Born on July 27, 1939, "RD" was the only child of the famous
singer-music director, Sachin Dev Burman.
brought up in Calcutta. Popularly known as Pancham (the nickname given to him by Ashok
Kumar when he found him only singing pa...pa..pa from the "sargam")
scored music for more than 350 films.
After coming to Bombay on completing his matriculation, RD learnt the sarod under Ustad
Ali Akbar Khan And later Ashish Khan.
to assist his father in music-direction. The first film he signed as an independent music
director was "Bhoot Bangla" though his first release was "Chhote
Nawab" for the same producer. His rise to fame was slow but steady. And in the early
seventies, he had few competitors.
Anand ("Hare Rama Hare Krishna," "Heera Panna"), Shakti Samanta
("Amar Prem," "Kati Patang"), Ramesh Sippy ("Sholay,"
"Seeta aur Geeta"), Ramesh Behl ("Jawaani Diwaani"), Vinod Chopra
("Parinda," "1942 - A Love Story"), Nazir Hussain ("Teesri
Manzil," "Caravan," "Hum kisi se kam nahin," "Zamane ko
dikhana hai") and Gulzar ("Parichay," "Ijaazat,"
"Kinara," "Khushboo," "Aandhi") were staunch RD loyalists.
bagged two filmfare awards for "Sanam Teri Kasam" in 1982 and "Masoom"
in 1983. The MP govt. conferred on him with the Lata Mageshkar award for 1992-1993 for his
"outstanding achievements and long-time devotion to music."
years were not too happy. When "Sagar" failed at the box office, he found
himself being sidelined. The only two to stand by him were Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna. He
was shattered when he lost "Ram Lakhan," which Subash Ghai had promised him, to
Laxmikant Pyarelal, the duo who had played in his orchestra.
a heart attack in 1988, he underwent a bypass surgery abroad the next year. While
recuperating he is said to have composed over 2,000 tunes which he kept in his memory
bank. He often said that his best tunes came to him in his dreams and that he had to be in
happy frame of mind even while composing sad tunes. "When I am down, I end up making
a mess of things," he is reported to have said.
music-maestro also composed non-film music. His two most notable attempts in this field
were the international album "Pantera" which he brought out in collaboration
with the Latin American composer, Jose Flores, and "Dil Padosi hai" sung by Asha
Bhonsle with lyrics by Gulzar.
Rahul Dev married Rita in 1960 but they were divorced in 1974. He then married Asha
Bhonsle for whom he had composed many a memorable song in 1980. Indeed, the RD-Asha duo
delighted audiences the world over with their "live" performances, with RD's
showmanship and Asha's natural exuberance making them the perfect pair.
the finger-snappers and the soulful songs sung by R.D. Burman himself... on the occasion
of his death anniversary which fell on January 4, 1998. It was an inherited talent. Music
was a gift bequeathed to Rahul Dev Burman, who passed away so suddenly four years ago, by
his father, Sachin Dev Burman. If
Burman Dada immortalised himself with his two manjhi songs -- O re manjhi (Bandini) and
Sun mere bandhu re (Sujata) -- Burman Baba belted out O manjhi teri naiyya se chhoota
kinara in that long-forgotten river-bank(rupt) bilingual Aar Paar directed by Shakti
Samanta. This timeless manjhi song proves that Papa and Burman Jr were sailing in the same
boat. Sadly, by the time RD's boat sailed into the 1980s, it developed a
leak. If the song hadn't gone unnoticed, RD would surely have sung more such reflective
Doubtless, the distinctive voice of R.D. Burman was capable of conveying the emotional of
a lyric as well, if not better than some male playback singers who sang for him. This is
specially true of RD's tunes for Amit Kumar. In the popular Bade achhe lagte hain (Balika
Badhu), Amit's voice synchronises so well
with RD's that listeners can scarcely tell when Pancham stealthily slips into the number
with the boatman's clarion call O manjhi re jaiyo piya ke des... R.D. Burman often
contributed key lines to his compositions without claiming credit. Though the legendary
cabaret number Piya tu ab to aaja in Caravan is credited only to Asha Bhosle, Pancham's
banshee cries of Monica o my darling have rooted the number in the public's mind. In the
hauntingly bare Kishore Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar love duet Hum dono do premee duniya chhod
chale (Ajnabi), the composer chips in as the bystander at the railway station to ask where
the fugitive lovers are off to.
In Lata's version of Phoolon ka taron ka sab ka kehna hai (Hare Rama Hare
Krishna), Pancham sings for 'Daddy' Kishore Sahu -- with Daddy ka mummy ka sabka
kehna hai ek hazaron mein teri behna hai... These incidental vocal appearances
verify Pancham's casual yet unforgettable artistry.
Recalls Gulzar, "Pancham was an excellent singer. He knew the nuances of
classical singing. For my films, he sang only a couple of songs. But he lent his
voice even so often. For instance, in Jabbar Patel's Musafir, the boatman's
voice-over, is Pancham! As a singer, he would perfect a tune by singing it
repeatedly. In the album that I did with him in 1994, listen to how well he has
sang the numbers Raah pe rahte hain and Koi diya jale kahin (later rendered by
Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, respectively).
Then in Dil Padosi Hai, the original soundtracks by Pancham before they were
dubbed by Asha Bhosle are superb. They show his range as a singer.
INTO A ROLL
The solos and duets that R.D. Burman sang in the '70s asserted his growing
reputation as a rock-`n'-roll renegade. Somehow the serious songs sung by
Pancham (such as the manjhi number in Aar Paar) never got their due. The hits
that Pancham sang were almost invariably gimmicky.
With Mohammed Rafi, RD was heard in his element in the yummy Yamma yamma number
in Shaan. RD's most memorable duet of male bonding was the zany jazz-tinged
title song of Gol Maal. Sung with Sapan Chakravarty, the song's verve is
unmatched by any other song of male bonding in the '80s except perhaps
Jaan-e-Jigar, the groovy Goan gaana that RD `dared' to duet with his favourite
male singer, Kishore Kumar in Pukaar.
R.D. Burman went solo, he made sure it was a song that needed his
voice, and no one else's. Incredibly, the all-time favourite Mehbooba oh
mehbooba (Sholay), might not have been sung by Pancham at all. At first, this
vibrant sexy titillator was to be sung by Asha Bhosle. When Jalal Agha was
brought into the picture to lend a vocal drizzle to Helen's sizzle, R.D. Burman
was considered by Javed Akhtar, Anand Bakshi and Ramesh Sippy as the best bet
for this number inspired by a Demis Roussos chart-topper. Equally accomplished was
Pancham's interpretation of the locomotive rhythms of Dhanno ki aankhon mein raat ka
surma. Gulzar's words in Kitaab were transported to a wonderland of images. It became a
voyage of self-discovery for Pancham. Equally devil-may-care was RD's interpretation of
the number Kal kya hoga kisko pataa (Kasme Vaade) and Samundar mein naha ke (Pukar).
