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Tribute to ‘Kana Kesto’

Krishna Chandra De

The great blind singer Krishna Chandra De may not be a household name any longer as he was till the 1950s, but his deep and melodious voice is unforgettable.

A natural actor both on stage and screen, Kana Kesto, as he was popularly known in those politically-incorrect days, sang kirtan, bhajans, dhrupad and other classical forms not only in Bengali but in Urdu and Gujarati as well. The singer, who is better known as Manna De’s uncle today, was remembered in a programme organised by Sutradhar on Wednesday to observe his 50th death anniversary. A book on him compiled and edited by Devajit Bandyopadhyay was launched at Khelat Bhaban in Pathuriaghat by Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, who at age seven had acted onstage with De, who even taught her to sing.

Singer Juthika Roy, 93, who sang in soirees where De performed as well but never had the good fortune of being introduced to him, was honoured on the occasion. Amlan Dasgupta of Jadavpur University said De was requested at a classical music soiree at Motihari to sing his hit, Chhuo na, chhuo na bandhu. He played a Holi and Bangla dhrupad by De thereafter. Devajit sang De’s theatre songs in conclusion.