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R D Burman got a kick out of watching football matches

Friday, June 22, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

Iconic 'futuristic' composer-singer Rahul Dev Burman (Pancham-Da) whose 79th birth anniversary would be globally observed by his legion of fans on June 27, had a 'baaraat' of fetish favorites that included playing the harmonica, relishing pungent food, growing chillies, playing chess, cooking sumptuous recipes, driving fast, making people laugh  and so on. But what mentally invigorated him was watching football matches, especially when the FIFA  World Cup matches were on. During his lifetime, the staunch East Bengal football team-loyalist, Pancham-Da once  reacted to this correspondent (author of the 'R D BurMania' memoirs book) during the 80's and said, “Watching football at home on TV or live in the stadium gives me an inspirational kick. Just as in music you write the score, in football, here you cheer for the goal score.”

Had RDB still been alive, he would have possibly been exuberantly cheering for the Brazilian football team, which was his favourite. That's because the innovative composer  was also very fond of Brazilian folk music, their carnivals, their racy rhythms (which he used in several of his Hindi film songs) and of course the legendary Brazilian 'forward' footballer Pele. An uncanny coincidence to figure out, for die-hard Pancham-and-football fans, is that Rahul-Da suddenly passed away in the same year (1994-January) that Brazil won the FIFA World Cup (1994-July).

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