And how elegantly Pancham wore the shirt of hurt into the two Nasir Hussain
musicals Hum Kisise Kam Nahin and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai. In the ever-young songs Tum kya
jaano mohabbat kya hai and Dil lena khel hai dildar ka, R.D. walked tall
over a terrain of pain. The most meditative solo melody that Pancham sang was Yeh zindagi
kuchh bhi sahi in the flop Kumar Gaurav-Poonam Dhillon starrer, Romance, containing some
of RD's best compositions ever. The emotional grip of the lyrical delivery rivals Kabhi
palkon pe aansoon which Kishore Kumar sang for R.D. Burman in Harjaee.
With his singing soul companion Asha Bhosle, R.D. created a dense romantic
atmosphere. Though they sang no more than seven or eight full-fledged duets, the
slender repertoire created a voluminous impression because of their impact.
The first duet that R.D. and Asha sang was O meri jaan main ne kahaa (The
Train). The Rajesh Khanna-R.D. Burman team that bloomed in the '70s was in its
infancy when R.D. composed and sang with Asha for The Train. The film had two
strikingly original-sounding solos Gulabi aankhen by Mohammed Rafi and Kis liye
maine pyar kiya by Lata. Inadvertently, the RD-Asha duet was left out,
sidetracked. R.D. Burman and Asha Bhosle had their revenge the very next year when their
uptempo number outpaced all other chartbusters of Apna Desh. Their heat-and-run number?
The high-pitched ode to raunch -- Duniya mein logon ko dhokha kabhi ho jaata hai. The
number stressed the outlandishness of Pancham's vocals. Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz were
dressed as a couple of freakos in this climactic song. Just when you thought they were the
'70s version of Sonny and Cher, belying all
expectations, the RD-Asha pair hit an all-time high of emotional expression in
Sapna mera toot gaya in Khel Khel Mein. While Kishore Kumar accompanied Asha in
all the frothy fun duets in the film, R.D.Burman stepped in to create waves in
this memorable song of parting and remembrance.
Peculiar, passionate and palpably Pancham is Na jaa jaan-e-jaan that largely
ignored, scene stealer RD-Asha duet in Joshilay. Here and in the disco-very-very
special of the '80s, Jaan-e-jaan o meri jaan-e-jaan in Sanam Teri Kasam, Pancham
stepped back into the shadows to let Asha `squeal' the limelight. But his
contribution to the two duets is like a mistletoe decorating a Christmas tree.
The last duet that R.D. Burman sang with Asha was Yeh din to aata hai (Mahaan).
Sadly by then R.D. Burman's career was under a cloud.
There's an interesting end-game associated with R.D. Burman's career as a
singer. In the selective, reluctant and meagre repertoire of songs that the
chameleon composer chose to sing, one song is extra-special. Kya bhala hai kya
bura in Gulzar's unreleased Libaas. It's one of the few film songs that dares to
make light of the burden of existence. The song is special for another reason. It's the
only time, Rahul Dev Burman dared to face at the microphone with the singer who had seen
him as a child fooling around in shorts at his papa's recordings... and whom the young
adult-Pancham hesitantly approached to sing the first song that he ever
composed. That duet with Lata Mangeshkar was the last song R.D. Burman ever sang in a
versatile music director, Rahul Dev Burman, 54, who died following a heart attack at his
Maryland apartment at Santa Cruz, was one of the giants of Indian film music. Born on July
27, 1939, "RD" was the only child of the famous singer-music director, Sachin
Dev Burman. He was brought up in Calcutta. Popularly known as Pancham (the nickname given
to him by Ashok Kumar when he found him only singing pa...pa..pa from the
"sargam") he scored music for more than 350 films.
coming to Bombay on completing his matriculation, RD learnt the sarod
under Ustad Ali Akbar Khan And later Ashish Khan. He began to assist his father
in music-direction. The first film he signed as an independent music director
was "Bhoot Bangla" though his first release was "Chhote Nawab" for the
producer. His rise to fame was slow but steady. And in the early seventies, he
had few competitors.
Anand ("Hare Rama Hare Krishna," "Heera Panna"), Shakti Sa- manta
Prem," "Kati Patang"), Ramesh Sippy ("Sholay," "Seeta aur
Geeta"), Ramesh Behl
("Jawaani Diwaani"), Vinod Chopra ("Parinda," "1942 - A Love
Hussain ("Teesri Manzil," "Caravan," "Hum kisi se kam
nahin," "Zamane ko dikhana
hai") and Gulzar ("Parichay," "Ijaazat," "Kinara,"
"Khushboo," "Aandhi") were
staunch RD loyalists.
"Ijaazat" won him the National Award, RD bagged two filmfare awards for
"Sanam Teri Kasam" in 1982 and "Masoom" in 9183. The MP govt.
conferred on him
with the Lata Mageshkar award for 1992-1993 for his "outstanding achievements
and long-time devotion to music." The award carries a cash-prize of Rs. 1 lakh
and a citation.
his most notable films were "Apna Desh," "Aap ki kasam," "Agar
hote," "Betaab" and "Love story." While "Drohi,"
"Muskurahat" and ""Gurudev"
were some of his recent releases, those still to hit the big screen include
"Ajay," "Ghaatak," "Love and War" And "1942 - A love
OF MUSIC: Panchamda was among the first to about the fusion of western
rock and jazz with Indian classical music. Though he was often criticized for
"borrowing" tunes and not being ori- ginal, he found nothing wrong with his
style of working. He admitted to taking off from his father's tunes or others
that inspired him. And when younger composers followed in his footsteps, he took
it as a compliment.
years were not too happy. When "Sagar" failed at the box office, he
found himself being sidelined. The only two to stand by him were Dev Anand and
Rajesh Khanna. He was shattered when he lost "Ram Lakhan," which Shubash Ghai
had promised him, to Laxmikant Pyarelal, the duo who had played in his
a heart attack in 1988, he underwent a bypass surgery abroad the next
year. While recuperating he is said to have com- posed over 2,000 tunes which he
kept in his memory bank. He often said that his best tunes came to him in his
dreams and that he had to be in happy frame of mind even while composing sad
tunes. "When I am down, I end up making a mess of things," he is reported to
The music-maestro also composed non-film music. His two most not- able attempts
in this field were the international album "Pantera" which he brought out in
collaboration with the Latin American composer, Jose Flores, and "Dil Padosi
hai" sung by Asha Bhonsle with lyrics by Gulzar.
