Vasant Desai is one of India’s most accomplished film music composers. He was born on June 9, 1912, in Sonwad Village, Savantwadi, Maharashtra. He started his career in the year 1930 and became closely associated with V. Shantaram’s film production company, the Prabhat Film Company. Desai has acted, composed, and sang in some of Prabhat’s films including Dharmatma (1935) and Sant Dnyaneshwar (1940).
In 1942, he made his debut as an independent music director. However, he didn’t make an impact on the audience. When Desai started learning the art and craft of music composition, he became attached to it since the 40s. When V. Shantaram left the Prabhat Film Company and started his own studio, Desai has scored music to many of his films including Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955) and Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957). However, their work relation has turned sour in the late 50s. Desai has also scored music for Vijay Bhatt’s 1959 Hindi film, Goonj Uthi Shehnai, and the 1961 mythological film, Sampoorna Ramayana.
He later worked with
in Aashiwad (1968) and Guddi (1971). The film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje was a hit and had open doors for Desai. He recorded another version of Lata Mangeshkar’s song, Jo Tum Todo Piya, from the 1981 Hindi romantic film, Silsila, which helped him kick-start his career. Other remarkable songs that Desai had worked on include Aye Maalik Tere Bande Hum, Tim Tim Taaron Ke Deep Jale, Mukhda Dekh Le Prani Zara Darpan Mein, Taar Taar Baj Raha, Tere Sur Aur Mere Geet, Jhir Jhir Barse Sawani Ankhiyan, Humko Man Ki Shakti Dena, Meha Barasne Laga Hai Aaj Ki Raat, and many more.
On December 22, 1975, Desai went home to his apartment after a whole day recording. As he stepped into the elevator, the lift started to move, and his head hit the ceiling, causing him death.