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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.

KYA PANCHAM KA QAATIL KISMAT THA YA KOI AUR ? By Ali Peter John

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Talent was a kind of treasure that came to Pancham ( R D Burman ) like an endless flood – Ali Peter John

And this flood continued to flow for more than twenty years and then something went wrong with the flow of his talent and the flow affected his work as a leading composer in the world of Hindi films .

From the 70s to the 80s , he was the leader of a rare revolution who set the waves of music on fire and all the previous big music directors like Naushad , Shankar – Jaikshen , Kalyanji Anandji and even his father S D Burman received a major setback and had to take a back seat as Pancham kept ruling the waves of music without a break which didn’t seem to end .

His music had almost silenced the sounds of the music of all the other composers who couldn’t compete with him and his rhythm which was in a class of its own . Pancham had arrived like a storm which didn’t seem to be in a mood to stop come what may or who may .

But too much of adulation and success can go to the head and even the heart , it is said and believed by even the non -believers .

And success even spoils the successful , it is seen and history has been a witness to this fact being proved from time to time and that is what happened in the case of Pancham or so it seems when one looks back now so many years later ….

At one stage , Pancham almost believed that he was the emperor of the world of Hindi film music and facts showed that he was what he said he was .

He was scoring music for all the big filmmakers and for all their big films . All the big stars wanted music for their films to be scored by Pancham .

Every singer of every generation wanted to sing for Pancham and Pancham gave them the kind of songs that suited their voices and he was scoring music for the maximum number of films at any given time and the great singer Lata Mangeshkar who did not sing many songs for him called him , ” sangeet ka khazaana ” and Kishore Kumar called him ” sangeet ka betaaj badshah ” and all the other singers echoed the same feelings for Pancham and he seemed to enjoy his position and his fame both in the industry and among the people who saw in him the creator of the kind of music even the god of music must have not heard

Did Pancham get punished for what he believes about himself and what people around him made him believe about himself ?

Now , when one looks towards the end of his once glorious career , it looks like he was punished by destiny or god or call that unknown power whatever you may .

Some time in the late 80s , the whole lot of new music composers literally barged into the industry and took Pancham by shock more than by surprise .

Young composers like Bappi Lahri , Anu Malik , Jatin – Lalit , Nadeem – Shravan and even Ram – Laxman literally snached away films from Pancham and even his usual producers went away from him and decided to work with these new music directors and even as they kept working with these new composers , they cruelly left Pancham by the wayside and Pancham or the great R D Burman as he was known in the industry was left with very little or no work and at one time he had only one film on hand which was a small film called ” Tum Vaada Karo ” which was produced by Ramesh Khosla who was a NRI from America , whose son Robin Khosla was the director and younger son Raghu Khosla was the leading man and Shammi Kapoor and Saieed Jafrrey played lead characters . The film was not released

But Pancham’s destiny took a turn when Vidhu Vinod Chopra gave him a new life when he offered him the opportunity to score the music for his ambitious film “1942 A Love Story” and Pancham worked on the music as if his life depended on it and the music of the film became the talk of the industry .

Vidhu had a party to celebrate Pancham’s birthday on the night of January 4 , 1994 at the Film City to which he invited almost the entire industry .

That night Vidhu told everyone that the music of 1942 A Love Story would be the beginning of a new life for Pancham and Pancham who was desperately waiting for a hit believed what Vidhu said .

He was recovering from a spell of jaundice and was not supposed to drink , but he was so deliriously happy that he downed a couple of drinks and went home and didn’t wake up the next morning . He was not destined to see the grand success of the music of 1942 A Love Story

Incidentally , Dev Anand who had given him a new lease of life with ” dum maaro dum” was the first to see his dead body , like he was the first to see the dead body of his father , S D Burman who he had given his first break as a composer in “Baazi”.

Ye jo kismat hai isko kaun samaj sakta hai aur kaun samjaa sakta hai ?

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