Movies

R.D. Burman is the theme of a new cafe in — where else — Kolkata

Pancham Er Adday has inexpensive food, charming waiters and Pancham’s timeless music

R.D. Burman or Pancham — the music director whose popularity continues to soar with every passing year ever since he died on January 4, 1994 — is now the theme of a newly-opened cafe in Kolkata, the city where he was born and in which he went to school.

The eatery — located in the upscale Hindusthan Park area which, in the recent years, has come to be dotted with hip cafeterias — is named Pancham Er Adday, loosely translating as ‘chitchat over Pancham’.

Continued inspiration

“To me, R.D. Burman is God,” says Amrita Annie, 38, who opened the restaurant in August last year after closing down a coffee shop she ran briefly in New Alipore. “Most of the songs you hear today are either inspired by him or remixes of his creations. So I thought, why not have a dedicated place where his songs are played for the younger generation?”

R.D. Burman is the theme of a new cafe in — where else — Kolkata
 

The café, sure enough, is packed with young people, and even though the songs playing in the background belong to the 1970s and 80s, they don’t sound out of place because Pancham’s music, no matter how old, sounds fresh off the recording studio — perhaps the reason why he has earned more popularity posthumously than in his lifetime.

The place is peppered with pictures and posters of the composer; goblets have names of his famous films etched on them; cushions are printed with posters of movies made famous by his music. What’s more, the food is cheap and the waiters efficient and charming.

Ms. Annie, who is 38, grew up listening to R.D. Burman but without realising who he was. “It was only much later I found out that most of my favourite songs happened to be composed by Pancham,” she says.

R.D. Burman is the theme of a new cafe in — where else — Kolkata
 

Popular bias

This is probably the first time that Pancham — or any popular artiste for that matter — has become the theme of a restaurant anywhere in the country. And what better place than Kolkata, which makes no secret of its bias in favour of the composer: shows are routinely held here in his memory and radio jockeys are decidedly partial towards his songs.

Pancham Er Adday, however, is not organising any special event on January 4, his death anniversary, when TV channels and social media is likely to be packed with tribute. “The reason being we do not like to believe that R.D. Burman is dead. He still alive, very much alive,” says Ms. Annie.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 9:41:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/rd-burman-is-the-theme-of-a-new-cafe-in-where-else-kolkata/article30470019.ece

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