The RD Burman song “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” from 1942: A Love Story is an iconic number today. However, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra recently revealed that the track might not have made it to the album of the 1994 hit film, if it wasn’t for Javed Akhtar’s persistence.
Chopra shared the story while promoting his upcoming production venture Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, starring Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla among others. The film’s title track, composed by Rochak Kohli, is a recreated version of the original 1942: A Love Story song.
During a promotional event in Mumbai, Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, “Rochak must have made this song about 20-25 times. Javed saab (Akhtar) wrote this line in his car on his way to RD’s (Burman) house because he was very scared that he did not have a line. This song was originally not meant to be there in the film. When Javed saab insisted, I told him, ‘It won’t be there. You can write, but it won’t be included in the film.'”
“I asked him, ‘So, what’s the line?’ He said, ‘Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga…’He did not have anything beyond this! So, he continued, ‘Jaise…’ I asked, ‘Jaise?’ and he replied, ‘Jaise khilta gulab, jaise shayar ka khwab.’ He went on and on with lines like these, and as he said it, RD took out his harmonium and composed the hook line. This song was made within five-six minutes! I told Rochak that we could only touch the interlude of this song, not the rest of the song. We did only that and Rochak composed it brilliantly,” Chopra shared.
The original song featured Anil Kapoor and Manisha Koirala. The filmmaker also recalled how the lack of instrumentation in the original “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” was a cause of worry for RD Burman, who was going through a rough patch in his career.
“The contemporary generations of artistes sitting here should pay attention to this to know what insecurity does to a great artiste. When RD Burman made this song, he called me up one morning. He told me, ‘I want to add instrumentation to the song, violin and chorus to it…’ He told me that he made his domestic help, Sudama, listen to the song and he did not like it at all. This made me worried that he (Burman) would ruin the song out of insecurity.
“If you listen to the song, it actually has no instrumentation. I told him, ‘Don’t worry. In the video, Anil would be riding a bicycle so we will add its bell ring and also add a lot of other sounds.’ Basically, I made a fool out of him. So, I believe a great artiste should never harbour insecurity,” Vidhu Vinod Chopra said.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is set to release on February 1.