Friday, September 4, 2015 was Aadesh Shrivastava's 51st birthday; and the music composer, breathed his last on Saturday, after battling cancer for over 40 days at Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
But, the music he created will carry forward his melodious legacy.
Though he started with films like Khatra (1991) and Masti (1994), a skinny Saif Ali Khan dancing with Shilpa Shetty's handkerchief in 'Haathon me aa gaya jo kal rumaal aapka' paved the way for Shrivastava in the Hindi film industry. The song from Aao Pyaar Karein (1994) became a love anthem in an era which was beginning to embrace the cable television. Jackie Shroff-starrer Ram Shashtra released the next year and the music lovers couldn't believe their ears when they heard Gurdas Mann and Sunita Rao crooning 'Chakh lange'. It announced the arrival of Shrivastava.
'Din dhal gaya hai' (Dil Tera Deewana, 1996), 'Kya ada, kya jalwe tere Paro' (Shastra, 1996), 'Kya roop hai tera' (Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, 1996), and 'Phool main bhejun dil ye karta hai' (Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya, 1997) were not just hit songs but they also established Shrivastava as the man who was comfortable in dabbling with all genres. It was the time when the Indian music industry was looking forward to new techniques, and Shrivastava became one of the pioneers of this movement. Using 'jhankar beats' was the latest fad at that time, but Shrivastava preferred to keep it to the minimum in his songs.
And then came the song which made him a household name. Shrivastava used Sudesh Bhosle as Amitabh Bachchan's playback in 'Sona, sona' from Major Saab (1998) and it turned out to be a masterstroke. Bhosle later became the voice of Big B in songs such as 'Dhanno ki aankh' in Lal Badshah and 'Chali, chali' in Bahgban. Shrivastava had composed the music for both the films.
The year 1999 saw a little gem of a film Bade Dil Wala that had Suniel Shetty and Priya Gill in the lead roles. It had the song 'Baant raha tha jab khuda' which touched a chord with music lovers despite the film's bad performance at the box office. It demonstrated Shrivastava's range as a composer. And, this was just the beginning as his best was yet to arrive.
Magic started happening with Jagjit Singh's 'Kiska chehra' (Tarkieb, 2000) and carried on with 'Yeh hawaayein' (Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai, 2001), 'Haan mera deewanapan' (Deewanapan, 2001) and 'Say shava shava' (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, 2001). He also gave singers like Shaan, Jaspinder and Shraddha Pandit a chance to establish themselves. Shrivastava was related to Jatin-Lalit, he had married their actor sister Vijayata Pandit.
Chalte Chalte (2003), Dev (2004) and Baabul (2006) maintained the enigma around Shrivastava's talent. He collaborated with many international stars including Dominic Miller and Shakira. He was equally good with background scores and these things kept him busy till 2010. As his song 'Mora piya' from Raajneeti was climbing the charts, he was battling cancer. A setback he never came out of.
He fought bravely, but his cancer kept coming back. It stopped a career which was yet to touch its pinnacle. But, whatever Shrivastava created during his career as a composer will enthrall music lovers for years to come.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/ @nawabjha)
Read: Music director Aadesh Shrivastava dies of cancer
Playlist: 10 best songs by late music composer Aadesh Shrivastava