Singer, lyricist and music assistant, Meera Dev Burman is known for films such as Chupke Chupke (1975), Chhupa Rustam (1973) and Prem Nagar (1974). She also penned the lyrics for several Bengali films. Songs that she is known for include Tum ho bade, Banshi tomar hatey dilam, Ke dilo ghum bhangaye, Gai jey papiya, and Aaj dol dilo ke. Wife of legendary music director-singer Sachin Dev Burman, her son was the popular music director R D Burman.
Born Meera Dasgupta in Comilla (Bangladesh) in March 1923, she went on to settle in South-end Park in Kolkata. She was a student of Amita Sen, mother of Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen, who was trained in Rabindranath Tagore's Vishwa Bharati in Santiniketan.
She met S.D. Burman, who hailed from the Tripura royal family, at the All India Music Conference in Allahabad in 1937. She became a student of S.D. Burman and married him the same year.
After their marriage, S.D. Burman set to tune a number of songs penned by Meera Dev Burman, who was a singer in her own right.
She is credited as music assistant for the musically-rich, Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed films Mili (1975), Chupke Chupke (1975), Abhimaan (1973), as well as for Tapan Sinha’s Sagina (1974), and K S Prakash Rao’s Prem Nagar (1974). All these films had music by S D Burman. She was the associate composer for Vijay Anand’s Chhupa Rustam (1973) and assistant music director for Anand’s Tere Mere Sapne (1971). She also rendered playback for Shankar Parvati (1979). Some of the well-appreciated songs from the films that she worked on include Tere mere milan ki yeh raina, Teri bindiya re, Piya bina, Loote koi man ka nagar, Meet na mile re man ka, Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi, Bagon mein kaise yeh phool, Ab ke sajan sawan mein, Sa ra ga ma, and Chupke chupke chal re purvaiya, among others.
S D Burman once wrote about her: “To make my all-music life a success, the services and help rendered by Meera Devi through her collaboration, assistance, inspiration, encouragement and sacrifice are omnipresent.'
After the demise of her husband in 1975, followed by the death of her son in 1994, her health deteriorated over the years due to advancing age. Life became difficult and she had to be frequently hospitalised. She was shifted from Agartala and placed in an old-age home for paraplegics in Mumbai. Later, she was moved to her son R D Burman's house in Mumbai by her daughter-in-law, noted playback singer Asha Bhosle. The Tripura government had felicitated her in Mumbai and also gave her some financial assistance for her medical treatment.
Meera Dev Burman passed away in Mumbai on 15 October 2007 after a prolonged illness. She was 84.
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