R.D BURMAN : THERE WAS A MUSICAL METHOD IN HIS MADNESS : ON HIS BIRTHDAY
That day, a record was created when there were twenty four musical evenings and nights in different corners of the country.
All of them to pay tributes (and even make money) to one of the great music directors this country has produced, the late R. D. Burman better known as Pancham.
Pancham, a name given to him by his father, S D Burman, who believed that his little son even cried in the five major surs (Pancham).
This little boy inherited music from his father, one of the most creative geniuses in the world of Hindi film music.
Pancham first joined his father as an assistant, an active and creative assistant who made a positive contribution to his father’s music.
Music became Pancham’s passion, his way of life and his reason to live and even his way to make a living and make a reputation for himself.
He first got his opportunity to create music on his own, thanks to the comedian and film maker Mehmood who gave him not one but two opportunities to create music in his films like “Chhote Nawab” and “Bhoot Bangla”.
It was only in the seventies that he came into his own and became a trend setter.
He was the tune and the melody of the changing times; he brought about a revolution in Hindi film music.
He created a new brand, the R D brand of music never heard before.
He crated music that shocked the old – timers and rocked the new generation.
He composed music the connoisseurs of music called noise, sounds that forced them to sit-up, listen to and take note of with disdain and the young and the young at heart all the reasons to rejoice.
He gave films a quality which changed the way films were made, films where music was also a star.
He created music out of anything, even the leaves, the wind and the waves and the bonnets of cars, the horns of trucks and the sounds of utensils in the kitchen and the crockery in the house.
He could create sounds human being had never heard before and were delighted to hear.
He made all the established singers sing rock and dance to his music coming from a heart which beat to the sounds of music, music that was maddening, music that was magical and mesmerizing.
All the big filmmakers wanted him to create music for their films because his music was instrumental in bringing people to see their films.
And yet he was not all sound and fury signifying nothing.
He was blessed to create divine music for the soul, for the heart, for the glory of man and in praise of god.
His music helped in giving stars a new image; his music gave films a place to respect.
He was the composer who was the first choice to tune songs for rising star sons like Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt and Sunny Deol.
He was at his very best when he composed songs for Kishore Kumar.
He composed some of the best songs for Lata Mangeshkar, songs which are still among her favorites.
But he was madly in love when composing songs for Asha Bhosle and she went out of her way to give her Pancham nothing but her best.
She surrendered herself to him, he gave his best to her, they became a couple made for each other, her name was Asha Bhosle but she was married to R. D. Burman.
He created songs which inspired a whole new group of young music directors who tried to imitate him and miserably failed, but have still not stopped trying.
Pancham’s music was at its best when he created his own brand of music and was at his best when he joined hands with a sensitive poet like Gulzar and they worked in countless films together.
He ruled according to his own madness in which there was a method for over four decades and no one could touch him.
But slowly mediocrity was becoming the mood of every thing to do with films, music was no exception and a creator like Pancham suffered in anguish.
His suffering grew more and more painful till his heart could not take it and one day that sensitive heart which had beaten and ticked for music refused to beat, stopped beating and that was the end of Pancham, an end which came a little to early because he still had so much to give.
The last time he scored the music for a film was in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘1942 A Love Story’, it was like the beginning of a new chapter in his life but, alas he did not live to see that new life he had created for himself with his music which had been given a new life by a man who never knew that he would not live to see how his music would inspire many more generations of composers and lovers of music.
Men like Pancham are born blessed; they die and yet never die because they have the power to live in the hearts of people then, now and for ever.