This year, however, a work-related emergency came up just when Bhai-Dooj was around the corner. Pankaj Kapoor needed three songs for Mausam. Fast. Pritam was whisked away to Khandala by the fastidious first-time director and asked to compose the required songs.
Says a source, "Pritam was told not to budge until the songs were in place. However, when Bhai Dooj, arrived there was no way Pritam could be kept away from his sister in Bengal. Pritam took off promising to be back the next day."
On his return to Mumbai on Sunday, Pritam confirmed that he had indeed taken time off from Pankaj Kapoor's music to be with his sister in Bengal. "This is something I've to do for myself and my sister. In Bengal, we aren't too sold on Raksha-Bandhan. Bhai-Dooj is our festival for siblings. It's an annual ritual. I always make sure to be with her. But this year because of Mausam I had decided to make an exception. However, when Bhai Dooj arrived I felt very guilty about letting my sister down. I took Pankajji's permission he was very sweet."
The good thing about the emergency break is that Pritam has locked in on the tunes for Mausam. Pritam has been briefed to avoid doing his typical 'Nagara' numbers in Mausam. And that's where the problem starts.
The leading lady Sonam Kapoor's illness disrupted the Mumbai schedule of the film. Now the Mumbai portion, which will represent the fourth seasonal interlude of the Pankaj Kapoor's film, has been pushed forward to next year. The unit has decided to pre-pone its lengthy 2-month Punjab schedule which now starts next week.
There's only one major problem with this reshuffled schedule. The film's music composer Pritam is not ready with the songs. Says the flustered over-worked tunesmith, "I've just returned from a live concert in Nigeria. The journey itself is so long and tiring. I'm insanely jetlagged. I've been told by Pankajji that the Punjab schedule has been pushed ahead of schedule. They need three songs for the Punjabi interlude."
Pritam has not even started preparing for the songs. But he isn't in a panic. "They'll start their Punjab schedule with talkies and dialogues. In the meanwhile I'll get the songs ready."
Though known to deliver Punjabi-Bhangra ditties at the drop of a hat, Pritam is this time on more delicate grounds. "They call me Pritam Singh in Punjab. They are convinced I'm just pretending to be Bengali. I'm identified with brisk balle-balle type of songs like 'Mauja Hi Mauja' and 'Twist'. But for Mausam, I've to love ballads in the Punjabi style which is trickier. But I am sure I can manage."