Posted: 17 years ago
SACHIN DEV BURMAN CENTENARY
Tumi je giyaccho bokulo
bichhano pothe ...
The baul in Sachin Dev Burman

by Syed Badrul Ahsan

There was the pastoral about the tenor of Sachin Dev Burman's songs. When you hear him sing 'door kono porobashe tumi choila jaiba re bondhu re kobe aiba re' it is the image of Bengal in all its rusticity that wells up in your imagination. For Burman, music was a constant effort to stay rooted to heritage. There was not about him the urge to borrow from outside, to go for an assimilation of musical forms as it were. But there resided in him a poetic soul that spotted the lyrical all across the country he belonged to. You cannot, in that broad sense of the meaning, wrench him away from his moorings, which is when you find yourself wondering at the calm, almost resigned cadences of 'biroho boro bhalo laage'. Placidity in the soul and placidity in nature is all. Separation from the beloved is a destructive happenstance, but in Burman rises the urge to let go. You can almost hear Tennyson speaking of loving and losing rather than not loving at all. The English poet and the Bengali song maker are of course worlds apart in their intellectual dimensions, but of the shared human characteristics of their emotions there is little doubt.
   When we deal with Burman, we deal fundamentally with a modern man. The unmistakable strains of Indian musical tradition run through his songs, eventually to throw up poetry that is pleasing to the senses. Try humming 'tumi eshe chhile porshu kaal keno aasho ni / tumi ki amaye bondhu kaal bhalo basho ni'. A sensation almost bordering on desire courses through you. Romance, you realise, could not be better expressed other than through this song. And yet there are the various strands of romance that Sachin Dev Burman experiments with. The pretty saucy 'shoite pari na bola mon niye chhinimini shoibo na' harks back to love in a time of purity, when men of passion truly worshipped the ground their women walked on. Love acquires an intensity, an irresistible form, through such rapid heavings of the heart as 'banshi shune aar kaj nai shey jey dakatia banshi'. Imagine the silence of the night pierced by the sudden and shockingly sweet tones of the flute. What enchanting sounds are these? What lovers can then resist from running to each other, the glitter of the low hanging stars speeding them along? In that song emerges the quintessential Burman. Music was the discipline he never let slip, even when he composed for the Hindi movies produced in Bombay. Burman will forever be remembered for that mesmerising Mohammad Rafi number lipsed by Dev Anand in Guide —- 'tere mere sapnay ab eik hi rang hain / wo jahan bhi le jaayen rahen / hum sang hain'. And if you have had occasion to listen to another Rafi number, 'hum bekhudi mein tum ko pukaare chale gaye', you might as well recall that Burman had simply transplanted the music from his earlier Bengali song, 'ghoom bhulechhi nijhum nishithe jege thaki / ar amari moto jaage neerhe duti pakhi.
   If you were now to dwell on the versatility in Burman, you would find the canvas an endless patchwork of ideas. The imagery of his songs, the laid back manner of the pleas and complaints to the beloved, keep throwing up sparks of varied hue. In 'tumi je giyaccho bokulo bichhano pothe' a sense of sadness, dripping and deepening, comes through. No one does it better than Burman. Even when others try the same song, you cannot but fall back on Burman's rendering of it. He raises gloom to new heights. Observe that perennially haunting number, 'tumi ar nei shey tumi / jani na jani na kemon emon hoi'. It is the plaintive heart reaching almost bursting point in the disappointed lover. And therein is love reinforced through the very act of its termination. In 'mono dilo na bodhu / mono nilo je shudhu / aami ke niye thaki', the pattern sustains itself. Does the song remind you of the Geeta Dutt number, 'jaane kya tum ne kahi / jaane kya maine suni / baat kuch banhi gayi'? Burman did not quite wade into composing music for Hindi songs the way Hemanta Mukherjee was to do. Even so, when he did emerge with compositions for Hindi songs, he let everyone know that he had not strayed from the classical traditions he had always upheld. Songs such as 'sun mere bandhu re', 'kahe ko roye sapna hogi teri aradhana' and 'musafir jaayega kahan' have been cited not merely for the richness of musical tone but for their steadfast adherence to Indian musical background as well.
   The spirit of the baul is what gives force and validity to Sachin Dev Burman's songs. The minstrel-like quality which emerges from his voice, husky and forever that of an ageing man, with that slight tinge of the nasal about it, is evocative of the historical Bengali ambience. If you have heard puthi songs and if you have sat through pala gaan evening after misty evening, you will have cause to plumb the depths in Burman. Tradition was important to him. His music necessarily sprang, vapour-like, from the warm earth and took nourishment from the smells and colours around it. In 'malakhani chhilo haate jhore tobu jhorhe na', in 'ki kori aami ki kori / boney agun mone phagun', it is the primeval landscape, home to poetry and beautiful seasons, that reveals itself through its insistent silences.

Posted: 17 years ago
Thanks for the article Bob ji

Along with such melodious music his gift to Hindi music is his son Pancham Da and both of them look so different.. no resemblence at all 😊 😊
Posted: 17 years ago
Thankx for the article...He's awsome 👍🏼 😃
Posted: 17 years ago

Thanks bob da. yes I do agree with you kavita. I love sachin da music. to me RD Burman music is kind of louder many times. he is a good composer, but it's just personal preference, I guess.

Originally posted by uknaik99


Thanks for the article Bob ji

Along with such melodious music his gift to Hindi music is his son Pancham Da and both of them look so different.. no resemblence at all 😊 😊

Posted: 17 years ago
Thanx babu fr the article
bt i would lik to say one thng here
SDBurman was more famous & better fr his bhatiyali folk songs than baul songs
yes he gave many baul songs too But he gave more bhatiyali than baul.
bhatiyali was more close to his heart. and he himself sang thm excellently.



Posted: 17 years ago
Thanks Bobda! 😊

Di - I was thinking in the same line 😊
SD was more influenced by Bhatyali! I read somewhere - his deep respect for Nirmalendu Choudhury! But it's not online!

Let me see

Originally posted by Barnali



SDBurman was more famous & better fr his bhatiyali folk songs than baul songs
yes he gave many baul songs too But he gave more bhatiyali than baul. bhatiyali was more close to his heart. and he himself sang thm excellently.



Posted: 17 years ago
Yes anol. he had gr8 respect for Nirmalendu Chaudhury. infct even I am looking for tht article in my collection i had saved it long time bck.



Posted: 17 years ago
Originally posted by soulsoup


Thanks Bob da! 😊

Di - I was thinking in the same line 😊
SD was more influenced by Bhatyali! I read somewhere - his deep respect for Nirmalendu Choudhury! But it's not online!

Let me see



Thanks dada will post on that issue later.
Posted: 17 years ago
The king of melody
by Shahnoor Wahid

