Being a part of a music family and living in the industry ever since his family came down to Mumbai, Lalit Pandit has always had a very strong connections with the Indian music industry.Bappi Lahiri Birth Anniversary: Lalit Pandit recalls attending Bappida’s music sessions as a kid
Recalling the genesis of his association with Bappi Lahiri on his 71st birth anniversary, which took place on November 27, Lalit said, “My sister Sulakshana Didi has sung for almost all the composers of the 70s and 80s. Since Bappida has made her sing perhaps the most compared to any other music director, we had wonderful relations with Bappida and his wonderful family. I have, as a young boy, visited many of the Bappida’s recordings in which Sulakshana Didi was the female vocalist and I was absolutely always very excited to see Dada work on his songs. Bappida did many songs with Sulakshana where he himself sang as a lead voice. I love the songs ‘Aankhon main tum, Jana kahan hai’ and ‘Hathon main mere bhi mehndi laga’ (which also has my other sister Vijayta along with Sulakshana Didi), ‘Ek baar kaho’ and many more songs, some with Kishore Kumar and some also with Shailendra Singh.”
Lalit recalled the melodious side of Bappi Lahiri. “Bappida was a brilliant composer of his time. People love his rhythmic numbers, but he had a tremendous melodious side which one can enjoy when you listen to his love songs which Kishore Kumar sang under his music direction. He was a gifted composer and did amazing work and had an amazing body of work in a short time,” he said.
Bappi too appreciated Lalit’s work. “When I grew up and became a composer myself, I must say that Bappida was extremely happy to hear my brother Jatin and my songs and always encouraged us and on occasions also helped us! Since Dada knew me as a kid, he had a liking for me as I would sometimes play the guitar when he came over for a song rehearsal or when Sulakshana Didi went to his place for song rehearsals. This was a norm during those times when a rehearsal was mandatory, unlike how it is today. A song rehearsal is always fun because of close interactions and a bonding that happens amongst artists. I experienced and learnt this more when I grew up and would have a chance to sit with Ashaji and Lata Didi sometimes,” he said.
Lalit remembered attending Bappi’s music sessions. “They were so much fun. We did a lot of masti before the actual work began! Bappida had his own sense of humour and enjoyed his work a lot. I think when one enjoys one’s work, success is inevitable and things keep happening smoothly if work is done with a passion and a sense of enjoyment,” said Lalit.
Lalit especially recalled Bappi Lahiri’s Puja songs. He recalled, “Bappida’s famous Durga puja and Saraswati puja songs were heard at festival time every year. Also his birthdays were special. Once during his birthday, he reminded me to come, and I told him I was in Dubai and flying in that day but late. He said, ‘First you come here from the airport and meet me, then go home after darshan’. My sons were with me, so we all went very late to Dada’s house, and he met my boys for the first time and spoke to them at length. He was apparently very happy to meet them and from that year onwards, would ask all of us to be there for his birthdays and Puja days! Two years back at Rani Mukerji’s Durga Puja festival, I decided to dedicate my show performance completely to Bappida. It was an emotional moment for me and Dada’s family as we all loved him and miss him.
Lalit added, “He was like an elder brother and a guide to all of us! I feel very happy and proud because Bappida had said once to me, ‘You have done wonderful music in your life and there is a definite original style. You should be proud about this.’ Coming from someone whose music I have loved, and looked up to as a kid, it was one of the moments of life I can’t forget. People mostly think of Bappida as an item number maker. Of course, he has done that genre very well. But many know and love his melodious side as well. Bappida was a man of big heart, and his work will live on forever.”
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