Deaths in 2022: They left us this year
As with the lockdown years, 2022 saw major losses for the industry. A small relief was seen in the fact that most of the significant deaths this year were not due to the malicious virus or even its aftermath.
The hugest loss to Hindi cinema was the demise of Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away at 92 on February 6. She was the face of Indian cinema globally long before a Satyajit Ray or Amitabh Bachchan. A Dadasaheb Phalke award laureate, she was an institution who was more than just a playback singer. A humanitarian who even founded a state-of-the-art hospital and altruist, she has also been an actress as a child, a film producer and a composer in Marathi films and albums. In a list of around 5000 documented film and non-film songs in multiple languages (including English and mother-tongue Marathi), she sang almost 700 songs for just one composing entity: Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Among other major losses in music was composer and singer (and also producer, actor and lyricist!) Bappi Lahiri, who departed just 9 days later on February 15. The pioneer of the Disco in Hindi cinema, he was an accomplished musician, whose versatility spanned from a raag-based Kisi nazar ko tera (Aitbaar) and Chalte chalte (Chalte Chalte) to a Zooby zooby (Dance Dance).
Pt. Shivkumar Sharma was a santoor pioneer and wizard. A recognized worldwide performer, he has also been film composer (Silsila, Chandni, Lamhe, Sahibaan) with Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasis (as Shiv-Hari) and a musician in films for over five decades.
Veteran singer and composer Bhupinder Singh passed away at 62 after a selective but distinguished career, in films and outside. The singer made his film debut in the 1996 Haqeeqat and became an in-demand stage singer and composer from the 1980s in the wake of the non-film ghazal wave.
A truly tragic loss was of singer KK, who passed away, much like the late Mukesh—prematurely at 53, and with his boots on (he was performing at a concert). Known for his iconic debut album, Pal, he had sung several cult songs.
Music composer Sapan Sengupta, the senior half of the Sapan-Jagmohan duo (Chetna, Do Raha), lyricists Ibrahim Ashq (Bahaar Aane Tak, Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai and others) and Maya Govind, poetess and lyricist, also passed away.
Another prominent loss was of Kathak ace dancer, singer and composer Pt. Birju Maharaj.
Filmmakers of note who left us include director Eesmayeel Shroff (Thodi Si Bewafaii, Ahista Ahista, Love ’86), producer-director Ravi Tandon (Anhonee, Majboor, Khel Khel Mein, Khuddaar) and Rakesh Kumar (Khoon Pasina, Mr. Natwarlal), producers A.G. Nadiadwala (Hera Pheri), K.C. Sharma (Shradhanjali, Hukumat) and Suresh Jindal (Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Rajnigandha, Katha).
Among on-screen talents, seasoned veterans breathed their last, among them Marathi and Hindi giants Ramesh Deo (Anand) and Vikram Gokhale (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam), child actress, actor, filmmaker and TV (Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan) host Tabassum, comedian Raju Srivastav, character artistes Arun Bali (3 Idiots), Rasik Dave (Hasratein) and Sunil Shende (Sarfarosh) and writer and actor Shiv Subramaniam (Parinda as writer, 2 States as actor).