‘Pancham’, who’s business was to paint souls of men with a musical brush is no longer between us but his memories haunt the music world even after six years after his demise. He inherited music from his mother Meera and father, the inimitable Sachin Dev Burman right from the day he was born on, June 27’1939 in Calcutta. Two of the most celebrated musicians of their times and today also, Rahul Dev Burman and Sachin Dev Burman despite being father and son had a class of their own.

‘Pancham’ is the fifth keynote in music and so was his pet name. He completed his schooling from the Ballygunj Government school and then dedicated himself to the service of music. Obviously his father was his master but the young boy also took lessons in ‘Tabla’ from Brijen Biswas, while the music maestro, the Numero Uno Sarodist Ustad Ali Akbar Khan gave him lessons on ‘Sarod’. He also learnt as he assisted his father from 1955.

Sachin da was then a renowned musician and had to his credit a series of classics. It was rather difficult for the young Rahul Dev Burman to establish a mark of his own. Sachinda had created wonders in Gurudutt’s films like Pyasa and Kagaz ke phool and now it was Rahul who was offered Gurudutt’s next film ‘Raaz’ in 1958, which unfortunately did not see light of day. But one can’t hide a rose for long as its sweet smell cannot be hidden for long. After a gap of almost four years the ‘Baap of all comedians’ – Mehmood introduced this phenomenon to the music world through his home production ‘Chhote Nawaab’ in 1962 that stunned the music lovers as people discovered that Pancham’s music was pretty ahead of its times. Chhote Nawaab also marked his versatility in music as he composed the classic “Ghar aaja ghir aayee badra saawariyan’ in Raag malgunji and the very shake a leg with me “Matwali aankhon wale, o albele dil wale”.

It was then no looking back for R.D as he scored and scored hits in almost 331films and albums in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, English and Bengali. The music lover not only played on instruments but on hard ground too. Equally inclined towards sports his fascination was tremendous as he enjoyed Tennis, Cricket, Chess and football. He had a collection of videotapes of spectacular sport events.

Mehmood not only introduced him as a music director but also gave him a break in ‘Bhoot bangla’ as a comedian where he also scored haunting melodies like “O mere pyaar aaja” and “Aao twist karein”. Initially he worked with Lata Mangeshkar a lot. R.D scored for Mehmood’s ‘Pati patni’, ‘Padosan’, ‘Bombay to Goa’, and others.

‘Teesri manzil’ was a major milestone in his musical journey as he broke through all the barriers and introduced a new form of music with Asha Bhosale and Rafi. The team, Asha Bhosale and R.D, were sheer magic. Always unto some experiment they sang and composed regardless the consequences. One can witness their compatibility in songs like “Mar dalega dard -e- jigar” (Pati Patni), Piya tu ab to aaja” (Caravan), “Sun sun sun didi tere liye” (Khoobsoorat), “Paape bacha lo tusi “(caravan), Mera kuchh saaman (Ijazat) and ‘n’ songs. The chemistry worked like magic and the two music giants tied a knot on the July,7’1979.

R.D also shared wonderful relationship with his singers, Lyricists, Assistants and film directors like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Bhupendra, Gulzar, Majrooh, Gulshan Bawra, Manohari babu, Nasir Hussain and Mehmood. He also worked with budding talents like Amit Kumar, Sushma Shreshtha, Sadhana Sargam, Anup Ghoshal, Sapna and Abhijeet.

He sang several hits himself which include the famous “Mehbooba mehbooba” in Sholay, “Duniya mein logon ko” in Apna Desh and “Dil lena khel hain” in Zamane ko dikhana hain. His thirst to explore his creativity led him to produce the famous melodious album with Gulzar and Asha Bhosale “Dil padosi hain” in 1987. In the eighties decade when not much good music was heard from other musicians R.D was the only odd out who scored so brilliantly that the music in his films like ‘Sanam teri kasam’, ‘Rocky’, ‘Love story’, ‘Teri kasam’, and many other films is also been appreciated in the year 2000 as its beat is still so fresh that even in an era of remixes the DJs give up in front of the maestro.

His sudden demise was a great loss to the music world that is impossible to be recovered. After his death the filmfare instituted an award in his honour for new blood musicians. We do see that the new musicians are highly inspired by his works and many of them are also busy altering the maestro’s works. The latest example can be “Ruk ja o dil deewane” in Yash Chopra’s ‘Dilwale dulhaniya le jaayenge’ scored by Jatin Lalit which is an out’n’out remake of R.D’s popular “Bachna ey haseeno” in Hum kisise kam nahin, may be this is what the great maestro who raised from the jet shadow of his father wanted to tell the music composers of then and now – HUM KISISE KUM NAHIN.

In the eighties decade R.D was the only composer who came up with tilting music in the age of songs like “mama miyan pom pom”, “gori ka sajan sajan ki gori”, “ek do teen char”, “Chhuimui chhuimui ho gayee”, “taki o taki o taki taki ” and many other sad pathetic numbers which despite having funny lyrics were temporary hits, The most shocking part of these songs was that all were sung by all leading music giants like Lata, Asha and Kishore. But R.D’s songs always stood out because of its substance that consisted well polished words, excellent vocals and obviously rich music. Take for instance also the not much famous or the ignored “Aag se khelenge” or “Rama O Rama”. R.D’s music is also very much responsible for the successful debut’s of Sanjay Dutt in ‘Rocky’ that included the unparalleled dance hit “Aa dekhe zara kisme kitna hain dum” and the soulful romantic track “kya yehi pyaar hain” and also Kumar Gaurav’s debut ‘Love Story’ with a new voice like Amit Kumar.

R.D is undoubtedly the most celebrated and admired musicians of the world. His music will always be remembered. Can one imagine the richness of Hindi film music without the Burman Father and son?

How rightly said “Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not it’s goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul.” R.D had put his life and soul in his songs and hence even after he has perished his memories haunt us through his immortal music.