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R D Burman's Death Anniversary: His Music continues to grow

January 5, 2010 5:26:49 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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It indeed is rather ironic that while the world of Hindi music continues to groove to his music and his oeuvre of music has been part of content of quite a lot of films in the recent times, including BACHNA AE HASEENO, JHANKAAR BEATS etc., all Pancham as an individual is not being given the due recognition.

However redeeming feature is that a coffee table book PANCHAM UNMIXED: MUJHE CHALTE JAANA HAI by filmmaker Brahmand Singh and Gaurav Chopra, bringing in rare vignettes from the life of Pancham has been brought out which indeed underlines the genius that Pancham was and the passion that he had for music. The coffee table book also comes bundled with two DVDs, a form of documentary underlining the progress of career of Pancham till his death.

The information in the book has been packed in a delightful manner and it indeed brings out in succinct detail the passion that Pancham had for his craft. Asha Bhonsle has reminisced in the work that passion used to worship the recording studio and therefore he never sported footwear inside the studio. The title of the work "MUJHE CHALTE JAANA HAI" is symptomatic of the passion that Pancham had for life and music. He was a music director who always lived in the present never bothering about the past or the future, like a river gushing through one physical form to another".

Asha Bhonsle has reminisced that Pancham was one of the rare music directors who used to come to the singers and make them comfortable before the recording, and also between the recordings if they forgot a node. He was a music director who could go to any lengths to have an original sound. In the song from NAMKEEN, " Phir se aayeeo Badra" there is a spatter of rain drops and Pancham had spent whole night in Khandala recording this sound and used it imaginatively in the song. One wonders whether when Gulzar used the same sound in MAACHIS's " Pani-pani re", through Vishal Bhardwaj, whether he was offering the tribute to Pancham's genius, as in the later stage both Pancham and Gulzar had become Siamese twins.

Pancham was also the first music director who introduced the overlap of sound in a song as he did in the song " baithe hain kya Uske paas", from the film JEWEL THIEF, and repeated the same with much panache in IJAZAAT with the songs " choti si kahani se and Katra Katra milti hai", Gulzar penning the lyrics and Asha Bhonsle gave the voice over.

Gulzar has written that a song never gets old and wrinkles never make an appearance on its surface. It can be said with confidence about Pancham's music as well. The timelessness of Pancham's songs is owing to the fact that he nourished the song, nurtured it and composed it. It was owing to his genius and persuasive powers that he could prevail on Shiv Kumar Sharma to play Tabla in the song " mose chal kiye ja" from GUIDE and the same charisma was instrumental in bringing Louis Banks from Kolkata to Mumbai to work for Pancham.

Pancham in the world of Hindi cinema introduced fusion music and retro music, which has become an in-thing these days. While he is considered to be the Badshah of fusion music and king of western music he was also the man who created a fan base for classical music through his songs by making them so mellifluous that it was very easy to sing along and enjoy it. The prime example of this experimentation was in PADOSAN. As he was an accomplished tabla player he used it in imaginative manner in the later stage of his career. Ronu Majumdar, the celebrated flute player and the accomplished fusion maker was groomed under the baton of Pancham.

Though his last few years were not pleasant, as he did not have any work, 1942: A LOVE STORY underlined the fact that magic of Pancham could never be replicated. Had he been alive after 1942: A LOVE STORY, world of Hindi music would indeed have been a different world altogether. Javed Akhtar who penned the lyrics for 1942: A LOVE STORY had succinctly summed up the demise of Pancham in the following words:

"Ye kis makam par sujhi Tujhe bichadne ki

Ki ab jaake to kahi din badalne waale the",

i.e. the moment when you decided to separate, was indeed the revival of the golden days"

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