Irshad Kamil, the lyricist, gives way to Irshad Kamil, the playwright, in town on Thursday. The Malerkotla-born writer, who spent a significant time in Chandigarh pursuing his master’s degree in Hindi from Panjab University, will read his play, Bolti Deewarein, at Tagore Theatre on Friday evening in an event organised by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi.
The Bollywood success of his songs has not let this skill face the music. “My love for theatre is intact,” says Kamil who, while discussing this second full-length play of his, says, “It is about how people today are not enjoying their relationships. They are neither paying heed to the old definition of love nor making an effort to redefine it. It is sad that the glossy culture, often projected by popular trend, is defining love for them.”
He says, “Many people have suggested that this play has the potential to be a good script for a film but given the reputation of cinema, where serious thoughts usually get diluted in pop culture, I did not want to take the risk of adapting the play into a film.”
“This play is set in metropolis India, but the treatment is very non-metro, earthy and an effort has been made to explore how relationships need to be redefined with true emotions,” he says.
While his first play was Ek Aur Shahar Ki Dastaan, he has also written a play for children, Jaanwar Hota Aadmi.
“I am not possessive about how my play or songs are being treated on stage or by music directors. I understand that their input is also important in bringing out the essence of a writer’s creation,” says the lyricist who has penned popular songs such as Sadda Haq, Nadaan Parindey and Aj Din Chariya among others.
Where does his writing come from? “From the heart. I read a lot too,” he says. But what if the market forces demand ‘Munni’ or ‘Sheila’ type of items? He smiles, “I will not refuse to disgrace Munni, but yes, I will do it my way and there will be a dash of grace to it.”
The lyricist for films such as Rockstar and Love Aaj Kal feels that writers have a social responsibility and he cannot write anything for the sake of it. “I feel issues can be raked even in the entertainment genre. There are filmmakers who have tackled issues while maintaining the commercial value of their films,” he adds.
Catch him live at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, at 6.30pm on Friday.