Rahul Dev married Rita in 1960 but they were divorced in 1974. He then married
Asha Bhonsle for whom he had composed many a memorable song in 1980. Indeed, the RD-Asha
duo delighted audiences the world over with their "live" performances,
with RD's showmanship and Asha's natural exuberance making them the perfect
pair. It was only fitting that Asha was there at his bedside when RD breathed
Dev Burman passed away, leaving behind him a whole generation of his admirers, shocked at
the sudden loss. Panchamda was no more.
Soon after his death came the Filmfare award for his brilliant score of Vidhu
Vinod Chopra's 1942 -- A Love Story. 1942 ... also won Kavita Krishnamurthi her
maiden Best Singer award for her compelling rendition of Pyaar hua chupke se.
If there was no argument regarding that posthumous award, there was no end of
argument in the prestigious Sur Singar Samsad council in 1967 when it came to
awarding Pancham for the best Classical Song of the Year. As the convener of the
Sur Singar committee set up to pick that year's Best Classical Song, I can state
that Pancham lost that award in peculiar circumstances.
This was after he had shown his paces in Teesri Manzil (1966). Teesri Manzil won
spot recognition for him as a musicmaker with his own style --- distinct from
that of S.D. Burman --- but the same music typecast him. His O Ganga maiya, paar
laga de meri sapno ki naiya ... set in Raag Jogiya and sung by Lata Mangeshkar
for the film Chandan Ka Palna was a strong contender for Sur Singar's best
Classical Song of the Year award for 1967. He himself had high hopes for the
song. O Ganga maiya was shortlisted among the four songs in the final context
that year, the other three being Lata Mangeshkar's Maine range li aaj chunariya
composed in Raag Pilu by Madan Mohan for Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, Asha Bhosle's Saawan ke raat
kaari karri in Raag Malkauns by Ravi for Meherbaan and Lata's Dar laage garje badariya set
in Raag Surdasi Malhar by Vasant Desai for Ram Rajiya.
Brijnarain, who headed the Sur Singar Samsad, called me frantically on the
morning after we had bought R D Burman's O Ganga maiya into the reckoning. "Are
you out to destroy the classical reputation of Sur Singar?" he asked. "How could
you as convener possible permit a song by R D Burman even to get a look-in at my
Sur Singar?". The award eventually went to Madan Mohan. The way Pancham came to be
jettisoned for that Sur Singar citation gives me the opportunity to draw attention to `the
other side' of Pancham. If he was beat-based, he was also melody-based. In fact, by the
time Sankarabharanam (from the South) came to make cinematic waves, Pancham longed to
break out of the tight circle of the trendy music he was acclaimed for composing. His
point was that if he had indeed set a trend in the early '70s, it was for the younger
composers to take over the baton in the mid-'80s. He himself, by 1985, yearned to compose
melody-based music, as he had for Gulzar's Aandhi, Kushboo, Kinara and Namkeen. "I
love doing soft themes," he once confessed.
In Gulzar's Ijazaat, Pancham's Mera saaman mujhe lauta do (a song-lyric that he
had at first refused to touch as a "metreless" piece of rhyming by Gulzar) went
on to win, deservedly for Asha Bhosle, the National award for Best Song. Yet
Pancham always regretted the fact that a few other beautiful songs that he
evoked from Gulzar's poetry never reached the people in his lifetime. Like his
stunning Lata Mangeshkar solo from Libas --- a film that was never released ---
Sili hawa chhu gai, sila badan chhil gaya or her Kuhu kuhu koyaliya in Devdas.
Then there was Bahut raat hui by Kishore Kumar in Musafir.
The point here is that Pancham, though tuned in with such melody-based themes,
was stuck with his modern image. His Saare ke saare gama go lekar gaate chale by
Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and chorus in Gulzar's Parichay is one such a
take-off. Yet Saare ke saare ... carries a whiff of Raag Bilawal, which is the
Hindustani parallel of Raag Sankarabharanam. Indeed Pancham was my recommendation to
director K. Vishwanath for sur Sangam, a
classical remake of the film Shankarabharanam. But R D Burman's name was
rejected the moment it was mentioned to distributors. Sur Sangam was finally
scored by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
It was this tinsel-tag that he was stuck with after having already composed so
much meaningful music, that distressed and disheartened Pancham. Initially, he
has deliberately cultivated that image in an effort to sound different from his
father. Even as he finally broke away from being S D Burman's assistant, his
parents remained justifiably proud of him. "Tell me," said his mother Meera who
assisted S D, "Is there a composer in our films today who could have done the
classy music of Amar Prem along with the jazzy music of Hare Rama Hare Krishna?"
S D Burman shared his wife's pride --- he had refused to go along with Dev
Anand's idea of him doing the traditional tunes of Hare Rama ... and Pancham the
Dum Maro dum song in the film. "Never mix our musical identities," S D Burman
had told Dev Anand. "Leave Hare Rama ... to be wholly scored by Pancham. I have
trained my son to do both traditional and modern music."
Pancham had, in fact, given the very first hit of his career --- Ghar aaja ghir
aaye sung by Lata Mangeshkar for Mahmood's Chhote Nawab --- which was set in
Raag Maalgunji. It has he who gave us classical gems like Vinati karun
Ghanashyam in Raag Jogiya (Lata Mangeshkar in Pati Patni), Bada natkhat hai re
in Raag Khamaj (Lata Mageshkar in Amar Prem), Aayo kahan se Ghanashyam also in
Raag Khamaj (Manna Dey in Budha Mil Gaya), Karvate badalte rahen in Raag Pahadi
(Lata Mageskhar-Kishore Kumar in Aap Ki Kasam), Mere naina sawan bhado in Raag
Shivranjani (Lata Mageshkar-Kishore Kumar in Mehbooba), Jamuna kinare aa jaa in
Raag Maru Bihag (Lata Mangeshkar in mehbooba), Meri bheegi bheegi si (Kishore
Kumar in Anamika) in Raag Kirvani, Beeti no betayi raina (Lata Mageshkar-Bhupendra in
Parichay) in Raag Bihag, Huzoor is tarah se no itrate chaliye (Bhupendra-Suresh Wadkar in
Masoom) in Yaman Kalyan. Even Asha Bhosle-Mohammed Rafi qawali Hai agar dushman dushman in
Hum Kisse Kum Naheen has R D imparting a typical light touch in Raag Kalavati.
