Thursday, March 11, 2010

PANCHAM UNMIXED: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai... (Documentary) (2009)

Something about Panchamda first-
Since childhood I grow up listening Panchamda’s music and with each passing years loving him more and more than any Indian composers. He is my all-time favorite among all legends. The reason is simple. You don’t need specific time or a peace of mind to pay your ears while listening his music; he made you croon and drool over his tune and rhythm any given moment. Even after decade and half of his demise, he’s most remixed composer in India and emulated endlessly by every rising composers in India including A R Rahman.

So what’s unique about Panchamda’s contribution to Indian film music? It’s the revolution he brought single handedly in Indian popular music with his innovative and experimental approach both in composition and rhythm that changed the whole scenario of Indian film music ‘70s onwards. He’s versatile genius and had range that made any composer envy. The man who gave us westernized cabarets like ‘Piya tu ab to aaja’ and ‘Duniya mein logo ko’, also gave us soothing Indian classical like ‘Raina biti jaaye’ or ‘Biti na bitayi raina’.

No matter how many great film composers came before him or after him but nobody raised the bar of experiments and innovations like him. Like many of his admirers, I completely agreee that Panchamda was way ahead of his time. Without today’s ultramodern synthesizers and digital rhythms he experimented real sound and original rhythms so innovatively. I strongly believe that no other Indian composer has ever experimented percussion or bass guitar such a unique way as Panchamda. With his entry, he changed the whole dynamics of rhythm in film music. There’s so much variety and innovation from western music to Indian semi classical form in each of his composition that, the song itself becomes a musical journey. There’s something so distinct about the way he used every instruments and did experiments with real sound. Which other composer can record all sorts of natural sounds on his Dictaphone to use the natural sounds. Anything and everything that has sound is his inspiration and experiment; whether it’s empty beer bottles or steel utensils. Only true genius can do this.

Watching ‘Pancham Unmixed’-
It’s perhaps the unique and the best gift that Director Brahmanand S Siingh gave to every R D. Burman fans. Its apt title- Unmixed = pure, original; and that’s the reason enough to watch it at least once. The film is absolutely nostalgic and absorbing journey into the world of this great composer. It’s perhaps the first feature length documentary film made on any Indian film composer and that itself is a great tribute to legendary R D Burman lovingly known as ‘Panchamda’ among his colleagues and admirers. The film is having almost two hours duration covering interviews of his near ones and friends including his better half Asha Bhosle, Gulzar, Shammi Kapoor, Manna Dey, Shakti Samanta, Pyarelal, Usha Utthup, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and sharing anecdotes by colleagues and teammates. However I missed the presence of two phenomenon personalities attached to Panchamda’s career- one is Lata Mangeshkar and the other Dev Ananad. Siingh has almost captured the essence and feel of those nostalgic moments without being pretentious anywhere. With all my heart I want to say ‘Big Thanks’ to him. My only complain is length…can’t we have three hours long documentary. Time is always short when it’s Pancham. It was my long boiling dream to write a book titled ‘Panchamnama’, paying tribute to my favorite composer but watching this film I’ve to think hard now.

The later part of the film focuses on frustrating and disturbing moments of Panchamda’s career. It was so sad that many of producers, directors and even music companies almost left, forgot him and turned him down in the last phase of his career. But maestro packed all his punch and gave his final masterstroke in ‘1942: A Love Story’. But before the music of film became raze of the nation and No# 1 chartbuster album of the year, he passed away leaving all his fans to insurmountable lost. For me the most interesting part of the film is the personal commentaries, anecdotes and revealing moments by his great teammates like Manohari Singh, Pt. Ronu Majumdar, Bhanu Gupta, Kersi Lord and many others.

It’s 100% collector’s edition for all Panchamda fans. Along with main documentary film, it also has extra DVD featuring 30 original video songs and a classic hardbound book consists of many rare photographs, insights and anecdotes & a complete filmography of his life. All this comes with quite expensive price of Rs. 999 but it’s absolutely worthy to invest every single pie.


1 comment:

shrutam vijay desai said...

hmm...nice one...i just wish, i could love music as much as you do.