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I like the sound of a pen making love to paper: Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi, ad man and lauded lyricist of Taare Zameen Par, writes on his wordcraft.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2008 06:30 PM IST

Writing is my passion. I see no difference between writing copy for advertising and writing film songs.
When I want to write, I never let that moment pass away ..only a writer can understand that..

What stimulates me to write? A fine blend of tea or a brand new pen can inspire me. I like the sound of a pen making love to a sheet of paper.

Thankfully more attention is being paid to lyrics today. It is being acknowledged that without a compatible lyric, the best melody is useless.

Matter of principle
It's unfortunate though, that lyrics are being peppered not only with Hinglish but also some jarring words like kambakht, mirchi and kameena.

Often, a film producer likes the ‘sound' of such words but for me, they signal mediocrity, if not worse.

Kya ajooba hai! A producer was very upset when I refused to use words like ajooba. He said he liked the word. I dropped out of the project, leaving him to his own ajooba.

Poetry is memorable for its big thought. A Road Less Travelled is not remembered for the metre or the rhyme, its immortality is in its thought.

That is true, too, of Ghalib's Aah ko chaahiye ik umr asar hone tak, kaun jeeta hai teree zulf ke sar hone tak. Pure poetry The problem largely is that lyrics cater to the lowest common denominator. It wasn't all like this.

Take the song Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya.. it's poetry. I am sure Sahir Ludhianvi didn't write it to please the masses. He wrote it to express a certain thought. Art is not commerce Even though I am an ad man, I will say that too much importance is given to the audience.

Art shouldn't succumb to market pressure. I have met people with guthka accents who say, "Yeh market mein jamega nahin."

I laugh and wonder, "If didn't know what could possibly appeal to the market, I would have died of unemployment by now."

Sound knowledge
Those who don't have the knowhow of the craft tend to be crafty I know my craft, very . well, which is why there is nothing more inspiring than the sound of pen on paper.

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