Renowned playback singer Udit Narayan is in deep mourning. “I couldn’t sleep the whole night after hearing of Shravan Bhai’s death. It is so disturbing to hear of his death. He was like my own brother. We spent many evenings together chatting, and not just about music. And to think Shravan Bhai’s death could have been avoided!”
Please explain, I ask. Udit then drops a bomb. “Ignoring all attempts to dissuade him Shravan Bhai went to the Kumbh Mela. He also dragged his wife along. I found this out by chance when I called him two weeks ago. He said he was at the Kumbh Mela. I was shocked. Shravan Bhai had a history of chronic illnesses. He suffered from high blood pressure and acute diabetes. I wish he had not taken this huge risk and also put his wife under so much risk. Shravan came back and contracted Covid. His wife also has Covid. And his son Sanjeev (who is one-half of the two composer brothers Sanjeev-Darshan) also has it. What can I say about this? Except that, the Kumbh Mela should not be allowed at this time (of the pandemic).”
Udit says he is yet to take the vaccine. “My son (singer Aditya Narayan) and his wife also got the Covid. He has been urging me and my wife to get the vaccine. But I am afraid to step out of the house.”
Reminiscing about his association with Shravan, Udit says, “He was a saint in human form. No vices, not a word of malice against anyone. I am quite like that. You will never hear me badmouthing anyone or saying bad things about the film industry. Why should I? For 40 years it has given me fame and fortune. Shravan Bhai was one of the lasting relationships I made in the industry. Professionally we had a great bonding. I may have sung only one song in Aashiqui. But it was a superhit. Subsequently I sang many beautiful songs for Nadeem-Shravan. According to me they were among the best composers of Hindi cinema. But it was my personal bonding with Shravan Bhai that was special.”
So who among the duo Nadeem and Shravan composed most of the songs?
Udit opens up, “Dekhiye, people think Nadeem composed all the songs. But that’s not true. Shravan Bhai was an exceptionally talented musician. But yes, Nadeem would do most of the composing, while Shravan Bhai would arrange the tunes. He was a very fine musician and an even better human being. When he entered the room you felt you were in the company of a saint. I wish he had not gone to the Kumbh Mela.”