported by readers. SUPPORT
L&C-Silhouette Subscribe
The L&C-Silhouette Basket
L&C-Silhouette Basket
A hand-picked basket of cherries from the world of most talked about books and popular posts on creative literature, reviews and interviews, movies and music, critiques and retrospectives ...
to enjoy, ponder, wonder & relish!

When Kishore Protested and SD Burman Persisted: The Making of Dukhi Man Mere

October 13, 2016 | By

SD Burman knew which voice to use for a particular composition. In a backstage meeting Manna Dey had recalled how Kishore Kumar was made to sing Dukhi man mere by SD Burman. Peeyush Sharma remembers Kishore Kumar on his death anniversary with an anecdote about how Dada Burman’s insistence made Kishore agree to sing what has now become an evergreen hit.

Manna Dey, Madan Mohan and SD Burman

Madan Mohan and Manna Dey had assisted S.D.Burman at the beginning of their careers

It was in 1974, at the backstage of the Calcutta Information Centre auditorium that I first spoke to the legendary singer Manna Dey. That happened to be the first of seven more opportunities I had to speak to him on different occasions till 2006. And in all those years I was part of the audience in 24 of his stage shows.

But memories of that first meeting have stayed with me, especially the golden anecdotes he shared. The meeting happened as I was acquainted with a senior member of the program committee of the local Maddox Square area in South Calcutta who knew Manna Dey. He took me along for the event at the CIC and then backstage to meet the celebrity singer in person. I had seen two Manna Dey shows prior to this and was familiar with his ways on stage.

However, on a conversation regarding his early days in Bombay and then on S D Burman whom he had assisted for quite some time, Manna Dey got into the mood to share an incident he had been witness to.

In Manna Dey’s own words (we spoke in Bangla and I have translated it for my readers):

“I was at that point of time getting busy as a singer and also had a couple of films in hand as a music director. You know, earlier I was assistant to Sachin da but since I got busy I could not give him much time. Also, he had Jaidev and Suhrid Kar and also Dutta, as his assistants.

Kishore Kumar with Asha Bhonsle, SD Burman and Vijay Anand

Kishore Kumar with Asha Bhonsle, SD Burman and Vijay Anand (Pic courtesy: Hamara Photos)

One day I went to his house looking for Asha Bhosle, she was rehearsing there with Kishore for a Burman song. I needed her in one of my films.

The atmosphere was charged. Some discussion had taken place. The brothers Chetan Anand and Dev Anand were there. Sachin da was looking upset about something. Well, it was that Sachin da just composed the song, Dukhi man mere, sun mere kehna (sings the first two lines), and wanted Kishore to sing it. But Kishore kept getting nervous, insisting he could not do it. Chetan suggested, let us get Talat. It is a Talat song. Sachin da got more upset. Kishore and only Kishore will sing it, he had decided.

In this commotion, I landed there. Kishore immediately jumped up. ‘Manna da, save me, it is your kind of song, you please sing it, I can never do it.’ Sachin da scolded him, ‘Don’t involve Manna, you will have to sing it.’

I requested to Sachin da to sing the entire song to me. Ah, what an experience it was to listen to him sing. No one could ever match that range, mood and effect. It still rings in my ears. Every time I’ve heard him, I’ve had something new to learn. Well, once over, Kishore asked, ‘Tell me Manna da, can I ever sing it?’ But, Sachin da was Sachin da, absolute genius. He knew how to get the best from any singer and which voice to use for a particular composition. And see, how beautifully Kishore has sung it. Now it seems no one other than Kishore could have sung it.”

Dukhi man mere, sun mera kehna (Funtoosh, 1956) SD Burman / Sahir Ludhianvi / Kishore Kumar

SD Burman october special

The Genius of SD Burman: Silhouette Exclusive October Special Features

Pioneering Experiments that Became Trends: SD Burman and His Experiments (Part-I) – By Moti Lalwani

Evergreen Hits of Dev Anand-Hemant Kumar – By Peeyush Sharma and Antara

‘Deewana Mastana Hua Dil’ – Mesmerizing Music of SD Burman-Majrooh (Oct 1 Anniversary Special) – By Peeyush Sharma

The Tender Musical Tête-à-tête in Chupke Se Mile (Genius of SD Burman) – By Anand Desai and Antara

When Kishore Protested and SD Burman Persisted: The Making of Dukhi Man Mere – By Peeyush Sharma

From the Archives

Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rang Hain – Eternal Melodies of SD Burman-Rafi – By Peeyush Sharma

The Incomparable Music Of S D Burman Transcends Generations – By Antara

‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil was Patchwork’: In Conversation With Vijay Anand – By Peeyush Sharma

‘In Aradhana, Sachin Karta Gave Me My Life’s Biggest Hit’: In Conversation with Shakti Samanta – By Peeyush Sharma

