Sachin Dev Burman
|Sachin Dev Burman|
October 1, 1906|
Comilla, Bangladesh, erstwhile British India
|Died||October 31, 1975
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Sachin Dev Burman (1 October 1906 - 31 October 1975), also credited as Burman da, Kumar Sachindra Dev Barman, Sachin karta or S. D. Burman, was one of the most respected and successful music composers for Hindi movies and a Bengali singer and composer. His son Rahul Dev Burman also achieved great success as a Bollywood music director in his own right. S D Burman composed music for 100 movies, including Bengali films.
S.D. Burman's compositions have been mainly sung to a large extent by the likes of Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum. Mukesh and Talat Mahmood have also sung songs composed by him. He also sang about 20 film songs (inclusive of Bengali films) for which he composed music though he may not have been the music director of the films.
Early life 
S. D. Burman was born on 1 October 1906, in Comilla, British India, now in Bangladesh, to Rajkumari Nirmala Devi, princess of Manipur and Nabadwipchandra Dev Burman, son of 'Maharaja Ishanachandra Manikya Dev Burman', Raja of Tripura, (r. 1849-1862).His father hailed from the kokborok speaking royal family of Tripura while his mother hailed from the Manipuri speaking royal family of Manipur.Sachin was the youngest of the five sons, of his parents, who had nine children in all.
He did his B.A. from Comilla Victoria College and M.A. from Calcutta University He started his formal music education by training under the famous musician K. C. Dey from 1925 to 1930; thereafter in 1932 he came under the tutelage of Bhismadev Chattopadhaya, who was only three years his senior. This was followed by training from Kahifa Badal Khan, Sarangi player, and Ustad Allauddin Khan. Eventually he got K.C. Dey, Ustad Badal Khan and Allauddi Khan into Agartala, noted Bengal poet laureate, Kazi Nazrul Islam also spent time in their family home, Comilla House, in Agartala and Comilla.
He started working as a radio singer on Calcutta Radio Station in 1932, where his early work was based on Bengali folk-music, and soon made a reputation for himself in folk and light classical music, consequently his film compositions were often influenced by his huge repertory of folk-tunes from the Bengali, Bhatiali, Sari and Dhamail folk traditions of Bangladesh.His music also bore heavy influences of Rabindra sangeet and Nazrul Geeti.In the same year, his first record was also released (Hindustan Musical Product), with "Khamaj" semi classical, E Pathery Aaj Eso Priyo on one side and the folk Dakle Kokil Roj Bihane on the reverse side" on 78 rpm for Hindustan Records. In the following decade he reached his peak as a singer, cutting as many as 131 songs in Bengali, and also sang for composers like Himangsu Dutta, RC Boral, Nazrul Islam and Sailesh Das Gupta.
In 1934, he attended the All India Music Conference, at the invitation of Allahabad University, where he presented his Bengali Thumri, all to an illustrious audience, with the likes of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and the inimitable Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana Gharana. Later in the year, he was invited to Bengal Music Conference, Kolkata, which was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore, here again he sang his thumri, and was awarded a Gold Medal.
He built a house, in Southend Park, Ballygunge, Kolkata, and in 1937, at the All India Music Conference, Allahabad, he met a music student at Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan, Meera Dasgupta (1923–2007), the granddaughter of Justice Raibahadur Kamalnath Dasgupta from Dhaka; soon she became his student and they married on 10 February 1938 in Calcutta, though according to some,having married a non-royal, created a furor within the royal family, and subsequently he severed his ties with the family, and forfeited his inheritance. According to some others,S.D.Burman severed his ties with the royal family because he was frustrated with the unjust and unfair treatment meted out to his father and his brothers by the royal family of Tripura.The couple's only child, Rahul Dev Burman was born in 1939, and later, both Meera Devi and Rahul assisted, S.D. Burman with some of the musical compositions. S D Burman also did a singing role in Urdu film Selima (1934) and another role in Dhiren Ganguli's film, Bidrohi (1935)
As a music composer, he started with Bengali plays, Sati Tirtha and Janani, and eventually gave his first score in film, Rajgee in 1937, his second film Rajkumarer Nirbashan (1940) became a hit, there was no turning back after that. He gave successful music in Bengali films like, Jevaan Sangini, Protishodh (1941), Abhoyer Biye (1942), and Chaddobeshi (1944), he continued giving music in Bengali cinema, even after he moved to Mumbai in 1944, and started the second inning of his musical career, giving music for over 17 Bengali films in the all.
