Nicknamed Pancham, the music composer gave Indian film industry some of the most memorable tracks
It is the 80th birth anniversary of music composer RD Burman aka Rahul Dev Burman, also fondly called Pancham Da. From O Mere Dil Ke Chain to Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein, Burman is credited for composing some of the most soulful melodies witnessed in Bollywood movies. In his illustrious career, he is said to have recorded music for 331 movies.
Married to singer Asha Bhonsle, they recorded many hit songs and also staged many live performances. So, on his birthday let us check out some lesser-known facts about the composer:
Born to the Bollywood composer/singer Sachin Dev Burman and his lyricist wife Meera Dev Burman, RD had music in his genes. He created the tune of Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye when he was a kid and it was later included by his father in the recording of Guru Dutt's Pyaasa. He was just 9 when he composed his first song for film Funtoosh in 1956.
He is often credited with popularising the use of mouth organ in the Indian film industry with tracks such as O Mere Sona Re from Teesri Manzil, Hai Apna Dil To Awara from Solva Saal.
Burman also recorded a non-filmy, rock-jazz album, Pantera (not the American metal band of the same name). It was recorded in the United States in 1984 and released three years later. However, the album failed to create a buzz in India, much to Pancham Da's frustration. Later, he used one of the songs from the album as the mukhda to Rang Rangeeli Raat from Gardish (1993).
Pancham Da is widely believed to eat, sleep and breathe music. There are rumours that he spent hours in his balcony just to record the sound of raindrops and allegedly composed the song Kancha Re Kancha Re from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) in his dream.
Film journalist Chaitanya Padukone wrote the composer's memoirs in RD Burmania (Panchamemoirs), which contains many unknown facets about Burman including 'inspiration' from other musicians. Padukone writes that Pancham Da was honest in his 'inspiration', saying, "He would say, 'I am trained in Indian classical, not Western or jazz, so I can't just create something I don't know out of thin air. But what I'm doing is not stealing: I'm merely taking the essence of the tune, and making something unique with it."
Last Updated 11:16 AM IST