R.D.Burman and filmmaker –lyricist Gulzar formed a formidable team. The duo has given some of the most timeless melodies that shall remain immortal for centuries to come. Songs like Beeti Naa Beetayee Raina..(Parichay)’, Dil Dhoondta Hai Phir Wohi…(Mausam) , Tujhse Naraz Nahin Zindagi (Masoom), Aap Ki Aakhon Mein Kuch…(Ghar), Aaane Wala Pal Jaane Wala Hai…(Gol Maal), Mera Kuch Saman…(Ijaazat)’ and above all the movie that ultimately brought R.D.Burman into the class of top music directors was unanimously Gulzar ‘s best film Aandhi. Each song was a pearl in itself like Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa Gaya Hai …, Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koyi…and Is Mod Se Jaatein Hain….
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the music of R.D.Burman in the films of Gulzar was the ‘Best’ in his career. Surprisingly, each time the two worked together, they created spell bounding music casting a magical charm on the audience who were left intoxicated by the compelling music. What made the music so special?
Well, Pancham in an interview confessed, “Creating music for Gulzar Sahab was the most challenging experiences of my life because Gulzar Sahab always insisted on Hindustani classical ragas. This would be a tough task as creating a lighter melody out of complex classical ragas is taxing.” Hence in a lighter mood Pancham said, “Whenever Gulzar Sahab asked me to compose a tune, I got a fever 10 days before the song was composed and the fever lasted for 10 days after the song was recorded! However, the song would turn out excellently!”
Thus it is evident that Gulzar extracted the ‘Best’ in Pancham . In contrast, other producers never tapped the real ‘Pancham ‘ they just asked Pancham to revamp the tunes that were inspired by foreign albums. Hence to label Pancham as a plagiarist is totally wrong.
In fact, the first song that Pancham had composed independently for his debut film Bhoot Bungla was Ghar Aaja Ghir Aayi Badra …..The song is based on Hindustani classical Raga Malgunji and is super hit. Likewise, whenever good producer asked Pancham to create a melodious song based on Hindustani classical ragas, Pancham had lived up to their expectations producing some sterling music like Raina Beeti Jaaye (Amar Prem) based on Raga Todi and Khamaj; Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon (Mehbooba) based on Raga Shivaranjani; Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna… (Kudrat) based on Raga Bhairavi; Aapki Aankhon Mein Kuchh Mehke Huey Se Raaz Hain ..(Ghar) based on Raga Kedar and of course the hit songs of Vidhu Vinod Chopra‘s film 1942 – A Love Story were real gems. All were based on classical ragas. The songs left the music critics dumbfounded and forced them to put their head down in utter shame!!
What is laudable is that Filmfare award that never took R.D. Burman’s music seriously, after his demise, initiated ‘The Filmfare R.D. Burman Award’ – A new category of award to honor new talent in break new ground in composing music.