Giving up IIT was a tough decision

It took 20 years for Krsna, music director for the film Tanu Weds Manu, to get a plum project that got his career to take off

education Updated: Apr 03, 2012 13:58 IST
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Hindustan Times

A science student with a passion for music is how one can describe Krsna, music director of the film Tanu Weds Manu.
He dropped the idea of joining IIT Roorkee to pursue his dream of becoming a music director. Today, he is a proud winner of the prestigious Filmfare RD Burman Talent Award and Max Stardust Award 2012 for best music direction for Tanu Weds Manu.

Way back in 1992, when Krsna cleared the engineering entrance exam and decided to join the National Institute of Design (NID), he had a tough time dealing with his parents’ shocked reaction. “Giving up IIT was a tough decision. My parents were skeptical and worried and it took me a year or two to make them understand the possibilities of being successful in film communication and convincing that it was as respectable as any other field.”

It happened accidentally
Krsna, born in Siliguri and brought up in Kolkata, belonged to a middle class family of working parents. They wanted him to become an engineer and Krsna, too, was mentally prepared to fulfil their dreams.

“But little did they know that I had already got hooked to music at 14,” he says. On a rainy day, at a relative’s house, he was fiddling with a harmonium with nothing else to do. And he realised that he could easily play popular tunes.

He recalls, “And that really stirred something inside me all of a sudden. I started perceiving music differently. I wondered how great it would be to create music if listening and playing music could have such a powerful effect on my heart.”

“My accidental discovery took shape in the form of a wild dream to become a composer/songwriter one day,” he adds.

Days at NID
He joined the films communication design programme at NID in 1992. “As for my music endeavours, there wasn’t much that I could do, with all the pressure of college assignments,” he says.

He did, however, compose a few songs and tried to form a music band but that never worked out.

Mumbai gave opportunities
After finishing his course, Krsna started his career as a television commercial film maker and shifted to Mumbai.

“As for my directorial ventures, I directed ads for brands such as Digjam Fabrics, Rasna, Tara Channel etc. I simultaneously began directing music for my self-directed commercials as well,” he says.

Music, the sole interest
Around 2004, Krsna stopped directing ad films and started to concentrate solely on directing music for jingles and sound tracks.

Around 2008, for the first time, he felt the need to get formal training. He met his guru, Ustad Mehboob Khan, and rigorously trained himself in Hindustani Classical.

“Within a year, around in 2009, I found myself at a spot whereby I felt ready, and I was very clear that I wanted to get into full-fledged music direction for films,” says Krsna.

Success at the end
When he met Tanu Weds Manu director Anand Raj in April 2009, he had little hope of bagging a music direction assignment for the movie as the director had already decided to award the contract to a well-known music director. “I requested him to give me an opportunity. I took the lyrics of Mannu Bhaiya, created a song overnight and presented it to him. He liked my composition so much that he changed his mind and took me for the project,” says Krsna.

And the rest is history.

First Published: Apr 03, 2012 12:02 IST