Wednesday's news of noted singer Manna Dey's prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award nomination has not only gladdened the 90-year-old singer but also his fans -- especially his fans in Bangalore.
Though Dey had lived in Mumbai [ Images ] for more than 55 years, he has a special affection for Bangalore. After all, that is the place where he married his wife Sulochana.
He would remember the long walks he had with his wife in places like Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh in Bangalore.
"He struck me with his simplicity. He would wait in queue for consultations," says Dr Hegde, a dentist who treated the singer.
Dey and his wife had shifted to Bangalore many years ago to be with their younger daughter Shuroma. They stayed at a rented house in Kalyana Nagar near Banaswadi.
Active even in his old age, Dey is a regular visitor to many cultural and social programmes organised by some of his friends in Bangalore.
Venkatesh, a Kannadiga who is a great fan of the singer, remembers Dey driving his Alto [ Images ] car. "Once I asked him that I will bring my car to take him to a function. Dada told me that he will drive to my house in his own car. He came to my house within 10 minutes. His love for music was unmatched."
Dey's love for Bangalore, its people and climate is well known, says Venkatesh. "Even now, he would travel from Mumbai or New Delhi [ Images ] to meet his friends, relatives and well wishers," Venkatesh adds.
Despite his celebrity status, Dey's simplicity and exceptional talent attracted many people in Bangalore, the city that has felicitated him many times. Just last year when he completed 90 years, the singer was felicitated by the Jadavpur University Allumni Foundation in Bangalore.
Many music directors of the Kannada film industry say they're glad of the belated recognition to the singer.
"Manna Dey had rendered playback singing for three Kannada films and would try to sing these numbers in some functions. He would always try to associate himself with many social and cultural programmes here. Proceeds of many of his musical programmes were used for charitable purposes," says B N Das, owner of K C Das Sweets in Bangalore.
Says Lahari Velu of Lahari music audio company, "People of Karnataka [ Images ] feel that he is one of them, so the award too belongs to them in a way."