Prasoon Joshi, who has faced flak for his Ghajini lyrics, talks to Rachana Dubey
Hello, any New Year resolutions?
I’m at my in-laws’ place in Kanpur. This year I plan to visit my birthplace in Almora more often. It’s beneficial to keep in touch with one’s roots today.
You wrote a poem, Is baar nahin, about the Mumbai terror attacks.
I wrote that poem in five minutes at the airport on the third day of the attacks. I was flying to Stockholm. That poem calmed my restlessness. People used it as their own during the candle marches in the city. My writing served the purpose.
Okay. Your lyrics for Ghajini have come been criticised vehemently.
All that matters to me is that I should feel good at the end of the day. I’m very proud of all my Ghajini songs. The film has turned out well. The songs Guzarish and Aye bachu are high on the music charts. I do feel I could have done better.. but never mind.
But the lyrics lacked the Prasoon Joshi touch.
This is the first time that I ever wrote lyrics for a movie in which the songs came as a relief to the action and drama. They lightened the narrative.
I feel Ghajini could have done without one or two of the songs, it wouldn’t have made a difference to the flow of the story. As for the lack of my touch, I was expecting people to miss it because the film was the sort that I couldn’t write lyrics in chaste Hindi and Urdu.
Is that why you wrote Hinglish lyrics in Aye bachu?
If a girl speaks in the Mumbaiyya style, she can’t start singing in chaste Urdu and Hindi. She will dream in the language she speaks. This was my first attempt at an item number.
It seemed as if you’d written the lyrics to fit tune which had already been composed.
Yes, 90 per cent of the tunes were already created.
What’s happening with your book of poems?
One-third of the book is ready. I have enough poems to fill the book but I want to work upon them some more. I’m the chairman of an ad agency.. that’s a full-time job which doesn’t leave me much time. I hope to get it published this year.
As a writer, do you think the habit of reading is returning?
I do see people at book shops.. but who knows if the books bought are even read? People who want to read will buy books even from roadside kabadi shops. Everything packaged well sells well though.
You’re back with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra in Dilli 6.
It’ll be on the shelves in the next two weeks. I think it will be among the
bestsellers this year.
You’ve not gone the private album route after Man ke Manjeere for Shubha Mudgal?
Private albums don’t sell any more. I don’t want to be involved with projects which will not sell. I have been in talks with A R Rahman and Shubhaji but nothing has come out of them. Right now, all that sells is Bollywood.