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‘We were more like ‘soul-mates, made-for-each-other’—superstar Rajesh Khanna said about genius Pancham-Da ( RDBurman) to Chaitanya Padukone


Songs may come and songs may go, but ‘RDB-RK’ melody-tracks will go on forever ! On his anniversary (July 18th) –it’s the day, he exited into immortality, I recall what superstar Rajesh Khanna said to me about his close buddy Pancham-da ( R D Burman) when I used to meet him. “We were more like ‘soul-mates—made for each other’ !’ – Chaitanya Padukone

The on-screen charismatic Rajesh Khanna will always ‘live’ and ‘thrive’ , thanks to dozens of chartbusting evergreen songs ( in 32 Hindi films) composed by his ‘jigri dost’ genius Pancham-da .

As an eminent film-journalist, I shared a personal bonding with the moody yet caring, Kakaji (Rajesh Khanna ) and also with innovative Pancham-da.

A fabulous private party-host, Kakaji would often invite me to the classy Mexican-decor cocktails bar located on the terrace of his production office at Linking Road (Bandra) and also ensure I was properly taken care of.

Among the memorable star-studded parties, at his terrace, I recall the ‘yeh-shaam-mastaani’ bash, he had invited me, to celebrate his home-production movie ‘Jai Shiv Shanker’ where its music director Pancham-da was the special guest-of-honour.

The modest yet honest sangeetkar RDB-da would often admit to me, “I have always reserved some of the best music tunes for Kaka-ji , as he brings vibrant life into my songs on-screen”.

In my authored memoirs book ‘R D BurMania’ the temperamental yet music-savvy Rajesh Khanna (who used to attend RDB’s song-recordings) exclusively revealed to me, how he was highly fascinated with RDB’s grunt-bass-rasp effect voice in this cabaret duet song ‘Meri Jaan Maine Kahaa’ from his movie ‘The Train’(1970) .

“Pancham-da promised me that very soon in future he would compose a song where he would use that same crackling bass-rasp-grunt voice.

Two years later, RD kept his promise and conjured up that playback number for my disguised screen-character which goes ‘Duniya Mein Logon Ko ’ in ‘Apna Desh’(1972).

But when the song was being recorded, I became skeptical as to how cine-goers would react, because they would find it quite bizarre.

But genius Pancham was so confident that the unconventional song picturised on me would jolt my fans and acquire cult-status.

To balance the unusual rasp-grunt voice, he sang the mukhda in his normal voice, with the breathing sounds as ‘fillers’.

That then was RDB’s gutsy conviction,” disclosed the Khanna when he exclusively spoke to me for my authored ‘RDBurMania’ memoirs book.

# Five of Rajesh Khanna’s favorite RDB composed songs-as told to me : Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna (Kudrat), Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem), O Mere Dil Ke Chain (Mere Jeevan Saathi), Zindagi Ke Safar Mein (Aap Ki Kasam), Duniya Mein (Apna Desh),

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