He made his film debut singing in Yahudi ki Ladki (1933) but the songs were scrapped and re-sung by Pahari Sanyal. His first film as a singer was finally Sanjher Pidim (1935).
In 1944, he moved to Mumbai, at the request of Sasadhar Mukherjee of Filmistan, who asked him to give score for two Ashok Kumar starrers, Shikari (1946) and Aath Din, but his first major breakthrough came the following year with the company's Do Bhai (1947). The song Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya sung by Geeta Dutt was her breakthrough song into the film industry. In 1949, came Shabnam, his biggest hit yet with Filmistan, especially noticeable for its multi-lingual hit song Yeh Duniya Roop ki Chor, by Shamshad Begum, which became a rage in those days
Disillusioned with the materialism of Mumbai, S D Burman left the Ashok Kumar starrer Mashaal (1950) incomplete and decided to board the first train back to Calcutta. Fortunately, he was dissuaded from doing so.
In 1950s, S D Burman teamed up with Dev Anand's Nav Ketan Productions to create musical hits like Taxi Driver, Nau do Gyarah (1957) and Kala Paani(1958). In addition, he gave music for Munimji (1955) and Paying Guest (1957). The songs sung by Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar became popular. Burman da composed the music for Dev Anand's production company Navketan's first film Afsar (1950). With the success of their second film, Baazi (1951) he made it to the top and a long association with Navketan and Dev Anand was on its way. "Baazi"'s jazzy musical score revealed a new facet of singer Geeta Dutt, who was mainly known for melancholy songs and bhajans. While every song in the film was a hit, one stood out for special appeal - "Tadbir se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer", a ghazal that was occidentalized into a seductive song.The 'jaal' song 'Yeh raat Yeh chandni' by Hemant Kumar is an all time great classic.
He also wrote music for the Guru Dutt classics - Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959). The soundtrack of Devdas (1955) was also composed by him. House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), and Solva Saal (1958) were other S D Burman hits. In 1959 came Sujata, a masterpiece by Bimal Roy, and S D created magic again with "Jalte hai jiske liye" by Talat Mamood.
When Guru Dutt made comparatively light-weight films like Baazi and Jaal (1952), Burmanda reflected their mood with compositions like Suno Gajar Kya Gaye or De Bhi Chuke Hum and when Guru Dutt made his somber masterpieces - Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz ke Phool (1959), he was right on target with Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind and Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam. In 2004, the soundtrack for Pyaasa was chosen as one of "The Best Music in Film" by Sight & Sound, the British Film Institute magazine.
In 1957, S D Burman fell out with Lata Mangeshkar and adopted her younger sister Asha Bhosle as his lead female singer. The team of S D Burman, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri became popular for their duet songs. Thus, he was responsible along with O. P. Nayyar for shaping Asha Bhosle as a singer of repute, who became his daughter-in-law after she married Rahul Dev Burman.
In 1958, S D Burman gave music for Kishore Kumar's house production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, the same year he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Music direction of Lajwanti and remains the only music director to have won the prestigious award.
Early on in his career, he refused to allow his voice be lip-synced on film by actors, as a result, even later on, in Hindi cinema, his thin yet powerful voice was often used as bardic commentary to haunting results, as in Ore Majhi Mere Sajan Hai Us Paar Bandini (1963), Wahaan Kaun hai Tera from "Guide" (1965) and finally Safal Hogi Teri Aradhana from Aradhana (1969), for which he received the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the year, 1970 .
Ill health caused a slump in his career in the early 1960s but he gave many hit films in late 1960s. In 1961, S D Burman and Lata Mangeshkar came together during the recording of R.D. Burman's first song for the movie Chhote Nawab (1961). They reconciled their differences and started working again in 1962.
