'Anyone can sing these days'

Veteran music director Ravi Shankar Sharma spoke to Metrolife on the music scene

'Anyone can sing these days'

 We are talking about music director Ravi Shankar Sharma, who has composed music for eternal classics of the 1950s and 1960s like Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Do Badan, Humraaz, Waqt, Neel Kamal and Gumraah to name a few.
The veteran music director was in the City recently, to be part of a tribute to the late Mohammad Rafi, organised by the Baar Baar Rafi club. The man, who has composed some of the most beautiful songs of Indian cinema like Baabul Ki Duayen Leti Ja and Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho spoke about his trysts with the legendary singer.
“There are so many interesting incidents that have happened,” he says. Recalling one such incident where Rafi and he were invited for a party, he says, “Soon as the dinner was served, Rafi saab wanted to make my plate. I told him no problem but I am a vegetarian.”

He laughs as he adds, “He stared at me and I asked him what happened, for which he said, ‘All this while, I have been sending you mutton biryani and seviyan on Eid.” The legendary singer according to Ravi was very “shy and soft-spoken”. “But I don’t know how he managed to sound like a tiger on the mike,” he laughs.
Ravi has had interesting experiences with many superstars of yesteryears as well. Speaking of the late actor Gurudutt, he says, “Gurudutt heard my song 100-200 times one night because he loved the tune so much. I would sing two lines, and he would ask me to sing them again,” he smiles nostalgically. Ravi also remembers the time when superstar Shammi Kapoor felt proud to be featured in two of Rafi’s best songs — Baar Baar Dekho and Jaane Bahaar Husn Tera Bemisaal Hai, both being Ravi’s compositions.

Coming back to the present, the soft-spoken man says, “Aaj kal ke gaane ajeeb kisam ke hain (Today’s songs are very weird).” Lamenting on the lack of live recording, he exclaims, “Nowadays, the female singer sings on one day, the male singer sings on another day and the chorus is recorded some other day.” He adds, “During our times, the writers used to write beautiful lyrics with such great poetry that we would know the song will turn out well.”
Ask him whether he will make music in today’s films and he merely smiles. “Main bohot si filmein refuse kar chuka hoon (I have refused a lot of offers). I don’t want to let myself down as people still remember me for the melodious music I gave decades ago.”

All he says about the singers of today is, “Anyone can sing today.” His favourite singers, he says, will always be Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh and Mahendra Kapoor. He admits that even now when he composes a tune, he keeps Rafi in mind. “But I feel who can do justice to it now,” he bursts out laughing.
Will the golden era of music ever return? “Lagta to nahi hai zamaana vapas aayega (It doesn’t look like it will return),” he smiles sadly.  

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry