Dorothy Winstone Centre, May 25 at 630 pm
From Shammi Kapoor to Rajesh Khanna and Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar to Kumar Sanu, scores of actors and singers have given lip movement of their voice for his lilting music, while millions of people around the world continue to be mesmerised by his creativity.
Such is the greatness and popularity of Rahul Dev Burman, affectionately called ‘Pancham,’ that even 25 years after his death, he is remembered by performers and local artistes.
Among them is Sandhya Badakere of Swar Sadhana Academy of Indian music and Ravi Shetty of Ravi Shetty Concepts who are scheduled to present an evening of the Composer’s songs.
Called, ‘Suneheri Yaadein Pancham Magic’ (Tribute To RD Burman), the Programme will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 630 pm at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School. Tickets, priced at $20 are now on sale.
Ms Badakere said that a part of the proceeds of the Programme have been earmarked for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
“SPCA does a splendid job of protecting animals. It costs about $40 million a year to take care of the tens of thousands of animals that need our help. With less than 1% of government funding, SPCA relies on our generosity of the community,” she said.
Mr Shetty that each year ‘Suneheri Yaadein’ presents something new and interesting.
“We are presenting Greg and Amity on Saxophone and Trumpet along with our band. This year’s Programme will feature 12 artistes-Gopal Nair, Guncha Singh, Joseph Jose, Kanik Mongia, Mayuri Bhole, Rachit Bhatia, Ravi Shetty, Ritika Badakere, Sandhya Badakere, Shikha Shethia, Siddhi Nigudkar, Srishaa Iyer and Vibha Trivedi,” he said.
About RD Burman
While his music remains immortal, a few remembered his 25th death anniversary (on January 4, 2019), but hopefully mark his 80th birth anniversary on June 27, 2019.
Dr Mukesh Hariawala, a Cardiac Surgeon and Healthcare Economist based at the Harvard Medical School Affiliated Hospitals in Boston, USA, shared his experience with us.
“Pancham was one of a kind. He was a musical genius who gave hundreds of hits, made movies sell and raised the profile of singers, actors, producers and directors, above all of which, he was a genuine friend to many. I remember the day as I prepared to perform a surgery on him at the Princess Grace Hospital in London many years ago,” he said.
He refused to wear hospital clothing, saying that he preferred his favourite silk kurta and pyjama. He was fond of whisky, but Dr Hariawala asked for abstinence for at least six weeks after the surgery.
“He gifted me a box of CDs containing his compositions soon after the surgery. I told him that they would be of no use since I did not have a CD player (not popular then) but the next day, he presented me with a famous brand. While his wife Asha Bhosle was by his bedside all the time, the extent to which he enjoyed the respect of people was evident by the constant flow of celebrities from India,” Dr Hariawala said.
He had earlier performed a bypass surgery on India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh (who was then at the World Bank) at the Harley Street Clinic in London.
“When I mentioned this casually to Pancham, he asked ‘Who is Manmohan Singh?’ He had no pretence. Dr Singh was at that time known only to a few bureaucrats and bankers. He said he did not have fans but friends.”
Dr Hariawala said that after recovery, Pancham resumed his musical career and gave one of his best songs that Bollywood had ever experienced. Picturised on Anil Kapoor and Manisha Koirala for ‘1942: A Love Story,’ the song, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Tho Aisa Laga,’ became a runaway hit.
Dr Hariawala moved to the US shortly thereafter but cherishes the memory of his friend and patient. He has two regrets that are too late to mend – watching a recording of his song and doing a cameo role in a Hindi film.
“Neither of these invitations from Pancham could materialise,” he said.
(More in our next issue)
- R D Burman with Dr Mukesh Hariawala