Published On: Mon, Jun 27th, 2016

Remembering R.D.Burman, Bollywood’s one of the most prolific music directors, on his 77th birth anniversary today.



Hearty tribute to R.D.Burman, Bollywood’s one of the most beloved and admired composers, on his 77th birth anniversary today.

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R.D. Burman or Pancham is such a name in the arena of music that cannot be forgotten ever. He lives with us everyday through his immense contribution to music, which sounds fresh every time we listen to it.


His contribution to Indian film music is tremendous. His work has been inspirational to many and is still treasured today by all.

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In a nation besotted with dance numbers and peppy tracks, his music came with a harmony, uniqueness and an intrigue that made everybody sit and notice. Be it the classic ‘Is Mod Se Jaate Hain’ or ‘Oh Haseena Zulfon Waali’, R D Burman’s musical revelry, just like him, had many facets; each in complete contrast with each other.

R.D.Burman with Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz at the launching of the film 'Bandhe Haath' (1973)

R.D.Burman with Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz at the launching of the film ‘Bandhe Haath’ (1973)

A trendsetter by many means, R D Burman was a magician with musical notes. He changed the sound of music by bringing in Latin sounds, cabaret, psychedelic vibes, retro disco and funk sounds. His music was often reffered to as “ahead of its times”, and true to the epithet, his songs are still remembered and sung by the youth; musicians take to remake and remix his songs.

R.D.Burman with Gulzar and Asha Bhosle at the launching of Gulzar's 'Namkeen' (1982)

R.D.Burman with Gulzar and Asha Bhosle at the launching of Gulzar’s ‘Namkeen’ (1982)

R.D.Burman was perhaps a true genius that Indian cinema has ever produced. The musical genius, through his music, continues to thrive, even two decades after his death.

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The relation between Sacin Dev Burman and Dev Anand was very sweet. Sachin Dev Burman was music director of so many Dev Anand-films. Once upon a time contribution of Sachin Dev Burman was very much behind all Dev Anand’s films being hit. Dev Anand himself also recalled this with much reverence. He used to call Sachin Dev Burman as ‘Dada’.


Dev Anand had a very beautiful relation with Rahul Dev Burman also.This evergreen hero of hindi film became prostrated getting the news ofR.D.Burman’s sad demise. Dev Anand told,”It’s Pancham who first introduced modern rhythm in Indian film.He was the first who brought Pop songs in hindi films.

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You’ll perhaps recall the song ‘Dum maro dum’ in the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna…what a magnificent tune it was..I’ve not seen such a talented composer any more…he also used to sing brilliantly as good as he used to compose..possessed a tremendously stentorian voice…used to rise to a high scale from a bottommost scale…Pancham made me heard many Bengali songs…all the good qualities of Dada were there in his son also…one scene I can clearly recall…I’ve sat with Dada for a sitting…Shachinda was composing in a concentrated mood…suddenly I saw a kid entering that room playing mouth-organ..none else but Pancham..he used to play mouth-organ brilliantly from his childhood”.

R.D.Burman with Kumar Sanu and Sapan Chakraborty

R.D.Burman with Kumar Sanu and Sapan Chakraborty

Dev Anand continued,”My association with Pancham started from ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’.After that he composed in Heera Panna, Anand aur anand, Swamidada and Ishq ishq ishq.The song ‘Kisiko is jagah me nehi aana hai’ from Heera Panna is my hot favourite. After Ishq ishq ishq,I didn’t do music by Pancham. Actually I didn’t repeat Pancham because I always wanted to experiment with new ones.

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During music composition of Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Pancham completed six songs confining himself in a room for two weeks at a stretch. I was also with him in that room. He was composing tunes one after another and if he disliked any of them he was discarding that and starting composing another tune in place of that. He used to compose tunes with very hard toil and imagination…such a worship is rarely seen”.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology