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Interviews |  09 Dec 2008 15:24 |  By chiragsutar

Prasoon Joshi - Ghajini's music augments the storyline

Prasoon Joshi has carved a niche for himself as lyricist in Hindi films by bringing in word play which is simple yet deep - an expression which organically takes the music to a newer level.

He has slashed all Bollywood lyric writing clich?©s and given the listeners some sensible words to hum, in the process. In spite of being a leading lyricist today, Bollywood was never a childhood influence, Joshi says. "I just stumbled into it; I just didn't know how to react when I got into this."

Nevertheless, having a sound background of music certainly helped, as both his parents hail from a classical music background. Not many know that he himself is a trained singer and has learned vocals under Hafiz Ahmad Khan (Delhi). With several hits like Taare Zameen Par, Fanaa and Rang De Basanti under his belt, Prasoon Joshi loves to experiment and explore new subjects. One such subject is his latest score for the Aamir Khan film 'Ghajini'.

In conversation with Chirag Sutar, Joshi unwinds enough to let us in on a few trade secrets.


Ghajini is a unique story line. How did you approach the subject as a lyricist?

It was unique because I haven't worked on a subject like 'Ghajini' earlier. Unlike Taare Zaamen Par which allowed me to get into the mind of a child, or Rang De Basanti which was patriotic and demanded message oriented lyrics. Ghajini was different because here the music augments the storyline.

As a lyricist what motivates you to take up a subject - storyline, music director, remuneration?

The music director and the film's team are extremely important to me, and of course the subject. As far as the remuneration goes, I would say lyricists are paid better – but not as they should be.

You haven't worked on any non-film music (Earlier works: Dooba Dooba, Abb Ke Sawan, Mann Ke Manjire) album for long. why?

Markets for non-film music have gone down. But I certainly enjoy writing for a non-film music album more than film music because it does not have any limitations, no constraints of the storyline, it's freer.

Which was the most challenging song from Ghajini?

It has to be Behka. Most importantly because Rahman does not follow any set structure when it comes to making a melody– at places the song (Behka) is very fast so I had to use appropriate words to match the tempo. I remember, even Rahman acknowledged the fact that it was a challenging song to write.

Using 'Hinglish' words is becoming a trend, what is your opinion?

If the usage of any 'hinglish' wordplay fits in well with the melody and most importantly, sounds natural – it's fine. But, if it is forced, just to make an impact – it's useless.

Do you think it's important for a lyricist to know 'Urdu'?

I think it's important to know Hindustani. Being brought up in Lucknow, I was exposed to Urdu and also read literature in Maithili, Brij and Avadhi. But I don't really think it's compulsory to know Urdu if you want to write.

A R Rahman mostly works during the night, so I assume you must have spent many sleepless nights. How was it working with Rahman?

Well, I have got used to it now (laughs). But this time, Rahman was in Mumbai on many occasions, since he was also promoting other projects – that's when we used to jam and work on Ghajini's music.