Shweta Pandit started her career at the age of 13 when Aditya Chopra chose her to be Shamita Shetty’s voice in his second directorial ‘Mohabbatein’. Aditya’s first ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ was a biggie but yet he was gambling with six new voices in his ‘Mohabbatein’ track; Yash Chopra’s son was sure that he didn’t want to go with established voices for Jugal Hansraj, Kim Sharma, Jimmy Shergill, Preeti Jhangiani, Uday Chopra and Shamita Shetty.
Shweta, of course, cannot forget the day when she learned that she had been chosen. Her uncles Jatin and Lalit had been assigned to set the film’s music, but Shweta says that she found herself in the prestigious company of team ‘Mohabbatein’ purely on merit. “Else, Aditya Chopra wouldn’t have given me the job. Nobody can convince Adi sir to do anything that he doesn’t want to do,” she says rather assertively, adding, “Adi sir had everything in his mind and he was ready to share everything- ‘hero yahan se aayega, heroine wahan se aayegi’, it was like we were given to the see the film before it was made. Today, many actresses don’t know who’s sung for them even after their movie has been released. ‘Unko batana padhta hai ki humne aapke liye ye gaana gaya hai and they say ‘Achcha?’. In those days, actresses used to interact with us. Even if I was Shamita’s voice, I became equally friendly with Preeti Jhangiani and Kim Sharma both.”
Talking about Yash Chopra’s contribution in ‘Mohabbatein’, Shweta says, “Immense. He was there at the time of my auditions too.”
Disgruntled at the fact that remixes have become the order of the day and most films of today have more than one composer, Shweta recalls, “Does Raj Kapoor’s music need any introduction? Did he have more than one composer in his movies? You can’t have 10 people using the brush on a painting. Add this to the remixes, which were spoilt versions of the original even when they broke out on the scene in the 90s.”
Shweta, who has toured with AR Rahman for shows worldwide and even dabbled at acting (Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘David’ and Anil Kapoor’s TV series ’24’), is also not happy that her uncles Jatin and Lalit parted ways (in 2006) and feels a lot of time has rolled by since then. “The shelf life of a singer has become short, even for other professionals in the glamour world for that matter. And today, where are the kind of films that my uncles gave music in? And sadly, the current scenario is digital and not melody.” Hasn’t the family tried to patch Jatin-Lalit? “It was a very unfortunate decision that they took. They should have kept their personal differences aside and made music their priority. Any collaboration is like a marriage. It breaks, if it breaks. Of course, we tried ‘lekin nahi hua’,” discloses Shweta, stating further that she connects with Lalit more than she does with Jatin “Both of us are the youngest members in our respective generations.”
What next? “I am looking at independent music. I think it has a lot of future. So, I am going to pursue that,” concludes Shweta, but not before sharing that her favourite song from ‘Mohabbatein’ is ‘Pairon mein bandhan hai’.