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R.D. Burman: A Tribute to a LEGEND

By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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R.D. BurmanMost of us in either of the night spots or for welcoming the new year would have drooled and swooned to either of the multitude of compositions that Rahul Dev Burman aka Pancham has left for us, but none of us remember that just after four days, when we herald the new year, falls his death anniversary. The remix industry that has created a slot for itself also seems to have forgotten the inspiration which gave them an opportunity to make a name for it.

He was the original composer who had his nuances seeped into Indian realities but who had the eagerness and inquisitiveness to bring sounds from all the corners of the world for the Indian listeners. Having honed his skills under the strict observant eyes of his father, Sachin Dev Burman as an assistant music director, he was the man who could shift from Indian classical to Western Rock, jazz, Samba, flamingo etc., with such consummate ease, that he was at times branded as a lifter of songs, as when he was ruling the music industry nobody could stand a comparison to him. It was his devotion to the cause of music which readily coaxed semi-classical singer Bhupinder to play guitar for him.

After his death one of the most delightful and simple music instruments the harmonica or the mouth organ seems to have just gone into oblivion. He showed his expertise with the ‘Hai Apna Dil to Aawara’ in the Dev Anand starrer BAAT EK RAAT KI, which still continues to be the first tune that a mouth organ player learns, to ‘Meri Sapno Ki Raani’ to the soulful rendition that Amitabh Bachchan plays in the melancholy of the night in SHOLAY, to the swan song that Rajesh Khanna sang and caught the whole nation in frenzy. ‘Mere Sapno Ki raani kab Aaegi tu’... is difficult to be emulated. While the composers of the present yore may boast about a music bank, can anybody have the parallels that a legend like S.D. Burman inspired by the music bank that Pancham had, borrowed his composition ‘Sar jo tera Chakrai’. Referred affectionately as Chhote Nawab, aptly he debuted as an independent music director in the film of the same name. And when he passed on the baton to the almighty it was the ‘jal tarang on the tin ki chhat’ that became his swan song. Only he could create music out of the raindrops falling on the roof top made of tin in the hills, as he had this knack of making music out of unconventional things, like the comb or from a wooden surface.

While Gulzar may have made his debut with ‘Mera gora ang laile’, it was with Pancham that he could think about visualizing his dry verses, and he dared Gulzar to go to extremes and made music for as unrhyming verses as could be possible, IZZAZAT and DIL PADOSI HAI being the two highs of this kind. Though married to Asha Bhonsle he rarely used Aasha for slow numbers, and always chose Lata Mangeshkar to give voice to.

A ‘Dum Maro Dum’ launched Zeenat while ‘mehbooba-mehbooba’ became a song that could be classified as the first item number in the real sense of terms. The industry gave him a real tribute when a film was made around him JHANKAR BEATS, and it is a matter of great satisfaction that the new music whiz kids vie to get the coveted R.D. Burman music award, which incidentally is a unique gesture for Pancham, as till date their is no other award which is given to a music talent who has made a mark for himself, thereby providing recognition about the fact that his was an original talent. Till the music is there, and the melody is the king, Pancham would continue to reverberate and resonate in the hearts of music aficionados in the pancham lai and Taal.


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