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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

the flute that is a dacoit

Yes, that is one of the most popular songs sung by the legendary Sachin Dev Burman – ‘banshee shunay aar kaaj nai, shay jay dakatiya banshee, shay jay din dupuray churi koray, rattiray to katha nai, dakatiya banshee ….’ . When translated, it means – ‘there is no use listening to the flute that is a dacoit; it steals in the middle of the day as it does in the dead of the night …..’
We are all familiar with his name but are we aware that this is his centenary year? He was born on first of October 1906 and passed away on 31st October 1975. Son of a princely family of Tripura, his musical life spanned more than 40 years. He used to depend on the rich heritage of folk music of various parts of India and would weave them into astounding masterpieces that carried his distinct stamp; it was a unique style that no one has been able to duplicate till now. He was a sishya of Krishna Chandra Dey (uncle of Manna Dey). He began his journey to stardom from Bengali songs and films - later, he converted many of his hit Bengali songs into equally hit Hindi songs for Bollywood films. Film star Ashok Kumar was responsible to a great extent for S D Burman to stay on in Bombay when, at a certain time in his career, he was contemplating return to Kolkata. He was a stickler for perfection and strived to ensure that even the instruments used were appropriate to the occasion. A classic example was the postponement of the recording of "Honto pe aisi baath" in Jewel Thief until the arrival of the drum from Sikkim. He was awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award and the Padmashree for his contribution to music apart from many other awards including a national award for singing in 1969.

His son Rahul Dev Barman has carried forward his tradition and introduced his own style to maintain the uniqueness that identifies his creations from the first beat of the music.


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