RD Burman’s ‘stamp’ of genius: Yeh To Hona Hi Tha!

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On the occasion of  legendary music-composer-singer Rahul Dev Burman (Panchamda)’s 76th birth anniversary this Saturday (27th June),  a rare special commemorative Rs 5/- Postage Stamp featuring two pictures of  the mahaan genius sangeetkar (music composer) is being sought after by his loyal die-hard fans. The “Rs.5/-” value matches Pancham’s mascot No. 5 as he considered No:5 lucky. As is known, Pancham means the ‘Fifth Musical Note’ and even his favourite car registration number was 1139 which adds up to 1+ 4 = ‘05’. The icing on the cake is that his name Rahul also has ‘five’ letters!

One of the color pictures on the stamp clicked by senior showbiz journalist Mr. Chaitanya Padukone (Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award winner 2012 for film journalism) has Pancham-da striking a ‘pose’ on the synthesizers.  Not many are aware, Chaitanya, who is otherwise an ardent RDB fan, had the privileged opportunity to attend dozens of Pancham da’s song recordings, while taking his interviews at Film Center (Tardeo – in South Mumbai). The various candid interviews of RDB taken by Padukone were regularly published in a city tabloid newspaper in the ’80s and ’90s.

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Recalls Chaitanya, “Way back in July 1983, I asked Pancham-da to pose on the drums-set and also on the keyboards at Film Center (Tardeo) during the background score of the film MAZDOOR. But the media-shy Panchamda was initially reluctant, as normally he did not play the keyboards at sittings, but preferred the desi harmonium.  ‘Mujhe thodi acting karni padegi,’ he chuckled and also insisted then, that I should ‘not’ publish those photos along with his print-media interviews.”

Then he posed again for Chaitanya’s camera, on the digital recording mixer-console, which was eventually published with the newspaper-interviews.  Now that the melody-wizard has left his indelible ‘stamp’ on the retro-music map of Bollywood, the postal stamp is indeed a token tribute to his musical legacy. Yeh to hona hi tha, right Pancham-da?    

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