Milestone Songs By Ravi... (Music Director)
Date: February 08, 2015
Ravi composed music for over 70 Hindi and 14 Malayalam films.
He had no formal training in classical music but learned music from listening to his father sing bhajans. He taught himself to play harmonium and other classical instruments and worked as an electrician to support his family.
In 1950 he decided to shift to Bombay and become a professional singer. At first Ravi was homeless, living on the streets and sleeping in Malad Railway station at night.
In 1952, he was discovered by late music director Husnalal-Bhagatram and singer Hemant Kumar who hired him to sing backing vocals in Vande Mataram from the film Anand Math. This entire background explains Ravi’s music - a limited liability company.
But, to give credit where credit is due, even with Ravi’s talent, I couldn’t have made it as a music director because talent alone doesn’t get you work. Heck, I couldn’t have made it even if I had S.D. Burman’s talent because without the ability of networking to sell yourself, to put yourself in good light with persuasive words, all the talent and the resourcefulness in the world wouldn’t get you anywhere unless perhaps lady-luck puts you in the right place at the right time.
This world is often not about talent - latent or otherwise - but about results. Ravi showed results but popularity (result) is never a good yardstick of quality or talent. Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Somerset Maugham were as successful as today’s soap opera novelists and Stephen King.
Aside from Baar Baar Dekho from China Town and Yeh Lucknow Ki Sarjami, Aai Meri Zohra Jabeen, Mera Yaar Bana Hai Dulha, the other Ravi song I hummed was Asha Bhonsle’s Aaj Yeh Meri Zindagi from Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (1963). It was a melodious song set in waltz dance rhythm. Unfortunately the film director failed in picturizing it. But my most favorite Ravi song is Asha Bhonsle’s Zindagi Ki Ulzanon Ko Bhoolakar, Aaj Mastee Mein Gujaaro Raatabhar, Subaha Jaba Hogi To Dekha Jayega… from Nartaki (1963). It is the only song that ex-electrician Ravi managed to infuse with electricity.