Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chura liya....

27th June 2007 happens to be the 68th birth anniversary of the late R.D Burman or Pancham da as he was affectionally called by his collegues and friends.The title for this entry shares it name with what remains my favourite Bollywood number. The title, however is also apt because of what I discovered a few months back. Today may not be the best day for an expose, it being his birth anniversary. What prompted me to post this entry today was this tribute in the newspaper.
When Bhumikak wrote "bringing world music to our ears through hindi films, words are'nt enough to describe what burman did", I interpreted it literally.I do realise that a statement like this would be nothing short of blasphamy. Afterall, Pancham da occupies a sacroscant space in the heart of every hindi-movie lover.I am not trying to question the talents of the maestro,I only doubt his creativity as a music composer. It turns out some of his best numbers were "inspired" from the works of artists whose background varied from the Americas to the far east.
I turned out to be a huge RD Burman fan after the release of what is now remembered as his swansong - "1942,A Love Story". It piqued my curiosity as it did for many who had had the better fortune of growing up to his melodious tunes in the 70's and in the following decades.I followed his works after his unfortunate demise in 1994 and was forced to listen to his works in the reverse order of chronology.His works were path breaking compared to all his contemporaries. But as I was exposed to western pop in my adolescent years, I realised Burman owed much to the likes of ABBA, Chubby Checker, Elvis, The Carpenters, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Cliff Richards and Frank Sinatra to name a few. My own inclination towards jazz music more recently however led me to this serendipitous discovery, which really blew my mind away. Readers please check out Demis Roussos’ "Say you love me" and you'll know what I mean.Roussos' third album, released in 1974, inspired Sholay's "Mehbooba Mehbooba", which was released the following year. Till I discovered this fact, I'd listed down this song as my favourite bollywood track as it was so ahead of its times. I'd imagined that it as a song inspired many a musician to explore new realms of creativity. Suddenly I felt a little betrayed.
Now as I look at it dispassionately and objectively, it did probably spawn a breed of pseudos with great musical tastes to try out a hand at composing music.Afterall, We must remember "Akele Hum Akele Tum", Anu Malik's magnum opus till then as probably bollywoods best tribute to Wham,Deep Purple and the Godfather. Burman however should be remembered as an individual who revolutionised the Indian music industry by his sheer talents.By featuring in Jose Flores' Pantera, he did put India on the world music map. Creativity or the lack of it notwithstanding, I'd still list down the folling as my favourites:
1. Monica, oh my darling (caravan)
2. Hare Krishna Hare Ram ( movie of the same name)
3. Chingari koi badkhe ( amar prem)
4. Kati patang ( movie of the same name)
5. Chura liya ( yaadon ki baarat)
6. Tere bina zindagi se koi ( andhi)
7. Tumse naraz nahi ( masoom)
If any of these have been "inspired", i'd just overlook any such info and say "Ignorance is bliss".

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