And wasn't Pancham merely returning to his Rabindra Sangeet roots with 1942 -- A
Love Story when he came to be halted in mid-stride at a time when he was in the
truly creative phase of his career? The end came too soon; time stood still ---
much like his lyrical Samay ka yeh pal tham sa gaya hai...
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Burman used Pancham's tune 'ai meree topee palat ke aa' in 'Fantoosh'.
Pancham was only 9 when he composed the tune.
Again next year, for Pyaasa, SD used his son's 'Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye',
which became a big hit.
Most of the music of 'Aradhana' also was actually composed by Pancham due to
a sudden illness of S.D. Burman.
Many other SD hits like 'aankhoN meiN kya jee' (Nau Do Gyaarah) & 'aRe yaar
meree tum bhee ho gHazab' (Teen Deviyaan) were actually composed by Pancham
when he was Papa Burman's assistant.
R.D. Burman won the Filmfare Award only 3 times (Sanam Teri Kasam, Masoom,
1942-A Love Story) while being nominated 16 times for the award.
R.D. Burman also made his acting debut in his first film signed as a music
director - Mehmood's 'Bhoot Bangla'. Later in 'Pyar Ka Mausam' too he gave a
hilarious performance as the assistant of Mr. Popat Lal.
In the 'Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko', the famous opening Guitar piece was
played by Bhupinder - the singer. He also played the guitar in the song 'Dum
maaro dum' (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) alongwith many other songs for RD.
Amit Kumar, Abhijeet & Shabbir Kumar were given their first breaks by
Jatin of Jatin-Lalit used to be in Pancham's children's choir.
Aadesh Srivatsava used to be in the orchestra of RD as the drummer.
Nasir Hussain, for the first time after Teesari Kasam, did not sign R.D.
Burman when making 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak'.
R.D. Burman also lost the chances to do music for films like 'Karz' & 'Ram
Pancham introduced the twin track effect in 'Baharon Ke Sapne'. which he
later used to create the mesmerizing 'qatra qatra miltee hai' (Ijaazat).
He also pioneered the use of electronic organ in Indian Films with the song
'O mere Sona re' (Tessri Kasam).
RD was, as Gulzar says, as good a craftsman as he was musician. He picked
the sounds for his songs from very indigenous sources.
In 'Chura liya' he used the sound of a spoon hitting a glass .
For the Kitaab song 'Master jee kee aa gayee chiTThee' he brought some
desks from a classroom in the studio while recording and used them as
In Abdullah he used the sound of a bamboo whistle with a balloon tied to
it for a song.
Once to get the sound of raindrops, he spent a whole rainy night in his
house's balcony recording the sound he wanted.
In the song 'O Manjhi Re' from the movie 'Khushboo', R.D. Burman used
bottles with water filled at different levels and created a hollow sound
by blowing into them and this sound effect was used with the orchestra.
During the recording of 'Hum donoN do premee' (Ajnabee) the musicians
were on strike. So he improvised the song with emptied-out musical
interludes and just listen the song!
The mouth organ played in the song 'Hai Apna Dil To Awara' sung by Hemant
Kumar in the film 'Solva Saal' is played by R.D. Burman himself.
R.D. Burman played the mouth organ for Laxmikant Pyarelal in a song in
'Dosti' and also in a movie for Kalyanji Anandji.
Both Lata and Bhupinder won a National award for the song 'Beeti Na Bitayee
Raina' from 'Parichay', and this song was composed in a hotel room in no
Aarti Mukherjee won a National award for the song 'Do Naina Ek Kahaani' from
Gulzar (best lyricist), Asha Bhosle (best female singer) won National awards
for the song 'Mera Kuchh Samaan' from Ijaazat.
RDB was the first to introduce the Brazilian bossa nova rhythm in Hindi film
music - the song was "Maar dalega dard-e-jigar", sung by Asha, in "Pati
Patni". That rhythm has since been endlessly used for film music.
(contributed by Chandrashekhar, UAE)
In July 1968, when presenting the Vividh Bharati Program Jaimala, Pancham
played the following songs :
kajre badarwa re (Pati Patni), Lata
O ganga maiyya paar laga de (Chandan Ka Palna), Lata
sharaabee sharaabee mera naam ho gaya (Chandan ka Palna), Lata
chunree saMbhaal goree (Baharon Ke Sapne), Lata
mere saamne waalee khiD.kee meiN (Padosan), Kishore
ghar aaja ghir aaye (Chhote Nawaab), Lata
kahna hai kahna hai (Padosan), Lata
In Decemeber 1971 again in Jaimala Pancham played these compositions of his
Ye jo mohabbat hai (Kati Patang), Kishore
O hasina zulfoN waalee (Teesri Manzil), Asha-Rafi
Gulaabee aankheiN jo teree dekhee (The Train), Rafi
Jogee o jogee pyaar meiN kya hoga (Lakhon Mein Ek), Lata-Kishore
Aao twist kareiN (Bhoot Bangla), Manna Dey-Chorus
I Love You (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), Usha Iyyer-Asha
Matwaalee aankhoN waale (Chhote Nawaab), Lata-Rafi
when queried about the super success of 'Teesri Manzil' once revealed
how he got the God-sent offer. "When Nasir Hussain started the movie Dev Anand
was the hero," he had said,"and I was signed to compose the music. Later on,
however, there were complications and Devsaheb couldn't do the film for some
reason, and Shammi Kapoor was signed on instead. When I heard about this new
development I thought in my mind that 'mera patta kat gaya' (my chance is lost).
Because Shammiji had his own troupe with Shanker-Jaikishan and I assumed that he
would insist on the duo giving music for the film. But Nasirji insisted on
retaining me, though Shammiji was not too keen. Anyway he came for the recording
and was mighty pleased with my musical offering. The rest is history."
Panchamda's favourites were the ones which he enjoyed composing and recording.
