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Music composer Ravi remembers Naushad

By Faridoon Shahryar, Courtesy: IndiaFM
Monday, May 08, 2006
The era of pristine melody is over. For the master creator, like the white dove of peace, shall no more flutter its wings near the piano key. Veteran music composer Naushad Ali may have passed away, but the priceless jewels beaded together by his perfect craftsmanship shall always reverberate in the corridors of collective memory. The magic of Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India, Ganga Jamuna, Anmol Ghadi, Rattan, Mere Mehboob, Baiju Baawra, Udan Khatola and Ram Aur Shyam shall never be recreated. For there can never be another Naushad. Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal was his swan song and like a soldier, he died with his boots on. We spoke to veteran music composer Ravi, the creator of such melodies as Chaudhvi Ka Chaand about his idol and inspiration Naushad Sahab. And when he spoke, the stream of consciousness flowed back several decades:

'Nasushad sahab bahut shareef insaan the.' He was a very good composer who gave us many sweet and melodious songs. He didn't like the hotch potch music of today. For someone who introduced Classical Music in a popular idiom like film music, it was difficult to digest the keyboard and rhythm box music. Button dabao music chaloo.

He was a big name even before I came to Mumbai in 1950. His films like 'Rattan', 'Sharda' and 'Anmol Ghadi' were big musical hits. I loved his songs and he was my inspiration in every way. I sang 'Ankhiyan Mila Ke Jiya Bharma Ke' from 'Rattan' with music effects to him during a casual encounter and told him that I used to sing it all the time when I was young. He liked the fact that I sang the song along with the musical piece.

He was very happy with my success and always encouraged me. Once during lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri's daughter's wedding, he came to me and praised my song 'Babul Ki Duaen Lete Ja.' It was evident that he had actually liked the song very much and was not saying just to strike a conversation. We always shared the same views on the subject of music thereafter. I always called him up for Eid while he never forgot Diwali. In fact he used to day 'Aap kabhi phone karna bhulte nahin'.

Naushad sahab was the chairman of two important music organizations, CMDA (Cine Music Directors Association) and IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Society). We met at its various functions. His views were always valuable. And he shared good relations with everyone. I remember once the musicians were on a strike as they wanted better remuneration. But the producers had refused to bow. My producer Goel sahab wanted to record a song urgently. I agreed to record with a tabla and a harmonium. Naushad sahab, producers like GP Sippy and Atmaram were there. 'Izzat ka sawal tha.' The tabla player ran away after seeing the angry musicians outside the studio. Finally I had to play the tabla, harmonium and sing the song as well. Naushad sahab sat through the entire episode and later said that 'aapne bahut achcha gaya aur bajaya. Isi ko film mein daala ja sakta hai.' I felt deeply honoured. Later Lata ji dubbed that song.

All the songs of Naushad sahab are special. My personal favourites are 'Moe Bhool gae Sawariya', 'E Duniya Ke Rakhwale', 'Tu Ganga Ki Mauj Main Jamuna Ki Dhara...' I once told Suraiya that Naushad sahab gave you his best songs. Noorjahan, Lata, Shamshad Begum, Uma Devi (Tuntun who sang Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon that became a cult song) and then Surendra owe their success in a big way to Naushad sahab. I don't think anybody can take his place. But at least the younger generation should learn to look up to the greatness of Naushad and try and do hard work rather than taking the easier way out. He would have liked that.

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