This day, 27th June, marks the birth anniversary of Rahul Dev Burman, aka Pancham da. Here a special post in fond memories of Pancham da.
He belonged to a genre that Indian music lovers were unaware of back then – he is credited with revolutionizing the filmi music in Hindi films, and his style and techniques continue to be followed by the composers of today. Burman also did playback in few movies he composed. He was famous for unique, grunting bass singing style. He also acted in the film Bhoot Bungla and Pyar Ka Mausam.
RD Burman was India’s most popular composer in 1970s, famous for his peppy tunes. Though Pancham Da is known for introducing western style in Bollywood music, he has some truly Indian classical compositions as well. These are some of my favourite RD Burman songs, I am sure I will miss out on some of the most popular songs of his, but these are the first songs that came to my mind. I have tried restricting one song per actor as much as possible but am not sure if I’ll be able to follow it till the end and except for Libaas, all the others from the movies that I have seen .
1. Aanke chali baanke chali (Namkeen, 1982) : When Gulzar, R.D Burman and Sanjeev Kumar get together, they always have something different and something very beautiful to present. Namkeen is one such movie. Beautiful story, amazing performance laced with such colorful songs, each one very different from the other. Raah pe rehte hai is a beautiful number but I like this the best, because of the folk touch that it has.
2. Kya hua tera vaadha (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, 1977) : This movie was a musical blockbuser where each song was better than the other. And it was extremely difficult to choose just one song but thanks to Rafi saaf, at least I could make up my mind about this song. This song is also known to mark Rafi-saab’s come-back. I personally don’t believe that Rafi ever needed a come-back – he has always been there. But Nasir, it would be interesting if you could throw some light on this.
3. Khamosh sa afsaana (Libaas, 1988 ) : I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it on Vividh Bharati and have been searching for this movie ever since, but haven’t been able to find it yet. Beautiful lyrics blended with such soothing music, that it creates a very sweet and subtle effect.
4. Tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi (Masoom, 1983) : Anup Ghoshal at his best!! One of my all-time favourites and I am sure I’m not the only one in the league. It’s such a touching song. In fact, the song says it all….I guess it’s the masoomiyat in it that makes it so beautiful. Be it Lakdi ki kaanti or Huzoor is kadar bhi, love all the songs!
5. A aa e ee master ji ki aa gayi chhitti (Kitaab, 1977) : An unusual film with a full-on masti song! Reminds me of my childhood days and all the classroom pranks. And oh how I miss those days now. Again Gulzar and RD at their best. RD had actually taken real desks to the recording studio for the desk-tapping part. “VIP Underwear Baniyan”, ”Magarbatti-Agarbatti”, “sharmila cheetah”, and at the end, “center of gravity miss ho gaya tha!”- what an awesome lyrics!
6. Aaja aaja main hoon pyaar tera (Teesri Manzil, 1966) : How could I do a post and not include a Shammi Kapoor number. Initially when I started with this post I had sat down with the intention of including songs that are not very popular…but I couldn’t really follow that. There are so many songs to choose from…This was Pancham Da’s first hit movie. Burman gave credit to lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for recommending him to Nasir Hussain, the producer and writer of Teesri Manzil.Vijay Anand also said that he had arranged a music session for him before Nasir Hussain. After hearing his music, Nasir Hussain made him the music director of Teesri Manzil. Nasir Hussain went on to sign RD Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for six of his films including Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973).
And as a kid I have fallen down so many times trying to imitate the steps in this dance…what energy level it has!
7. Is mod se jaate hai (Aandhi, 1975) : Another lovely movie with amazing music! Can’t imagine Aandhi without Is mod se jaate ho, Tum aa gaye ho, Tere bina zindagi se koi. It has a strong story, not doubt about it but without the songs, I don’t think Aandhi would have been such a big hit and labelled a classic.
8. Piya tu ab toh aaja (Caravan, 1971) : This is another Pancham Da’s signature song, part of it in his own voice. This song is still a sensation, I can only imagine what rage it would have created back then. Sizzling Helen dancing to RD’s tunes and Asha Bhosle’s sensous voice…what a deadly combination!
9. Muthukodi Kawari Hada (Do Phool, 1973) : A catchy composition with South Indian flavour and it has Mehmood at his best. I actually wanted to include Padosan song but since I had already included Ek chatur naar in my Manna Dey special post, I changed my mind. I’m following mutually exclusive rule…so that I get to accomodate more songs that way.
10. Meri soni meri tamanna (Yaadon Ki Baarat, 1973) : Meri soni meri tamanna, jhoot nahin hai mera pyaar, deewani se ho gayi galti jaane do yaar…I love you – this is all that I have to say to and about this song. This was another Nasir Hussain, RD Burman pairing and as expected a Musical blockbuster again. I actually saw a part of it on Set Max few minutes ago.
There I go again….I’m done even before I started, yet again! Few other songs I had in mind were Ruth na jaana tumse kahoon toh, Hume tumse pyaar kitna, Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata, Raat kali ek khwab mein aayi, Kiska rasta dekhe, Aane wala pal jaane wala hai, Mere saamne wali khidki mein, Kali palak teri gori, Sun sun sun didi, Kasme vade nibhayenge hum, Ek din bik jayega, Mehbooba mehbooba, Ek ajnabee haseena se, Roop tera mastaana, Saagar kinare, O mere dil ki chain, Biti na biai raina, Kanchhi re kanchhi re, Bahon mein chale aao, Jaan-e-jaan dhoondta phir raha, Chingari koi bhadke….
Pancham was comfortable with all types of music, be it the romantic Raat kali from Buddha Mil Gaya, the sexy cabaret Piya tu ab toh aaja from Caravan, the ultimate hippie anthem Dum Maro Dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna or the classical Raina beeti jaaye. It is said that Dev Anand did not include the complete version of Dum Maro Dum in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, as he was worried the song would overshadow the film. His most famous song as a singer was Mehbooba from Sholay.
Pancham Da was a very creative person. His percussion included a spoon against a glass (Chura liya hai from Yaadon Ki Baaraat), desks (Masterji ki aa gayee chitthee from Kitaab), a bamboo whistle with a balloon (Abdullah) and bottles filled with water at different levels (O maajhi re from Khushboo).