27th June marks the 78th birth anniversary of the musical genius RD Burman. The maestro gave us tracks for every mood, from low to high and home to travel. From the age of 9 to 54, he made entire India swing to his magical tunes. We all remember singing “Duniya ne humko diya kya” at home, parties, and clubs when his wonderful creation Dum Maro Dum played around us – the effect is still current in many of us. So, on his birthday, know the unknown side of this musical idol who made the 80s immortal.
1. The Story behind his nickname, Pancham Da: It is said that R.D. Burman could cry in 5 different notes. Since Pancham means 5 in Bengali, he was named Pancham Da.
2. RD Burman composed his first tune at the age of 9. His composer father, Sachin Dev Burman used RD’s tune in “Ae meree Topee palat ke aa” in the movie Funtoosh, 1956.
3. The mouth-organ in Hai Apna Dil to Aawara from the movie Solva Saal was played by RD Burman himself.
4. Off-the-beat-RD: Once Pancham Da waited all night long in his balcony, to record the preferred sound of rain drops for his composition. In another famous creation, Chura Liya, he filled various glasses at different water level and used the sound of a spoon hitting the glass for his composition.
5. Song to overshadow a movie? This kind of incident, when a song overshadow a movie does not happen in Bollywood these days. But back then, Dev Anand didn’t include the full version of the song Dum Maro Dum in his movie, because he feared that the song would mask the movie.
6. Inspiration from American jazz legend Louis Armstrong: The widely celebrated growling vocals from the song Mehbooba Mehbooba were inspired by the styling of American jazz legend Louis Armstrong. RD Burman once said in an interview that he hated being stereotyped and always prefers having a distinct identity.