In the late 80s, when film music was going through a shakeup with ghazal concerts dominating the dreary and average film music being churned out, a new generation craved a new sound.
Right then, Sooraj Barjatya’s Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) starring Salman Khan and Bhagyashree, hit the market. An age-old love story, packaged differently with well-drawn-out characters, the film was also presented as a musical with 11 songs that took up about 65 minutes from the three-hour run time, which wasn’t usual, and became the highest grosser of the year despite Yash Chopra’s Chandni in the running alongside.
The relatively unknown composer, Vijay Patil, aka Raam Laxman, hit the high note with this and became a fixture in Rajshri Productions thereafter, following it up with more chartbusters like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999). There were also songs in 100 Days (1991), Deepak Bahry’s Hum Se Badhkar Kaun (1981) and Mahesh Bhatt’s Saatwan Aasmaan (1992)
Patil, who made the year memorable with melodious tunes passed away early Saturday due to cardiac arrest. He was 78 and suffering from fever since his second shot of the Covid vaccine. His son Amar Patil took him to Nagpur to their family home when the cases were surging in Maharashtra.
Amar said, “My father passed away at 2 am on Saturday. He died due to a heart attack. He got the second jab of Covid-19 vaccine a few days ago, following which he was feeling very weak and fatigued, and a doctor was treating him for that.”
Many, including Lata Mangeshkar, Salman Khan and Rajshri Productions, mourned his demise. “Rajshri will always remember him for his immense contribution to the music industry. May his soul Rest In Peace,” was the tweet posted by the production house’s handle.
Patil began his career as a member of the orchestra Amar Vijay and was noticed by comedian Dada Kondke, who approached him to compose music for Pandu Hawaldar (1975).
Patil approached his friend Surinder for the same and they formed the duo Raam-Laxman—Patil was Laxman and Surinder was Raam. They composed for the film together but Surinder died soon after.
Patil kept the name Raam Laxman to honour his friend’s memory and kept composing under it. His last film was Hum Saath Saath Hain.