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Panchamda slashed his price for 'Masoom': Devi Dutt

Friday, June 27, 2014
By Chaitanya Padukone

Legendary composer-singer R.D. Burman, whose 75th birth anniversary is today, won his second Filmfare Award for the musical hit movie ‘Masoom’,  produced by Devi Dutt (legendary Guru Dutt’s brother) and directed by Shekhar Kapur

Producer Devi Dutt (legendary Guru Dutt’s younger brother) whose veteran composer Rahul Dev Burman, feels that “ideally there should be some music training academy named after Pancham-da,” whose 75th anniversary is today. Devi Dutt recalls how he “knew RDB as a youngster when in 1956, he used to accompany him and his brother Guru Dutt and his singer-wife Geeta Dutt, “when we traveled in a spacious jeep-van for Sai Baba deity darshan to Shirdi with the edited rushes of ‘Pyaasa’. Even in those days, Pancham used to entertain us by playing wonderful tunes on his mouth-organ during the journey. Guru Dutt-ji could spot the ‘creative potential in Rahul. Much against the wishes of Sachinda, Rahul's dad, Guru-ji even offered music direction assignments for his movies ‘Raaz’ and ‘Mottu Ki Maasi’ which unfortunately got shelved,” recalls the 75 plus old yet active Devi, who is in the process of writing a detailed autobiography.

Wasn’t it true that much later in 1981, RDB drastically slashed his regular market price for the low budget ‘Masoom’?

“That’s true. Both  director Shekhar Kapur and I had gone to first briefly meet Rahul. Since Guru-ji and I also had a close bonding with Pancham’s parents (Sachin-da and Meera), his mother told him that we should be treated like an ‘extended’ family ,” discloses Devi. 

According to Devi, RDB initially wanted his close buddy Kishore Kumar to sing the haunting melody ‘Tujh Se Naaraaz’ from ‘Masoom’. “But since I had specially invited Kolkata-based Anup Ghoshal who was a National Award winning singer to Mumbai, I requested Pancham to allow Anup to at least record the song.

Which Anup did so in the ‘very first take’. Ultimately, Kishore-da, who was out of town, returned and heard Anup’s song track, only to be delighted. The large hearted Kishore-da was all praise for Ghoshal and prevailed upon Pancham to retain that track. An overjoyed Anup eventually refused to charge any fees for that soul-stirring song.

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