Dum maro dum, Mere naina saawan bhadon, Mehbooba, popular numbers from Mere
Jeevan Saathi, Aandhi, Kinara and Kati Patang were the creations he loved. He
liked Shankar Jaikishan- Lata Mangeshkar combination, but found it difficult to
choose between Lata, Asha Bhonsle and the lyricists he worked with. "If Latabai
is Don Bradman of cricket, Ashabai is Gary Sobers. Majrooh in mood is at his
best and Anand Bakshi when in his true element is superb," said Pancham
Rated as one of the most original composers, Pancham started his career with his
father S.D. Burman in 1955 with Guru Dutt's Pyaasa and composed the famous song,
Sar jo tera chakraye. In 1963, Pancham helped his father compose various mukhdas
for the film Guide. Finally Pancham made his debut with Chhote Nawab in 1961.
In this endeavour to be different from his father Pancham was helped by Kersi
Lord and Manohari Singh, India's leading saxophone player. Pancham popularised
the brass element of the orchestra along with electric guitar resulting into
some memorable numbers like Aaja aaja from Teesri Manzil, which is still a rage.
Panc- ham wasn't very confident about the song as it had an unusual beat and
approached Asha hesitantly. He knew Asha could do justice to it. "Pancham would
be hesitant whenever he came up with a truly inspiring tune. He was shy,
self-effacing and locked," Asha had observed.
When Asha heard it, especially the last portion O o aaaaja, oh oh aaaja, aaaaha
she knew the song was going to be a trend-setter.
Recently he had expressed his desire to make a comeback. Ek dao aur marna hai (I
want to make one more effort), he had said in his last interview. But
unfortunately, by then it was too late.
Sound of RD's Music
The one who ruled the sound waves through the '70s is no more
in the '90s. It seems incredible that the man who shook the
stalwarts like only C. Ramchandra did in the '40s and O.P.
Nayyar in the '50s should, in the end, have been consumed by
the genie he uncorked.
Kishore Kumar's passing in October 1987 found R.D. Burman feeling
suddenly diminished in composing stature. The sound of the voice,
through which Rajesh Khanna had arrived like an avalanche in
Aradhana, was stilled. Yes, it can now be told that it was
R.D. Burman, not S.D. Burman, who conceived and executed the
music score of Aradhana.
Dada Burman was far too ill during the recordings of Aradhana
to alter substantially the shape and direction RD gave to the
film's tuning and orchestration. Insiders knew this, none more
so than Shakti Samanta as the maker of Aradhana.
That is the reason Shakti turned from SD to RD for Kati Patang
and Amar Prem. I was among the select invitees to "The Jet" home
of Dada Burman to announce the release of the records of Aradhana.
Everyone present there that evening showered high praise on
Dada Burman for what sounded even then a path-breaking score.
Everyone present there that evening ignored the son standing in
the corner of the drawing room, the son who had been instrumental
in creating this totally fresh-sounding score.
Is is not significant that RD chose to break away from SD after
Aradhana, for mother Meera Burman to emerge as the chief assistant
of Dada Burman with Tere Mere Sapne, when the credit for the
wave-making tunes of Aradhana went entirely to the father? It
is as if in that moment, in which he stood isolated in "The Jet"
corner, RD took a spot decision to cease to be SD's chief assistant
and move out to be his own music man, make his own individual mark
as a composer off the beaten sound track.
There was a whole new generation of music lovers waiting to be
conquered by Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna on the oral evidence
of Aradhana. And RD soon made this generation empathethically his
own to change the visage and format of Hindustani film music with
"I feel sorry to say this, but the boy doesn't understand poetry
at all," Majrooh told me. To which I replied: "But Majrooh Saab,
even Dada Burman did not understand Hindi poetry." Majrooh's
counter to that: "Dada Burman might not have understood Hindi,
but he understood poetry, which is the same in any language."
Give RD credit for the fact that he remained wholly undeterred
by such innuendo regularly hurled at him. RD had tuned with the
same Majrooh to metamorphose the sound of film music with Yaadon
ki Baarat. It was the same Majrooh I encountered in RD's Santa
Cruz music room, sheepishly handing over to the composer "a piece
of paper that's not poetry", to quote his own words.
Majrooh need not have bothered to stress his point. RD asked for
poetry only when he needed it. And when he needed it he went to
Gulzar, knowing Majrooh could never bring himself in tune with
his generation even if he condescended to write for it. For only
a Gulzar could comprehend RD's depth of feeling in an Ijaazat
vein of Mera kuchch saaman tumhare paas pada hai. In the Ghar
of Gulzar alone could RD fly with his notes: Aaj kal paaon
zameen par nahin padte mere.
I heard those RD notes fly one last time on December 21, as I
chased Pancham on the phone, to Film Centre, Tardeo, to invite
him for my daughter's wedding reception. I was put through
straight to RD's recording room and, during the four-five minute
wait, thrilled, on the phone, to the harmony of what, ironically,
was to prove Pancham's last live recording. As the tune came
resonantly over, as RD lost no time after that on coming on the
line, I said: "Congrats, the sound of RD music, it's still so
refreshing, though the tune sounds suspiciously like Raat akeli
hai from Dada's Jewel thief!"
"Who can escape your ears!" moaned RD. Spare a thought, therefore,
for twice-widowed, Asha Bhonsle, whose "amazing breath control"
in Raat akeli hai Dada Burman publicly praised. It was this that
RD harnessed to his art and craft to bring to our film music a
new vim, a new vitality, as a composer who understood both electronics
and Western notation.
Asha and Kishore, the two formed the life-breath of RD's music.
Yet RD was so versatile that, like SD in Taxi Driver, he could
get Lata, as late as 1969, to 'do an Asha` all through Pyar ka
Mausam. Lata spelt melody, Asha rhythm, in RD's recording room.
A spontaneous tribute to RD's hold on the public imagination
came from Ravi Shankar when Panditji was engaged with a Meera
recording. An instrumentalist played a wrong note for Ravi
Shankar who whispered through the mike: "I say, play it right,
otherwise it will become RD on the LP!"
[Now that sounds very derisive on Ravi Shankar's part, doesn't
it? Or am I missing something? Why Bharatan would want to cite
this remark as a compliment to RD beats me. If I have read it
right, it just goes to show that even great musicians like Ravi
Shankar are not above talking through their hat even on matters
musical! - RP]
Laxmikant-Pyarelal were the only ones in the late '70s to ward
off the RD challenge. The duo had to work extra hard to overcome
the solo maestro. Dev Anand found RD to be in such wonderful tune
with the spirit of the film that he wanted, from the outset, that
Pancham, as he was affectionately called, score Hare Rama Hare
Krishna independently. But how was he going to jettison Dada
Burman, who had come to symbolise the Navketan signature tune?
Dev told me that he cleverly suggested to Dada Burman that he
compose the traditional tunes for Hare Rama Hare Krishna, leaving
his son to do the mod songs.
