Shravan Rathod’s music stirred the soul

Gurnaaz Kaur

In today’s age of remixes, most Bollywood music lovers know melody because of the film songs of the 90s, an era that was ruled by music director duo Nadeem-Shravan. Thursday brought an end to the epoch as composer Shravan Rathod passed away due to Covid-related complications.

The 66-year-old composer was admitted to SL Raheja hospital in Mahim, Mumbai. There were complications in his case and he had been in the ICU for the past few days.

Nadeem-Shravan is credited to have created history in Bollywood in the 1990s and 2000s. The duo gave chartbuster soundtracks one after another and their breakthrough film was Aashiqui (1990), which sold 2 crore cassettes in India and became the best-selling Bollywood album of all time. And the decade that followed was for them to reign.

Saajan, Phool Aur Kaante, Sadak, Deewana, Dil Kya Kare, Kasoor, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, Rang, Dilwale, Raja, Barsaat, Raja Hindustani, Pardes, Sirf Tum and so many more; they belted out some of the most popular tunes of the industry and left an indelible mark on the map. What made their music unique was the strong influence of Hindustani music in their compositions. For most of their songs, they sued three instruments — bansuri, sitar and shehnai. In one of his interviews, Shravan had expressed his disappointment with today’s music. He said, “There is a lot of technology. Electronic music is artificial. It cannot be compared to a live orchestra. The focus should be on the lyrics and the concept of Indianness. We are copying Western style too much.”

What made Nadeem-Shravan unique according to him was, “We used the bansuri, sitar and shehnai in all our compositions. The soul of India is contained within these three instruments. RD Burman always used the bansuri. That is why his songs have lasted.”Having teamed up with the best of singers, the duo made all kinds of music but melody was their speciality.

As the news of Shravan’s demise broke, the film and music fraternity poured their grief on social media. While the family is inconsolable, Nadeem (as a name and perhaps as a person) too is left with a void that can never be filled.

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