Marking R.D Barman or Pancham Da (as he was fondly called)’s 75th birth anniversary singing legend Lata Mangeshkar remembered her long association with late Bollywood music director on Friday in an interview. Talking about his untimely death at a young age of 54, Lata said that the legendary composer died too young and too unhappy.
“For a composer as talented as Pancham to be almost jobless was a living death. Pancham was very unhappy. He would sometimes share his grief with me. I feel sad even now when I recall how cruel the industry was to Pancham just because some of his music didn’t do well,” she said in the interview.
Talking about Pancham Da, Lata acknowledged her love and debt for the departed composer saying that her brother-in-law “was immensely talented and could compose in any style.”
“…He knew exactly which song to give to which singer. If he gave my sister Asha Bhosle ‘Piya tu ab toh aaja…’, he gave me ‘Raina beeti jaaye…’. He also gave me ‘Naam ghum jayega chehra yeh badal jayega…’. This is the signature tune of my career,” she added.
Lata even got emotional as she recalled the memories while singing for the film after his death. She said,
“… It was twice that my recording for Pancham for ‘1942: A Love Story’ got postponed. Finally, I was in Delhi when I heard he passed away. I recorded the song ‘Kuch na kaho…’ posthumously for Pancham with a heavy heart… If Pancham had lived, he would have been so happy to see his songs used so beautifully.”
Lata also feels that “Pancham was reverent” as she went on to say,
“He saw me as his father’s artiste, but when we recorded he was a colleague. And if Kishore Da (Kishore Kumar) was with us, then it was full masti (fun). We had great fun. And his songs have withstood the test of time. Only two music composers from Hindi cinema have attained such enduring fame after death. Pancham and Madan Mohan.”
B-towners took to Twitter on Friday marking Pancham Da’s 75th birth anniversary. Here is what some of them tweeted:
Asha Bhonsle: “Remembering Pancham and those special moments in time that we shared.”
Vidhu Vinod Chopra: “Happy birthday week to Panchamda! In tribute.” He also posted a link to the song ‘Kuch na kaho…’.
Vishal Dadlani: “75th birthday of RD Burman, aka Pancham aka (as Timbaland referred to him when he told me what a big fan he is) RD Burns.”
Madhur Bhandarkar: “75 years ago today, a musical genius was born. His tunes stole our hearts & do so even now. Pancham Da, you rock! We miss you. Happy Birthday.”
Sujoy Ghosh: “Happy birthday RD Burman. May you and your music live forever.”
Manish Malhotra: “Today is the 75th birth anniversary of the legendary R D Burman. His music I love.”
What has been your favorite tune of his? Happy Birthday R.D Burman, may your music live on for years and years to come!