"No way!" said Dada. "Let Pancham do the film all by himself. Pancham
is now a full-fledged music director, Dev. My combining with him,
for the first time in our careers, will help neither me nor him.
So let the entire Hare Rama Hare Krishna score be Pancham's."
Remember, Dev's Ai meri topi palat ke aa tune in Funtoosh had been
composed by prodigy Pancham at the age of nine. Dada had quickly
filched his own son's tune! Upon Pancham's asking how Dada could
possibly palm off RD's tune as SD's, Pancham had quoted Dada as
saying: "I was testing your tune on the public! Now that Ai meri
topi has proved a hit, I know you will make it as a composer when
your time comes."
That time came much earlier than expected when Guru Dutt booked
19-year-old R.D. Burman to score the music for his Raaz. The film
was later shelved after RD had done the musical spadework for it.
"How did you find working with Guru Dutt?" I asked Pancham. "Want
the truth? I found Guru Dutt to be most whimsical. No tune Guru
Dutt okayed was ever final. What he approved this evening he would
scrap next morning!"
"Was your experience the same with Raj Kapoor on Dharam karam?" I
sought to know. "On the contrary, I found Raj Kapoor very firm in
his judgement," noted Pancham. "I felt distictly shaky about the
fact that the very first tune I was asked to compose for Dharam
Karam was to be in Mukesh's voice on Raj Kapoor, who's playing
the piano in the film. I came up with a selection of six tunes
fearing the worst. But Raj Kapoor okayed the very first tune I
played, adding by way of bonus: 'Hit tune hai, bottle kholo!`
That's how my very first tune for RK went on the screen as Ek din
bik jaayega maati ke mol."
Yet his best lesson in music, said Pancham, came from his father
SD. Shakti Samanta had outlined to RD something that sounded to
Pancham like the usual bhajan situation (on Sharmila Tagore) in
Amar Prem. "And I had come up with the standard bhajan tune for
it," revealed Pancham. "But Dada was there when I was giving the
finishing touches to the tune and wanted from me the precise details
of the song situation. When I gave him a picture of the setting
in which Lata Mangeshkar was to render the number on Sharmila Tagore,
Dada was aghast.
"But where's the composer in you in this tune, Pancham?" he wanted
to know. "So what if Shakti said it's the usual bhajan situation.
Still it's a most creative situation for any composer. For Sharmila
here is something more than the nautch-girl she plays. Her motherly
insticts have been aroused by that kid. Your tune therefore must
communicate all the agony of the nautch-girl wanting to be the mother
she can never be. Do it again, your way, but with the moving human
situation in mind."
"That's how," admitted Pancham, "my Amar Prem tune finally came out
of Lata's thrush throat as Bada natkhat hai re Krishna Kanhaiyya. It
was my tune and yet not my tune, for it was Dada who had taught me
to put the right shade of feeling into it."
There was thus something of Dada Burman, something recognisably
his own, in the music so trendily made available by Rahul Dev Burman.
This is what saw RD score as no other composer did in the annals of
Hindi cinema. There has been only one SD, to be sure. But there
has also been only one RD. Now both are no more. And popular music,
in the words of Gulzar, is reduced to a plastic art.
THERE IS SILENCE...
Part 1: THE MAN IN THE MUSICIAN
We knew each other from the moment we were hopefuls. We were assistants--he to
his father and I to Bimal Roy. When SD would come with his compositions, his son
would come carrying a "dagga". He'd be wearing shorts the way kids wear Bermudas
My first lyric for Sachinda was "Mora gora ang lai le". Pancham would be there.
Shailendra did the other lyrics for BANDINI. And Pancham would encourage me--go
meet baba, go and talk to him. He'd invite me to their apartment in the
one-storey building, 'Jet', on Linking Road. Today there's a tall building
over that one-storey structure. I don't know who stays there now, Sachinda was
there till his end.
Pancham was three-four years younger than me. He was always a kid, he remained
one. He was fond of pranks, of colorful clothes and especially of the color red.
He had a nickname for me--'safed kavva'. He'd phone, if I wasn't at home he'd
leave a message, "Tell 'safed kavva' that 'lal kavva' had called."
His sense of humor was his very own. He knew Asha Bhonsle was very particular
about keeping the house clean; so he sent her a gift--two big brooms in bright
One of his passions, besides music, was cooking. He grew chillies in his terrace
garden--as many as 40 varieties, cross-breeding them to get new exotic tastes.
Ashaji now wonders, "Who'll look after his plants? He's gone."
If a friend was going abroad, he'd ask him to get back some soup packets.
Like he asked Rahi Sabarwal of Air India to bring him some soup packets which
you can only find in Hong Kong...Pancham even sent him a telegram, "Don't forget
my soup." The telegram was signed Soup Lover.
As young men in our 20s, we shared many common interests--interests in
home-cooked food and in sports. He was a soccer fanatic, he was a true Mohan
Baganian, he'd get into heated arguments with (director) Gogi Anand over soccer.
Yet Gogi remained Pancham's friend till the end.
Pancham married Jyoti. It was a love marriage, but I think it didn't work out
because they were two very different people. He was immersed into films and
music; he'd spend long hours away from home in the recording studio of Film
Centre. He was so obsessed with his work that he had little time for any other
love in his life.
Pancham was a terrific mouth-organ player; he played the organ in his father's
orchestra. And he was an outstanding sarod player too...he had trained under
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Pancham would have his differences with his father. But he was Sachinda's only
child, he was the pampered one. And he could get pretty possessive about his
father. They hailed from a royal family; for them it was a matter of pride that
they had carved out their own little kingdoms with their music.
There'd be good-natured bantering between them. "Baba," Pancham would pout,
"you don't give me enough pocket money." And Sachinda would laugh back,
"Oi Pancham, when are you going to contribute to the kitchen expenses?"
Whenever the son would try to shuffle out quietly from the music room,
Sachinda would say, "Jao jao, I know you want to smoke a cigarette."
Pancham would frequently compose his tunes in the course of car drives. He'd
hum, we'd reach Film Centre and he'd say, "OK, you go home now, I've got the
tune in my head. I'll try it out with the musicians." If he was especially
excited about a tune, he'd scream with joy. He never kept his happiness within
himself, he shared the moments of ecstasy with others.
Pancham would keep the actor's face in mind while working on a composition.
He'd tell me that, at times, he thought of my face while conjuring a tune--which
I thought was a great compliment.
THERE IS SILENCE...