The Dev Anand-S D Burman partnership, under Navketan banner, continued to churn out musical hits like Bombai Ka Baboo (1960), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Teen Devian (1965), Guide (1965) and Jewel Thief (1967). In 1963, he composed songs for Meri Surat Teri Aankhen and Manna Dey sang the song "Poocho Na Kaise Maine" in raga Ahir Bhairav. This song is based on a Bengali composition by Kazi Nazrul Islam, Aruno-kaanti ke go jogi bhikaari, based on raga bhairavi (morning raga).
Other S D Burman hits from this period were Bandini (1963) and Ziddi (1964). In Bandini, Sampooran Singh (well known as Gulzar), made his debut as a lyricist with the song "Mora Gora Ang lai le, mohe shaam rang daai de", although other songs were written by Shailendra. Guide (1965) starring Dev Anand, was probably the best of his work during the time with all the songs super hit as well as the film; but unfortunately it did not receive the Filmfare Award in best music director category for that year, which remained always a discussion among the Bollywood film pandits.
Aradhana (1969) is considered a landmark score in the Bollywood history. The music of the movie shaped the careers of singer Kishore Kumar, lyricist Anand Bakshi, filmmaker Shakti Samanta and R.D. Burman (associate music director). For the song "Mere Sapno ki raani", Sachin Dev made R.D play the mouth organ.Dev Anand and S D Burman continued their musical partnership in Prem Pujari (1969).
S D Burman was a frank and outspoken man, with a strong sense of self-pride. He openly criticized people whom he disliked or whose abilities he suspected (like the singer Mukesh). But he was widely respected by the industry as a cranky genius.There was a time when Lata Mangeshkar refused to sing duets with Mohammed Rafi due to a dispute arising from sharing of royalty, and it was at the insistence of S. D. Burman, the two decided to reconcile, and again sing duets together.
On 1 October 2007, marking his 101st birth anniversary, India postal department released a commemorative postage stamp, in Agartala, where an exhibition on his life and work was also inaugurated; the state government of Tripura, also confers the yearly, 'Sachin Dev Burman Memorial Award' in Music
Cultural references 
The legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was named after the composer by Sachin's grandfather, who was an ardent fan of Burman.
The singer and mimicry artist Sudesh Bhonsle frequently parodies the nasal high-pitched voice and quixotic singing style of S. D. Burman.
Burman paired with tabla maestro late Brajen Biswas for his Bengali songs. The beats or 'thekas' created by Brajen Babu for these songs are unique and no one in the world can sing these songs in the original 'thekas'. All the thekas are according to the mood of the songs. But recently, painter, sculptor and singer Ramita Bhaduri sang the tough songs of Burman like 'Ami chhinu aka', 'Rangeela', 'Aankhi duti jhare' etc. in the original theka on the taleem of Brajen Biswas. The CD from 'Raga Music' (Symphony) was released at Kolkata Press Club. The CDs are available in M. Biswas & Symphony.
Dada Burman had a unique style of composing film songs. While most of the composers will use Harmonium or Piano to compose the tune, Dada composed tunes using rhythm such as clapping hands. He was very fond of "Paan" (Beetle leaf) and would not share the same with anybody.
- Sudurer Priye (1935)
- Rajgee (1937)
- Jakher Dhan (1939)
- Amar Geeti (1940)
- Nari (1940)
- Rajkumarer Nirbashan (1940)
- Pratishodh (1941)
- Ashok (1942)
- Avayer Biye (1942)
- Jibon Sangini (1942)
- Mahakavi Kalidas (1942)
- Milan (1942)
- Jajsaheber Nathni (1943)
- Chhadmabeshi (1944)
- Maatir Ghar (1944)
- Pratikar (1944)
- Kalankini (1945)
- Matrihara (1946)
- Eight Days (1946)
- Shikari (1946)
