On 14 December 2001, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’, Karan Johar’s second directorial feature released in theatres and turned out to be a bigger success than the director’s earlier film ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ which itself was a massive hit. The family drama, featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in principal roles, was lapped up by the audience in a big way and the film continues to resonate with a large number of people, across different age groups, nineteen years after its release.
The film’s music played an important role in its success. Composer duo Jatin-Lalit, who had scored the music for Johar’s directorial debut, put together the soundtrack which also had contributions by Sandesh Shandilya and Aadesh Shrivastava. Each of the songs (‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’, ‘Bole Chudiyan’, ‘Yeh Ladka Hai Allah’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… – Sad (Part 1)’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… – Sad (Part 2)’) the duo composed for the film turned out to be a chartbuster and has made a permanent place in the hearts of the fans of Hindi film music across the globe.
Talking about the experience of working with Karan Johar, composer Jatin Pandit says, “Karan is a very talented filmmaker and has a good ear for music. Working him on ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ was an absolute delight and this time around too, we had a wonderful time working with him. I remember once we had gone to meet Karan at his office. Yash (Johar) ji was there. We went to meet him in his cabin. He was one of the most wonderful human beings I had come across in my life. I remember him saying this about Karan – “us ghode ko kya chaabuk maarein jo bhaag raha hai”. He meant to say that Karan was extremely active and wanted to do a lot of things at that young age.”
The album had as many as eleven song (including alternate versions of the title track) and each song, apart from being high on melody, has an everlasting appeal to it. The album is also quite varied – romantic numbers, celebration songs, dance tracks, it has something for everyone.
“The music of this film will always be very special to me. I have some great memories of recording the title track with Lata (Mangeshkar) ji. I have always said that Lata ji is a devi and working with her has always been a blessing. We recorded a rough track on a cassette and sent it to Lata ji. She came to the studio in the evening and recorded the song. Karan shot the song beautifully. It was, as one would call it, a grand 70 mm song. The presence of actors like Amit ji, Jaya ji, Shah Rukh, Kajol, Hrithik and Kareena made the songs even more special. One of my favourite songs from the album was ‘Yeh Ladka Hai Allah’. I think it is one of the sweetest melodies we have ever composed.”
‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’ was the last time Jatin Pandit collaborated with Karan Johar on a film. The kind of melodies he, along with younger brother Lalit, put together for ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’, one hopes that another collaboration happens sometime soon.