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To Panchamda, with love

It's his 14th death anniversary today and a two-hour documentary on the genius of RD Burman has just been completed, writes Deepa Gahlot.

music Updated: Jan 04, 2008 16:45 IST
Deepa Gahlot

It's the work of a true fan. Over the last two years, Brahmanand Singh has been working on a documentary on RD Burman, and it is finally complete Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai.

In the course of his painstaking research, writer and filmmaker Singh located the genius composer's friends and associates, obtained rare photographs and interviewed dozens of people - not just the names he worked with but also today's music directors like

Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Shantanu Moitra, Vishal Bharadwaj, Ismail Darbar, all of whom dissect Pancham's style and admit to being influenced by him.

Fan club
Singh also found a jolly bunch of Pancham admirers in Dubai, who have formed a fan club to listen to and sing RD songs together. "Whenever I mentioned RD to anyone, their eyes lit up," says Singh. "Almost everyone I wanted to talk to was more than helpful."

His list of 50 interviewees sharing memories and anecdotes about Pancham includes Asha Bhosle, Gulzar, Shammi Kapoor, Manna Dey, Pyarelal, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

Result: nearly 70 hours of footage which was edited to a length of two hours.

The only ones who turned down the filmmaker's request to be interviewed were Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Ramesh Sippy and Lata Mangeshkar. Some gave him a run-around.

Paying tribute
Pancham Unmixed.. is not a commissioned project. Singh has put in his own money with no pre-determined plans about how to market the film.

The tribute is a thorough look at R D Burman's life and work - and what exactly made his music so trendsetting and timeless.

It doesn't pull back from Burman's low phase after 27 of his films flopped and filmmakers avoided him.

He died at the age of 54, after delivering a fabulous score for 1942: A Love Story and rekindling his reputation as a genius.