Alka 'sings' and makes up with Bhansali
Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Apart from a song each in "Khamoshi - The Musical" and "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", Alka Yagnik has been strangely quiet in the cinema of Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
But she has recently broken her silence and teamed up with Bhansali for his forthcoming film "Saawariya". She has recorded a song to be filmed on Rani Mukerji.
"I admit there was a misunderstanding between us. 'Bahon ke darmiyan' ('Khamoshi') and 'Chand chupa badal mein' ('Hum Dil...') were memorable songs in my career. But I think something happened long ago, which had upset him. If I had known what had upset him, I'd have clarified. But we never got a chance to meet. Finally, to have sung for him was a joy," Alka told IANS.
Even though she was nominated for a song, Alka skipped an awards event to record the song.
"To me work always comes first. And specially this occasion when I was singing for Bhansali... everything else paled into insignificance. Bhansali has such a strong music sense. Not too many filmmakers are that music minded."
She's all praise for "Saawariya" composer Monty Singh.
"I found him very relaxed and yet enthusiastic. I was very comfortable working with him. In the coming years, I think Singh will be one of the composers to reckon with. He's fortunate to be launched by a genius like Bhansali who'll showcase Singh's talent like no one else."
Alka was disappointed by the way her songs in "Umrao Jaan" were received.
"No one had seen the hard work we had put in. For an entire month we were doing only these songs. I think the film and its music were deliberately ignored. The connoisseurs say they'll preserve it in their library. For me that's enough."
After "Umrao Jaan", Alka is not interested in crooning ghazals.
"The year started very well with a recording for Bhansali. I'd like to do something different this year though after 'Umrao Jaan', not ghazals. I also have 'Love Story 2050' and 'Jodha-Akbar' to look forward to."
She's bothered by the lack of originality in today's film songs.
"There're a lot of re-mixes happening. It's the current trend. But melodious music will always remain predominant. I'm getting my quota of songs. I don't want to sing more than that.
"I'll tell you something. The face of the heroine in Hindi cinema has changed. They're no longer the delicate beauties that they were in the days of Madhuri Dixit. Today's heroine is a woman of the world. Their ghost voices have changed accordingly. The kind of voices that were earlier seen to be suited to vamps, husky and seductive, are now used for the heroines.
"Sometimes I feel the wrong voices are being used to highlight this aggressive trend. But it's okay. It's just a trend. As long as I get a song like 'Saawariya', I'm happy. My voice has today attained a certain rounded quality. I go for the best song. The rest, I leave to the rest."
Bhansali says Alka has done justice to the song.
"For this particular song I instinctively felt the need for Alka. She's a fabulous singer. When she came for our recording she understood the tune completely and sang effortlessly. She's so focused. She recorded for five hours. We didn't bring up our past differences for even a minute."
Quality is more important for Bhansali.
"I'd never compromise on the quality of vocals in my cinema. If Kavita Krishnamurthy is required, I'd happily approach her. She has contributed so much to the music in my cinema. If I need Shreya Ghoshal I'd go to her. I introduced her in 'Devdas' and I am very happy by the progress she has made. Shreya has sung for 'Saawariya' also," said Bhansali.