He went too soon but left us with songs to swoon over forever. Ravindra Jain’s melodies have an austere beauty to them. No unnecessary embellishments, no gimmicks, no redundant orchestration. This composer won our hearts with his minimalist melodies. My favourite RJ songs.
1. Ankhiyon ke jharokhon se (Title song): The Sachin Pilgaonkar-Ranjita Kaur tragic love story, ripped off from Erich Segal’s Love Story featured a super-smooth soundtrack with some of loveliest love lilts that lit up the luminous sky. While I like other songs in the film specially Ek din tum bahot bade banoge (Hemalata-Shailendra Singh) and Jaate huey yeh plachhin (sung by the composer Ravindra Jain) and Kaiyee din se mujhe , my favourite is the title song ,which soars like a dream and plunges like a heartbreak. Dewdrop fresh and achingly sweet, Hemlata’s offkey singing cannot diminish the beauty of this composition.
2. Jab deep jale aana(Chitchor): The visually impaired Ravindra Jain once said if he was asked one reason to get his eyesight back it would be to see singer Yesudas just once. Indeed, Yesudas sang Jain’s most exquisite compositions , many times of offsetting Hemlata’s offkey trespassing into Jain’s enchanting compositions with his supreme sonority.Chitchor had four Yesudas songs two solos and two duet(with you know who). Each a masterpiece. And if I choose Jab deep jale aana over Tu jo mere sur mere, Aaj se pehle aaj se zyada or Gori tera gaon bada pyara, it is only a lottery draw. Soaring into a stratosphere of sublimity Yesudas carried the song (and his co-singer) to a sphere of radiance and beauty.
3. Jo dard diya tumne geeton mein piro lenge(unreleased song): This is actually my favourite Ravindra Jain composition, with exceptional lyrics(by Jain) about accepting heartb reak and betrayal, and flawless singing by Lata Mangeshkar. Jain held on to this precious composition refusing to give it to any film producer. He sang it in his own voice at many mehfils and then finally invited the one voice that could do justice to this pitch-perfect song. The result is devastating.
4. Shyam teri bansi pukare radha naam(Geet Gata Chal): One of RJ’s earliest soundtracks contained myriad hits sung by Jaspal Singh (who was Jain’s favourite male singer until Yesudas ) . Singh’s title song , Mukherjee’s Kar gaya kanha Milan ka vada are ornamental in their elegance. But it’s the Singh-Mukherjee duet which has embedded itself permanently in our hearts even 45 years after it was first released.
5. Shadjane paaya yeh vardaan(unreleased): A 9-minute classical masterpiece where Yesudas holds court in true Tansen tradition. Jain composed this masterpiece for a bio-pic on the legendary singer Tansen which never got made. But the song survived. Thank God! It’s a living testimony of Jain’s outstanding collaborative commitment to Yesudas’s vocal mastery.
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