Thursday, January 5, 2012

Remembering the Chotte Nawab - Why did RD Burman lose touch..

Jan 4th, this year, marks RD's  17th anniversary of leaving us behind. Of course, long before 1994, had the prodigy lost his electrifying touch that permeated magic much thru the late 60s and the 70s.How such an enormously talented musician could lose touch - with the masses and the classes- to the extent that RD did, is a bit of mystery.
Probably, had to do with changing audience tastes, probably the Jeetendra-Sridevi-Bappi-Thaa-thayaa music mode.Or maybe, he did not get the  right scrpts/films on whose successes his songs could have piggy-backed. Or was it that elements of the ecosystem in which RD thrived vanished one after the other - a faded Rajesh Khanna, a jaded Hrishi da or Shakti Samanta, maybe even a fading Ambitabh, departure of Kishore and Sanjeev Kumars from the scenes, and Gulzar's hibernation.
The popularity of the disco themes, the increasing usage of the synthetic electronic instruments may have been the last nails in the coffin.
Still, even when he was down -  no one ever doubted the musical genius of the man who began his independent musical career with Mehmood's Chotte Nawab comprising the endearing 'Ghar Aaja, Ghir Aaye Badra Sanwariya'. Arguably, the best film song in raag Malgunji (Anand's na jiya age na  by Salil C or Adalat's Unko ye shikaayat hai ke hum kuch naheen kehte by Madan Mohan compete closely) - a raga with conflicting emotions but made to appear deceptively simple by Pancham.
Liken this to a batsman scoring a double century on debut on a swinging green unprepared pitch facing the 4 Windies pacers of the '70s - and making it look easy.
Truly, Chotte Nawab!

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