Mohan Kannan: Kahani Gives an Insight Into Laal Singh Chaddha’s Character, Sums Up the Film

Kahani from Laal Singh Chaddha was the first song from the film to be released by the makers, as it captures the essence of the story. Sung by Mohan Kannan and with lyrics from Amitabh Bhattacharya, tuned to Pritam’s music, the lilting melody became a favourite among listeners the moment they heard it. Kannan has added yet another soulful song to his repertoire with this song from the Aamir Khan film. The lead singer of the band Agnee describes to News18 the process of the making of the song, singing praises of Pritam and Amitabh, with whom he has collaborated on several occasions.

Kannan says Kahani is a song he is proud of, as it is an easy listen with simple lyrics but a deeper meaning. “The first thing that people said after the song was released was that it is on loop. It is an easy listening kind of song, but it forces you to think. Whenever I have sung a song written by Amitabh, mujhe tubelight ki tarah do din baad chamakta hai. There’d be one line that I’d have missed, the actual importance of it.

“I would have sung it, come back home, and then maybe suddenly I would realize, yeh kya likh dia hai yaar! I don’t know how the meaning of it escaped me, I just sang it! This song is like that, because every line seems really simple. But when you go deeper into it, you can choose to make as many meanings of it as you want. Pritam has also made the music very simple, which is the most difficult thing to do. But if people have connected to it, the purpose of the song is done. It is one of those songs I’m proud to listen to,” he says.

The song was released in a very unique manner, where Aamir Khan teased fans with videos on social media saying that he was going to narrate a ‘story’ on the radio. Kannan says even he had no clue Aamir was referring to his song!

“I knew that this was going to be the first song that was going to be released. But the one thing that was confusing for me was when he put out the first teaser saying that ’28th ko main kahani sunaoonga’. I didn’t know that the song is called Kahani, because they hadn’t decided that yet. Internally it was called the feather song. On 28th morning Aamir called and said that he was going to a radio station to reveal the song.

Kannan has collaborated with both Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya on many songs. Talking about the brief he got from the song, Kannan says, “Pritam told me to focus on the lyrics, the storytelling, because the song captures the entire philosophy of the film. The idea was that people had to connect with it, it is their insight into Laal Singh Chaddha’s character, pretty much. Plus they have a second antara which sort of sums up the film. Amitabh Bhattacharya has done a brilliant job again. He has knocked it out of the park with the lyrics, so beautifully written with simple, everyday language.”

And did he get any notes from Aamir Khan on the song? Kannan says, “It’s only when the second antara happened that I met Aamir for the first time in relation to this song. I have met him before for something else. Advait (Chandan, director) and I have known each other for a while. So at that time, the entire experience was different. I am both a singer and a composer and have had interactions with directors and producers in both capacities. When Pritam or Amitabh were speaking to Aamir, their reaction to how he suggests anything is very different. Those conversations are very evident after he leaves, they’ll be like ‘yaar, you can’t fool him.’ Three months later you will send him one take and he will detect the slightest difference, saying this was not it.”

Kannan says that the entire film crew got very attached to the song, because the first part was recorded way back in 2019. “I think everyone was very attached to the song, right from the beginning. It’s one of the first songs that got recorded for the film, because it got done 2019, and then there was a break because of the lockdown. And during all that time, the song was already done. So they had the luxury of continuously listening to it whenever they wanted to. So everyone got really attached to it,” he says.

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