Book on ‘stubborn and thoughtful musician’ SD Burman

New Delhi, Sep 4 :

S.D. Burman had composed four songs for “Talash” (1969) when the producer suggested to use singer Mukesh’s voice for “Tere Naina Talash Karein”, but the musician was determined to feature playback singer Manna Dey because his lilting voice better suited the situation. This minor difference saw Burman walking out of the project – just one of the many anecdotes writer and author Sathya Saran mentions in her new book “Sun Mere Bandhu Re: The Musical World of S.D.Burman” (Harper Collins) that was launched in the capital Wednesday.

Sachin Dev Burman
Sachin Dev Burman

“He was a very stubborn person who would brush aside something he didn’t like,” Sathya told IANS, adding: “But he was a thoughtful composer who would understand the situation well.”

This is why, the former editor of Femina magazine and a columnist, pointed out that Burman, after his fall out with “Talash” producer O.P. Ralhan, he even refused to meet him.

“It was only when filmmaker Vijay Anand intervened and pacified the situation that Burman was back on the project,” Saran said, adding Manna Dey finally sang the song.

Saran, who has written a biography, “10 Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey”, was approached by many who requested her to write on Burman who has composed the music for over 100 movies, including Hindi and Bengali films.

SD Burman BookBut to write on Burman, she admitted she first had to understand the composer from his many acquaintances and friends.

This was more so because his son, R.D.Burman, had passed away and she couldn’t contact versatile singer
Asha Bhosle, his wife.

“In the absence of these links, I had to rely on his autobiography and people who knew him,” she admitted.

It was also Mumbai-based Saran’s personal fondness for film music and S.D.Burman’s music that the writing of the book was smooth sailing. Looking through various
prisms, she has captured many memorable stories about the man who has composed memorable music for films like “Pyaasa”, “Jewel Thief”, “Abhimaan” and “Chupke Chupke”, among others.

Saran pointed out how learning some hard lessons early in life helped in shaping up his career and he restricted himself to composing songs for only four films a year.

“Early in his career, he gave many hit songs, but when he would go out and meet people, he saw they were singing Naushad’s songs. He realised that people only liked classical songs,” said Saran.

“He got the grip of this mantra and became selective. He would make his servants listen to the tunes to get their reactions,” she added.

Sharing another anecdote, Saran recollected how S.D. Burman was miffed with actor Dev Anand for spoiling a beautiful melody “Phoolon Ke Rang Se” from “Prem Pujari” by directing the song in an unappealing manner.

“Burman understood the meaning of scenes, so he was very angry with Dev Anand for spoiling this beautiful song with unattractive picturisation,” she concluded.


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