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“Lataji Liked Her Singing,” Lalit Pandit Recalls His Special Bonding With Mrs Pam Chopra




Lalit Pandit,  one-half of  the  Jatin-Lalit worked closely with the Chopras,  Yash, Pam  and Adi, during Dilwale  Dulhaniya Le Jayenge(DDLJ). Pamela Chopa sang the song Ghar aaja pardesi tera des bulaye re in the  film.

Speaking on his  professional and personal  association with  the  matriarch of the Chopra family, Lalit says, “It is hard  to believe  Pamela Chopraji is no more.The wonderful musically inclined lady,wife of Shri Yash chopra and mother for Aditya and Uday chopra passed away after being in an ICU for  over a month .During the musical sessions of DDLJ I remember very clearly how the whole Chopra family would sit and participate in the making and fine-tuning of the songs that went on to make history.

Lalit  recalls  Mrs Chopra  as a student  of music.  “Pamji had learnt music and learnt singing and would regularly do riyaz with a music when Adi suggested that he wanted the song Ghar Aaja pardesi to be sung by Pamji I immediately understood the connection and the sentimental reason behind his suggestion.It was Adi’s first film as a director and it was just right that he would want his mother to be part of the music album.”

Speaking  about the genesis of  the song  Lalit reveals, “Ghar Aaja was,and had to be a Punjabi folk song since it was to be shot showing Punjab and the culture there.Pamji’s voice suited the song so much and needless to say,she added a lot of singing nuances  herself.She  practised  and worked on the song a lot as it had to come perfect.”

   Lalit remembers  Pam’s  singing  was a treat. “Remember,this was a time when there was no tuning or technical help to correct the voice and sur!  She had to sing Live and to perfection which she very ably did!DDLJ had Legendary female singers the great Lataji and Ashaji and ofcourse the formidable and the family friend Anad Bakshi sahab writing the words .the whole family was very involved in the Writings that to me it clearly looked as if the whole process of the music sittings and writing sittings were being enjoyed to the fullest by everyone.”

   Lalit  is  all praise for Mrs Chopra’s  musical  skills.  “Pamji had a wonderful musical mind and had very good positive suggestions for the tunes,the musical arrangements and also lyric writings.Everyone in the music was a legend in DDLJ and we were the only young ones being the main part of it.Pamji would always encourage and make sure the team was comfortable to throw in the ideas .This helped a lot to put the pressure away and deliver the songs .”

  As for her  legendary hospitality Lalit  elaborates, “She was,as the industry knows ,a wonderful host to the guests.There was always snacks and beverages  during and after a long music session.And everything was offered to everyone with a lot of love and affection personally by Pamji.She had a great affectionate heart and loved music and the people involved in making music.”

  Pam Chopra’s  singing, Lalit  reveals was  endorsed  by none other than  Yash Chopra’s Mata Saraswati herself. “I remember when Ghar aaja pardesi was recorded in Pamji’s voice  we all made Lataji hear the song at Western Audio studio.Lataji praised Pamji’s singing and said ‘Aapko aur gana chahiye,kitna achchha gaya hai aapne.she loved the simplicity of the song and how it was perfect for the different situations the song would come.”

 Lalit  is flooded with memories  of  Pam’s graciousness. “I have many memories of Pamji which I mentioned to Adi when I  went to meet him after  the sad news.I once requested Pamji to come to our music room.I told her, ‘Hamesha hum aate hain ek bar aap aur Yashji hamare music room aiye aur ashirwad dijiye.’ She promised and both Yashji and Pamji came to our music room for one of the music sessions of Mohabbatein.Adi would usually come to the music room to work but Pamji and Yashji came only once .It was such a great feeling to have them at our music studio.

It was Pamji who had selected all the singers for Mohabbatein and introduced us to them.This showed how deeply involved she was even before we started working on the songs.The Mohabbatein Album was a very difficult album and perhaps the most difficult album I have ever done.There are many memories of Pamji I have which will remain in my heart always.I did tell Adi once that in my life I have only met two families from the film industry that knew how to love and respect composers and artists, Nasir Hussain’s  family and the Chopra family!It was an honour to work with them and learn so many things in the process.”

  Lalit recalls  Pam Chopra helping out with a  song in Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. “Once we were stuck on a song for K3G  and Pamji called.She spoke to me amd said  she’s had an idea how to work on that particular situation for Karan.It was her idea that we worked on which made me realise how close she was to Karan and kept abreast of his music progress .When the song got recorded Pamji again called me and said, ‘Lalit,Karan bahut khush hai-tumne to jadoo kar diya!’ I cannot express my happiness hearing those words from her.The song was ‘Bole Chudiyan’. I will never forget her words and cherish her memory.She was indeed a great lady and I am blessed to have known her a little , if not more!She was indeed force behind Yash Chopra’s empire.”

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