Rishi Kapoor’s spectacular partnership with RD Burman

Rishi Kapoor did 17 films with music by Burman. His maximum hit songs were composed by Burman, whose youthful music was for Rishi Kapoor

Rishi  Kapoor (Photo: National Herald Archives)
Rishi Kapoor (Photo: National Herald Archives)

Subhash K Jha

When we think of the best composer-actor partnerships of all times, the names that come to mind are Raj Kapoor-Shankar-Jaikishan, Shammi Kapoor-Shankar-Jaikishan, and Rajesh Khanna- R.D. Burman. 

But what about Rishi Kapoor and Burman? Think about Burman’s "Oh hansini" (Zehreela Insaan),  "Humein tumko dekha" (Khel Khel Mein), "Dil lena khel hai dildar ka" (Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai), "Poocho na yaar kya hua" (Hum Kisikse Kum Nahin) , "Tu tu hai wohi" (Yeh Vada Raha).

Rishi Kapoor did 17 films with music by Burman. Although Rishi Kapoor’s first film as a leading man Bobby had music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, his maximum hit songs were composed by Burman, whose youthful music was for Rishi Kapoor. The other heroes for whom Burman did chartbusters like Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were older. But for Rishi Kapoor, Pancham could really unplug the grooviest sounds. There were filmmakers like Nasir Hussain, Ravi Tandon, Ramesh Behl and Ramesh Sippy who made the kind of films where Rishi Kapoor and Burman fit in.

Burman was family to Rishi Kapoor. Both were very fond of eating and drinking. After Bobby propelled Rishi Kapoor into superstardom he  wanted to work with Burman. Rishi Kapoor admitted to me that he vibed with Burman much better than with Laxmikant-Pyarelal whom did Bobby. He believed Burman's music suited his age and image.

Incidentally, Burman loved watching Rishi Kapoor shoot his songs. On the sets of Nasir Husain's films Hum Kissise Kum Nahin and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai, Burman would have lunch with the director Nasir Hussain and then watch Rishi Kapoor dance.

Burman’s decline as a prime force in the Hindi cinema saddened Rishi  Kapoor. He  was very disturbed to see other music composers take over  the musical compositions from his films. But there was little Rishi Kapoor could do about it. Even in the flop films of Rishi Kapoor, Burman composed inspired song.

In  The  Rishi Kapoor-Danny Denzongpa starrer   Naya Daur  RD  used empty glass bottles to create a special effect in the song Paani ke badle peekar sharaab sung by Kishore Kumar and Danny Denzongpa.

The last  film  of Rishi that RD composed the songs for was  Gurudev(actor Vinod Mehra’s only  directorial) in 1993.The  song Jaipur se  nikli gadi has recall-value to this day. Some other outstanding RD-Rishi songs that deserve to be  pulled out of anonymity include Hum kitne naadaan the  yaaron(Sitamgar), Ek Baat dil mein aaye hai(Rahi Badal Gaye),  Aisa kabhi hua nahin(Yeh Vada Raha)  , Khudkhushi  karne ka dil mein  iraada kar liya(Dhan Daulat) and  Dil mein  jo mere  samaa gayi(Jhootha  Kahin Ka).

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Published: 04 Sep 2023, 12:34 PM