R.D. Burman, the name is synonymous with western music. This tag of being typecast as a western music director thanks to his high voltage music with songs like ‘Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera…’, ‘Monica O My Darling..’,‘ Lekar Hum Deewana Dil..’,‘ Ye Jawani Hai Deewani..’, ‘ Bachna Aye Haseeno Lo Main Aa Gaya…’. etc. Though this kind of music gave popularity to R.D. Burman but it never satisfied the legendary music director reason being he was always looked down upon as a good music director in the list of great musical stalwarts like Naushad, Shankar Jaikishen, S.D. Burman, Madan Mohan or even junior music directors like Kalyanji Anandji!
Thus this worked as a slow poison for R.D. Burman and to get himself into the top category and wash out the western tag, he began concentrating on Shastriya Sangeet, the crown for which goes to Gulzar, his close friend who knew R.D. Burman since his childhood. Gulzar knew the hidden talent in Burman and in his movie ‘Parichay’, he first gave R.D. Burman a big shot in arm to exploit his musical wealth to the world. Songs like ‘Beeti Naa Beetayee Raina..(PARICHAY)’ , ‘Dil Dhoondta Hai Phir Wohi…(MAUSAM)’, ‘Aaane Wala Pal Jaane Wala Hai… ( GOLMAAL) , ‘Mera Kuch Saman…’( IZAAZAT) and above all the movie that ultimately brought R.D. Burman into the class of top music directors was unanimously Gulzar’s AANDHI. Each song was a pearl in itself like ‘Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa Gaya Hai …’, ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koyi…’ and ‘Is Mod Se Jaatein hain …’.
Having finally triumphed a place amongst the legendary music directors, R.D. Burman now felt that he would be treated respectfully but that was not to be, as the so called Gurus in music still treated him at their feet. How? Here’s an unbelievable instance:
It’s reported that the Bhartiya Sangeet Academy organizes every year a musical show to encourage new musicians and the function is attended by a cream-de-la-cream musicians of India, which also includes a panel of top-notch Hindi Film music directors. Once it so happened when the invitation cards were being prepared to send to the invitees, one invitee card included the name of R. D. Burman. When the chairman of the academy happened to see that card, he was red hot in anger and immediately tore the invitation card into pieces and dashed it off in dustbin. When R.D. Burman came to know about the incident from some unanimous well-wishers, he was totally broken and decided to give such a music that would mortify the Bhartiya Sangeet Academy and he did it with 1942, A LOVE STORY which forced upon the Bhartiya Sangeet Academy to bow down to R.D. Burman and as an apology invited him as a special guest of honor in their yearly function but its reported that an angered R.D. Burman refused to attend the function.