Composer Lalit Pandit: ‘We could’ve made anyone sing it’

12 June,2024 09:49 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sonia Lulla

After Sanu doesn’t acknowledge them in BBC interview celebrating Tujhe dekha as Ultimate ’90s Song, composer Lalit of Jatin-Lalit says singer is always track’s ‘last link’

The song, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, gained cult status as much for its composition as for its visual imagery

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The result of a recent musical poll confirmed what many of us growing up in the '90s already believed - that Tujhe dekha toh, the track from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), was the defining song of the decade. The BBC Asian Network invited listeners to choose The Ultimate '90s Bollywood Song from a list of 50 contenders, and Jatin-Lalit's composition, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, emerged as the winner last week. Such a title would be a reason for any composer to celebrate. However, Lalit Pandit laments that not only were they not interviewed after the win, but they also weren't credited in the story or by singer Kumar Sanu.

Lalit Pandit and Kumar Sanu

Expressing his disappointment, Pandit highlights that a song is always a collaborative effort. "The writers and composers create the song, and it doesn't belong to [one person]. A singer is always picked by the composers. It's only fair that a singer acknowledges and thanks the composer for choosing him. We could have made anyone sing it. When a song is created, discussions about it take place with the producers and directors. The singer is not even in the scene; he is the last link. Kumar Sanu has been [harping] about it being his song. Even his fans have called him out, [asking him to] acknowledge lyricist Anand Bakshi saab, and Jatin-Lalit," says Pandit.

The composer is equally displeased by Sanu's claims in the interview. "He says he sang the song in 30 minutes. There's not a word of truth in that. No singer can sing our song in such a short period. Jatin's voice dubbing technique was superior. We ensured that the singer delivered the song precisely how we desired. He sang the song very well; no one takes that away from him."

Making music is a creatively fulfilling experience. Looking back at the track, Pandit says he cherishes the moments he spent with Lata Mangeshkar. "In her last decade of singing, Lata ji sang the most for our compositions because she loved our work," says the composer, whose Panchayat track, Thame dil ko, is being talked about.

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