Exactly 27 years in the past, in the wee hours of January 4, 1994, Bollywood music icon Rahul Dev Burman (Panchamda) made his premature exit into immortality. It was an agonising shock for his legion of loyal followers, who idolised him for his scintillating scores.
RD, the ‘rebel-utionary’ composer-singer, who was fondly known as ‘boss’ by his workforce of extraordinary musicians, left behind a trailblazing wealthy repertoire of his timeless tunes. Some of which have impressed myriad remixes, that proceed to enthrall the millennial youth and mesmerise the center-aged alike. Testimony to RDB’s evergreen songs is obvious in the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (1972) tune recreated in Karan Johar’s film, Student of The Year 2, retaining the ‘gili-gili-akkha’ scat-phrases. More not too long ago, Burman Jr’s racy romantic monitor Humne Tumko Dekha (1975) was recycled by Google as their business jingle! After so many many years, thoughts-boggling sounds (like ‘wakaao’) and hook strains of chartbuster RDB-songs nonetheless command instantaneous recall.
Attached however indifferent
Way again in the Eighties, as a budding movie scribe, I used to be usually invited to interview the affable RDB, at reside recordings at Film Center (I think about myself ‘truly blessed’). That was the place I acquired to observe the witty, jovial genius at work with that maverick technique in his insanity. We would additionally catch up at filmy events and film premieres, and converse about world music tendencies. RD had a fetish for Latin-American music and rhythms − bear in mind his album, Pantera (1987)?
Once I started bonding, with Panchamda, he would fondly pepper me with ‘gaalis’ (abusive slang) or play discreet pranks on me, at any time when I turned up late at some filmi get together or occasion he was co-internet hosting.
“Had RDB been alive today, I’d sit next to him all day and just observe him compose and arrange music” —Armaan Malik
Versatile melody-queen Asha Bhosle had shared with me that though Bubs (which was what she would fondly name RDB) was a wonderful composer of romantic melodies, he was considerably indifferent in actual life. Always younger at coronary heart, he was completely connected to his music − he actually lived, slept and breathed music (RDB’s rhythmic respiration fillers in iconic songs like Piya Tu Ab Toh and Duniya Mein Logon show it). Diamonds and luxurious automobiles hardly fascinated him. But he did have a unusual sense of humour.
“Knowing my obsession for cleanliness, he once sent me a gift-wrapped broom along with a rose. We had a one-upmanship game between us, as to who was better at cooking,” remembers madame Bhosle, carrying a smile.
Big coronary heart and little fuss
Panchamda continues to be my inspirational guru, with whom I started my journalistic writing career, and I want to share 5 classes I learnt throughout my affiliation with the mahaan but bade dilwala musical phenomenon who dominated Bollywood from 1983 to 1993.
▪ Have a way of humility. Despite his celeb standing and cultish youth anthem melodies, he would brush away showers of reward with the self-effacing stance of, “I don’t know how, but those tunes just happened.”
▪ Dare to experiment, reinvent and defy musical norms. “If you are not different, the audience is likely to be indifferent,” he defined.
▪ Work with a workforce, motivated by artistic freedom. “My musicians don’t work for me, they work with me,” revealed ‘Boss’.
“I danced to RDB’s Jai Jai Shiv Shankar in a dance competition and won the first prize” —Prajakta Koli
▪ Strive to be your self. It’s usually thought-about subsequent to unattainable for a composer or singer to not simply leap out of the towering shadow of a legendary father, but in addition surpass that degree of recognition. But Rahulda proved he was an excellent chip off the outdated Sachinda block.
▪ Be resilient. (Maybe like the frequent echo results in his songs). Bounce again with a knock out smash hit everytime you stagger.
After pack-up, moody Rahulda’s passions included driving (he steered with one hand, cooking scrumptious meals at house, nurturing chilly vegetation and watching soccer matches. A magical maestro, he may conjure up a serenading classical raga theme or a peppy Western romantic tune out of skinny air, in possibly 55 seconds. Strangely, one of RDB’s ever-related retro tracks, additionally sung by him, goes, Kal Kya Hoga Kisko Pataa, Abhi Zindagi Ka, Ley Lo Mazaa. Futuristic, prophetic. That is the Pancham punch!
Chaitanya Padukone is an award-profitable senior leisure journalist and creator of the ebook of memoirs, R D BurMania.
From HT Brunch, January 3, 2021
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