Part 2: GULZAR,RD & ASHA: THE WINNING COMBINATION
We first worked together on PARICHAY. It was important for me to sit with
him on the music sessions. He inspired certain moments which I picturised
later, his music was that visual...I went to Rajkamal studio where he was
recording a background score for another film. I gave him the mukhDa--
'Musafir hun yaaro/Na ghar he na thikaana'--and I left. That night he woke
me up at 1 a.m. and said, "Come, come down with me to the car." He'd recorded
the tune on a cassette already. He started driving through the empty streets
of Bandra, he played the beat on the dashboard. It was my first song as a
director with him.
By the time he composed 'Saare ke saare', he had shifted from home--he was
in the process of acquiring a new flat--to Caesar's Palace Hotel. The most
beautiful song in the film--'Beeti na bitaai raina'--was also composed in
the hotel room. It was based on a classical 'bandish'; it fetched Lata and
Bhupendra National Awards for best playback singers.
In all, we did eight films together, as a composer-director team. Besides
PARICHAY, there were: KHUSHBOO, KINARA, AANDHI, KITAAB, NAMKEEN, LIBAAS and
IJAAZAT. How did 'Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa to nahin' (AANDHI) come
about? He was recording Bengali songs for Durga puja around that time. The
lyrics were by the renowned Gauri Shanker. I liked the tune that Pancham
was composing; I filled it up with Hindi words and said, "Look, I'm going to
use this for AANDHI."
As for 'Is moD pe jaate haiN, kuCH sust qadam raste', I gave him the words
from one of my poems. He composed the tune instantly. He never took time.
Spontaneity was his specialty. If he struggled over a song, he would prefer
to abandon it. For instance, 'Ek hi khwab kai baar yuhi dekha hai maine'
(KINARA) exasperated him. He found that metre a bit difficult, but two
months later I put it before him again. He caught the scanning, and the song
was finally recorded.
When I gave him 'Mera kuCH saamaaan tumhare paas paDa hai' (IJAAZAT), he
waved the lyric aside and said, "Huh, tomorrow you'll bring me the front
page of *The Times of India* and expect me to compose a tune around it.
What is this blank verse you're giving me!" Ashaji was sitting there, she
started humming the phrase, "Mujhe lauta do." He grasped it immediately;
from that one phrase he developed the song, which was quite a feat! This
time Ashaji and I got National Awards. Poor fellow, he did all the work
and we enjoyed the 'kheer'.
Ashaji's and his was a superb creative companionship. He used the potential
in her voice to maximum effect. No other composer ever placed Ashaji's voice
above his music the way he did. We recorded the non-film album DIL PADOSI
HAI, and the variations from semi-classical and ghazal to pop and jazz, were
a valuable experience for each one of us. There was a three-way harmony
of voice, music and lyrics.
After his heart ailment, Pancham did feel that producers were sidelining
him. He did feel hurt. He would laugh, with a touch of bitterness, at the
new music composers who copy his tunes and make a mess of them. They would
even imitate his singing style which was unmistakably his. 'Mehbooba
mehbooba' (SHOLAY) and 'Dhanno ki aankhon meiN' (KITAAB) were his creations,
but others tried to clone his style, only to sound like amateurs.
My last meeting with Pancham was on December 30 . He went to Sahara
recording studio in Goregaon. Ashaji was recording a song for G.V. Iyer's
VIVEKANANDA. Salil Chowdhry had composed the music. Pancham and I had
gone along with Ashaji. At the end of the evening, he said in his customary
manner, "Milte hain."
We never did.
Music, His Birthright, was the title of Music Idia Limited's cassette
brought out insome years ago to commemorate 15 years of the company's
tuning with Rahul Dev Burman, who left his musical journey unfinished
as a stroke snatched him away on January 4, 1994.
For music indeed was everything for Pancham, the nickname given by the
thespian Ashok Kumar, whose brother the late Kishore Kumar, gave some
of his best performances when singing under the baton of RD.
A publicity-shy man, RD let his music do the talking for him. And talk
it did - in more than 400 films. The unanimous opinion in the industry
was that RD was the best among his peers - a giant among music maestros
like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Ravi, Shiv-Hari, Rajesh
Usha Khanna and Ravindra Jain. Says Kersi Lord, whose father Kawas Lord
like him was the arranger for many top music directors of yore, "There's
no doubt in my mind that R.D. Burman was the best. I played for him in
many films. Infact it was RD who first introduced the electronic organ
in India for the composition O mere sona re sona in Teesri Manzil for
which I had the privilege of playing the organ."
This aspect of introducing new styles was the main reason for his super
success. In fact innovativeness became synonymous with RD. He has been
quoted as saying: "I don't say that I am a knowledgeable man when it
comes to raags. I don't say I tried to do so and so song in Raag
or attempted some difficult raag in another song. Whatever comes to my
head I compose."
So we have such creative gems as diverse as Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar
(Teesri Manzil), his passport into the big league, Dum maro dum (Hare
Hare Krishna), heralding the bell-bottom-hippie culture into filmdom,
Muthukodi kawadi hada (Do Phool), which introduced comedian Mehmood as a
singer, Jaane jaan dhoondata phir raha (Jawani Diwani), where the echo
was used tellingly, Ek chatur naar (Padosan), without doubt the most
song ever to be filmed, Duniya mein logon ko (Apna Desh), introduced the
distinct Pancham rhythm and voice, Mere naina saawan bhadon (Mehbooba),
ample evidence of RD's classical base, and Tu rootha to main (Jawaani),
Asha singing in an ephemeral voice to a new foot-stomping beat.
veteran Dev Anand, a fan of RD's father, the great S.D. Burman, "Pancham
combined the tradition of Dada (S.D.) Burman and the modern melody. Dada
very happy about my Hare Rama Hare Krishna project, as he felt that the
brother-sister story wouldn't click therefore I decided to take his son.
Within 10 days we recorded six songs! Dum maro dum became a cult song."
The Pancham style came to symbolise a unique culture which spawned many
hard fans. Says lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri, with whom RD had a
innings, "Pancham had this knack of copying a foreign tune and
it." Concurs another top lyric writer Anand Bakshi, "I have worked with
many music directors but RD was just extraordinary."
RD's shrill intonations, an innovativeness that was too much for the
conservative '60s and '70s, notwithstanding, his gurgling voice for
Duniya mein logon ko (Apna Desh), Monica O my darling (Caravan),
mehbooba (Sholay), Yamma yamma (Shaan), Samundar mein nahakar (Pukar),
Sapna mera toot gaya (Khel khel mein) and Dil lena khel hai dildar ka
(Zamane ko dikhana hai), were chart busters.
