Composer Shravan Rathod, of popular music director duo Nadeem-Shravan, passed away on Thursday due to COVID-19 related complications
Nadeem-Shravan. The name spelt melody in the 1990s.
Nadeem Saifi and Shravan Rathod created one hit song another. They contributed significantly towards making the Bollywood music of the 1990s and 2000s melodious.
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Yes, it was Anand-Milind who revived the Bollywood melody with their 1988 film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which turned Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla turned into national sweethearts overnight, but the duo could not quite capitalise on its success. Nadeem-Shravan, though, became the most successful composers in Bollywood after the success of Aashiqui in 1990.
The arrival of A.R. Rahman, two years later with Roja, would change Indian music forever, but in Bollywood, Nadeem-Shravan’s songs played on for a decade and more. For the songs were lovely, they had the kind of melody the Hindi music fan loved, and were based largely on the Hindustani musical tradition.
As one half of the duo, Shravan, is no more – he succumbed to COVID-19 in Mumbai on Thursday night at the age of 66 – it is only natural that their gorgeous melodies come back to haunt us once again. And there are so many of them.
Of course, it was the songs of Aashiqui that we remember first when we think of Nadeem-Shravan. Though they had been composing music for over a decade, it was the 1990 romantic film directed by Mahesh Bhatt, featuring debutant Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal, that put them on top of the charts for the first time.
Some two crore audio cassettes of Aashiqui were estimated to have been sold. The price of a cassette, released by T-Series, was Rs. 22 (much less than what was charged by most labels), if I remember correctly.
Music fans found it more than worth the money. For, Aashiqui had several lovely songs, making it difficult to pick one favourite. For me, it was Nazar ke saamne, jigar ke paas…, a beautiful duet sung by Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal, who both straightaway became the leading voices of Bollywood with the success of Aashiqui.
All but two of the tracks of the album featured the voices of either Sanu or Anuradha, often both. Udit Narayan and Nitin Mukesh were the only other voices.
Main duniyaa bhula doongaa.., Jaane jigar jaaneman…, Dheere dheere se meri zindagi mein… and Mera dil tere liye… are among the Aashiqui songs that we we could continue enjoy listening to.
When Nadeem-Shravan teamed up with Mahesh Bhatt a year after Aashiqui, the expectations were high about its music. The duo didn’t disappoint with the music of Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin.
The pick of the album was Kaise mizaj aap ke hain…. It may not be among the most popular of Nadeem-Shravan, but it is one of their best. It remains among the finest from Sanu and Anuradha, too.
The title song, Dil hai ke maata nahin…, Adayein bhi hai... and Hum to mashoor hue… and O mere sapno ke saudagar... too are delightful in an album that had 11 tracks. The year 1991 also saw Nadeem-Shravan coming up with winners like Saajan (Mera dil bhi kitna paagal… and Bahut pyar karte hain..)
and Phool Aur Kaante (Dheere dheere pyar ko…)
With films like Damini (Jab se tum ko dekha hai…), Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke (Ghunghat ki aad se…), Barsaat (Hum ko sirf tum se…), Raja (Akhiyaan milaoon…), Raja Hindustani (Aaye ho meri zindagi mein…) and Aa Ab Laut chalen (Aa ab laut chalen…), they enriched the music of the 90s.
Though the golden age of Bollywood music was coming to an end with the onset of 1980s, melody lingered on for a couple of decades. When we think of today’s Bollywood music – which is busy remixing old classics – we will appreciate the 90s more. And it is difficult to think of the 90s film music without the songs of Nadeem-Shravan.