“Music expresses that which cannot be said and what is impossible to keep silent.”
Whosoever has said these wonderful lines, must have known that it holds true for the beautiful emotion called love. As it is said and known, there is no more a charming way into your loved one’s heart, than a few melodious notes, and those heartfelt words to go with it. Maybe that is why, decades ago, two legends of the music industry, fell in love, in the course of creating memorable and melodious songs for us.
Though they both were completely different from each other, came from different backgrounds, and had a considerable age gap, but even that did not stop them from becoming one of the most talked about and remembered love story from the Bollywood’s yesteryears. We are talking about none other than the music legends; Asha Bhonsle, and Late R.D.Burman.
That First Meeting – “Yeh Ladki Zara Si Deewani Lagti Hai”
At the time when these two met, they both had already suffered the brunt of unsuccessful love marriages, Asha Bhonsle’s with Ganpatrao Bhonsle, with whom she had run away at the tender age of 16, and R.D.Burman’s with Rita Patel. But then as they say, maybe they had to go through the pain, just to finally meet each other. Asha adoringly called Pancham “Bubs”, which was a lovable name, exclusive for her tongue.
The Unsaid Romance – “Keh Doon Tumhe, Ya Chup Rahun”
There was a sensuality with which Asha Bhonsle just matched Pancham Da’s musical notes; her voice and his music were just made for each other. Not a word exchanged, none required, but the beauty of love and romance, woven in that beautiful medium called music, brought them closer. They created foot tapping, heart pounding, and even endearing melodies together, which stay in our hearts even now, so many years after their releases.
I Will Never Let You Go – “Yeh Waada Raha”
Asha and R.D. tied the knot in the year 1980, and it was much evident, that these two lost souls had finally found the notes to complete their unfinished song of love. Their varying tastes, the criticism of people due to Asha being 6 years elder, nothing mattered to them. The only thing that mattered was their unending love for each other that lasted till the last breath of Pancham Da. They truly defined the meaning of the phrase, that love has no boundaries, no restrictions. That it can happen with any one, any time, irrespective of the barriers that we make for ourselves, or the society makes for us.
The Sweet & Sour Marriage – “Ab To Mile Hain”
Theirs was not a perfect marriage, but Asha and R.D. managed to match their imperfections, perfectly. Not many know that Pancham had a talent for creating lip-smacking cuisines, and so did Asha. The common bond of music and love for cooking brought them closer, and let them compete in domestic life too, where they jokingly fought on who was the better cook between the two.
As Asha revealed in an interview later, she said she used to poke him angrily on why he made her sing hip hop songs, and created beautiful love melodies for her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, to which he replied like the adorable simpleton he was, “Because only you can do justice to the songs that I give you, no one else.” The bare honesty and non-materialistic attitude of the two were the biggest strength of their relationship.
A Short Journey That Was Filled With Love & Laughter – “Do Pal Ki Yeh Zindagi”
It is said that sometimes the happiest people, and the ones who bring happiness in the lives of others, are the first ones to leave for the heavenly abode. Sadly, just after 14 years of marital life, the beloved Pancham Da passed away. His untimely death broke Asha, but like a strong woman she was, and still is, she steeled herself and kept up that beautiful smile that always adorns her face.
As Asha Bhonsle said in later interviews, he died a sad man, someone who was not happy in his personal life due to the death of his mother who couldn’t recognize him during her last days, due to her Alzheimer’s, and also due to the fact that the trend of music in the Indian Film Industry had taken a turn for the worse, in his opinion. For a man who had been so jovial, it was a broken time for his better half to see him go too soon, and too sad.
A solo journey continues – “Mera Kuch Saman, Tumhare Paas Pada Hai”
In the words of Asha herself, the passing away of our beloved Pancham was the worst blow she felt, second only to the moment when her father had passed away. A bereaved wife and lover, it seemed that a part of her musical love had died that day. These two talented stars, were probably meant for each other, but only for a short period of time. Now Asha Tai was meant to continue the journey alone, with her heart, soul, and maybe even a part of her music, gone with Pancham Da.As the evergreen trio of Gulzar Sahab, Pancham, and Asha put it in the form of one their most beautiful songs ever.
It takes two to tango, and it really did, in case of Asha Tai and Pancham Da. These two tangoed together in the rhythmic dance of music and notes, topped with the aroma of love, and left us a legacy of memorable songs. Their love story, though brutally cut short by destiny, will always remain a beautiful, and one of the most remembered ones.
Written By- Kadambari Srivastava