June 27 marked the 76th birth anniversary of legendary music composer Rahul Dev Burman. Pancham-da, as he was fondly called by his proteges and those who loved him, left an indelible mark in the Bollywood music scene, with his melodious and soulful compositions. On the occasion of his birth anniversary this year, a rare special commemorative Rs 5/- Postage Stamp featuring two pictures of the musical genius was introduced.
Pancham-da was known to have considered No.5 to be his lucky number. The “Rs.5/-” value matches Pancham’s mascot. Interestingly, Pancham means the fifth musical note. One of the colour pictures on the stamp was clicked by senior showbiz journalist Chaitanya Padukone, winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award 2012 for film journalism. He has Pancham-da posing at the synthesizers. Chaitanya, who is an ardent RD Burman fan, had the privileged opportunity to attend dozens of Panchamda’s song recordings, while taking his interviews at Film Center in Tardeo, South Mumbai. The various candid interviews of RDB taken by Padukone were regularly published in a city tabloid newspaper in the ’80s and ’90s.
Recalls Chaitanya, “Way back in July 1983, I asked Pancham-da to pose on the drums-set and also on the keyboards at Film Center (Tardeo) during the background score of the film Mazdoor. But the media-shy Pancham-da was initially reluctant, as normally he did not play the keyboards at sittings, but preferred the desi harmonium. ‘Mujhe thodi acting karni padegi,’ he chuckled and also insisted then, that I should ‘not’ publish those photos along with his print-media interviews.” Then he posed again for Chaitanya’s camera, on the digital recording mixer-console, which was eventually published with the newspaper-interviews. Now that the genius composer has left his indelible ‘stamp’ on the retro-music map of Bollywood, the postal stamp is indeed a token tribute to his musical legacy.
Yeh to hona hi tha, right Pancham-da ?
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