RD Burman – arguably the most influential music composer we had. The man who revolutionized the sound of Indian film music with jazz, guitars is a constant feed for today’s RJ and young experts on music.
The lethal, magical and mesmerizing combo of Pancham Da and Gulzar is exceptional they both have amazingly contributed to each other’s success equally.
Today on RD Burman’s 78th birth anniversary we revisit and recollect the gems and genius behind those haunting melodies that are pure class – A different side of RD that underlines the mastery of RD over Hindustani classical music and the power of Gulzar’s soulful and reminiscent poetry to life.
RD and Gulzar’s first combination from Gulzar’s PARICHAY (inspired by Hollywood’s SOUND OF MUSIC). This song soulfully sung by Kishore Kumar has interesting similarities with the famous Archimedes ‘Eureka’ episode (not entirely, the enlightenment in the bathroom is similar).
Gulzar gave the first couple of lines of ‘Musafir hun yaaron’ to RD to compose. Guitarist Bhanu Gupta (now 86) has recollected in HarperCollins India publication – ‘RD Burman The Man, The Music by Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal, he says, ‘ while practicing the chords in the music room, ‘Pancham’, who was taking a shower, opened the bathroom door, poked his head out and said, “Bajate thako, themo na (Keep playing, don’t stop).” Bhanu continued playing the chord progression. When Pancham came out, he was humming a tune that fit the chord sequence and it was “Mujhe chalte jana hai”. Later, he went back to the first two lines.
In a rare occasion, Pancham composed the tune for the refrain first and then for the mukhra’ TERE BINA ZINDAGI SE, AANDHI (1975) Before TERE BINA ZINDAGI SE, RD was often criticized for not going beyond mild classical but this number that speaks about the complications of love (famous as ‘it’s complicated’ in today’s generation’s language) changed the opinion. Lata Mangeshkar’s divine voice and Kishore Kumar’s roaring emotions in his seamlessly haunting voice made this unforgettable gem one of RD – Gulzar’s best.
MERA KUCH SAMAAN, IJAAZAT (1988)
A mesmerizing memo on how love never goes/dies even after separation and stays in some memories somewhere around us.. MERA KUCH SAMAAN has a pleasing innocence attached to it. RD’s world was limited to music and with his limited knowledge of poetry, RD when came across the lyrics of this poetic gem by Gulzar reacted, “Next, you will bring me the headline of Times of India and ask me to compose it.”.but the magic of Gulzar took no time to cast its spell on RD and later Asha Bhosle’s magical voice and RD’s soulful tunes made this inseparable from the lovers of RD and Gulzar
DO NAINA AUR EK KAHANI, MASOOM (1983)
The list of RD – Gulzar will go on but to sum it up from where we started, DO NAINA AUR EK KAHANI from MASOOM sung by Aarti Mukherji on the face of it for common listeners is haunting lullaby but actually it’s a profound philosophy of life and its cycle. “Ek khatm ho to, Doosari yaad aa jaati hai, Hothhon pe fir bhooli hui, Baat aa jaati hai”. Do Naina.. is beyond a lullaby and the same can be said about RD and Gulzar its beyond comparison, divine, magical and inspirational.
We wish RD Burman on his 78th birth anniversary a very happy birthday.. the ‘Caravan’ of mesmerizing, seamless melodies will continue as whenever the musicians of today give their tribute to RD in their compositions from time to time, our heart beats again saying ‘Dekho who aa gaya’ from ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’..