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I was offered to script film on Benazir Bhutto: Neelesh Misra

The author-cum lyricist talks about writing scripts and songs for films, and how lyricists do not get their due credit in Bollywood.

entertainment Updated: Feb 07, 2009 18:04 IST

Journalist-cum-author-cum-lyricist Neelesh Misra says he was asked to write the script of a film on the life of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, but adds that it hasn't been taken forward.

"I was asked to write the script of such a film, but then nothing was taken forward and I haven't heard from them after that, so right now I'm quite unsure about the whole project," Misra, who has scripted Sanjay Gupta's much-hyped Alibaug, told IANS.

Bollywood beauty Sushmita Sen is reportedly set to play Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated December 27, 2007, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

So after scripting, isn't direction the next logical step for Misra?

"I would love to direct a film, but I would love to learn it first. I would want to assist before directing one because it's a craft. It's quite mind-boggling, but, yes, that's something I would love to do some day," Misra said.

He has given listeners sensible words to hum with songs like Jaadu hai nasha hai and Kya mujhe pyar hai among others, but the songwriter feels lyricists are not given their due in the Hindi film industry. <b1>

"Lyricists are not given their due in Bollywood. They don't get royalties, they don't get credits on radio stations and even their names are not taken during live concerts. People hardly recognise a lyricist barring a few famous ones. I think it should be common courtesy to credit the person who creates a song," Misra said.

Misra, who is penning the lyrics for Hrithik Roshan's upcoming film Kites, rued that lyricists were not paid well.

"Lyricists are not paid well at all. This is actually the next battle for composers and lyricists. If I was paid well as a songwriter, I wouldn't have to work as a journalist or do any other job," he said.

Apart from penning lyrics, Misra has written three novels and also scripted a film revolving around the Maoist movement.

So which role suits him the most - journalist, author, lyricist, or scriptwriter? Misra said he gets maximum satisfaction in good storytelling and that the medium didn't matter to him.

Asked how songwriting had evolved over the years, he said: "I feel lyric-writing is somewhere returning in terms of thought and innovation, which is a real good sign. When you write for a film, you are somewhere bound by many factors.

"Earlier, the tune was composed first and then lyrics were fitted in, but interesting changes are taking place. Now a lot of composers prefer lyrics first and then they compose. So the primacy of the word is being re-established."

With his earlier songs being chartbusters, Misra has his hands full with forthcoming projects like Big Pictures' 13B, Sudhir Mishra's Sikandar and Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, Aneez Bazmee's It's My Life and Ravi Chopra's Purani Jeans.

First Published: Feb 07, 2009 14:22 IST