Ace film journalist Chaitanya Padukone who was felicitated with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award, along with legendary awardees like Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar, has dedicated his award to music maestro RD Burman.
Prominent celeb guests at the event included Kajol, Raveena Tandon and Subhash Ghai. Filmmakers Ekta Kapoor and Rohit Shetty congratulated Chaitanya and agreed, he owed his honour to his ‘mentor-guru’ and music legend R.D. Burman, popularly known as Panchamda.
“Way back in mid-eighties, when my initial exclusive interviews with the reclusive RDB appeared in a leading city newspaper, Panchamda seemed impressed. On an impulse, he ‘blessed’ me, whilst predicting that someday in future I would achieve glory,” reminisces the journalist.
“Since I also had this passion for experimental rhythm, we shared a warm personal rapport. Somewhere up there, I can visualize RDB reacting to my Phalke Award and humming one of his popular refrains ‘Yeh toh hona hi tha’,” smiles Chaitanya, who has been a prolific award-winner, also being listed in the Limca Book of National Records.
Earlier, the seasoned journalist who has a large number of ‘breaking-news’ Bollywood stories to his credit, was honoured by superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who conferred on him the KA Abbas Memorial Award and Gold Medal.
Chaitanya’s other credits include carrying out first-exclusive interviews with actors like Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel, Chunky Panday, Sangeeta Bijlani, Ayesha Jhulka, Manoj Bajpai, Mahima Chaudhary, Riteish Deshmukh, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone, when they were absolute newcomers in the industry.