‘The Music Director Knows which Voice would do Full Justice to his Composition’ – In Conversation with Hemant Kumar – By Peeyush Sharma

‘Bade Achchhe Din Thhe, Bade Pyare Saathi, Aur Guni Bhi’ – In Conversation with Majrooh Sultanpuri – By Peeyush Sharma


Creative Writing

Whether you are new or veteran, you are important. Please contribute with your articles on cinema, we are looking forward for an association. Send your writings to

Consulting Editor Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine. To talk of a few passions of Peeyush, one must start with music. He is known to be a collector of music and information pertaining to Indian cinema (majorly Hindi) spanning a period from early 1930s to 1980s. He has a large collection of Bengali and Punjabi music and material as well. He also boasts of a huge library of related material. Peeyush has delivered talks and lectures on music appreciation, contributed write ups in numerous news papers and magazines. He has co-authored a tribute publication on Anil Biswas. He has co-hosted radio talk shows on music and met and interviewed a number of personalities. Occasionally, he delivers talks even now. Peeyush has been the founder secretary of the prestigious, Vintage Hindi Music Lovers Association in Bangalore that honored Anil Biswas in 1985. He is known as a storehouse of old Hindi music and information regarding music and movies. Peeyush is well read in Vedic culture and literature and is invited in various centers to deliver enlightening lectures on Vedic values. His range spans from four Vedas to Upanishads and Darshans as well as Bhagvad Gita. He has delivered talks on Yog Darshan in Yoga schools and large gatherings. He currently lives in Oshawa, Ontario in Canada.
All Posts of Peeyush Sharma

Hope you enjoyed reading…

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting our creative, informative and analytical posts than ever before. And yes, we are firmly set on the path we chose when we started… our twin magazines Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine (LnC-Silhouette) will be accessible to all, across the world.

We are editorially independent, not funded, supported or influenced by investors or agencies. We try to keep our content easily readable in an undisturbed interface, not swamped by advertisements and pop-ups. Our mission is to provide a platform you can call your own creative outlet and everyone from renowned authors and critics to budding bloggers, artists, teen writers and kids love to build their own space here and share with the world.

When readers like you contribute, big or small, it goes directly into funding our initiative. Your support helps us to keep striving towards making our content better. And yes, we need to build on this year after year. Support LnC-Silhouette with a little amount – and it only takes a minute. Thank you

Support LnC-Silhouette

6 thoughts on “When Kishore Protested and SD Burman Persisted: The Making of Dukhi Man Mere

  • Sangeeta Gupta

    I have always believed that the composer and creator knows best and in this piece by Peeyushji has strengthened my belief over again and that too with the great Sachinda to prove the loint.

  • Moti Lalwani

    What an anecdote about Burman Dada and his protege Kishore. I still remember the first time that I heard that song in the just released film ‘Funtoosh’ (1956), we friends were surprised beyond our imagination at Kishore singing a sad song! We couldn’t believe it! Kishore’s voice was full of pathos, but we were used to Dev lip syncing fun songs and romantic songs by Kishore.

    This is what Kishore has said to Ameen Sayani in his interview on Burman Dada’s death: “Aur phir aayi Funtoosh (1956). Funtoosh mein bahut dukh bharaa gaana tha..Sab kehne lage ‘Yeh naya laDkaa Kishore, yeh gaana gaa naheen sakegaa’. Sachin-da aD gaye, ‘Gaana Kishore hi gaayegaa, main gaana usi se gawaayunga’. Phir kya tha, maine gaaya, aur us geet se Sachin-da mere jeevan ka ek hissa ban gaye. Us geet se unmein aur mujhmein woh naata juDaa jise na doori toD paayi hai na maut.”

    Peeyush bhai, a great post deserving ‘Nobel Prize’ if there was one in this category.

  • Peeyush Sharma

    Thanks Sangeeta ji. Even Hemant Kumar shared the same thought that the music director knows who will best voice a particular composition.

    Moti Bhai, the appreciation from knowledgeable readers is my prize.

    Thanks Deepa for appreciating.

    Bharat, I remember Manna Dey mentioning that he was looking for Asha for Gauri Puja, a Desai production, that he came to know was at SDB’s house rehearsing, so he went to fetch her.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Silhouette Magazine publishes articles, reviews, critiques and interviews and other cinema-related works, artworks, photographs and other publishable material contributed by writers and critics as a friendly gesture. The opinions shared by the writers and critics are their personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Silhouette Magazine. Images on Silhouette Magazine are posted for the sole purpose of academic interest and to illuminate the text. The images and screen shots are the copyright of their original owners. Silhouette Magazine strives to provide attribution wherever possible. Images used in the posts have been procured from the contributors themselves, public forums, social networking sites, publicity releases, YouTube, Pixabay and Creative Commons. Please inform us if any of the images used here are copyrighted, we will pull those images down.