'Wajid said we'd celebrate the release'

Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 07:53 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

Having worked with Wajid Khan on a reality show that turned out to be among his last professional commitments, Anand-Milind on the interaction

Sajid-Wajid
Sajid-Wajid

As the shoot of a reality show that brought them together came to a close, Anand Shrivastava recalls the late composer Wajid Khan telling him that on the day of its airing, they'll celebrate together over dinner. "But, God had different plans," he tells mid-day of the show that released on Saturday, weeks after Khan's demise. The MX Player offering clubs 20 veteran Bollywood composers into pairs, as they recreate a popular song that was originally composed by the other. On the set when the series was being filmed last year, Anand-Milind were recreating Sajid-Wajid's Tere mast mast do nain.

"We engaged in casual conversation that day. I would meet Wajid bhai often during morning walks. He wasn't regular, and would tell me that if he spotted me, he'd cross the road to [avoid an interaction]. He knew that I would lecture him about the importance of being healthy if he wanted to continue working for a long time," says Anand, as brother Milind reveals that during the day of Wajid's demise, they had been in touch with their writer to stay abreast about his health. "We knew that he had been ill. [Our writer] had told us [Wajid] was in bad shape. But as humans, we tend to not lose hope. We shared a relationship. He would play with our father, and would tell us that he had been following our work since he was a child. When we'd meet him, he was always jovial. The photos that we took together on set are now very dear to us," Milind recalls.

For their recreation, the duo chose the Dabangg track since they could relate to its "tempo and romanticism". "We used the tabla and dholak, and many acoustic instruments, and also got the students of our music school to sing the chorus."

As a duo that has enjoyed a long run in Bollywood, Anand-Milind lament the lack of opportunities given to young talent today, making their stance on the ongoing debate on monopoly in the industry, evident.

"When we gave our first hit in '87 with QSQT [Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak], I remember Anand Bakshi ji saying that in this industry [one will be successful] if the film, and its music is a hit, and that is all that matters. But the kind of [camps] we see now make things worse than they were when we started. A few people decide if a singer will [or won't] sing. [It is owing to this culture that] we are on the back-foot. It's tough for singers, writers, and composers to [become successful]. Anand would say one can't tell a cameraman which lens to use. So how can these guys [label owners], who don't understand sur and taal, call the shots? [They should] take care of the marketing aspect and stay away from the creative process."

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