The maestro’s only statue in the country was installed by a fan club of singer Amit Kumar in 2014 and was inaugurated by the singer himself. The statue has been installed in a boulevard on Southern Avenue, which is situated close to South End Park.
Rahul Dev Burman, popularly known as Pancham, spent his youth at South End Park with his parents composer Sachin Dev and Meera Dev. Burman, a student of Tirthapati Institution was a precocious child who first composed a music at the age of nine. He took formal training in sarod from Ustab Ali Akbar Khan and in tabla from Samtaprasad.
In a musical career stretching over nearly three decades, he gave musical scores for 331 films. He also played the mouth organ in his father’s hit number ‘Hai Apna Dil To Aawara’, which was featured in Solva Saal in 1958 and sung by Hemant Kumar. He was Sachin Dev’s assistant in some of hit films like Chalti Kan Naam Gaddi, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Ziddi, Guide and Teen Devian.
The 1970s can be termed as the era of Pancham as he, along with Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna created some immortal melodies. RD’s first hit film as a music director was Teesri Manzil. In 1970, ‘Yeh Sham Mastani’ sung by Kishore Kumar in the film Kati Patang, starring Rajesh Khanna, was the duo’s first major hit. The soundtrack he composed for Dev Anand’s Hare Ram Hare Krishna and the song Piya Tu Aab Tu Aaja in Caravan are still very popular among all sections of people.
Some of the popular feature films whose music was composed by Burman include Seeta Aur Geeta, Mere Jeevan Sathi, Bombay To Goa, Yaadon Ki Baarat, Aandhi and Sholay. His last composition was for 1942: A Love Story, which was released after his death in 1994.
Burman married another legendary singer Asha Bhosle and had worked with all top vocalists in the country of his time, including Hemant Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, and Kumar Sanu. Mone Pore Ruby Roy, a Bengali song sung by Burman became very popular and its Hindi version Mere Bhigi Bhigi Si was equally famous. A man of exceptional talent, a true gentleman and a humble person, Panchamda will be remembered for many generations to come.