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7 memorable songs by versatile composer Ravindra Jain – Birth anniversary special

On Jain's 74th birth anniversary (he was born on 28 February 1944), we revisit some of the pleasurable numbers composed by him.

DS Azad, Ravi, Usha Khanna, Ravindra Jain and Sajab Dehlvi during a song rehearsal.

Keyur Seta

Mention of Hindi film music of the 1970s brings to mind names of composers like RD Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. But it would be unfair to exclude Ravindra Jain from this elite list.

The late versatile composer produced some memorable gems from the 1970s to the mid-2000s. He brought his own melodious style and also displayed his talent for writing the lyrics for his own tunes. 

On Jain's 74th birth anniversary (he was born on 28 February 1944), we revisit some of the pleasurable numbers composed by him.

1. 'Le Jayenge Le Jayenge' – Chor Machaye Shor (1974) 

This is one of the many duets by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle in which they are at their energetic best. Ravindra Jain was mostly known for composing mellow numbers. But since this was a track about rebellious lovers, played by Shashi Kapoor and Mumtaz, and their celebration, it was necessary to add overwhelming beats. The song was the inspiration for Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), which became an all-time blockbuster.

Interestingly, the title of another Chopra film is also based on the lyrics of a song featuring Shashi Kapoor — Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008).

2. 'Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyara' – Chitchor (1976)

The song is an ideal example of how simplicity and innocence can bring forth profound, long-lasting feelings. The lyrics, by Ravindra Jain himself, are an expression of the simple joys of life the protagonist, played by Amol Palekar, experiences in a village. In the three stanzas, the song covers every aspect of village life, from birds pecking at grain to the hospitable nature of the villagers. The song only needed the great KJ Yesudas’s innocent voice to do justice to it. 

3. 'Jab Deep Jale Aana' – Chitchor (1976) 

Amol Palekar played music teacher to Zarina Wahab’s character in this Basu Chatterjee film. ‘Jab Deep Jale Aana’ starts the same way as ‘Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyara’, with a music guru teaching his student. But after the initial portion, it also focuses on the growing relationship between the two. It is another simple, soulful number in the voice of Yesudas. Like the previous song, Jain has avoided the use of any loud tunes. Chitchor is one of Jain’s many successful associations with Rajshri Productions. 

4. 'Ek Radha Ek Meera' – Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) 

Many would agree that this is Ravindra Jain’s most loved and accomplished work. Apart from composing the song, he wrote the lyrics that are deep and stay with you forever. The song speaks of the love both Radha and Meera have for Krishna despite their personalities being poles apart. As a composer, Jain makes a tremendous impact through the interludes between stanzas. And the legend Lata Mangeshkar is truly involved in her rendition, which plays a big role in creating the overall overwhelming feeling.

5. 'Main Hoon Khush Rang Henna' – Henna (1991) 

This was the entry song for Henna, the titular character essayed by Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar in the film directed by Raj Kapoor and his eldest son Randhir. In other words, the track had to establish the lead character in the film. Ravindra Jain’s lyrics easily managed that. And Lata Mangeshkar’s deeply passionate voice provided a haunting effect. Her alaap at the start just refuses to leave your consciousness.

Jain deviated from his usual style by creating tunes that suit the area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where most of the story takes place. ‘Main Hoon Khush Rang Henna’ starts just as ‘Marhaba Sayyedi’ ends, a rare occurrence where two songs appear in succession in a film.

6. 'Mujhe Haq Hai' – Vivah (2006)

Ravindra Jain returned to Rajshri Productions after a long time with Vivah, directed by Sooraj Barjatya. Starring the fresh pair of Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao, Vivah became a surprise hit. The film’s melodious music was a major factor, a characteristic common to a Rajshri film. ‘Mujhe Haq Hai’ is an innocent take on love between soon-to-be-weds in the voices of Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal.

The guy expresses his right over his girl now that they would be uniting in matrimony. Such an idea might be labelled ‘too sanskari’ in today’s times.

7. 'Mujh Mein Zinda Hai Woh' – Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi (2008) 

This is perhaps one of the most underrated songs of the first decade of the 21st century. It become popular when the film was being released but was forgotten soon after as the film didn’t do well at the box office. But it does strike the right chords through its simple lyrics and Ravindra Jain’s heartfelt tune.

Kumar Sanu was in top form, like in the 1990s. The poetry at the start and the classical verse in between in Shreya Ghoshal’s voice add richness to the song. Starring Sonu Sood and Isha Koppikar, Ek Vivaah... Aisa Bhi was Jain’s last association with Rajshri Productions.