Legends

Sachin Pilgaonkar Remembers The Eternal Emotion called Pancham

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Pancham is never teevra or komal, it is aways Shuddh!
Probably this one point is enough to introduce the legendary Rahul Dev Burman, fondly known as Pancham by fans and experts alike. Born on 27th June, 1939, Rahul Dev Burman or Pancham da apparently cried in a perfect svara, which made his legendary father, Sachin Dev Burman, keep his daak naam as Pancham.
Pancham da’s music is like salt mixed in water, which cannot be seen but be felt with every sip. Whether it is a happy occasion or decoding the philosophy of life, Pancham da’s music always comes to rescue. RD Burman is not just a name but it’s a phenomenon, an emotion. He has touched many lives through his magnanimity and music. While he was physically present, he was considered a man of his words, especially when it came to his friends, he would go beyond his capacity to not just help his friends but be with them in thick and thin.
Pancham Radio (www.pancham276fm.ro), an exclusive online radio channel dedicated to celebrate the genius of RD Burman, tries to bring unique experiences and introduce listeners to people who are influenced by RD Burman’s music, personality and aura. In this endeavour, the radio channel got into an exclusive interaction with the veteran actor, senior producer and director and a close friend of Pancham da, Sachin Pilgaonkar, whom we fondly know as Master Sachin from his early years of work in Hindi film industry.
Sachin Pilgaonkar shared some interesting anecdotes and stories related to Pancham da and the show is slated to air on October 30th at 11am India time. In the exclusive interview, Sachin mentioned many interesting points. Sharing an excerpt in his quotes, exclusively for TheSongPedia.com readers.
He says, “Pancham da was my friend. Inspite of a big age gap, there was a special bon we shared. I enjoy each day as it comes. I do my work sincerely and once the work is done, it’s time to move forward. If my work is good enough then the admirers cherish it and that’s a bigger blessing. But yes, I always remember good things and experiences of others. I prefer not remembering things about myself, there are so many things to learn from others and that should be cherished more than talking about self. One such persons whom I feel fortunate to have met is RD Burman!”
Sachin’s first film with RD Burman was Mela, where he played the younger version of the male lead. Upon asking if he had met Pancham da that time, he says, “No, not at all. Although I was a huge fan of his music even before I was shooting for Mela. I had instantly fell in love with his very first composition from Chhote Nawab. But had not got a chance to meet him then. Pancham da had shown his province from the very first film of his. And as a child whenever I listened to this song, I used to enjoy it thoroughly.”
Ghar aaja ghir aayi

He further adds, “After his first film, Pancham da did a few more films but the breakthrough of his career came with the blockbuster Teesri Manzil in 1966. Apparently, Dev Anand was signed to play the lead role, however Shammi Kapoor was brought in eventually. Shammi ji had a keen ear to melody and when he got to know that instead of his favourite music directors Shankar-Jaikishan, Nasir saab has roped in a new boy, he wanted to listen to his work before closing in. So, when Pancham da, along with his few musicians, went to meet Shammi ji and played the first line of Deewana mujhsa nahi… immediately Shammi ji sang the cross and mentioned that it is a Nepali tune. It is good but show me something original. The then nervous young boy Pancham played the tune of O Haseena Zulfowali and Shammi ji knew right then that it will be a trend setter. Rest as we know is history. And indeed, the film enjoys the cult status even after so many decades of its release. When the film got released, I watched it in theatre 36 times! And can still watch it any day. For a suspense film, to get repeat audience, the entire credit goes to its music.”
O haseena zulfonwali jaane jahan

Talking about the innovative nature of Pancham da, Sachin ji says, “Pancham da was a genius and even before he started giving music independently, he has done some great work as a music assistant with his father SD Burman. In the movie Jewel Thief, Pancham da had arranged the music and gave music for the title track. While the songs are famous, the title track also became a famous haunting melody which later Pancham da himself used as a full-fledged song in his film Garam Masala.”
Tum jaiso ko

Upon asking about his first meeting with Pancham da, Sachin ji says, “My first meeting with Pancham da happened thanks to Majrooh saab. Majrooh saab was our neighbour in Juhu and his kids and I were thick friends. Since I also enjoyed speaking and learning in Urdu, Majrooh saab liked me a lot. So, one day when he was going to the Film Centre studio for the recording of Yaadon ki Baarat, he asked me if I wanted to join and I immediately agreed. I met Pancham da in the studio and felt goosebumps watching him in action. He sweetly said hello and acknowledged having watched my films. That was enough for me to be mesmerized by the maverick for life. Along with Pancham da, I also got a chance to meet my most favourite singers Kishore da and Mohd Rafi saab as well.”
Yaadon ki Baarat

Talking about the legendary film, Sholay, Sachin ji reminisces, “After this, I got the chance to meet Pancham da only during the recording of Sholay songs. I, along with Amjad Khan, was a part of the second unit production team. So, apart from playing a part on-screen, I was involved in the off-screen work as well. Pancham da was recording the background music where I experienced the magic of Pancham da’s music making. More than the songs, I feel the background music of Sholay excelled far and beyond. The songs released along with the movie and not before. For the first few weeks, audience discarded the film, however when Ramesh Sippy released the audio film with dialogues and songs, that created a new wave and thereon the movie and its songs caught everyone’s attention.
Sholay Background Music

After Sholay, the most fond collaboration of Sachin with RD Burman happened in Balika Vadhu. Talking about the milestone movie, Sachin ji says, “After my first film as a lead role in Geet Gata Chal, I got the offer for Balika Vadhu for which Pancham da was giving the music. When Pancham da was told that I will be playing the lead and he had to compose songs for me, Pancham da told the director that I do not know the boy personally, so it is difficult to compose for him. Why don’t you ask him to come and meet me?
So I was taken to Pancham da and of course I was super happy but was also nervous. When I reached there nervous, Pancham da told me in his iconic style, Do not worry and don’t hesitate, I will never shout at you or scold you, because your name is my father’s name! This broke the ice between us. Then Pancham da started talking to me about various things, he was probably trying to understand my body language and mannerisms. While I was talking to him he was playing his harmonium with some notations. And within minutes, he created the tune of Bade Acche Lagte Hain, that was the marvel of this man. This was the beginning of an eternal friendship with Pancham da.”
Bade acche lagte hain

Talking to Sachin about RD Burman and not mentioning about the most iconic fun film Satte Pe Satta would be unair. So when asked about the entertaining film, he smilingly remembered, “It was more like a picnic than a film set. The camaraderie shown on screen was the result of the relationship we all had off screen. All of us stayed together and used to party a lot. Pancham da also created magic with his music for this film. Not just songs, but even the theme sounds and background music were so special. Even today Babu’s entry music is one of the most iconic music pieces of the industry. Only he could have created music out of the gargling sound, which was in Annette Pinto’s voice.”
Dukki Pe Dukki

While talking about his friend and guide, Sachin got little emotional and this is what he says, “Pancham da is eternal, he has created a grand legacy which is precious and will be treasured by generations to come. For me he was a friend and a guide. He gave me many insights on how while directing a film, the music should be in sync with the story and chracters. After I made my first film in Hindi, I wanted to work with Pancham da, but unfortunately he left the world before I could get a chance.”
To listen to the entire interview, do log on to www.pancham276fm.ro on October 30th at 11am IST.

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