Monday marks the 77th birth anniversary of legendary Bollywood music composer Rahul Dev Burman. Fondly known as Pancham Da by contemporaries and fans, he created a perfect song for each mood.
Celebrating the late genius, search engine Google has dedicated a doodle to Burman. It is a rather simple doodle with music symbols forming the background and a smiling Pancham Da, in the foreground.
Today’s doodle, visible in India and Sri Lanka, carries a colorful portrait of Pancham Da, along with music notes and scenes from some of his famous Bollywood songs in the background.
The legendary music composer, who started making music at the age of nine, composed for more than 330 movies, which still works as an influence for today’s music composers. He died at the age of 54 in 1994, leaving behind a vast body of work, which continues to inspire every generation of music lovers.
Born on June 27, 1939 in Kolkata, RD Burman, nicknamed Pancham Da, was a revolutionary composer who changed the aura of Bollywood music with his musical uniqueness. The only son to composer Sachin Dev Burman, he brought influences from all over the world, from disco, to funk, to cabaret to his music
Over two decades have passed since the charismatic music director RD Burman ascended from the realm of the mortals to heavens, but his legacy continues to live on. He was a “futuristic genius”, who knew the “pulse of the masses”, said ace film journalist Chaitanya Padukone, who has authored a book RD BurMania -- Panchamemoirs which attempts to unravel the mystique behind Burman.
A playlist of Burman’s hit songs
“He was a futuristic genius, who would anticipate what would be popular... This came to him naturally. He would offer four to five options to the producer or director. If the producer didn’t have the music sense, it would be a negative situation. At the same time, he would suggest a better tune,” he added.
His fans may know of him as a superstar music director who churned hits after hits and dabbled in an array of genres, but Padukoke, who shared a warm rapport with Burman for a decade, said that he was “very humble and modest”. “As a person, he was very modest. He used to always undermine his ability. He was very casual and he would never gloat and never blew his trumpet,” Padukone said.
He revealed that Burman was very affectionate towards the common people and would even seek feedback from liftmen and watchmen. “He would sit with a sweeper and chat with a watchman, or ask the liftman, ‘Humara gaana kaisa laga? (How did you like my song?)’ He said that is the real audience. He would test the pulse of the audience that way. He would connect with the common man. He never set himself apart that I am a star and was very casual about things. He was a man of the masses, who knew the pulse of the audience,” he added.
Listen to 75 greatest hits by Pancham Da
Padukone, who was also privy to Burman’s recording sessions, revealed that he would always encourage his musicians to perform better. “Musicians used to be charged up, they were all like a family to him. He wanted then musicians to contribute. He gave them creative freedom to improvise. He would motivate them to do better. The musicians would feel so good that they were getting a push. That’s how he got his creative team to do so well for him,” he said.
Known for his knack for experimentation with sounds, the legendary composer, who is known for evergreen songs like Yaadon ki baraat, Tum bin jaaun kahan, gave legendary singers Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar some of the best tunes to lend their voices to.
(With IANS & ANI inputs)
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