Jatin-Lalit were one (or two) of the most successful composers of the ’90s. The composer duo belted one hit after another and delivered memorable soundtracks for some of the most celebrated films of the decade like ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, among others. Although they got to work with some of the biggest names in the nosiness, they did not have a bias for big projects and made good music for smaller films like ‘Yaara Dildara’, ‘Vaade Iraade’ and ‘Bada Din’, to name a few. Mahesh Bhatt carried the reputation of a filmmaker who had an ear for good music. A majority of the films produced by his brother Mukesh Bhatt’s company Vishesh Films, too, boasted of superlative music. With the Vikram Bhatt directed ‘Fareb’, Jatin-Lalit teamed up with Vishesh Films for the first time. The film had a good soundtrack and the song “Yeh Teri Aankhen Jhuki Jhuki” continues to be popular till date. ‘Mr. Aashiq’ was the first Mahesh Bhatt directed film Jatin-Lalit did the music for. The music of the film was released under the title ‘Mr. Aashiq’ but this Saif Ali Khan-Twinkle Khanna starrer released three years later with a new name, ‘Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’.
“Mera Chand Mujhe” is probably the best Hindi film song rendered by Kumar Sanu. Qatil Shifai, the renowned poet from Pakistan wrote several immortal verses in his life but I am sure te ones he wrote for thiss song would be amongst his personal favourites. Ultra-romantic verses like “abhi labon ko labon ne chhua nahin, armaan koi pura hua nahin, abhi aas ka gulshan khilna hai, abhi do jismon ko milna hai” adorn the velvety tune composed by Jatin-Lalit. The song had an upbeat, uplifting rhythm courtesy the dexterous use of percussion instruments like drums, pads and tabla. The use of the santoor at some key points adds to the beauty of the song.
While “Mera Chand Mujhe” is the best song of the album, the most popular track, perhaps, is “Teri Chahat Ke Deewane”. For the longest time (much before I discovered the film and the album), I had thought this one to be an Anu Malik composition. The compositional structure is similar to the kind of tracks Malik came out with in the 90s. “Teri Chaahat Ke Deewane” is a romantic song but far from the intensity that “Mera Chand Mujhe”. The tune is highly infectious and the peppiness of the song is accentuated by Indeevar’s playful lyrics and the use of saxophone.
The peppy sound is carried forward in “Vaada Kiya Humne” but unlike “Teri Chaahat Ke Deewane”, which seemed to have strayed away from Anu Malik’s music bank, this one has Jatin-Lalit’s stamp all over it. Behind the upbeat texture of the song, the track actually turns out to be one where the two lovers are making certain promises to each other and vow never to leave each other in this lifetime. The thought is comes across wonderfully because of some superlative poetry written by Indeevar. Sample this – “tujhko dekhkar ho dil mein roshni, tu pyaar ka saawan main pyaas jeevan ki”.
“Humko Aawaz De” has the same intensity one got to witness in “Mera Chand Mujhe” in which the lovelorn man professed his love for a woman and compares her to the moon. The difference between the two songs (apart from the tune, lyrics etc.) is that while “Mera Chand Mujhe” had an optimistic man talking about love, “Humko Aawaz De” has a sombre feel to it and describes the plight of two lovers who have been separated. Jatin-Lalit put together a suitably melancholic tune but arrange the song in a way that it does not sound dark or depressing.
“Yeh Ghadi Sanam” is perhaps the mellowest song on the soundtrack – a gorgeous melody sung with adequately delicate rendition by Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu. This one has an inexplicable soothing effect on your senses and this is exactly the kind of song that would serve as a good accompaniment when you are relaxing on a beach or mountain-side. The arrangements have been kept minimal what with pads, tabla and keyboards used subtly throughout the track. The song talks about separation but in a very confect manner.
The last two songs on the album are the ones which were not used in the film. “Tu Bade Ghazab Ka Yaar” is a techno-qawalli that was made to show the bond between the characters played by Saif Ali Khan, Twinkle Khanna and Chunkey Pandey but later, got junked from the film. It is a decent song but nothing to write home about. The other song “Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan” was composed as an after-thought when the film was re-christened. The track, written by guest lyricist Sameer, has a catchy hook-line and makes a decent impression when it is heard briefly in the final reels of the film.
“Mr Aashiq”/ “Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan” is one of the most underrated albums by Jatin-Lalit. The ill-fated release of the film is, definitely, one of the reasons why nobody talks about the film or the album. Songs like “Mera Chaand Mujhe” and “Teri Chahat Ke Deewane” have grown popular with the time but the album, as a whole, remains under-appreciated. Two songs, one of which was not used in the film and the other which was added as an after-thought do not add much value to the album but the remaining five love songs are exceptional, to say the least. If you are somebody who wants to get a taste of the quintessential Jatin-Lalit sound that prevailed and dominated in the ’90s, this is an album you must check out.