India’s nightingales to ring in leading music director Dr Ravindra Jain’s 72nd birthday

This weekend, the film music industry will be celebrating the 72nd birthday of one of India’s leading music directors, Dr Ravindra Jain. Leading singers from the country will be participating in this specially organised ‘Ravindra Sangeet Sandhya’.

It was Dr Jain’s childhood dream to become a music director. His impaired vision did not stop him from composing, singing and giving a melodious foundation to Indian film and classical music.

Having started his career with Radhey Shyam Jhunjhunwala’s ‘Lori’ in 1972, Dr Jain went on to work for N N Sippy’s film ‘Sil Sila Hai Pyar Ka’, Rajshri’s ‘Saudagar’ and then superhit ‘Chor Machaye Shor’. He wanted Kishore Kumar to sing ‘Ghungroo ki tarah…’. The latter was at the time very busy, but after hearing the mukhada (opening verse) he readily agreed. “I developed a good relation with him like I had with Rafisaab. I did several songs with both these legends. Kishore was a fun loving person and a great singer, while Rafisaab was a bit sober and a committed singer who had recorded songs even when he had fever. Rafi’s ‘Tu hi who hasee hai’ and ‘Ek dal pe thotha bhaite…’ were instant hits,” he noted modestly. He made his debut as a singer in Basu Bhattacharya’s ‘Madhu Malti’.

During the recording of the song, ‘Shringar karo na karo, tum yuh hi sundar ho….’ for Saudagar, Dr Jain said, “I met my mother-in-law who was a writer and my wife Deevya Jain, a poetess and writer, during the recording. It was love at first meeting and Deevya was keen to marry me. We courted for 8 years and then got married. My father, Pt. Indramani Jain, was a Sanskrit scholar and Ayurvedacharya. My parents were from Aligarh and since I was blind from childhood, they were keen that I took to music. With dedication, I learned music more by listening and memorising. With God’s grace, my inner vision led me music and to become a lyricist and composer.”

He composed music for over 150 films including ‘Geeta Gata Chal’, ‘Ankhiyon Ke Jhaokhon Se’, ‘Chitchor’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, ‘ Paramveer Chakra’, ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’, ‘Vivah’. ‘Ramayan’, ‘Jai Hanuman’, ‘Jai Shri Krishna’, ‘Alif Laila’, ‘Jai Maa Vaishno Devi’, ‘Nupur’ and ‘Shani Ki Mahima’ were among the many TV series he did. He has also worked on several dance ballets. All leading singers including, Rafi, Lata, Asha, Kishore, Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey and the present generation singers have worked with him. He discovered Yesudas, Jaspal Singh, Hemlata, Suresh Wadkar, Aarti Mukherjee and others for Hindi film music. Winner of several awards from the president and various state governments, his rich contribution to Indian music, art and culture fetched him a doctorate degree from the Teerthanker Mahaveer University. He has translated ‘Quran Sharif’ from Arabic to easy lyrical Urdu and composed former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s work ‘Qadam Milakar Chalna Hoga’. He also authored “Ujalon Ka Silsila’ and ‘Sunhare Pal’, which are based on his memories.

Recalling his earlier days, he observed, “Music then was more of memory and imagination unlike now, when it is based on electronic and technology. So memory played an important role in music then.”

Dr Jain, who has composed music for several movies and TV series and shows, said, “New generation singers are talented but don’t have classical base nor melody in the lyrics. They all want to be stars overnight. Old songs had a soul, but now lyrics are jugglery of words and music is digital. Partly, we senior musicians are to be blamed as we could not train them to continue the legacy of our great musical tradition and writing,” he lamented.

Dr Jain plans to start a music and fine arts university to preserve Indian literature and the classical work and will be urging the chief minister of Maharashtra to help him out. His music academy in Bhopal is under completion. However in a few months, he will be launching his online music course in voice training, voice modulation and the knowledge of ‘sur-taal’. “I am also working to adapt romantic poems of Keats, Wordsworth and Shelly besides Rajshree’s ‘Tansen’. Already, Yesudas has recorded a few songs. I also working on a ghazal album with Suresh Wadkar. Under my home production, I am recording Sam Ved, Shrimad Bhagavat and Bhagavad Geeta (in Sanskrit).”

Gopa Kumar Pillai of People’s Art Centre, the organiser of Ravindra Jain Sandhya, said, “Today we will witness a unique musical evening. A monogram on Ravindra Jain and a new song will be launched and rendered by Yesudas, Suresh, Udit , Sadhana and others. Hema Malini will be the chief guest at the event.”