If you are one among the fast vanishing class of music lovers who grew up listening to timeless songs….songs that were not cacophonously noisy, songs that put you to sleep and not gave you insomnia, then you must have loved to listen to….. 'Jaltey hai jiskey liye…tere akhokey diey…dhundlaiahu ohi geet mei tere liye….' Did not the tender, romantic, melodious song, every time you heard it in your youthful days caress the edges of your soul!! Does not the song take you on a trip to the realm of nostalgia as your hear it today? No doubt only Talat Mahmud, with his inimitable silky-soft voice could do full justice to the composition. And S D Burman knew it while composing songs for the award winning film Sujata! This song no doubt has transcended all boundaries, all borders, all hearts and all souls across the continents to become one of the greatest Hindi compositions of all time.
   Then there is another immortal Sachin composition, again sung by Talat Mahmud, that became a favourite of the young men tormented by the rejection of their object of love. This time the pathos-filled voice of Talat rendered the number…. 'Jaye to jayen kahan samjhega koun ehan…' Dev Anand sang the song in the film Taxi Driver with so much passion that it almost epitomised loneliness in a sense.
   Sachin Dev Burman was also known for his tunes that were full of cadence and tempo. One biographer called them 'folksy-romantic-frolicking songs'. Even today, many would start to tap and hum at the mention of … 'Saiyan dilme anare, mujhe leke janare…chamchama cham cham..' a song from the 1951 film Bahar.
   Much later, we were lucky enough to watch the film Solva Saal in Dhaka in the late sixties. As youngsters, after that film, we became fans of Dev Anand and unabashedly fell in love with the extremely beautiful Wahida Rehman. Who can forget the legendary scene and the song from the film? The scene unfolds inside a moving train. Wahida Rehman is sitting on a front seat with her fianc and Dev Anand is lying low on one seat behind her with his head on the lap of Sunder, the sidekick. Suddenly Dev Anand had that characteristic twinkle in his eyes, and when he had the twinkle along with an impish grin that meant mischief of the highest order was about to manifest. And it came sooner than expected. He got up and began to sing… 'Hai aapna dil to awara najaney kispe aayega…' with the conspicuously striking mouthorgan piece to provide the interlude music. That scene and this particular song perhaps was fifty per cent of the film Solva Saal (1958), and it became evident when young men and women and Dev imitators flocked to see the film again and again for this scene. For years, throughout the sixties and seventies, young men in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh sang this song day in and day out.
Who else but Sachin Dev Burman could come up with so romantic and melodious a tune that caught the mood of the scene and the smiling persona of Dev so well? The beautiful song was sung by Hemant Kumar (Mukherjee). Another favourite song of the same film is…. 'Yevi koi ruthneka mousam hai diwaney…' a very lyrical song sung in the film by Wahida Rehman. The playback singer was perhaps late Geeta Dutt. Song lovers who are familiar with Sachin Dev's style and sense of melody will easily recognise the touch of the maestro in the tune.
   Years later, young men of the sub-continent dolefully sang …. 'Janeyo kaise logothe jinke pyar ko pyar mila…' a fascinatingly soul-touching number from Guru Dutt film Pyasa, sung by Hemant Kumar. In fact, many of such high quality songs took the crowd to the cinema halls again and again in those days when cheap cassettes or CDs were not there.

Edited by Qwest - 17 years ago
Posted: 17 years ago
  Brief life history
   Sachin Dev Burman was born in 1906 in the royal family of Tripura. He was given classical training by his father, sitarist and Dhrupad singer Nabadwipchandra Dev Burman. Later he took lessons from ustad Badal Khan and Bhishmadev Chattopadhyay.
   In the early 30s he made a name for himself in Bengal as a singer of folk and light classical songs. His first record was one of poet Nazrul Islam's compositions, and since then he had long standing relationship with the poet.
   His first film as a singer was Sanjher Pidim (1935); he also acted in the film Bidrohiin1 made in 1935. He started his career as a music director in 1939 in Calcutta. He moved to Bombay in 1944 and worked at Filmistan (Eight Days, Shabnam), Navketan (Afsar, Taxi Driver, Funtoosh, Guide) and for Guru Dutt (Baazi, Jaal, Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool).He remained Dev Anand's key composer for several years (Paying Guest, Tere Ghar ke Saamne, Jewel Thief, Prem Pujari) and also worked on films for Bimal Roy (Devdas, Sujata, Bandini).
   Critics are of the opinion that his 'film compositions were often influenced by his huge repertory of folk-tunes from the Bengali Bhatiali, Sari and Dhamail traditions of the North East. As a singer, his thin but powerful, accented voice was often used as a bardic commentary: e.g. the Wahan kaun hai tera musafir in Guide, Safal hogi teri aradhana in the hit Rajesh Khanna movie Aradhana. He wrote an autobiography: Sargamer Nikhad.'
   One biographer writes: 'His famous compositions in the film Aradhana, Guide, Amar Prem etc. are very prolific yet soul touching. His regal and intoxicating voice sounds as if a very harmonious instrument is being played. His compositions had a unique sense of spiritual 'nirvana'. His simple yet soul touching use of instruments is nothing short of meditative trance. The few songs he ever sang are timeless, intoxicating and ever fresh, each carrying a deeper meaning of life. Each song he composed, directed or sang himself fathoms one's personal triumphs and tragedies. Lots of other singers have come and gone but nobody touches the soul so deeply than Sachin 'Da', as he was affectionately called. He truly was The Inimitable.'
   Sachin Dev Burman's songs continue to reverberate through the corridors of time and haunt us in our moods and moments of ecstasy or melancholy. If we can introduce his matchless songs to the young generation and explain to them the nuances in his tune, as we understand and enjoy them as music lovers, we shall continue to pay our homage to the maestro.
Edited by Qwest - 17 years ago


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