There are whispers in the industry that Sanjay Leela Bhansali will be using the songs from Inshallah in his alternate project Gangubai Kathiawadi. But the fact is, the filmmaker-composer is busy composing an entirely new soundtrack for Gangubai. “There’s nothing in common between Inshallah and Gangubai Kathiawadi except Alia Bhatt. While SLB’s music and songs for Inshallah were soft romantic ballads, here in Gangubai he’s going in quite an opposite direction. The songs in Gangubai will be raw earthy and folksy. For the first time SLB is doing a folk-based music score,” says a source close to the director.
Are we moving towards a trend of film directors serving as their own music providers? Satyajit Ray is the only example of a major filmmaker in the past who composed music for his own films. Says Bhansali, “There is a genuine music composer dormant in many filmmakers. Raj Saab (Raj Kapoor) used to compose a lot of his music in his own head. Then he would share his creations with Shankar-Jaikishan who would then mould the compositions into a sophisticated work of art. Another great filmmaker, the underrated Raj Khosla was a singer-composer who collaborated with Laxmikant-Pyarealal for some fabulous music.”
As a music composer Bhansali admits his greatest inspiration impetus and motivator is Lata Mangeshkar. “My greatest compliment as a music composer came to me from my idol Lataji for the music of Bajirao Mastani. Lataji has inspired all my films. She told me that the Latpat latpat opening of my ‘Pinga’ song was from her song in V Shantaram’s Amar Bhoopali. Lataji said she liked my songs and the way I’ve filmed them. Then she affectionately said, ‘Aapne mera Latpat latpat utha liya.’ I humbly submit that it is indeed true.”
Bhansali says there are other influences simmering seductively in the soundtrack. “I am also proud to say that the number ‘Deewani Mastani’ is completely inspired by Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s style of composition. Bajirao Mastani is a tribute to the voice of Lataji, the music of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the cinema of K Asif and V Shantaram. I am very proud to have absorbed all these influences.”