Jatin-Lalit’s music in Vikram Bhatt’s Ghulam, which turned 25 on June 19, is remembered to this day, especially Aamir Khan’s ‘Aati Kya Khandala’.
25 years of Ghulam: Aamir Khan didn’t like the way ‘Aati Kya Khandala’ was initially shot by Vikram Bhatt, he scrapped the shoot, reveals Lalit Pandit
Recalled Lalit, “This being a Mukesh Bhatt film and coming from a production house which makes an extra effort in their music was a very important film, and an important score for Jatin-Lalit. It had Aamir, so there was pressure as always to deliver a successful music score. We had already worked in Vikram Bhatt’s first directorial film Fareb, which had tremendous music and again it was the same team, except that Ghulam had a huge star, Aamir. The music was done with a lot of effort by a huge musical team to see that no stone was left unturned to achieve success.”
Lalit mentions an unrevealed incident. He said, “For the song ‘Jadoo Hai Tera Hi Jadoo’, I was a little stuck with two different briefs for the song and I had to see that both the people giving the brief were satisfied. I haven’t talked about this incident and so far, had kept it only to myself. The thing was Aamir’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar had a brilliant score and Aamir suggested that I try again to make a beautiful love song like ‘Pehla Nasha’. On the other hand, the director Vikram Bhatt and producer Mukesh Bhatt wished it to be a Rock song; pacy and energetic. They were in a way right to explain that there would be shots of the actors going fast on a motorbike and the genre of Rock music will be ideal. I tried many times but was myself not convinced and happy. Then I attempted to blend both the mood of a ‘Pehla nasha’ kind of a piano - soft-start which would lead to a rhythm change to a Rock song. It was, of course, easier said than done, but by God’s grace when this got made, I was very, very happy. So, both the parties were satisfied. Aamir liked the slow piano kind of a start leading to the fast-paced rock idea! The song turned out very fresh and very different and was eventually loved by the audiences.”
The biggest hit of the film was of course ‘Aati kya khandala’. Lalit narrated an anecdote related to this song. “Aamir was taking us to the shooting in his car and both me and Jatin and Vikram were in the car. A huge set of a mohalla had been created for a large portion of the film to be shot. On the way to Film City, we were discussing this situation and what kind of a song it should be. Aamir, I remember, during our journey started to sing the song ‘Sagar Jaisi Aankhon Wali’. Aamir has a wonderful voice and all of us liked the way he was singing. I quickly suggested why don’t we have Aamir sing a song. This excited everyone! Idea after idea was piling up and Aamir was probably surprised and wasn’t saying anything. But it indeed was an exciting idea. The topic was left there as we spent the whole night at the set watching Aamir shoot. During the shoot, the writer Nitin Raikwar came out with the idea of ‘Aati kya khandala’. He wrote it superbly in a style which suited Aamir’s language in the film,” said Lalit.
Aamir being Aamir, he was wary of the singing opportunity. Recalled Lalit, “Everybody was excited, but Aamir was very careful. He said we will secretly record this song, and no one is to know about it. And he said if he wouldn’t like it, we will scrap the song and do something else. He was shooting all day till late in the evening and he took a promise from us that he would come late from the shoot and rehearse the song regularly. We were excited and, of course, agreed to every condition that Aamir put forward. The song was composed and rehearsals began in earnest. Aamir did wonderful in it. The song, as we all know, came out very good. Aamir sang quickly with the kind of swag that Vikram had in mind! Very few people know that Aamir didn’t like the way the song was shot. He scrapped the song’s first shooting and they had to re-shoot the song and this time it was mind blowing.”
Recalling further, Lalit said, “The film and its music went on to be a stupendous hit and we were nominated for the Filmfare award for its music score. What was wonderful was also that Aamir was nominated as best singer! This was such a happy feeling for all of us! It is a fact that this song became so popular that people started to Google to know where this place Khandala was. And I heard they had to put the name on the maps for people to know where Khandala was, which became a huge tourist spot subsequently!”
More Pages: Ghulam Box Office Collection
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