Background information
Birth nameRavi Shankar Sharma
Born(1926-03-03)3 March 1926
Delhi, India
Died7 March 2012(2012-03-07) (aged 86)[1]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation(s)Music director

Ravi Shankar Sharma (3 March 1926 – 7 March 2012), often referred to mononymously as Ravi, was an Indian music director, who had composed music for several Hindi and Malayalam films.[2] After a successful career in Hindi cinema, he took a break from the 1970s to 1984, and made a successful comeback in the Malayalam music scene under the stage name Bombay Ravi.[3]


Ravi was born in Delhi on 3 March 1926. He had no formal training in classical music; instead he learned music by listening to his father sing bhajans. He taught himself to play harmonium and other classical instruments and worked as an electrician to support his family. In 1950 he decided to shift to Bombay and become a professional singer. At first Ravi was homeless, living on the streets and sleeping on Malad railway station at night.

In 1952, Ravi was discovered by Hemant Kumar who hired him to sing backing vocals in Vande Mataram from the film Anand Math.[4] Ravi gave several hit songs and received Filmfare nominations for these films: Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), Do Badan (1966), Hamraaz (1967), Ankhen (1968), and Nikaah (1982). He won Filmfare awards for Gharana (1961) and Khandan (1965).[5] His other successful films include Waqt, Neel Kamal and Gumraah. His songs Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai, Babul ki duyaen leti ja, Doli chadh ke dulhan sasural chali and Mere Yaar Bana hai Dulha became very popular in wedding celebrations.

Ravi was one of the music directors who shaped the career of Asha Bhosle with songs like Tora man darpan, Aage bhi jane na tu and Sun le Pukar Aai. He was also instrumental in making Mahendra Kapoor a popular singer in Bollywood. After a successful career in Hindi films during the 1950s and 1960s, he took a long break after 1970 till 1982. In 1982, he gave music for the Hindi film Nikaah, and one of the film's songs Dil ke armaan aansooyon main beh gaye sung by Salma Agha won her the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award.

In the 1980s, he made a comeback as a music director in Malayalam (and some Hindi) films as Bombay Ravi. During 1986, the Malayalam director Hariharan convinced him to make this comeback.[6] The first movie was Panchagni. The songs Saagarangale and Aa raatri maanju poyi (sung by Yesudas and Chitra) were hits. That same year, Hariharan's Nakhakshathangal also came out and Chithra won her second National Award for the song Manjalprasaadavum from the same film. All the songs from the Malayalam movie Vaisali released in 1989 were super hits and Chithra won her third National Award for the song Indupushpam Choodi Nilkum from the same film. Ravi was a constant in Hariharan films and their combination is regarded as one of the best ever in Malayalam. Ravi has composed for many films produced by South Indian banners: Ghoonghat, Gharana Grihasti, Aurat, Samaj ko badal dalo (Gemini), Meherban, Do Kaliyan (AVM), Bharosa, Khandan (Vasu Films).

Ravi's most notable work is with Chopra brothers. From Gumrah he continuously worked with Sahir Ludhianvi, the lyricist. Waqt, Humraaz, Admi aur Insan, Dhund, Nikah and Dehleez were among his all-time hit films He was very comfortable with Sahir and gave beautiful tunes to his poetry also for Aaj aur kal, Kajal, Ankhein, Neelkamal, Do kaliyan, Amanat, Ganga tera pani amrit. Ek mahal ho sapno ka.

Personal life

Ravi's wife Kanti, whom he married in 1946, died in 1986. He had two daughters Veena and Chhaya and a son Ajay. His estranged son Ajay is married to Varsha Usgaonkar who is a Marathi and Hindi film actress.[4] Ravi died on 7 March 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 86.[1]






Ravi was responsible for a number of hit tunes of Hindi film songs. His music went on to inspire later day music directors too. The opening bars of "Chanda Mama Door Ke" inspired the tune for the hit song "Ek Do Teen" in the 1988 film "Tezaab".[7][8]

Malayalam (as Bombay Ravi and Ravi Bombay)

Non-movie audio album (Malayalam)


  1. ^ a b Kumar, P. K. Ajith (8 March 2012). "Bombay Ravi dead". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Music Director Ravi Dead". Outlook India. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  3. ^ Vijayakar, Rajiv (16 March 2012). "Remembering Ravi - Indian Express". Indian Express. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b Bhagat, Shama; Ravi Shankar Sharma (17 April 2011). "'My son and his wife want to throw me out'". Deccan Chronicle. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ 1st Filmfare Awards 1953
  6. ^ Nagarajan, Saraswathy (3 November 2011). "Master of Melody". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  7. ^ "A tribute to the music composer Ravi". Video - stage performance, Music composer Ravi. Dattaram. Retrieved 5 November 2018.[dead YouTube link]
  8. ^ "Song - Chanda mama door ke (Vachan)". SEPL Vintage website. SEPL. Retrieved 5 November 2018.[dead YouTube link]
  9. ^ "Bombay Ravi". Malayalam Movie Database. Malayalasangeetham.info. Retrieved 28 December 2011.