Renowned music director of yesteryear, popularly known as RAVI alias Ravi Shankar Sharma has left the Hindi music lover in a deep sorrow. He was admitted to hospital after heart attack. He passed away on 7th March 2012 at Mumbai.
As all knows that in the 40’s it was a hard paining to get introduced in film career and if introduced than it was a very very hard to survive and remain in industry. Born at Delhi on March 3,1926 Ravi completed education at Delhi itself. About Ravi, he himself has told his life story in his words” I belonged to Delhi and was born and brought up there. As a child, I loved singing film songs. I would while away time flying kites and would keep failing my exams. However, I realised my true potential at the age of 11. My father belonged to the Kalki Bhagwan Mandal, where they would sing bhajans every evening. One day my father asked me to sing a song. Everyone appreciated me. The boy who sang before me felt jealous. The next day when I was asked to sing again, he played wrong notes and I couldn’t sing because I was not trained in music. Everyone laughed at me.
That day, I promised myself to become a great singer some day. I went home and told my father that I wanted to learn the harmonium. One by one I learnt all the instruments. Meanwhile, in 1943, I got a job at the cantonment as an electrician for Rs 196. It was 13 km away from my house. I would leave home at six in the morning and would come back late at night. I quit the job after a few years and started doing odd jobs here and there. I finally got married in 1946. In 1950, I decided to come to Mumbai to try my luck in films as a singer. I did not know anyone here. I had no place to live, nor any food to eat. I spent my nights at Malad station and sometimes outside shops on the streets. My father later arranged for a small place in Kalbadevi. He sent me money from home. For days, I lived on one glass of tea and one meal for 50 annas.
Many people cheated me with false promises. They would borrow money and never return it. During this time, music director Husnalal Bhagatram asked me to join his chorus group and offered to pay Rs 50. My clothes and chappals were torn. I was glad that I would earn some money, but after four rehearsals they rejected me. I pleaded with them, but nothing worked out. My father, however continued to send me Rs 40, out of the `80 that he earned. Despite my struggles, I never once gave up my dream of becoming a singer some day.
When I had left Delhi, I had also carried my electrical tools with me. So, I started taking odd jobs of repairing appliances to earn extra money. In 1951, my wife and children came to Mumbai. Then one day, I met music director Hemant Kumar, who allowed me to sing in the chorus for the Vande Mataram song in the film Anandmath (1952). With the money, I bought a house made of tin in Kandivali. There was no electricity or water there. There were eight common toilets and we had to store water from the well, which was near a bungalow in the vicinity. Meanwhile, I continued to assist Hemant Kumar and also played the tabla for him. He was not well-versed with Urdu, so I would often help him out. From there on I never looked back. Soon, I started composing as well as writing lyrics. Slowly, I got more work. My song Chandamama Door Ke became a hit. I composed music for several films. Then Hemant Kumar told me to become an independent composer.”
Later, it was the legendary Guru Dutt who gave the first big break to Ravi to compose music for "Chaudhvin Ka Chand", since then there was no looking back for him.Ravi continued to move from strength to strength with powerful compositions and great music and ultimately became a legend in his own right. And now rest is well known. Ravi has given music to Hindi films which are Albeli (1955),Vachan (1955),Ek Saal (1957),Narsi Bhagat (1957),Dilli Ka Thug (1958), Dulhan (1958), Ghar Sansar (1958),Mehndi (1958),Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan (1959),Nai Raahen (1959), Pehli Raat (1959), Apna Ghar (1960), Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), Ghunghat (1960), Tu Nahin Aur Sahi (1960),Modern Girl (1961),Gharana (1961),Nazrana (1961), Pyaar Ka Saagar (1961), Wanted (1961),Salaam Memsaheb (1961),China Town (1962), Raakhi (1962), Tower House (1962),Bombay Ka Chor (1962),Aaj Aur Kal (1963),Gehra Daag (1963), Gumrah (1963), Nartaki (1963),Ustadon Ke Ustaad (1963),Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (1963), Bharosa (1963),Mulzim (1963),Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1963),Grahasthi (1963), Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya (1963),Door Ki Awaaz (1964),Shehnai (1964),Kaajal (1965), Khandaan (1965), Waqt (1965), Bahu Beti (1965),Do Badan (1966),Dus Lakh (1966),Phool Aur Patthar (1966), Sagaai (1966),Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai (1966),Aurat (1967), Humraaz (1967), Meharban (1967), Nayi Roshni (1967), Aankhen (1968),Do Kaliyaan (1968), Gauri (1968),Man Ka Meet (1968),Neel Kamal (1968),Paisa Ya Pyaar (1969),Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969), Anmol Moti (1969),Badi Didi (1969),Doli (1969),Ek Phool Do Mali (1969), Dharkan (1972),Dhund (1973), Mehmaan (1973), Umeed (1974),Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka (1975),Nikaah (1982),Aaj Ki Awaaz (1983), Tawaif (1984),Ek Alag Mausam (2003).
Ravi was noted for his heart-touching, soft, melodious tunes, which made his songs and music immortal and is hummed even today, decades after he composed them. Plus, he was a very fine gentleman, and a great human being, He was nominated for Filmfare awards for Seven times and won the two for Gharana (1961) and Khandaan (1965) and also Salma Agha won the filmfare best female playback award for Dil ke armaan aansooyon main beh gaye ( Film-Nikaah).
Ravi also composed music for 14 malayalam films by name Bombay Ravi / Ravi Bombay from year 1986 to 2005.
There is no a single day of Vividh Bharati when ravi’s song is not played. Ravi’s sad demise is shocking for old music lovers.