Today (June 27) is the 67th birthday of Rahul Dev Burman. Happy Birthday, Panchamda.
Yesterday I read two lovely posts in the Pancham eGroup sent by Jose Flores, who had written lyrics for the Pantera, the only english album composed by R.D. Burman, to Vinay Jain, co-ordinator for of the Pancham eGroup. The posts are reproduced below.
Thank you for your invitation. Puncham and I were very close and
we had a great time working together. I learned a great deal about
life and not just music.
I have a few stories but dont know where to start.
Puncham was the funniest person I had ever met and he made me laugh
all the time.
On the same day he arrived in San Francisco, Puncham gave me a gift
of some traditional clothes, (silks) that he had brought with him
( a Kurta and a Loongi) and some sandles. Later on that evening we
were at his suite at the hotel with our producer Pete Gavankar...and
the producer suggested I try on the silks. Puncham was hungry and
had changed from travel clothing to the same kind of clothing (
Loongi and Kurta) By then I had tried on the silks and thought they
were really cool...SInce He also had the same clothes and felt
comfortable he said well lets go eat... I said dressed like this
and Puncham said yes... lets go just like this...so we put on some
sandles and while still dressed in the silks went out on the town
to the most exclusive, expensive and fanciest seafood restaurant in
San Francisco where we told the Tuxedo wearing staff that Puncham
was the crown prince of Bombay... we got the best service I have
ever had ....and they refferred to him as your Royal Highness
during the whole meal...and you know what he really was a prince so
it was fun... he really impressed everyone including the owner who
personally came to ask for his autograph... We laughed about that
dinner every chance we got whan we talked about it.
Later on a few years ago, Asha came to San Francisco and we had
lunch at the same place... we sat at he same table and remembered
I really miss the guy...
keep in touch
Well I am glad you got the reply I wrote I did not know if it went
Yes I know it is Punchams birthday in a few days. I always remember
him on that day and on the other day.
Well I have to think about some of the things that were going on
but one funny thing happened. It was when Puncham walked out of
the recording studio and no one knew where he was for about 8 hours
when decided to take a self guided tour of the City. I guess he was
waking around downtown San Francisco. Of course we were recording in
the downtown area of the City and the area is urban and sometimes
quite risky especially if you dont know which sections are bad or
good. However, Puncham fit right in with the City scene and always
looked cool so no one ever messed with him. In fact he was usually
greeted by people as if they knew him everywhere we went. So later
on several hours we were all in front of the studio and it was
getting dark when he pulled up in a taxi cab loaded with bags of
clothing, shoes, shirts and jackets inside shopping bags from some
of the best stores and tailors in the City . The producer Pete
Gavankar was so relieved when he saw him that he almost cried..
Puncham just cracked up at us and showed off his new grey Members
Only Jacket which he was wearing and said...dont worry Im a City
boy I know my way around... every one had to help him carry his bags
back into the studio about 20 bags in all. It took the cabbie five
min to unload...I think he gave the cabbie two $20.00 bills or like
a $40.00 tip on top of his $ 5 fare and the cabbie was all
That was Puncham, drama, generosity, style... what a guy.
I think it is time for a toast to my friend with double Johnny
Walker and 555 cigarette while I listen to him sing a Gypsy song...
Thanks and keep in touch.