Lalit Pandit recalls Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Khamoshi: The Musical, released 27 years ago on August 9, was initially titled as only Khamoshi. When we were signed by Sibte Hasan Rizvi and Universal to work on the music for the film, it was only after the songs were recorded it was titled Khamoshi: The Musical. That says a lot for the importance of music in this film.
“The music we did for Khamoshi: The Musical was something we never did again,” reveals composer Lalit Pandit
Sanjay Bhansali was making his debut and Jatin-Lalit were at the top of the game. Said Lalit, “We were busy working simultaneously to complete Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge which had to be done at a brisk pace. I remember we were recording a song for Khamoshi and Adi called and asked if we could meet him at lunch time for DDLJ. It was an exciting day to be offered DDLJ and a beautiful song for Khamoshi was in progress at Sunny Studios.”
Lalit recalls the entire soundtrack of the music of Khamoshi took time to complete. “We had not realised when we signed the film how Sanjay Bhansali would be deeply involved for his first musical venture. As the sessions of music progressed in different days, both me and Jatin realised we were working with a director who was passionate and wanted a different deep music for his film. We had to concentrate!! Sanjay was very inspiring and patient knowing our busy schedule and how we would time his sessions and recording. We were simultaneously doing multiple films at that time but I must say that Sanjay pulled our attention and inspired to deliver a different music for this film. The music that we did for Khamoshi was something we never did again! It had a different note and a different colour of music which we had in us but didn’t realise it till Sanjay inspired us,” said Lalit.
Lalit remembered SLB’s working style. “I remember every sitting we had with Sanjay. He would say, ‘Give me something different. Something that you think other directors and producers will not take and accept.’ This would surprise me and I realised here we had a director who was ready to make us fly and accept and wanted a music which was good and different from whatever was being done at that time. It was challenging, and as the first song got recorded, it was evident to us that this music will have a different and a beautiful colour to it,” he said.
Lalit recalled the genesis of one of the beautiful melodies in Khamoshi. “I remember the song like ‘Ankhon Mein Kya Is Dil Se Poochho Zara’. Sanjay told me to do a song on a beat which had never been done before. We thought a lot and then I composed this song to a 5/4 beat which I haven’t heard in a Hindi song before or after. It was too difficult to sing for any singer. A few I wouldn’t want to name, but gave up on the song realising that they wouldn’t be able to sing this one because they wouldn’t understand the beat! This is a fact and they humbly bowed out of the song! Credit does go to Kumar Sanu for singing the song, and that he did not leave after a shouting bout from Majrooh saab! Sanu was aware that a couple of top male singers had given up the song. Kumar Sanu plays the tabla and that came into use but he still asked me to be in the monitor room to guide him through the song with my hand conducting him. The song has many memories of how it was composed. I didn’t touch any instrument but walked around with my musicians playing and me counting beats and putting a tune to it. It was an amazing feeling and even my senior assistant Babluda was taken aback and cleverly shifted the interlude to a common 3/4 (waltz) beat to make it easier for Sanu!” he said.
About Sanu’s showdown with Majrooh Sultanpuri, Lalit revealed, “There was a whole sequence how Majroo saab got upset with Sanu da when he said it’s too tough and wanted to walk out of it like the others. Majrooh saab fired him on the mike and Sanu da thundered into the monitor room and both me and Jatin were worried that he should not utter a single word to the veteran Majrooh! But to our pleasant surprise Sanu came into the monitor room and said, ‘Aapne mujhe daant toh diya hai magar agar ye gana maine gaa ke nahin dikhaya toh….’ and I want to refrain from what he said ahead… He asked me to come to the singing booth and conduct him to sing! Eventually the song was something that will always be admired and liked by music and musicians who understand music better.”
Lalit remembers the genesis of another song ‘Jana Suno Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain’. “It was Sanjay’s idea, we said (we will) try composing a song which doesn’t have a regular format of a mukhda antra, to just have a song that goes on and the antara never happens! This was inspiring as I had never done anything like this ever. After long a while, I came up with the tune idea for the song which was brilliantly complimented by Majrooh saab through his writing. Udit Narayan did the rest with his magical voice, and I have loved the musical arrangements that this song has,” said Lalit.
It was ‘Jana Suno’ which got Jatin-Lalit another prized assignment. “This song was loved by Sunny Deol. He told us later, and gave us to do his first directorial venture Dillagi.
I remember the music of DDLJ released and we had a session of Sanjay Bhansali. He was all praise for the DDLJ music and he had said he loved ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’. The versatility of style in our music shows up if you listen to our two scores for DDLJ and Khamoshi side by side; they released within a gap of a year, and both were highly successful scores and both completely different from one another!”
Lalit recalls losing the Filmfare Award to much less accomplished scores than Khmoshi. “On the day of the Filmfare Awards we we’re having dinner at Alka Yagnik’s house and we were to leave from there together for the FF Nite, both Kavita Krishnamoorthy and Alka were nominated for our songs for Khamoshi. We left together all of us after dinner and it was exciting to know who would get it! Alka had sung the Jatin masterpiece ‘Bahon Ke Darmiyan’ tremendously well and Kavita was nominated for ‘Aaj Main Oopar Aasman Neeche’. Kavita got it for ‘Aaj main oopar’. I don’t remember who got for best music that year. But whichever film got it I know wasn’t even close to the music of Sanjay Bhansali’s Khamoshi! The very fact that our music has passed the test of time and has come into a category of cult music and we talk about it to this day 27 years later is because of its great merits,” said Lalit.
Lalit remembered Yash Chopra praising Majrooh Sultanpuri’s writing in Khamoshi . “I must mention a music session at Yashji’s house where after the music session Yashji was speaking to Anand Bakshi Saab and telling him in Punjabi, ‘Majroohsahab ne ki likhya hai ae gana ‘Aaj Main Upar Aasma Neeche’’. He was praising to Bakshi sahab what Majrooh had written. It was obvious that Yashji had not realised we had composed that song but I was surprised how passionately Yashji was praising the lyrics. I felt I had made a tremendous song and here was I hearing praises for Majrooh!!! I went home and asked my wife to put on the song and then heard what Majrooh had written to figure it’s wonderful lyrics that beat my tune in the eyes of Yash chopra!!! Anyway, Majrooh Saab is a guru and I was happy. The things is, I never made an effort trying to understand what Majrooh sahab would write, taking it for granted ki ye to kamal hi karenge, and that I was not qualified to grill him for anything!”
Lalit is all praise for the legendary Bhansali;s song picturizations. “Sanjay’s knowledge of picturising a song beautifully can be easily noticed in his first film itself. I love how he shot the songs! We had a strict budget for recording songs of Khamoshi and I would always tell Sanjay for each song that he asks too much for the budget that the producers are curtailing us with. He would say, ‘I will cut it from my film budget, but you don’t restrict yourself! Do the best and take the best that you need for the songs!’ This was what Sanjay Bhansali was and is! Khamoshi was the result of the combination of Jatin-Lalit and Sanjay Bhansali. The music of Khamoshi: The Musical remains a feather a milestone in Jatin-Lalit’s partnership,” signed off Lalit.
More Pages: Khamoshi The Musical Box Office Collection
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