C. Ramchandra was one of those rare composers of Bollywood who gave such immortal tunes to the country that remains to be unforgettable even today. His ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, Zara Aankh Mein Bhar Lo Paani’ is nothing less than another national anthem for the nation. Whether it’s the ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ or the ‘Shola Jo Bhadke Dil Mera Dhadke’, he has gifted the music industry with undeniable variations.
He was born as Ramchandra Narhar Chitalkar on the 12th of January in 1918 at Puntamba town in the state of Maharashtra. He took his initial music lessons from Vinayakbua Patwardhan at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya music school. He adopted various names like Shyamoo, Ram Chitalkar and Annasaheb during composing for different movies.
Although he is famous as a composer but C. Ramchandra started off in the film industry as an actor. He played important roles in the early age movies like ‘Naganand’, ‘Saeed-E-Havas’, and ‘Atma Tarang’.
C. Ramchandra’s debut movie as a music director were the Tamil flicks Jayakkodi and Vana Mohini. His first Hindi movie as an independent music director was Master Bhagwan’s ‘Sukhi Jeevan’ that released in the year of 1942.
‘Sukhi Jeevan’ gave him the required limelight after which there was no turning back for him. His association with Master Bhagwan continued and he also composed for his blockbuster hit ‘Albela’ in 1951. ‘Shola Jo Bhadke’, ‘Dheere Se Aaja Ri Akhiyon Mein’, ‘Mehfil Mein Meri Kaun’ are some of the mellifluous tracks from ‘Albela’ which went on to become one of the top grossers of 1951.
He was an expert in using alto sax, harmonica and guitar in the most rhythmic way. ‘Shola Jo Bhadke’, ‘Aana Meri Jaan Sunday Ke Sunday’, ‘Shin Shinaki Boobla Boo’, ‘Eena Meena Deeka’ are evident examples of compositions that have extensive rock orchestration and are composed with the most modern background sound. One can vividly identify the usage of bongo, oboe, clarinet and trumpet as well in these tracks.
It is said that C. Ramachandra came up with the lyrics of ‘Eene Meena Deeka’ after hearing a few children playing outside his recording room while saying ‘Eeni Meeni Minni Moe’.
Another most popular and evergreen track that came out from Ramchandra’s bag was ‘Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon’ from ‘Patanga’ in 1949. The song today has become one of the symbolised songs and is extremely famous even in the contemporary era.
As a music composer his biggest successes were ‘Aasha’, ‘Anarkali’, ‘Navrang’, ‘Stree’, ‘Barish’, ‘Albela’, ‘Azad’ and many more. ‘Jaag Dard-E-Ishq Jaag’, ‘Yeh Zindagi Usiki Hai’, ‘Mohabbat Aise Dhadkan Hai’ are some of the most popular tracks from ‘Anarkali’. The success of ‘Anarkali’ made him reach new heights as he touched the zenith of melodious compositions.
C. Ramchandra became immortal with the composition of the song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ rendered by Lata Mangeshkar.
The song originally is a non-filmy song and was composed solely for the Republic Day function at Delhi on 26th of January 1963 immediately after the Sino-Indian war. The brilliant composition and Lata Mangeshkar’s flawless rendition moved everyone at the audiences’ seat to tears. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also could not stop his tears. The song soon became a rage all over the country and it is still regarded as one of the best patriotic songs ever composed in India.
In 1953, the music director turned into a producer. Under the banner of New Sai Pictures, he produced three movies, ‘Jhanjhar’, ‘Lehren’ and ‘Duniya Gol Hai’. He also produced two Marathi movies in the 1960s. In the year of 1977, his biography was published in Marathi.
On the 5th January 1982, he took his last breath due to acute peptic ulcer. He has left behind a musical legacy that will be remembered and cherished for years to come and C. Ramchandra is remembered everytime we hear the eternal patriotic track ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’.
He still resides in our hearts through his enduring songs, ‘Dil Se Bhoola Do Tum Humein, Hum Na Tumhe Bhoolaayenge…’