Death Anniversary : The Enduring Legacy of Ravi Shankar Sharma

Born on 3 March 1926 in a middle-class family in Delhi, Ravi Shankar Sharma had no connection whatsoever with music or the film industry. But who can avoid what is written in destiny? Ravi had been interested in music since childhood

By Bollyy
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Death Anniversary  The Enduring Legacy of Ravi Shankar Sharma

Death Anniversary : The Enduring Legacy of Ravi Shankar Sharma

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Born on 3 March 1926 in a middle-class family in Delhi, Ravi Shankar Sharma had no connection whatsoever with music or the film industry. But who can avoid what is written in destiny? Ravi had been interested in music since childhood, he loved listening to music from a young age and he wanted to become a playback artist. Ravi was fond of listening to old songs.

Ravi's first step in music

Let us tell you that one day Ravi's father took Ravi to a bhajan conference in the neighborhood, where Ravi surprised his father and presented the bhajan 'Tum bin hamari kaun khabar le' from the film 'Pukaar', which was appreciated by the people present there. Liked it very much and Ravi also got praise. At the same bhajan conference, Ravi saw a child present there playing the harmonium, which Ravi also had the desire to learn and he started learning it.

From Electrician to Maestro

When Ravi, who was proficient in music, failed in the tenth class, he learned the work of an electrician at the insistence of his family and started working, but his love for music never diminished. Even while working as an electrician, Ravi continued improving his harmonium skills. After working for a few years, Ravi thought of becoming a playback artist for which he took a transfer from his company to Mumbai. But his struggle did not end there.

The beginning of Ravi's struggles in the industry

At the beginning of the struggle, Ravi somehow got a job as a tabla player in Filmistan Studio. On the insistence of some friends and acquaintances, Ravi started doing chorus singing and similarly, during the vocal of 'Vande Mataram' for the film 'Anand Math', Ravi met legendary singer and composer Hemant Kumar. Hemant Kumar was very impressed with Ravi and he made Ravi his assistant. After this Ravi has given superhit films like 'Samrat', 'Sharta', and 'Nagin' with Hemant Kumar. Hemant Kumar did not understand much of Urdu language and Ravi used to help him understand this language.

Ravi had composed the famous Naagin tune

For your information, let us tell you that the famous Naagin Ki Been tune was recorded by Ravi playing harmonium and clavioline with Kalyanji Bhai (of Kalyanji Anandji music director duo) to create an enchanting 'Been Effect'.

New beginning of a new journey


After working with Hemant Kumar for some time, Hemant was so pleased with Ravi's work that he advised Ravi, "You have learned a lot by working with me, now you can make your music. If you stay with me, you will always remain an assistant, so go and make your career, luck is waiting for you."

Ravi's friend and producer-director Devendra Goyal gave him a chance to work in his first film 'Vachan' and Ravi jumped at the chance. After the film became a superhit, Ravi never looked back. Ravi gave music in more than 109 films which became super-duper hits.

Apart from Hindi films, Ravi also gave music for Malayalam, Gujarati, Telugu, and Punjabi films, after which he was also honored by the Gujarat government.

Successful films of composer Ravi Shankar Sharma

In his most successful phase of Hindi cinema during the decade of the sixties, Ravi won nominations for the coveted Filmfare award for five films- Chaudhvin ka Chand (1960), Do badan (1966), Hamrzza (1967), Aankhen (1968), and Nikaah (1982) and won it twice for Ghrana (1961) and Khandan (1965).

Every song of Ravi's debut-making Vachan (1955) was a nationwide hit, with these two in particular, the enchanting evergreen Lori "Chanda Mama door ke pooey pakayein gur ke" and the heart-tugging begging song "Oh oh babu oh jaanewale babu ek paisa de de"

In the early 50s, there was a lot of trend of mythological films and in some such films, Ravi gave some excellent songs, although he did not work much in such films.

Personal life of Ravi Shankar Sharma


If we talk about Ravi's personal life, Ravi got married in Delhi in 1948 but he did not go to Mumbai with his wife because at that time Ravi himself had no fixed place to live. After three years of separation from his new bride, his wife wrote a letter requesting him to either come to Delhi or call her in Mumbai. Then Ravi made his home in a godown in Kandivali where he lived for nine years. Let us tell you that when Ravi got his bungalow built, he named it 'Vachan' after his first film.
Ravi, married to Kanti since 1946, suffered the loss of his wife in 1986. They had three children together: daughters Veena and Chhaya, and son Ajay. Ravi's son, Ajay, is estranged from the family due to a property dispute, while one of his daughters remained his primary caregiver after his wife's passing. Ravi himself passed away on March 7, 2012, in Mumbai at the age of 86.

Had made the career of many big singers

Renowned music director Ravi played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of legendary singers Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor. He composed iconic songs like "Tora man darpan kehlaye," "Aage bhi jane na tu," and "Sun le Pukar Aai" for Bhosle, and helped launch Kapoor's stardom in Bollywood. After a successful run in Hindi cinema during the 1950s and 1960s, he took a hiatus until 1982. Upon his return, his music for the film "Nikaah" garnered critical acclaim, with the song "Dil ke armaan aansooyon main beh gaye," sung by Salma Agha, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer.

Ravi achieved his most significant success collaborating with the Chopra brothers. Following their collaboration on the film "Gumrah," he formed a lasting partnership with lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Together, they created a string of iconic films, including "Waqt," "Humraaz," "Admi aur Insan," "Dhund," "Nikah," and "Dehleez." Their creative synergy was undeniable, as Ravi's melodies perfectly complemented Sahir's poignant lyrics. Beyond these films, their collaboration extended to other masterpieces like "Aaj aur Kal," "Kajal," "Ankhen," "Neelkamal," "Do kaliyan," "Amanat," "Ganga tera pani amrit," and "Ek mahal ho sapno ka."

The Unforgettable Melodies of Ravi

Some of the famous songs of composer Ravi are 'Sab Kuch Loota Ke Hosh Mein Aaya', 'Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Ya Aftab Ho', 'Mori Cham Cham Baje Payaliya', 'Sau Baar Janam Lenge', 'Yeh Mausam Rangi Samaan' and 'Baar Look once, see a thousand times.

An interesting about composer Ravi


A funny incident happened when he was working at the cantonment. One fine morning, close on the heels of the assassination of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, the police came looking for him after receiving a tip-off that he was an RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) sympathizer. Ravi even had the initials written under the glass on his work desk at the office- RSS standing for his full name Ravi Shankar Sharma. When realization dawned on the police, the matter was very comically closed.


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