Friday, August 17, 2007

SD Burman and Mohammad Rafi

SD Burman and Mohammad Rafi

Sachin Dev BurmanSD Burman

Sachin Dev Burman was born in Tripura, where the fields, soil, trees and nature as a whole had shaped the music. There cannot be any music which is sweeter than the compositions that God has created in nature for human beings to cherish generation after generations. What is required is the poetic and musical mind to realise the melodies evident in the breeze, in the rainfall, in the fragrance of flowers blossoming at the arrival of spring.Tripura is situated at the border of East Bengal, and as a landmass has similarity with East Bengal and West Bengal which in Bengali we term as "nodi matric" meaning being fed by a number of rivers.The minds of the people in this part of the world is as soft as the alluvial soil of the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Padma and other rivers.

SD Burman came to Kolkata and learned Classical Music from the Giant of Ustadi Gharana named Viswadev Chatterji.Viswadev's famous song "Nabaruno Rage" used to be played as the first song in All India Radio in the morning, everyday and acted as messanger of dawn.The genius had taught SD Burman, ragas of different origin and created a legacy of Hindustani classical which shaped SD Burman into a grand creator as known by the later generations.

SD Burman had his won basic discs in Bengali, some having flavour of folk songs, others having the orthodox ragas embedded in them.His notable songs include "Paddar dheu re", "Jhilmil jhilmil jhiler jole dheu kheliya jaire","mono dilona, badhu",etc.When he went to Bombay, he took Manna Dey with him, another legendary singer of the Bengali modern era.Manna Dey
dominated the BEngali film arena with his tremedous performance in Uttamkumar's films "shankhobela", "Antony firingi",etc in the 60s and 70s.

SD Burman got involved with the Navketan Banner and composed most of his songs for that banner.But he developed an everlasting bond with Mohammad Rafi, the man with the golden voice who had an answer for the different emotions of human being, including happiness, tragedy, comedy,etc.

SD Burman had composed the songs "yeh mahalon ,yeh takhton, yeh tajho ki duniya" in the film Pyasa, 1957 and "Bichre sabhi, bari bari" in the film Kagaz ke phool, 1959, for Gurudutt, with whatever pathos e had in min. Rafi brought tears in the eyes of music lovers with his compassionate andaz.

Manna Dey sometimes had a grievance, that inspite of the classical control being possessed by him SD Burman had preferred Rafi in som of the clasical compositions. in the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, Manna Dey gave a superlative performance with the song "Pucho na kaise maine rain bitayi." Rafi had superceded SD Burman himself with the performance of "Tere bin sune" composed in raag Pilu which was the hindi version of SD's own song"Ami chinu Eka basoro Jagaye".

In the film Tere Ghar ke saamne, 1963, SD Burman's composition "tu kahan yeh bata","tere gharke saamne" "dil ka bhanwar karen pukar"and the rest of the songs combined sweetness of Rafi's with the folk effect in the orchestration.In the film "Teen deviyan" Rafi's song "aise to na dekho" and "Kahin bekhayal hoker" had Ghazal andaz.Besides Rafi's preformance in Guide,
1965, with the songs "Tere mere sapne", "din Dhal Jaye""Kaise kya ho gaya bewafa hogaya tere pyar me" brought out the softer side of SD Burman.

There are other songs like "Hum bekhudi me tumko pukare chale gaye" in the film kalapani,1960, where Rafi matched SD Burman himself (his bengali song was "Ghum bhulechi") and "yeh di diwana hai" and "mehbooba teri tasveer" in te film "Isqe par zor nahin" where Rafi's excellence is balanced with SD Burman's orchestration.In Rajenderkumar's film Talash, SD Burman brought out his best for Rafi in the song "Palkon ke peeche se."

The list of songs showing Rafi's combination with SD Burman can go on. But one thing is common, whenever SD Burman was passionate about the hindi version of his own songs, Rafi appeared in his mind automatically. Rafi's Archive should contain SD Burman's creation also to show the background of folk song and hindustani classical, used in the songs composed in 50s, 60s, 70s.

Article By Souvik Chatterji

Master of Law from Warwick University, Coventry, UK.
Master of Law from Case Western Reserve Univerwsity, Cleveland, Ohio,USA

Browse more Articles by Souvik Chatterji


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