Home » Interviews » “When people tell me Shravan is no more, I refuse to accept it” – Suneel Darshan

Shravan Rathod’s demise was a personal loss for Suneel Darshan. The filmmaker had collaborated with the composer and his partner Nadeem on multiple films, all of which boasted of songs which are popular till date. Nadeem Saifi and Shravan Rathod joined forces with Suneel Darshan for the first time in ‘Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love’ (2002) and delivered soulful and chartbusting music for many other films directed and/or produced by the latter like ‘Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya Hai’, ‘Andaaz’, ‘Barsaat’, ‘Dosti: Friends Forever’ and ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’.

The filmmaker reminisces the times he spent with the composer who breathed his last a couple of days ago.

‘Intaqaam’, the first film produced by you had music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. After that, you collaborated with Anand-Milind on three films, ‘Lootere’, ‘Ajay’ and ‘Jaanwar’. What made you sign Nadeem-Shravan for ‘Ek Rishtaa: Bond Of Love’?

After listening to the ‘Aashiqui’ album and the highly melodious songs Nadeem-Shravan composed for some of their films in the early ‘90s, I nursed this strong desire to work with them. Sometime in the mid ‘90s, I had met Nadeem and had told him that we must work on a film together. But, then the tragic incident, which all of us are aware of, happened in the year 1997 and it took him away from India. I had worked with Anand-Milind on ‘Lootere’ and ‘Ajay’, so I signed them for ‘Jaanwar’. Sometime in the early 2000s, I was writing the script of ‘Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love’ and was looking for the kind of music that would inspire me to make a memorable film. On a holiday to London, I had the opportunity to meet Nadeem. It was my second meeting with him after that one time we met in Mumbai. I shared the basic story structure of ‘Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love’ with him and he asked me to give him two days to work on the tunes. When I met him after 48 hours, I looked at his eyes and could tell that he had lived the script of ‘Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love’. I went to his sitting room and realized that he was ready with the entire score of the film. Back in India, I met Shravan and we had a great time working on the film. During that time Shravan was grooming and mentoring his sons Sanjeev and Darshan. Because of the faith I had in Shravan, I signed his sons to do the music of my film ‘Talaash: The Hunt Begins’. Shravan and I worked very closely on that project.

I remember reading an interview of Shravan wherein he gave Nadeem the complete credit for composing the songs. He said that while Nadeem composes the songs, he just lends him support. That shows what a grounded and good-natured person he was.

Yes, he was a very nice, warm person. The two of them had divided the work amongst each other. While Nadeem took care of the compositions, he was responsible for executing the songs. He looked after the orchestral arrangements. In a span of 5-6 years, I worked on six films with them. When people tell me Shravan is no more, I refuse to accept it. He will always live through his music. Shravan remained humble despite seeing such heady success. In fact, I feel the success only made him a better human being.  

Incidentally, one of his sons (Darshan) shares his name with your father, the late Mr, Darshan Sabharwal.

Yes, even recently somebody asked me, “is Sanjeev Darshan related to you?”. I had to tell him they are two different individuals.

A lot of people talk about how Nadeem-Shravan ruled the ‘90s. The fact is that they had a great run between 2000-05 too. With you, they worked in the 2000s and not the ‘90s.

Yes, that’s right. Saying that they had a good run only in the ‘90s is an ignorant thing to say. They delivered some of their biggest albums in the 2000s. All the films they did with me had superhit music. Apart from those films, they delivered popular scores for films like ‘Dhadkan’, ‘Raaz’, ‘Kasoor’, ‘Yeh Dil Aashiqana’, ‘Tumse Achcha Kaun Hai’ and ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, all of which came out in the ‘90s.