It happens many a times that a film is remembered through its songs after years have passed. Chalte Chalte is one such of a film where people remember the songs even though 20 years have passed since the film released.
20 years of Chalte Chalte: Lalit Pandit recalls fun time with Jatin Pandit and Javed Akhtar while making music for Shah Rukh Khan-Rani Mukerji starrer
Lalit Pandit gives a lot of the credit for the film’s successful music to its leading man. He said, “I always feel Shah Rukh (Khan) will be a legend and always be remembered through the music that he has in his films! From that point of view, I feel lucky to have worked with many amazing artistes like Shah Rukh, Juhi Chawla and Rani Mukerji in films which have showcased some of our best work.”
Chalte Chalte was produced by Juhi and Shah Rukh and was directed by Aziz Mirza. Lalit recalled, “With Aziz Mirza saab, we had done three previous films Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and Yes Boss. All of these films had marvellous music and it became almost certain for the audiences that this team would have wonderful music in their future films.”
This was easier said than done. “It was always a very hard situation when you had to score music for an SRK film. Jatin and I always kept in mind the responsibility we had to give a successful iconic score when we had Shah Rukh in the film. This was one of the reasons why we decided to do lesser films as we had to dedicate a lot of time to the SRK films. We had to give at least 3-4 months to one film to be able to deliver the music that was expected for these films,” added Lalit.
Lalit is very happy that Chalte Chalte was one of the films whose music has stood the test of time and is remembered with love. Recalled Lalit fondly, “Since it was produced by Shah Rukh and Juhi, we used to have them over for our music sessions and it was always a very energetic and fun time in our music room, which helped us compose in the best way possible. Since Javed Akhtar saab was writing the songs, half the time we were just enjoying his humour and presence in the music sittings. But yes, the work and its quality came first.”
Lalit remembers that the best song of the film ‘Tauba Tumhare Yeh Ishare’ was written under a strange circumstance. “Javed sahab, Jatin and I were going for an awards ceremony at the Andheri Sports Club and Javed Saab had to write the words. Since the song started with a break (‘Tauba’) or a pause, all of us felt the first word and its sound was very important. All the three of us started singing (a) word for the opening of the song – ‘Jaana’, ‘Dilbar’, ‘Naadan’, etc. But then Javed saab sang ‘Tauba’, and we all felt it worked great. So, for that day we just had that first word and later he wrote the full song keeping that word ‘Tauba’ as a start. The song went on to be the biggest hit that year and the best song for the film,” he recalled.
Speaking of the sentimental title song Lalit said, “I loved the Chalte Chalte title song too. I thought Abhijeet (Bhattacharya) sang it very well and it was very well picturized. It came at a very sensitive climax point of the film and from that point of view, it was very important that the song hold its own. We were briefed that it had to be an intense emotional song and yet it need not be very slow in pace. That was challenging indeed! But I think the composition was great but what made it work was the words Javed Akhtar wrote!”
Chalte Chalte also had a contribution by Jatin and Lalit’s brother-in-law the late Aadesh Shrivastava. Said Lalit, “I also loved ‘Lai Vi Na Gayi’ song. This was composed by Aadesh and I thought it gave a very different colour to the whole album. I am very happy that the film has reached its 20th year and its music is remembered to this day! I am also happy that though me and Jatin have comparatively done lesser films, we delivered some truly memorable music, which is loved by the audiences and listeners! Thank you, people for loving the music of Chalte Chalte. It always reminds me of the hard work that went into making such music.”
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