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Brothers in tune

Music directors Jatin and Lalit are heavyweights in the music industry. The brothers, who come from a musical family, started their careers early and even sang for composer R D Burman in the film Parichay. They first composed a private album Rhythm is Love and then turned their sights on the movie industry. Their debut score was for Farokh Mirza's Yaara Dildaara in 1989 in which their song Bin Tere Sanam became a superhit. However, their biggest break came from director Mansur Khan who was making Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and wanted them to compose the music. The film became the biggest blockbuster in 1992 and their work got noticed and critically acclaimed. After that there was no looking back for the brothers as they went on to compose music for Khiladi, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Ghulam, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Dil Kya Kare, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mohabbatein, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Hum Tum.

JATIN ON LALIT

Lalit was very studious and never really thought of taking music as a profession. Our family sent him to a boarding school in Panchgani after Class IV. But since he hails from a musical background, music was in his blood. He was a very good singer in school and even had a band. After his Class X exams, when he came to Mumbai, he wanted to learn drums and piano from me and take music seriously. At the time, I was taking guitar and piano lessons from Ramprasad Pyarelal, who happened to be the father of Laxmikant-Pyarelal. On seeing Lalit's interest in music, I encouraged him to start music lessons under him.

We come from the Mewati gharana and our father Pratap Narayan was a strict disciplinarian. He was the one who initiated us into music and taught us the basic grammar. So it was obvious that no matter what we did in life, music was our ultimate calling. So when we decided to start as music directors, people had great expectations from us. Our forte has always been melody and ever since we have started composing, we take utmost care that along with soothing music, the lyrics should also be refreshing.

Often people ask us whether we have any disagreements and differences of opinion while composing. Disagreements are bound to happen, since as individuals, it is normal to have our own opinions. But over the years, we have realised our strong points and our weaknesses. I know Lalit's forte and therefore whenever we start out, we discuss each and every aspect.

As a kid, Lalit was very naughty. We have two sisters, Sulakshana and Vijeta, and since he was the youngest, he was pampered a lot by our mother and sisters. As I was older, I used to shout at him to make him understand his faults. I remember that I was quite adventurous and used to force him to climb the coconut tree outside our house. We became a lot closer when we decided to compose music together and I think Lalit is very spontaneous in his job. What I like in him is the fact that he is very cool and down-to-earth. We hope to continue doing good work together in the future.

LALIT ON JATIN

Like all elder brothers, Jatin used to bully me a lot. Since I was the youngest in the family, I used to get all the nice things. I was sent to a boarding school called Sanjivan Vidyalay for higher studies after my Class IV. But before that, I studied in St Lawrence School in Mumbai. I was never an early riser and every day I used to throw tantrums about not going to school. I used to sleep till 11.30 am and often missed the school bus. One day when the school bus came, Jatin packed my bag and dragged me out of the house to put me on the bus.

As an elder brother, he was very caring and protective. At his Class X farewell party, he insisted that I should sing with him at the function. He even fought with the teacher because I was not initially allowed to do so. But ultimately the teachers agreed and I was allowed to sing with him.

Another incident that brought us closer was when we were composing for Mansur Khan's Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. I had worked very hard for the song Pehla Nasha and Jatin wanted me to do the whole instrumentation before the final recording. But on the day of the recording, we had a huge showdown with the music arranger. Obviously I was quite upset. But Jatin encouraged me not to get angry as we were complete newcomers at the time. The next day when we went back to the studio, everything went fine and after the final take, both of us got a standing ovation from everyone there including Mansur Khan.

Although Jatin and I have very similar likes and dislikes, yet differences sometimes occur. But what I like in him is the fact that he has the ability to extract the best out of singers. Jatin is very focused and hardworking. But it's very difficult to convince him. He'll never fully agree with something until and unless he sees reason to it. In terms of work, I've always been artistically inclined whereas Jatin has a more practical approach. As a brother and companion, he has made me realise a lot of things about myself. I love his ability to make people laugh easily, as he is a very fun-loving person. He also has a fine eye for detail and is a perfectionist to the core.

Photograph by Gajanan Dudhalkar

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