The baul in Sachin Dev Burman

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Posted: 16 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: 16 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 Smile Smile
Posted: 16 years ago
Thankx for the article...He's awsome Thumbs Up Big smile
Posted: 16 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 Smile Smile

Posted: 16 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: 16 years ago
Thanks Bobda! Smile

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

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



Posted: 16 years ago
Originally posted by soulsoup


Thanks Bob da! Smile

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

Let me see

Originally posted by Barnali



SD Burman was more famous & better fr his Bhatyali folk songs than Bauls songs
yes he gave many Baul songs too But he gave more Bhatyali than Baul. Bhatyali was more close to his heart. and he himself sang thm excellently.



Thanks dada will post on that issue later.

Sachin Dev Burman


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