"He was such a colossal figure; there can be no alternative to Manna da. People like him evolve into banyan trees on the strength of their work. I am at a loss for words," said Chatterjee, who has lipped a large number of popular songs of Dey in Bengali films over the decades.

The actor said that while in college, he attended some functions where Dey accompanied his uncle - the celebrated singer Krishna Chandra Dey. "I heard several kirtans. I liked a song from Parineeta Chali Radhe Rani. It was a big hit."

Chatterjee later said that when he took up film acting, he got to lip a large number of songs rendered by Dey.

"Many of these songs have stood the test of time. I would like to mention two songs of the film 'Teen Bhubaner Pare' - Ke Tumi Nandini and Hoito Tomari Jonyo. They were such diverse songs, but he sang both of them so well. It only shows his versatility," said the septuagenarian actor.

Veteran singer Dwijen Mukhopadhyay cherished the time he spent with the departed singer through the decades.

"We knew each other for so many decades. We visited each other's house regularly. He rose to great heights in music. All music loving Indians are in grief."

However, Mukhopadhyay felt the Indian government never gave Dey the recognition he deserved.

(Agencies)

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