His Magic on Celluloid

Pather Panchali

Even though Shankar moved on from IPTA in the '40s, his association with some of its members remained strong. In 1961, he composed music for Utpal Dutt's film Megh, and Ghoom Bhangar Gaan in 1965. He scored popular numbers rendered by Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh for Anuradha (1961); a 1963 screen adaptation of Munshi Premchand's renowned work, Godan; and Gulzar's Meera in 1979.

However, the latter part of his film career was shaped chiefly by his career as a musician in the international circuit. In 1966, he gave music to his first international film, an indie film titled The Psychedelics, directed by Hollywood producer Paul Hunt. After that, Shankar worked with several filmmakers from across the world, composing music for documentary as well as feature films.

One of his most memorable albums remains Richard Attenborough's Academy Award-winning film, Gandhi (1982). "He had an ability to merge his sound with various genres without diluting its roots. This, and the fact that he never shied away from experimenting helped him give a different dimension to fusion music," says tabla player and fusion artiste Bickram Ghosh, who has worked with Shankar.

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