Renowned music director Ravindra Jain, who overcame his blindness to chart a stellar career in Bollywood, died at private hospital here on Friday following prolonged illness, an aide said. He was 71. He has a wife Divya and a son Arush.
Jain, who breathed his last at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra around 4.15 p.m. following multi-organ failure and other complications arising out of renal failure, had been suffering from kidney ailments since some time. He had been on Tuesday admitted to the Wockhardt Super Specialty Hospital in Nagpur, where he, owing to his ill-health, could not attend a scheduled music concert.
Born blind on February 28, 1944, to Sanskrit scholar and ayurveda doctor Pandit Indramani Jain and Kiran in then United Provinces’ Aligarh, as the third child among seven brothers and sisters. His funeral will be held at Santacruz Hindu Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, said an aide.
As there was little improvement in his condition, Ravindra was airlifted to Mumbai by his family on Wednesday and admitted in the ICU of Lilavati Hospital and kept on a ventilator.
Among his siblings are D.K. Jain, a former judge and a director of the Times Group, and Pandit M.K. Jain, a renowned ayurvedic doctor. At a very young age, Jain started learning to sing Jain bhajans and at local Jain temples and later his parents decided to teach him music under the tutelage of Pandit G.L. Jain, Pandit J. Sharma and Pandit Nathu Ram in Aligarh.
He worked in the Bengal film industry from 1960 onwards, and in 1970 came to Mumbai to work in Bollywood through Prathibhushan Bhattacharya for whose films, “Kranti” and “Balidaan”, Jain composed the music.
In 1972, Jain composed his first film song with Mohammed Rafi, but it remained unreleased till today.
That was the start of a long and glorious musical career spanning nearly 45 years, making him one of the most bankable composers in the industry, with specialisation of Rabindra Sangeet which he used in his compositions with the lion’s share held by historical-mythological movies.
Over the decades, he went on to compose some of the most memorable numbers in superhit movies like “Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se”, “Chitchor”, “Chor Machaye Shor”, “Geet Gaata Chal”, “Shyam Tere Kitne Naam”, “Fakira,” “Saudagar,” “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”, “Henna”, among many others.
In his musical career of nearly 200 movies, teleserials, Jain is credited with introducing several new singers like Hemlata, Jaspal Singh, Manhar and others to Bollywood and brought the south Indian singing sensation K. J. Yesudas to Hindi music with the movie “Chitchor”.
Later in the 1990s and 2000s, Jain also composed music for several television serials including the epic “Ramayana”, “Luv Kush”, “Shri Krishna”, “Alif Laila”, and several others in the historical, mythological and legends genre.
Prominent personalities from different walks of life, his students, singers, music composers and politicians condoled Jain’s demise.