Mithoon burst into the film music scene with “Woh Lamhe” (‘Zeher’). Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt bought the rights of the song, originally composed by the Pakistani music band Jal, and gave Mithoon the responsibility to package it in a new avatar. The newly arranged track, sung by Atif Aslam, was a huge hit. The same year Mithoon also reworked another popular Jal composed song “Aadat” and presented it to Indian listeners in the film (‘Kalyug’). The next year, in 2006, he composed two songs – title track and “Tere Bin” – for filmmaker Onir’s ‘Bas Ek Pal’. While the title was appreciated, it was the Atif Aslam sung “Tere Bin” which became a massive hit. This turned out to be a breakthrough song for Mithoon as it was his first original composition which became a chartbusting hit. On the singer-composer-lyricist’s birthday, here is a look at five of his compositions which deserve more attention.
1. Khalbali – 3G
Arijit Singh started working with Mithoon in his early days as a singer (“Phir Mohabbat” – ‘Murder 2’) and also collaborated with him on “Tum Hi Ho” (‘Aashiqui 2’), a song which took his career to dizzying heights. My favourite Mithoon-Arijit song, however, is “Khalbali” (‘3G’). “Maujein bahaarein hon rehmatein hazaar,shaamein hon jaise tyohaar….” – Shellee wrote some soul-stirring lines for this wonderful melody composed by Mithoon and sung by Arijit Singh, Shilpa Rao and Tochi Raina. The composition takes interesting, unpredictable turns and is extremely catchy and addictive at the same time.
2. Main Kaun Hoon – Lamhaa
‘Lamhaa’, as a whole, is an underrated album. The one song from the film which received some attention before/during the release of the film was ‘Madno’. The dulcet melody was sung by Chinmayi and Kshitij Tarey and there was also an alternate version sung by Mika. “Jannat thi apni sarzameen, ab toh koi, mujrim koi, aatanki keh raha…’ Amitabh Verma wrote some hard-hitting lines describing the plight of the people living in the valley. Euphoria’s Palash Sen, in a rare appearance in a film soundtrack, poured his heart into the song and the result was a thought-provoking number.
3. Sehra – Aggar
Mithoon’s most memorable collaboration with Roop Kumar Rathod remains the much celebrated song “Maula Mere Maula” (‘Anwar’). Mithoon also collaborated with Rathod on this wonderfully melancholic song titled “Sehra” from the Tushar Kapoor – Udita Goswami – Shreyas Talpade starrer ‘Aggar’ (2007). This one has a completely different mood from “Maula Mere Maula”. The orchestral arrangements are also vastly different. Written by Sayeed Quadri, the song has a calm, serene feel to it and Roop Kumar Rathod’s velvety voice engulfs you in it further as a listener.
4. O Saathi – Shab
“O saathi, itna toh bas kar de. Ek aakhri dafa sahi baahon mein tu bhar le…”. This song, composed and written by Mithoon, has an unusual pattern to it as far as the composition is concerned. The tune is intriguing and engaging, complex and simple in equal parts. The orchestral arrangements, consisting of bass guitar, piano, violin among other instruments, back the tune very well. Arijit Singh manages to bring out the pathos in the song effectively to the fore.
5. Har Jagah Me – Tu Hi Mere Rab Ki Tarha Hai
In early 2009, Mithoon came up with a non-film album titled ‘Tu Hi Mere Rab Ki Tarha Hai’. The film had a bunch of love songs, of different moods and themes, put together in an album. Mithoon had composed and was the lead vocalist in all the songs. All the tracks were penned by Sayeed Quadri. Though a sombre, romantic track at its core, “Har Jagah Me” had a spiritual bent to it – it almost conveyed the feeling of being devoted to the person you are in love with. The arrangements, including the tabla beats which are heard predominantly throughout, are one of the track’s highlights.