Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Master who Learnt from beggar, baul

28th July 2013 12:00 AM
Before becoming a household name, Sachin Dev Burman had become synonymous at the start of his journey with the Tippera flute, Tripura’s own instrument. So much so that for those who knew him “the haunting tunes of the flute in the dead of the night would convey the message far and wide: Sachin-karta was in town”!
Khagesh Dev Burman’s biography, translated from the Bengali version by the author and S K Chaudhuri, is filled with such delightful anecdotes and rich details of the legendary composer. It begins with a twist of circumstances, establishing S D Burman’s royal antecedents, and of how in the succession struggle that ensued, his father, Nabadwip Chandra, was deprived of his rightful due, the kingship of Tripura. As a result, he moved to his palatial home in Chartha, Comilla, where Sachin was born on October 1, 1906, the youngest of nine siblings. From the start he was surrounded by music. His father was a painter, sculptor and sitar player with an outstanding voice. His mother, Nirupama Devi, was from the royal family of Tripura and loved music and dance.
Sachin was deeply influenced by the two cultural streams of his lineage and the mysticism of folk music pervading Tripura. He once spoke of everyone in the Tripura palace singing – the king, the queen, the maids, the servants even. “Perhaps that is why I spent my entire life on songs and songs alone — music is my first love.” He imbibed the musical spirit of the common folk, breaking free of the palace culture to create a new tradition that would, one day, be revered. He started losing interest in studies, and was sent to Kumar Boarding at Agartala, and later Yusuf School back in Comilla, relieved that he could resume music lessons from his father, as well as roam around in rural Bengal, and “like a honeybee collecting and storing honey, build his collection of tunes and music”.
Sachin continued his quest for musical jewels, with no qualms about lessons from “the farmer and the boatman, the beggar and the baul, the fakir and the servant”, striding into film music to be one of the greatest.

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