- Dil Ki Rani (1947)
- Do Bhai (1947)
- Chittor Vijay (1947)
- Vidya (1948)
- Shabnam (1949)
- Kamal (1949)
- Mashaal / Samar (In Bengali) (1950)
- Afsar (1950) (Navketan's first production)
- Pyar (1950)
- Buzdil (1951)
- Sazaa (1951)
- Naujawan (1951)
- Baazi (1951)
- Bahar (1951)
- Ek Nazar (1951)
- Jaal (1952)
- Lal Kunwar (1952)
- Armaan (1953)
- Shahenshah (1953)
- Babla (1953)
- Jeevan Jyoti (1953)
- Taxi Driver (1954)
- Angaarey (1954)
- Radha Krishna (1954)
- Chalis Baba Ek Chor (1954)
- Devdas (1955)
- Munimji (1955)
- House No.44 (1955)
- Society (1955)
- Mad Bhare Nain (1955)
- Funtoosh (1956)
- Paying Guest (1957)
- Pyaasa (1957)
- Nau Do Gyarah (1957)
- Miss India (1957)
- Solva Saal (1958)
- Lajwanti (1958)
- Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
- Kala Pani (1958)
- Sitaron Se Aage (1958)
- Sujata (1959)
- Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
- Insaan Jaag Utha (1959)
- Manzil (1960)
- Kala Bazar (1960)
- Bombai Ka Babu (1960)
- Miyan Biwi Razi (1960)
- Apna haath jagannath (1960)
- Bewaqoof (1960)
- Ek Ke Baad Ek (1960)
- Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962)
- Dr.Vidya (1962)
- Naughty Boy (1962)
- Bandini (1963)
- Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (1963)
- Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963)
- Ziddi (1964)
- Kaise Kahoon (1964)
- Benazir (1964)
- Teen Devian (1965)
- Guide (1965)
- Jewel Thief (1967)
- Talash (1969)
- Aradhana (1969)
- Jyoti (1969)
- Prem Pujari (1970)
- Ishq Par Zor Nahin (1970)
- Gambler (1971)
- Naya Zamana (1971)
- Sharmilee (1971)
- Chaitali (Bengali Film) (1971)
- Tere Mere Sapne (1971)
- Yeh Gulistan Hamara (1972)
- Zindagi Zindagi (1972)
- Anuraag (1972)
- Abhimaan (1973)
- Jugnu (1973)
- Chhupa Rustam (1973)
- Phagun (1973)
- Us Paar (1974)
- Prem Nagar (1974)
- Sagina (1974)
- Chupke Chupke (1975)
- Mili (1975)
- Barood (1976)
- Arjun Pandit (1976)
- Tyaag (1976)
- Deewangee (1976) only one song, remaining songs were composed by Ravindra Jain
- Aradhana (Bengali Film) (1976)
- Saaz (????)(Unreleased)
Awards and recognitions 
- 1934: Gold Medal, Bengal All India Music Conference, Kolkata 1934
- 1958: Asia Film Society Award
- 1969: Padma Shri
- International Jury on Folk Music
- 1970: Filmfare Best Music Director Award: Talaash: Nomination
- 1965: Best Music (Hindi Section): Teen Devian
- 1966: Best Music (Hindi Section): Guide
- 1966: Best Male Playback Singer (Hindi Section): Guide
- 1969: Best Music (Hindi Section): Aradhana
- 1973: Best Music (Hindi Section): Abhimaan
- Tripura Genealogy at Queensland Univ[dead link]
- SD Burman "filmreference.com".
- Soul composer... The Times of India, 1 October 2006.
- Sachin Karta
- S.D. Burman’s wife dead The Hindu, 17 October 2007.
- S.D. Burman's wife Meera dead[dead link] ‘Music India OnLine’.
- How Tripura lost an icon Telegraph, 24 February 2005.
- Sachin Karta by Pannalal Roy[dead link] tripurainfo.com.
- Bondhu rangila re -- a tribute to S D Burman theemusic magazine, 31 October 2002.
- The minimilistic melody of Sachin Dev Burman - Biography Rediff.com.
- SD Burman www.downmelodylane.com.
- SD Burman Upperstall.com.
- Olivier Assayas (September 2004). "The Best Music in Film". Sight & Sound. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- Music Direction[dead link] Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Official listing.
- Agartala palace is lit - Centenary celebrations[dead link] The Hindu, 28 July 2006.
- 2007 stamps[dead link] Indian Postal Service Official website.
- Postage stamp brought out on Sachin Karta's birth anniversary Outlook, 1 October 2008.
- "Sachin Karta", by Pannalal Roy. Parul Prakashani, Agartala. 2005.
- The Hundred Luminaries of Hindi Cinema, by Dinesh Raheja, Jitendra Kothari. India Book House Publishers, 1996. ISBN 81-7508-007-8, page 1919.