Exclusive! 20 years of ‘Mohabbatein’: “I wish Lalit and I hadn’t parted ways,” says Jatin of Jatin-Lalit jodi – Times of India
Unfortunately, Jatin-Lalit parted ways in 2006 after ‘Fanaa’- another YRF flick. The split was a big loss to the music industry.
ETimes reached out to Jatin in Los Angeles, where he’s currently spending some time with his family as his daughter pursues higher studies there.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Let’s talk about ‘Mohabbatein’ and more. The film is 20 years old, today…
We had done ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ with Aditya Chopra, but ‘Mohabbatein’ was altogether a new experience. Adi wanted six new singers for the six new faces- Jugal Hansraj, Kim Sharma, Jimmy Shergill, Preeti Jhangiani, Uday Chopra and Shamita Shetty.
It was a marathon job. It was far easier to handle ‘
Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam‘ from ‘DDLJ’. From morning to evening, six new singers were standing with Lalit and me in one hall. To get six newcomers in sync, in melody, and to add the picturisation of how the six characters had to make entries and exits in different shots in one song. Gosh! But Aditya had the full roll-out in mind. He and his father Yash Chopra
saab had immense inputs.
Any song you composed but it had to be reworked or was excluded?
There was one title song which Aditya did not include. He heard the song and said the film was already lengthy and he didn’t want to increase the length any longer.
Your most favourite scene from ‘Mohabbatein’?
The scene where Bachchan is standing near Aishwarya Rai’s photograph and Shah Rukh Khan is standing opposite him. I still get goosebumps when I see that scene.
Today, why don’t we see big actors doing films together more often?
Maybe they don’t like the scripts or don’t have the full comfort level in that project that makes them turn it down.
Lalit and you must have got offers after you’ll parted ways post ‘Fanaa’…
Yes, we did get lots of offers. Many big and senior people in the industry tried to bring us together back. But I don’t want to play the blame game. ‘
Jo kismat mein likha hota hai, wahi hota hai‘. Even Yash Raj had called us few months ago, ‘
unko laga‘ we are reuniting. ‘
Lekin baat badhi nahi‘, Lalit didn’t take it forward. ‘
Phir main hi kyun push karun? Itne saalon se main hi push kar raha hoon akela’.
I don’t get to hear melody in Bollywood, nowadays. Do you agree that it has evaporated?
Yes. People used to come out from theatres singing the songs. Music was an integral part of every film. Today, music is used in background and hardly in songs.
What’s your take on films having multiple music directors and lyric writers?
Good question. We never accepted this in our times. We were totally against this style of working. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Food tastes tasty when one person makes it, then his/her passion is high. ‘
Warna toh bejaan aur raddi cheez milegi. Ek dish mein aap karela, chicken aur mushroom nahi daal sakte’. If a single music director is hired, he lives with the film. ‘
Ek gaana iska daal doh, ek gaana uska daal doh- aise nahi chalta‘. A filmmaker can’t explain the story, scenes and situations to 10 music directors.
We did small films too. I remember doing ‘Fareb’ and ‘Haasil’, in that too our songs were hits. And coming to big films, I must hail YRF for giving us every facility and staff that was needed to pull it off. And how I can forget Majrooh Sultanpuri’s contribution in our success? He was extraordinarily good. Anand Bakshi taught us that a song is a tailored product.
Bollywood is still identified with good music, just like Hollywood is with big canvas and action scenes. ‘Lekin hum apna trump card bhool gaye hai’.
In yesteryears, filmmakers involved us in the film’s entire story. We had long meetings with them before setting out to churn tunes. After the songs were made, even the choreographer was called. I remember once Saroj Khan was called by Ramesh Taurani and she asked for some changes after the song had been composed. Taurani readily incorporated the changes, he understood what she was saying and why. There was so much concern, then.
Today, I like Pritam’s work. ‘Lekin aaj’ music has been sidetracked. Today’s filmmakers feel that they’re mostly depicting reality and reality does not need songs.
Do you see good singers in music shows, like Indian Idol for example?
I see talent, but post that, they just vanish. God knows where!
Are you in touch with the industry- actors, filmmakers and musicians?
Do the musicians of your times like today’s music? What do they tell you?
Nope, they don’t like it. They say ‘music mein ras nahi raha’.
Any regrets in your career?
Lalit and I had a long, appreciative innings. ‘
Sirf yeh lagta hai‘ that Lalit and I could have remained together for a longer time. We had a lot more to offer.
Coming back to ‘Mohabbatein’. Your most favourite song from that film?
‘Humko humhi se churalo. Woh mukhda Aditya Chopra ka hi tha’.
Parting shot. Any song of your’s that you feel deserved better recognition, I mean, you felt it was very good but it didn’t get its due for some reason?
That’s a very good question. A song from ‘Yes Boss’ which my uncle Pandit Jasraj also loved- ‘Choori baji hai kahin door chann chann chann’. But there was an error in it as one of the half-notes had gone low. We tried to rectify it with digitalisation, but that leads to a wobble and it did even in this case. We had recorded it in Mehboob Studios (Bandra, Mumbai). Digitalisation is also responsible for destroying the melody. When a human does the music, it comes from his/her heart. A machine does not have a heart.