If there is one name that resounds in our mind whenever we think about the most popular melodies from hindi cinema it definitely is Pancham Da! The musical maestro, the legend and one of the most loved music director and composer RD Burman aka Rahul Dev Burman emancipated in Indian movies a new school of music. Son of revered music director Sachin Dev Burman, Rahul was fondly given the name Pancham by our very own Dadamoni, Ashok Kumar. Pancham Da ruled the Bollywood music industry from 1960s to 1990s. Who can forget his magical tunes in “Mere Sapno ki Rani kab ayegi tu” or the very flamboyant “Monica Oh My Darling”? A career that spanned well over 30 years and 331 movies later, late Pancham Da today is missed more than ever. During his time he created the most magical music, the fondness for which can never wither away. At a time when there are new hits and flops in music every day, the everlasting music of Pancham Da continues to rule the list of our favourites even after 2 decades he last gave music for any film.
Renowned for revolutionizing music in hindi movies, Pancham Da collaborated with playback singers like Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar to give unfathomable numbers of “all time hits”. His music exuded romance, youthful effervescence and high energy. There was something innate in his music that touched the heart of millions instantly and remained etched in their memory for ever after. He was known to create music from the most unexpected objects. Tea cup, glasses and even beating on his chest, you can never expect what Pancham Da could do or till what levels he could go to achieve the tune he wanted. His voice was magical. He was often heard giving the playback for his songs alongside the most celebrated playback singers of the time. “Pyar tumhe kis mor pe le aaya” from Satte Pe Satta or “Mehbooba” from Sholay, his electrifying singing became inspiration of many budding singers as well. Even today we get to hear people trying to imitate his voice in vain to strike the golden note like Pancham Da used to do.
After such a successful run as the numero uno music director and composer, there came a time when nepotism in Bollywood made him run out of work. Directors and producers were reluctant to sign him for their movie. People thought finally it was time for RD Burman to pull the shutters of his long living career down. But what they dint know, that our Pancham Da was invincible. He was relentless and his love for creating music could never die. It was during the time when Pancham Da had lost all hopes of resurrecting his career from the ashes of darkness, that Vidhu Vinod Chopra, that time a budding director in Bollywood, came to him with a script. This young guy had the courage to fight against all odds and fulfill his dream of bejeweling his story with the melody of his favourite music director whom he worshipped with all his heart. Thus, RD Burman was back and he was back with a bang. He created music for 1942 – A Love Story, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. To the dismay of his contemporaries, Pancham Da was not over yet! He still had music breathing within him. With songs like “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga” and “Pyar Hua Chupke Se” in the movie RD Burman was successful to create what he is best at. He created music that would continue to rule the heart of music lovers from generations to come.
But our very own Pancham Da couldn’t live that long to see his music create the magic all over again. Something that he was waiting for years! RD Burman breathed his last on 4th January 1994 at the age of 54. The man who revolutionized music in Hindi movies was no more. But his music made him immortal!
Last Friday was this legend’s birthday. He was born on 27th June 1938. On this special occasion we thought in what better way could we pay our respect and reverence to our beloved Pancham Da, other than remembering him through his songs!