R D Burman after surgery with Dr Mukesh Hariawala

Today, music fans the world over remember the legendary and iconic Indian maestro R D Burman, affectionately called "Panchamda" on his 73rd birth anniversary. Some may inhale a puff and sing "Dum maro Dum" while others will go out in the rain humming "Rim jhim rim jhim, rum jhum rum jhum" while the romantic couples take a walk on the beach to his tune "Bade achche lagte hain" and party goers dance till the wee hours on Sholay's evergreen "Mehbooba Mehbooba."

Internationally acclaimed Indian American heart surgeon Dr Mukesh Hariawala, who performed "Bypass Surgery" with British surgeon Dr John Wright on RD in the early 1990's, recounts some emotionally touchy episodes at the Princess Grace Hospital in London, UK.

He recalls on admission, R D Burman did not initially express heart symptoms but instead complained of depression for failure in producing musical hits during a downward spiral phase of his career. He conveyed deep rooted sadness at consistently being rejected by top Bollywood directors who used to once line up to sign him as their first choice music director. It was only after reviewing detailed medical reports that Dr Hariawala demonstrated to RD significant blockages in his heart arteries that needed surgery.

On this revelation, RD smiled warmly and responded philosophically "Doctor Saab - now I understand, if the heart cannot beat to its natural rhythm of "Lub Dub , Lub Dub", it is virtually impossible to compose "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" rhythmic melodies. This was one of the first spiritual connections made between music and heart, reminisces Dr Hariawala who has a 25-year and 3-continent experience.

Dr Mukesh Hariawala