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November 24, 2020

When Lata Mangeshkar created MAGIC!

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The song Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam was always special.

Lalit Pandit of the Jatin-Lalit duo, who composed the song for Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, tells Subhash K Jha, “We all felt it. There was something magical about the words. Anand Bakshisaab had never been more excited about any of his assignments in that period. He was charged-up. We would all gather at his house for rehearsals.

“I remember Jatin bhaiyya and I were working on the music of another film at the same time.

“Anand Bakshi reprimanded us, ‘Kya kar rehe ho tum log? Your concentration should be on this. This will create history.’ Bakshisaab was right. In fact, all of us knew this was going to very special.”

Jatin feels Lata Mangeshkar took Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam to another level.

“She created magic. The fact that we were working with her was in itself a historic event for us. By her singing, it automatically got millions of devoted listeners. For Lataji, the songs of DDLJ were very special.”


Jatin remembers the time when Lataji first heard the song.

“She loved the tune and wanted us to send it to her on a cassette so she could get familiar with it. When she came for the recording, she was prepared. Then, she added her own dimension to it.

“Lataji took Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana to places we never imagined. I remember, after the recording, she did something she never does — she came to the monitoring cubicle of the studio to congratulate us.

“We were speechless. I think Lata didi gave that extra special something to the songs of DDLJ because it was her Yash bhaiyya‘s son’s directorial debut.”

Is it true that they had to re-record Kumar Sanu’s portions in Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sanam?

“Yes,” Lalit concedes. “When we heard the duet, we found Sanu had not caught the mood of the lyrics and tune. Lataji ke saath aksar aisa hota hai. In their bid to match up to her excellence, the male singer tended to overdo the feelings.”

Lalit lets out a big secret: “The tune for the opening lines were Adi Chopra’s. He was inspired by the music of Sooraj Barjatya’s cinema.

“Frankly, I think Na jaane mere dil ko kya is a better song than Tujhe dekha toh in DDLJ but the popularity of the latter has gone beyond anything we’ve done. It’s our signature tune, and we are indebted to Lata didi for doing what we could never imagine.”

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