Invigorating and exciting RD Burman was a class composer who has as many fans as he has detractors.
As the son of a genius like SD Burman, it must have been a challenge for the creative Rahul to make a mark for himself. It is said that things don’t grow in the shade, and it is so often true when we see children of brilliant achievers languish in their lives, perhaps unwilling to step up and take the bull by its horns and take the risk of rejection. “He is nowhere near his father!” or “She is nothing compared to her mother!” or “It’s better for him to do something else in his life than to enter this line!” Such are the statements we often make about celebrity kids, and RD Burman was no exception.
But what has made matters worse for RDB are not his detractors but his fans. Their constant effort and fanatical zeal to re-label SD Burman songs as RD Burman songs (“actually these were RD Burman songs!”) has diluted the power and genius of the icon. This is motivated by fans who want to grab SD Burman’s gems as those belonging to RD Burman.
Agreed, at one time RD Burman was one of several members of a team working together under SD Burman’s leadership, and may have provided valuable inputs from time to time but isn’t that what teams are for? It makes the case of RD Burman so very weak when his fans are not content with his work and want to validate him with stolen family valuable goods as actually belonging to him. Which is such a pity because it is such a self-goal for these fans and admirers of RD Burman. Because he truly doesn’t need SD Burman’s songs to validate his genius, he has plenty of invaluable gems of his own, has carved out a niche of his own, and has stood tall amongst several composing giants.
This song is one of his beauties. And while it has so many similarities with SD Burman’s songs, nobody has ever claimed this one as “actually” belonging to his father. Time to grow up?
It’s time for RD Burman’s fans to truly focus on RD Burman’s work and be satisfied that the creeper around the big tree is oftentimes more beautiful than the big tree. This song is proof of the innate talent and beauty that encompasses so many of his unforgettable songs!
A tribute to RD Burman, a genius, a chip of the old block!
Ameen Sayani ushers in this Hasrat Jaipuri beauty, sung so feelingly by Lata!
Originally published on RD Burman’s birthday, 27th June 2018
Lata Jagtiani is an author of several books including the biography, ‘O.P.Nayyar King of Melody’. She has been a lecturer both in India and abroad teaching English and Creative Writing to college students. She lives in Mumbai.