Ravi : Unsung Music Maestro


Music Director Ravi

Music Director Ravi

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 14 , 2012           02.30 A.M.

I do know and would like to affirm that common people and connoisseurs , both remember all the following songs of Hindi films :

Darshan Do Ghanshyam Nath Mori Ankhiyan Pyasi Re ……………….

Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Ya Aaftab Ho …………………………

Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin ……………………………………..

Baazi Kisi Ne Pyar Ki Jeeti Ya Har Di …………………………..

Bar Bar Dekho Hazar Bar Dekho Ki Dekhne Ki Cheez Hai Hamara Dilruba …..

Itni Haseen Itni Jawan Rat Kya Karen ………………………………..

Chalo Ik Bar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jayen Hum Dono ……………………..

Tora Man Darpan Kahlaye …………………………………

Chhoo Lene Do Nazuk Hoton Ko Kuchh Aur Nahin Hai Jam Hai Ye …………….

Tumhin Meri Manzil Tumhin Meri Pooja Tumhin Devta Ho ………………

Badi Der Bhai Nandlala Teri Rah Take Brijbala ………………………..

O Meri Zohra Jabin Tujhe Maloom Nahin ………………………….

Bhari Duniya Men Akhir Dil Ko Samjhane Kahan Jayen ………………..

Raha Gardishon Me Hardam Mere Ishq Ka Sitara ……………………….

Gharibon Ki Suno Wo Tumhari Sunega Tum Ek Paisa Doge Wo Dus Lakh Dega .

Neele Gagan Ke Tale Dharti Ka Pyar Pale …………………………….

Tujhko Rakhe Ram Tujhko Alla Rakhe ………………………………….

Milti Hai Zindagi Men Muhabbat Kabhi Kabhi ……………………….

Bachche Man Ke Sachche …………………………….

Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile …………………….

Tujhe Sooraj Kahoon Ya Chanda Tujhe Deep Kahoon Ya Tara ……………….

Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna HI Fasana Hai ……………………………

Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai ………………………………

Dil Ke Arman Aansuon Men Bah Gaye ………………………….

Dil Ki Ye Arzoo Thi Koi Dilruba Mile ………………………

These are some of the songs , which are still famous . These are some of the songs , which need no introduction . These are some of the songs , which any one can easily hum because their tunes are still echoing  in everyone’s mind . May be names of the films are not remembered . May be names of the star – cast is forgotten . May be name of the music director is also not known to the younger generation . But songs endure . Melody survives and is still fresh  .

Creator of these immortal songs is a music maestro known as Ravi . Originally named as Ravi Shankar Sharma , Ravi was born in Delhi and wanted to become a play back singer . He was , ironically , not trained in Indian classical music . He moved to Mumbai in 1950 and started his journey in Hindi films .

Anand Math

Poster of Anand Math

He became Hemant Kumar’s assistant for Anand Math and sang in the chorus also in the Vande Mataram song . He , then , was signed by Devendra Goel , a top – notch director of his time , for a film called ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] and after the success of that film , Ravi never looked back .

Then followed many hit films and numerous super – hit songs , which are still popular . ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] , ” Dilli Ka Thug ” [ 1958 ] , ” Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan ” [ 1959 ] , ” Chaudhvin Ka Chand ” [ 1960 ] , ” Ghunghat ” [ 1960 ] , ” Gharana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” China Town ” [ 1962 ] , ” Gehra Daag ” [ 1963 ] , ” Gumrah ” [ 1963 ] , ” Ustadon Ke Ustaad ” [ 1963 ] , ” Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke ” [ 1963 ] , ” Bharosa ” [ 1963 ] , ” Door Ki Awaaz ” [ 1964 ] , ” Kaajal ” [ 1965 ] , ” Khandaan ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Do Badan ” [ 1966 ] , ” Dus Lakh ”  [ 1966 ] , ” Phool Aur Patthar ” [ 1966 ] , ” Humraaz ” [  1967 ] , ” Meharban ” [ 1967 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Do Kaliyaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadami Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Maali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Dhund ” [ 1973 ] , ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] and ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] .

Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Poster of Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Chaudhvin Ka Chand

Phool Aur Patthar

Poster of Phool Aur Patthar

Aadmi Sadak Ka

Poster of Aadmi Sadak Ka

incidentally ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] was his last Hindi hit . In 80s he started giving music in Malayalam films as Bombay Ravi . He gave several hit songs in Malayalam also .

His two songs ; Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja from ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] and Aaj Mere Yaar KI Shadi Hai from ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] are still popular . In all the marriages in the North India these two songs are must . No marriage procession in North India even today ever starts without Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai . And no girl  ever leaves her parental home even today without Babul Ki Duayen leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile  being played in the background . This is genius of Ravi Sahab .

This genius music director left this world on March 07 , 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 86 .

It is sad that he never got his due from the industry . Though he repeatedly worked for B. R. Chopra , Ramanand Sagar , Gemini Productions , AVM Productions , Guru Dutt Films , but was never considered A Grade music director . He gave music for Raj Kapoor starrer , Meena Kumari Starrer , Rajendra Kumar Starrer , Shammi Kapoor Starrer but still was not included in the A list . He gave music for the first production of Sunil Dutt and first super – hit of Dharmendra but was always neglected .

His last days were painful as he was allegedly tormented by his estranged son and daughter – in – law Varsha Usgaonkar .

I am saddened by his sad demise . At this moment I am remembering his song from ” Dhund ” ] 1973 ]  ; Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna Hi Fasana Hai ; Ik Dhund Se Aana Hai Ik Dhund Men Jana Hai ………..

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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100 Years of Ashok Kumar : First Super – Star of Hindi Films


Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 10 , 2011           03.00 P.M.

It is centenary year of Ashok Kumar , the first real Super – Star of Hindi cinema . He made his debut in 1936 , just after 5 years of the release of ‘ Alam Ara ” [ 1931 ] , the first talkie of Hindi cinema .

Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli alias Ashok Kumar

October 13 , 1911       –      December 10 , 2001

Born as Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli in Bhagalpur city of the then Bengal Presidency [ Now Bihar ] , Ashok Kumar spent his early life in Khandwa , Madhya Pradesh , where his father was a practicing advocate . He was educated at The Presidency College of Calcutta [ Now Kolkata ] . His two younger brothers ; Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar were also singer actors .

The Ganguly brothers - Anoop Kumar, Ashok Kuma...

Three Ganguli Brothers with Their Mother

After graduation , he came to Mumbai [ Then Bombay ] and started working as lab assistant in Bombay Talkies , where his brother – in – law Sashadhar Mukherjee was working with the owner Mr. Himanshu Rai . He , accidentally , started his acting career in 1936 with the Bombay Talkies film ; ” Jeevan Naiya ” . As the story goes , the original hero Najam Ul Hassan eloped with Devika Rani , the heroine of the film and wife of Himanshu Rai . indignant Himanshu Rai was furious and dismissed Najam Ul Hassan from Bombay Talkies . One day he saw Ashok Kumar and decided to make him the new hero of ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] . Another film , ” Achhut Kanya ” , which also came in the same year , was super hit and with this success Ashok Kumar was catapulted to super – stardom .

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in Achhut Kanya

English: A still from the 1936 Hindi film Achh...

Another Photo of Achhut Kanya - Song Main Ban Ki Chidiya ....

After ” Achhut Kanya ” [ 1936 ] , Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani were paired again in hit films like ” Izzat ” [ 1937 ] , ” Savitri ” [ 1937 ] and ” Nirmala ” [ 1938 ] .

Later on he was paired with Leela Chitnis in super hits like ; ” Kangan ” [ 1939 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1940 ] and ” Jhoola ” [ 1941 ] .

He played Hindi cinema ‘s first anti – hero role in ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , which ran for 3 continuous years in the Roxy cinema of Calcutta . [ Now Kolkata ] . This record was broken by ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , which ran in Minerva of Mumbai for 5 years .

Before ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , he sang all his songs in films , as was the norm and churned out some outstanding numbers . I have a cassette of the songs sung by him in his earlier films . Years later , he again sang in ” Aashirvad ” [ 1968 ] . His song ” Railgaadi …..chhuk , chhuk , chhuk ……… railgaadi “ was a rage and is considered  the first Rap song of Hindi cinema .

After ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , he left Bombay Talkies and started his career as freelance artiste .

He started playing character roles from late 60s . Even as a character artiste , he churned out many marvellous films with some stellar performances .

” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] was his last film . Thus , from ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] , he had a career span of 61 years as an actor . This is unparalleled in the motion picture history . It was a record , which got eclipsed recently . Dev Anand , who died on December 04 , 2011 , had career span of 65 years as an actor . In his 61 year-long acting career , Ashok Kumar acted in 301 films .

With the advent of television , he whole – heartedly accepted the new medium and in fact was the first major cine – artiste , who appeared in serials . First he anchored ” Hum Log “ and then did title roles in TV serials like ; ” Bahadur Shah Zafar ” and ” Bheem Bhawani ”  His last TV serial was Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed ” Ujale Ki Ore “ . I also did a very insignificant role in it and can say that I have shared screen space with Evergreen , iconic and gigantic super star , Padma Bhushan Ashok Kumar , who was affectionately called , by one and all , Dadamoni , meaning elder brother .

He , apart from acting in 301 films , produced 4 films . They are ; ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , ” The Fiancee ” [ 1953 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] and ” Lal Chunariyaa ” [ 1983 ] .

He even directed ” Eight Days ” [ 1946 ] but due to some reasons refused to take credit . He is not billed as a director in the credits .

He also contributed in music department of 4 films . They are ; ” Aashirwad ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kangan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Khubsoorat ” [ 1980 ] and ” Shaukeen ” [ 1982 ] .

In ” Krorepati ” [ 1961 ] and ” Guddi ” [ 1971 ] , he is billed as guest artiste and played himself . It means , he did not play any character but played super – star Ashok Kumar .

Apart from acting , his other passions were painting and Homoeopathy . He was a practicing homeopath . In 1950s , he also became owner of iconic Bombay Talkies , when Devika Rani sold her share and left the studio . He was a linguist and apart from English , Hindi and his mother tongue Bengali , was fluent in Marathi and French . In his film ” Gumrah ” [  1963 ] , he even used French in dialogues .

Devika Rani

Devika Rani

A career span of 61 years , 301 films in Hindi , Bengali and Marathi , various ads and corporate films and half a dozen TV serials , apart from numerous film songs to his credit , this gigantic , iconic Super – star of Hindi films died on December 10 , 2001 in his Chembur residence . He was 90 years old at the time of his death .
Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies

First film of Ashok Kumar , which I watched was ” Bahu Beti ” . I was in school and went to watch this Joy Mukherjee and Mala Sinha starrer . Ashok Kumar , who was not the hero of the film , was there prominently on the poster and his name came  first in the billing . I got curious . How come an actor , who is playing father in the film , got the top billing ? My cousins , my maternal uncle and some more knowledgeable friends told me about Ashok Kumar and I started watching his films and started following his career .

Initially I was a fan of Dilip Kumar .  I am still a fan but slowly I started veering towards Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand . When I came to Mumbai to pursue career in films I watched Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand from close quarters . I found them humane , warm and without any trappings of a star . I wanted to be close to my icons and these two stars ; Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand permit you to be there in their world . So I became a huge fan of Ashok Kumar and will remain till my death .

This is centenary year of Ashok Kumar . It is sad and appalling that nothing was done to commemorate the occasion . There was just one article in Times of India . Congress government at centre is more interested to preserve the legacy of Nehru – Gandhi family . They have no time for Ashok Kumar . But alas ! Hindi film industry too forgot its first Super Star . MAMI Film Festival also forgot to give him honour in his centenary year .

His contribution is enormous .He ushered in natural style of acting and freed Hindi cinema from the clutches of theatrical style of dialogue delivery . He experimented a lot and did variety of roles . But life is such …………

I am a small man and I have no reach . Still I wanted to write a blog about Ashok Kumar . Through my blog , which is not widely read , I wish to remember Dadamoni Ashok Kumar and paying my unflinching respect to the first real super star of not only Hindi cinema but of Indian films .

Adieu Dadamoni ! You shall always be remembered by a fan like me and your incredible body of work will always be there to enthrall the connoisseurs of world cinema .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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