If there’s something every quintessential Hindi film watcher of the 90s really misses today, it’s the music of the composer duo Jatin-Lalit. It’s hard to scroll by a list of popular Hindi films made in the 90s and early 2000s without the mention of the music made by the siblings. Well, there’s some good news for their fans in this uncertain hour. The elder of the siblings, Jatin Pandit, has come up with a single ‘Prabhu Humko Kshama Kar’ a number he has written, composed and sung along with his son Raahul Jatin. In the song written more like a plea to the supreme, composed in honour of the cops, medical staff and sanitation workers, Raahul has handled the music production, while Jatin’s wife has picturised the same. A true ‘home production’ as it were!
Jatin tells us that the song simply erupted out of his heart. It ponders a lot on human behaviour. It happened sometime after a Canadian filmmaker friend had called him to compose a love number on the lines of Pehla Nasha or Saanson Ko Saanson. “Regardless of how much I tried, I could not compose it at all. I was in a different zone. It was then that I thought: Why shouldn’t I take the direction my mind is flowing towards? I was very pained by seeing people die on a daily basis and the plight of the poor in a helpless situation like this.”
The song brought out the lyric writer in Jatin Pandit. Not many are aware that a young Jatin, who had a fascination for composing, had always written the rough lyrics himself in his early years, because he couldn’t afford a lyric writer. This practice had nurtured the poet in him ever since. “Many big writers retained my sentences and lines in our songs, because they found it fresh. Working with legends like Anand Bakshi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Indivar and Javed Akhtar helped me learn a lot about lyric writing. Now that I’m back to composing again, I am able to put my experience to use.”
The composer had a strong drive to pen the song and felt that the materialism and absence of unity in a self-centric world were largely responsible for the crisis. “It’s as if we’ve stopped knowing what it means to lend a helping hand. The situation is no different in the film industry — everyone wants to only promote their interests. The industry wasn’t like this before and the situation is no different across other fields too. We must have done something wrong to be facing this,” he says — someone who’s witnessed great professional/personal highs and steep lows over the past three decades.
Jatin rues the fact that Hindi films have lost a dimension in their repertoire that truly defined ‘Brand Bollywood’ in the past — the lip-sync song. He points out many reasons — the rise in biopics where such a song isn’t a possibility, the corporates calling the shots in music, the absence of variety in the singing and the disinterest of the filmmakers and actors about the musical value of a film. Interestingly, his son Raahul is set to debut in the music industry in such a phase. Papa Jatin had only one thing to tell his son: “This is a very ruthless industry and you need to wait for your turn.”
Raahul, whose brisk voice belies his age, has learnt music from his father and finds it humbling to have had an opportunity to sing with his father. He states, “I’m glad that I got to sing such a soulful song with him. Technology has made it easy for us to do everything within our homes, especially with music production in a situation when studios aren’t an option. Technically, we may have wanted to do a better job — the acoustics of a studio setup was something we couldn’t match. However, creatively, we’re very happy with what we have achieved.”