Madan Mohan

We remember our dear Jagjit Singhji on his birthday, (8 February) through the Making of “Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho” (Veer-Zaara)
4 February 2012

The music of Veer-Zaara was a unique endeavour probably for the first time ever in the world of music.

Many tunes made by Madan Mohanji over the years remained unused for many reasons… if it was a tune made for a specific song for a film, the film may have been shelved, the recording cancelled, the composer himself or the director may have opted for an alternative tune for situational reasons, and thus the tune with dummy words meant for the specific song remained unused.

Often, a tune struck Madanji, but had no immediate use and he wished to keep it for future use… he either just hummed the tune, played it on harmonium or piano, or just sang some dummy words as they struck him.

This was an ongoing process from 1950 till 1975, but in those days the facilities to record one’s voice spontaneously did not easily exist. There were no easy recording devices, cassettes, portable mikes etc. So, often, if a tune struck Madanji when he was out, he would try and store it in his memory till he could somehow reach his music room and record it on a handy spool, most often, in the hurry, erasing an earlier lot. Thus, many such tunes have been lost.

The few that he managed to record were found on his spools, but not in good condition, some half erased, some overlapping each other, and more than anything else, the spools themselves had been damaged in the 3 decades since his death.

Veer-Zaara was the result of using 13 of such many tunes that were located, each composed in a different time span, under varied circumstances, each with a unique story.

Along with the Veer-Zaara audio CD, a special CD called the Making Of The Music was also released which featured excerpts of Madanji’s original compositions, fused with the final recordings, to demonstrate the process of recreation to suit the requirement of Veer-Zaara situations. This CD was also included in the TERE BAGAIR set.

We have recently also added to the website the 13 original unedited compositions by Madanji as were initially found on his tapes, from which the 11 songs of VEER-ZAARA were recreated.

Also Check:

  • “A Dream Fulfilled…” – Son Sanjeev Kohli on VEER-ZAARA’s Music


Among Madanji’s unused tunes, was a very haunting tune with dummy words Aaja Aa Bhi Jaa with a cross line and antras which were very soulful. There was no place in VEER-ZAARA for another sad song, as the two ballads, Tere Liye and Do Pal had already been recorded.

In fact the melody of this song was used for the alaap in the first interlude of Tere Liye.

On Sanjeev Kohli’s request, Yash Chopraji readily agreed to record this song as a bonus track, which was never meant to be part of the film, but would be included in the CD of the film soundtrack.

The music track was recorded as a soulful track with the same dummy words, Aaja Aaa Bhi Jaa, as Madanji had conceived it.

For the two instrumental interludes, we used two additional unused compositions of Madanji, which can also be heard in his voice. These were played respectively on the sitar and flute in the final track.

However, when Javed Akhtar wrote the lyrics, he preferred to make it a romantic duet, as there was no binding of a film situation and he felt there were less romantic songs in the album… thus the lyrics became Dheere Dheere, Chupke Chupke… Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho.

It was decided to have it sung by Jagjit Singhji to bring a different flavour to the song… Jagjitji, an admirer of Madanji, had never recorded his original composition before and this became a first time… The female part was obviously to be sung by Lataji for whom Madanji had composed the tune almost 50 years ago. The song thus became a rare duet by Lataji and Jagjitji and this was many years after their triumphant ghazal album “Sajda”, and thus much appreciated by their fans.

Jagjitji, whose death in October 2011, is still mourned by us all, was very excited about singing this song, and was keen to use Madanji’s harmonium in the recording. He was humility personified during the recording, and kept asking, “Am I doing justice to Madanji?”

Later, the haunting melody also formed part of the background score of the film in some very intense scenes.

Of course, the song remained less heard as it was only featured on the Veer-Zaara CD, not on the cassettes, and did not feature in the film.

Later, a revised, faster version of the song was recorded for a special compilation of Love Songs album titled, Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho to make it more appealing and accessible to younger audiences who enjoyed romantic duets.

On the occasion of Jagjitji’s 71st birth anniversary on 8th February, we share this 5 minute video presentation with his fans.



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