‘Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam’ from the film ‘DDLJ’ has been almost two decades, but even today this song is on people’s lips. Beautiful melody, according to which and with what beauty, sung by Lata ji. If we listen to it carefully, we have made different notes in Lata Mangeshkar’s version and Kumar Sanu’s version has different notes. When his cross line comes, his tune is slightly different. We made this composition very thoughtfully. I knew it was going to be an iconic love song.
Unique lesson learned in ‘Mere Khwabon Mein…’
The song ‘Mere Khwabon Mein’ from this film was the first song recorded. I was under stress for two-three days that Lata Mangeshkar ji has to lose and I have to sing. During this song, I got to learn a wonderful thing from him. When she was singing, I would repeatedly stop her at one place and say, ‘Let’s take another take, didi.’ I felt that when she was singing, she was singing a little differently, so I used to cut it. When this series happened 10-12 times, she sat down and told me on the mike that Lalit please come here to the singers cabin. So I was a little worried whether I had made some mistake or got angry. When I went inside, she was sitting with a paper in her hand. I said, everything is fine sister, you didn’t feel bad, did you? She said, oh no, sit here and made me sit next to her, then she said, come here and do some work, let’s drink tea. Then talked about here and there. How is Sulakshana Didi (Actress Sulakshana Pandit). After talking very differently, she came back to the song, she took out the slip and said, look at what Bakshi Sahab has written, ‘Whoever comes in my dreams, come and tease me, tell him to come to you sometime. If I give a little expression on ‘Chhed Jaye’, then it will be great to see if that girl gives expression on the screen. I said, ‘Hey Baap Re, I was not even aware of the expression, I was not able to think at all. What a beautiful and subtle thing he caught. I said, oh sister, you are doing very well. I am so sorry, please do this, you have to do this. This would be very nice. She said – No, no, what you are doing is also very good. Once he sings as I am saying and the second time he sings as you are saying, will it work? On this humility of his, I held his feet.
It was difficult to persuade for just one song in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’
The title song of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was to be made. His briefing was very difficult. Karan Johar wanted it to be a hymn. There should be two things in the bhajan that the lady, she is singing for God as well as for her husband. Shah Rukh Khan enters in the same music. He also needed energy in that. We had made several versions of it, but Karan was not suitable. I suggested to Karan that if we lose this song to Lata Didi, it will automatically become grand. He became very excited. Now the problem was that Lata ji did not sing only one song in a film. I called Didi at night. I said Didi, I have one request from you, if you do it, it will be very good. When I kept my point, she said, you know that I do not sing a song at all. I said sister, I have made you thinking. On my many requests, she said, okay okay, come tomorrow, I will sit and listen. Went to Lata ji and I narrated the song. At that time Usha (Usha Mangeshkar) ji also sat there. She said in Marathi, ‘Chhan (good)’. At last she agreed. However, Yash Chopra and his wife Pam Chopra also had a hand in persuading him.
He called the Home Minister of Maharashtra for me
There are such twists in everyone’s life that you are unable to handle. So a similar incident happened in our family as well. My sister named Sandhya was elder to Vijayeta (actress Vijayeta Pandit). He had been murdered. I was very upset. Was getting shocked at the police station. Was crying a lot. Couldn’t understand anything, how to get the investigation done? When something was not being understood, Lata di was called. Cried a lot on the phone, told them everything. She understood, because she had known Sandhya since childhood. He called the then Home Minister of Maharashtra RR Patil and used these words that he is like my son, he is in trouble. Help them by meeting them. What was it then, the entire police force got involved and we got a great help. He loved me like his own son.
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