His repository of music didn't end with songs, they extended beyond and
embellished the background score too, a little known fact that many have
found convenient to push under the carpet. Who can forget the memorable
banshee wails in the greatest Hindi film ever, Sholay?
Recalls Rahul Rawail, who did seven films with RD: "He was a very enthu-
siastic person. I remember when we were struggling to get the background
music in Betaab for Sunny Deol's introduction. RD called me at 2
in the morning and suggested something that became a memorable signature
For all his talents and outputs, however, awards came in few and far
between. He bagged two filmfare awards for Sanam Teri Kasam and Masoom
but after many eons in filmdom. He narrowly escaped getting the
award for his music twice-first when Parveen Sultana won the best singer
award for Humein tumse pyaar kitna (Kudrat) and later in Gulzar's
when Asha and Gulzar bagged the awards for best singer and best poet.
An irony it was that the jury deemed it fit to honour the film's songs
keep the publicity away from the master. This was the way RD lived his
public life-as private from the public as only he could keep it.
Many who were associated with him promised that they would work with him
again even when he wasn't quite the rage, but few kept their word. This
life for RD in his later days was quiet on many fronts, with both health
and friends deserting him. He died in his sleep leaving behind his
dreams for a million melodies.
FORGET the remixes, 50 per cent of which
are RDs hits mauled, massacred and pulverised. Also forget that todays
numero uno composers Jatin-Lalit and carrying forward RD Burmans trademark
blend of clean sound and the perfect balance of melody and rhythm. For a change, spare a
thought for that trendsetting master who is idolised by all generations, the man who could
compose an immortal tune while driving in crowded Mumbai, the man who (in Ashas
words) never knew how valuable a gold ornament was but left behind a musical treasury
studded with innumerable 24-carat golden perennial and some stand-out background scores,
like Sholay and Betaab.
4, five years will have passed since Rahul Dev Burmans demise; weeks before
his swan song 1942-A Love Story made history. This column looks back at the ten tallest
scores of his career, which saw his awesome creativity at an all-time high.
Manzil (Lyr: Majrooh, Dir: Vijay Anand): Charged enough by Nasir Hussains faith in
him to match Shanker-Jaikishans music for Shammi Kapoor, the struggling R.D. Burman,
then just three films old, surpassed many a Shammi-SJ score with this musical
grandslam. Hear Aaja aaja, O mere sona, Deewana mujhsa nahin, O haseena zulfonwali and
Tumne mujhe dekha and you not only find them as fresh 32 years later but sounding even
fresher than their remixes!
Pyar Ka Mausam (L: Majrooh, D: Nasir
Hussain): Can one fight destiny?
If RD couldnt break through with
Teesri Manzil, neither could he with this classy yet tangy score for loyalist Nasir
Hussain. Whether it was the gently-passionate Tum bin jaaon kahan, the heart-rending Na
jaa o mere humdum (where he used a church bell to devastating effect) or the spicier
numbers like Nisultana re, Chekhush nazaare and Aapse miliye, RD scored in all the seven
Kati Patang (L: Anand Bakshi, D: Shakti
Samanta): As long as Hindi film music is heard, songs like Pyar deewana hota hain, Yeh
shaam mastani and Jis gali mein tera ghar will be loved. With this film, RD entrenched his
bond with three of his closest associates: Anand Bakshi, Shakti Samanta and Rajesh Khanna.
And for good measure, gave friend and competitor Laxmikants sister-in-law her
voluptuous image with Mera naam hain Shabnam.
Caravan (L: Majrooh, D: Nasir Hussain):
Giving a break to his favourite Kishore and with Nasir favourite Rafi as the main male
singer instead, RD prepared an intoxicating cocktail with ingredients like Piya tu ab to
aaja, Chadti jawani, dilbar dil se pyaare, Are o goriya kahan tere des re and Daiyya yeh
main kahan aa phansi. "It was a heady concoction and we are still under its nasha 27
years down the line!
Hare Rama Hare Krishna (L: Anand Bakshi, D:
Dev Anand): Where would Zeenat be without Dam maro dum? Good question indeed. But the Hare
Rama... score had much more to it. The poignant Phoolon ka tarah ka (a memorable vocal
battle between Kishore and Lata separately), the infectious Kanchi re kanchi re, the
moving Dekho o diwano and the robust I lo-ove you were equally endearing.
Amar Prem (L: Anand Bakshi, D: Shakti
Samanta): If ever RD seemed completely merged with any of his films subject, it was
in this film. An amar score fashioned with unlimited prem, this unforgettable musical
tour-de-force had priceless gems like Kuch to log kahenge, Chingari koi bhadke, Raina
beeti jaaye and Yeh kya hua.
Yaadon Ki Baaraat (L: Majrooh, D: Nasir
Hussain): Amidst the Bobby hysteria, here was a score which stood its ground. And have you
heard of a more inspired or lovable remake of a Western number than Chura liya hain tumne
jo dil ko with its silken rendition by Asha and Rafi? Add to that a great title-track and
youthful numbers like Aap ke kamre mein, O meri soni and Lekar hum deewana dil and we have
an all-hit score.
Manoranjan (L: Anand Bakshi, D: Shammi
Kapoor): After Teesri Manzils excellence, it was but natural for Shammi Kapoor to
opt for RD when he turned director. And only the films failure prevented this
brilliant score from getting its due. But qualitatively, each song was a masterpiece which
broke new ground even by RDs innovative standards. Aaya hoon main tujkho le
jaaoonga, Goyaake chunaanche, Chori chori solah singar and that unique blend of pace and
pathos, Dulhan maike chali rank as creative classics which will never stale.
Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (L: Majrooh, D:
Nasir Hussain): It was to RDs eternal credit that the best film qawwali made in the
1970s was his title-track for this film, a stunning song superbly rendered by Rafi and
Asha. Chand mera dil, Kya hua tera vaada and that four-song musical competition (though
with a straight lift from Boney Ms Mama mia) were among the other highlights of this
brilliant and trendy score.
1942-A Love Story (L: Javed Akhtar, D: Vidhu
Vinod Chopra): It took the vision of Vinod Chopra to entrust RD with the musical
onus of his period film and charge him up when he was in his most depressed phase. And lo
and behold! Out went the depression and in came what must be one of RDs most
accomplished scores, with Kavita and Sanu shouldering the main responsibility and singing
as never before.