Why the Great Bollywood Music Director R D Burman was Known as Pancham?
November 1, 2012 4:49pm CST
R D Burman was born in a Royal family on 27 June 1939 in Calcutta to Sachin Dev Burman and Meera Dev Burman. He was fondly called as ‘Pancham Da’ in the film Industry. The popular story behind the origin of this name goes like this. It is said when R D Burman was a child he used to cry on “Pa” sur , that means he used to cry loudly in the E note of the Octave. Since this note in Indian music known as Pancham he got the name of Pancham and he got popular in film Industry with this name. Another belief was that as a child he used to cry in five different notes of the Octave and in Bengali Pancham means ‘Five’. Thus he was nick named as Pancham by his parents. Yet there is another version which says that Ashok Kumar has noticed that as a new born baby R D Burman was uttering the syllable ‘Pa’ repeatedly because of which he was named as ‘Pancham’. But this possibility seems to be remote one as new born can hardly utter any syllable. Rahul Dev Burman was made to learn Indian classical music under many famous Indian classical singers of that time by his father S D Burman who was a famous musician and singer himself. During this period of training, Ashok Kumar who was fondly known as Dada Muni used to visit their place to meet S D Burman. He noticed that R D Burman used to practice his voice on “Pa” note most of the times when he visited their place and having noted this he fondly started calling R D Burman as ‘Pancham’ which as explained earlier is the name of the note ‘Pa’ in the Indian Octave. Thus this pet name by Ashok Kumar has become so popular that R D Burman called as ‘Pancham Da’ in the Indian film Industry.
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