Haunting Melodies from the Dignified Royal Prince of Tripura, SD Burman

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SD Burman, also known respectfully and endearingly, as Sachin Korta, came from the royal family of Tripura and was very dignified person. He took his work very seriously and would not take more than four films in a year. The Prince of Melody stole many hearts with his music. Samina profiles the great music director, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

The song Badi Suni Suni hai haunts me every time I listen to it and hum it to myself. Words fail me when I try to pen down lines on the great music director S D Burman. His music is close to the soil, melodious and can easily be hummed. A music director par excellence could be so phenomenal only because he gave importance to so much detailing – right from the actor on whom the song had to be picturised, the scene, the narrative, the lyrics and the singer – he kept all in mind before he would compose a song. It eventually had such an appeal that if one heard the song, one could immediately connect with the actor and the scene.

Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar immediately takes you to the echoing sound, where Nutan and Dev Anand are walking down the Qutub Minar.

SD Burman, also known respectfully and endearingly, as Sachin Korta, came from the royal family of Tripura and was very dignified person. He took his work very seriously and would not take more than four films in a year. Still, the films with the most extraordinary music like Pyaasa, Abhimaan, Guide, and Aradhana were made under his banner.

He was a man who knew what he was doing and at times could be stubborn and impatient. At times, moody, he created some very sad numbers like Ab ke Baras Bhej Bhaiya ko Babul from Bandini. He brought about creativity in his composition by using folk and earthy tunes in his music. He always tried to introduce new voices and made many actors sing too. In fact, they say that he composed songs in various voices and for Devdas, he recorded nearly 10 voices for a few songs. Guru Dutt says that he had spent many days at S D Burman’s place explaining the narratives, plots, and choice of actors before composing music for his films.

He composed music for over 100 movies in Hindi and Bengali songs and many of his music and songs have been set in Bengali outdoor settings.

Kora kagaz hai man Mera, Chanda hai tu are the two songs that I am fond of. But, my most favourite is Piya Tose Naina laage re.

An iconic music director, an architect of the golden era of Hindi film music, Sachin Korta collaborated with Guru Dutt, Dev Anand, Talat Mehmood and later Kishore Kumar. He has given the film industry the best music till date. He himself had a powerful voice and sang a few songs, which added a lot of depth. Some of these were‘Mere Sajan hai is Paar’, ‘Wahan Kanu hai tera’, ‘Kahe ko roye…Safal hogi Teri Aradhana’, created a scene and background, which echoes us even today.

In fact, he had started his career as a singer in the All India Radio in the late 1920s. Though he had a love marriage with Meera, who was non-Royal, he did not use her songs though she was a talented poetess, a resentment she carried with her for years.

Gulzar remembers him as a music composer with style and called the Prince of Melody for the regal manner in which he would dress up crisply, place a gajra on his wrist, then stir up a drink and only then would he sit down with his harmonium to get cracking with work.

He was a great sportsman and loved eating paan and never shared has paan with anyone. An interesting fact is also that our little mater Sachin Tendulkar was named after SD Burman as his father and uncle were great fans of his music.

Today, we feel indebted to S D Burman for the soulful haunting music. He has left behind a huge repertoire of songs as a legacy for us to devour and savour. I feel he remains unforgettable and alive in our lives and hearts.

Here are the top five songs sung by SD Burman

©Samina Naqvi

Photos and videos from the internet.

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Samina Naqvi, educator, teacher trainer and motivator, uses education as an instrument for change. She believes in adventure, romance and living life to the fullest. Watches and analyses films, understands people’s perception. Loves to travel, read, and meet people from different sociocultural backgrounds, integrating communities. She is free spirited and enjoys her freedom to live life on her terms. She also believes that the youth today needs to be guided to create a better tomorrow.