Yaadon Mein Pancham: Kolkata theatre groups to stage a musical on RD Burman’s hits
SONGS tend to remain with us for a time, long past the movie that they are featured in is forgotten — hiding in the deep recesses of the mind, only to pop up at random moments and surprise us with their opportune or inopportune revival. In those few moments, we become the actors that the song features and that is why, perhaps, they tend to remain with us, like poetry — each piece retains a meaning, and means differently to different people.
The magic of RD Burman’s music created a cult in its wake — an era that inspired numerous musicians and singers, who still hum his tunes in personal or social gatherings, making each of his tunes their own.
This Sunday, revisit some of Pancham Da’s most popular classics, at a Broadway-style musical, called Yaadon Mein Pancham, featuring popular RD Burman songs like Chala Jaata Hoon, Chura Liya Hai Tumne, Rimjhim Gire Sawan and Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge, among others, in a plot-based narrative.
Enacted and performed by two Kolkata-based cultural forums, Takht and Dokkhiner Batayon, the 85-minute musical will see as many as 20 actors reinterpreting the age-old songs in a completely new way.
But the context remains the same love, and how RD Burman’s songs fit perfectly into each and every situation — for different kinds and different types of love that one experiences in a lifetime.
“Dokkhiner Batayon is a 13-year-old group that specialises in singing, among other activities. They approached us for production with live music, two years back. Back then, we did a show where they sang, and we participated as visual performers. But this time, we decided to participate as associates and make it a full-fledged production, by weaving a plot through the 14 songs that were re-arranged by veteran composer Buddhadeb Ganguly,” informs Sangram Mukhopadhyay, the director, who planned the production in a short span of three weeks.
“The most interesting thing for me, personally, was the process behind the production, as it entails two generations of artistes coming together and perceiving RD Burman in their own different ways. The senior artistes have their own set of ideas and imagery about what an RD Burman-era tune should look or feel like, whether it’s about the costumes worn by the actors then, the body language, or the way the songs were depicted on screen,” Sangram tells us.
“The audience will also enjoy how we as a generation understand what is ‘retro’, without being in conflict with the previous generation. The main crux of the play remains RD Burman, and the shared joy in recreating his works,” he adds. The script has been written by Rishi Pandey, and the costumes and lights have been co-ordinated by the Takht team.
Yaadon Mein Pancham will be staged at Uttam Mancha on March 31, 6.30 pm.