“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
Music is a passion that has catapulted me into realms of bliss and ecstasy at even the most despondent of times.
Among the ones who deserve special mention and a huge Thanks is Rahul dev Burman.. His art lives on and will continue forever..however cliched that may sound.
Memory is a clever thing..it maybe the relative of truth but not its twin.
Last night a bunch of us mad hatters who need no excuse to get together and sing out his numbers, found a valid reason. His birthday. So there we were an eclectic mix, in gay abandon, barbecuing, in this lilting, wet and utterly romantic weather at a Madh island bungalow juggling our memory and chasing to beat each other with the most delectable of his tunes.
My childhood years were spent close to R.D….not in the manner, most of you guys imagine, ears all perked up for juicy tattle. Its just that his bungalow, a quaint Burmese cottage with the most amazing exterior, was just a hop and a skip away from ours. I recall many a tale of his contributions to his erstwhile father S.D. Burmans music, from the tender age of 7, say some. I, for one would not disbelieve that. Finally during ‘Aradhana’ and due to the failing health of S.D., R.D. took over. The song “Roop tera mastana” which was one of the reasons for Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore becoming the craze of the nation, is claimed to be his effort. Never before did music have the sexual innuendo that was attempted by the music, rendition and flavour of this melody.
The common favourites in the lexicon are too many to enlist. Some of my personal favourites are the not so well known.”Kya jaanoon sajan, hoti hai kya gham ki sham, jal uthe sau diye, jab liya tera naam” from “Bahaaron ke sapne”..years later my music tutor had challenged me that the day I render this one to perfection, he would grant that i have learnt light classical. In all fairness I confess that I am nowhere near perfection….But I love this number..as also “aaja piya, tohe pyaar doo gori baiyan tope war doo’…also” Hum bewafaa hargiz na the, par hum wafaa kar na sakey”, sweet, soft, simple and touching.
Panchamda as he was fondly called.. a musician par excellence.. ahead of his times
He was the pioneer of rock and pop music in India without a doubt.It was R.D. Burman who truly brought the groove into Hindi Film Music, ushering in the era of electronic rock and providing Hindi film Music with a whole new ‘happening’ sound. His hip and energetic youthful compositions proved extremely popular from the late 1960s till the early to mid-1980s. The music arrangement of his songs is unparallelled and a source of inspiration(plagiarism) to many of the present lot. If imitation be the best form of flattery and all of that, then for sure the timelessnesss of his tunes and his genius is recognisable in most numbers today.
Destiny however plays a cruel trick on some phenomenal talents. Whether, Mirza ghalib, Van Gogh or R.D., their worth is evaluated after they have departed. His last years were spent in the misery of professional rejection, personal turmoil and financial constraints. His last films “Parinda” and later “1942 Love story” was released after his demise. How can anyone forget ‘Kucchh na kaho..kucchh bhi naa kaho’..it gives me goose bumps even now…he could actually transport you into the make believe world he seems to have created just for you. It behooved no picturisation to enhance the richness of melody.
It would be heartening to know that he watches from somewhere to witness that he is not forgotten…to know that the pain of survival has been erased from his soul, what remains is the glory of an artist who has not died unsung.
“The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.”