I have been at this post for quite a while now. But yesterday when I chanced upon this news piece that Prasoon Joshi was given the Shailendra award, I was spurred on to complete the post.
When I look around at all the lyrical mockery that’s happening and all the poetical gimmickry, I wonder what will be the fate of lyrics in cinema, going ahead. Its not a very happy picture, let me tell you. Barring a few new generation of lyricists, I don’t see much talent around.
Now, coming to the crux of the post; although we do have lyricists who churn out a few good songs, they all lack depth and versatility. That’s where my search begins for a ‘gulzar’ of the next generation. A lyricist/poet who can write sensitively, with sublimity, with progressive ideas and write on innocent situations as well as controversial stuff, who can make your blood boil as well as cool your senses, who can write about society at large as well as for the individualistic/common man, who has knowledge of historical events and keeps pace with contemporary issues. If we see the growth and maturity of Gulzar, we would all be befuddled by it. Starting with Mera Gora Rang Lai Le to Mera Kuch Saaman to Aye Zindagi Galey Laga Le to Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi to Goli Maar Bheje Mei to Fatak; his range is unfathomable.
The only person who comes to my mind, wo can carry forward the legacy of Gulzar, or who can write Gulzarian lyrics seems to be Prasoon Joshi. The talent that he has displayed through his variety of work is impressive. In fact, quite a few times his lyrics sound like its from gulzar’s school of thought. The lyrics like Maa from TZP and Khoon Chala from RDB have that distinctive Gulzar touch. Let me pick a few more works of Prasoon which seem to be the silver-lining around the dark clouds of movie lyrics.
Arziyan from Delhi-6:
Written as a quwalli, its a prayer with a lot of heartfelt thoughts. The first two lines in itself conveys the pathos of the soul. Face is the mirror of the soul; if the soul is wrankled, so will the face be. There is nothing more to explain than the expression of disdain written all over the face
Arziyaan sari main chehre pe likh ke laaya hoon
Tumse kya mangu mein tum khud hi samjah lo
He goes on to explain how people have gotten all their wishes fulfilled whenever they have approached him. The thirtsy ones who asked for a drop have received an ocean of blessings etc. I do not wish to translate it, it loses the feel. Just read it :
Jo bhi tere dar aaya, Juhkne jo sar aaya
Mastiyan piye sabko, Jhoomta nazar aaya
Pyaas le ke aaya, Dariya woh bhar laya
Noor ki barish mein bheegta sa tar aaya
Toot ke bikharna mujhko zarur aata hai
Varna ibbadat wala shaoor aata hai
Sajde mein rehne do, abb kahin na jaunga
Abb jo tumne thukraya to sawar na paunga
Sar utha ke maine to kitni khwahishen ki thi
Sar jhuka ke ek pal mei maine kya nahi paya
Rehna Tu from Delhi-6:
When I first heard the song, I mistook it to be a love-song and I imagined AB Jr singing this for Sonam Kapoor. But I was pleasantly surprised that the song is dedicated to Delhi. That was a stroke of genius, where even Delhi is made to sound like a dilruba and jaaneman who is not supposed to change for anything.
Rehna Tu Hai Jaisa Tu
Thoda sa dard tu Thoda Sukun
Tujhe badalna na chahoon Rati bhar bhi sanam
Bina sajawat milawat Na jyaada na hi kaam
The character of Delhi is brought out very well and the spirit of romance is all over the song, sample these lines:
Mujhe teree barish mein beegna hai ghuljana hai
Mujhe tere lapat mein jalna rakh ho jana hai
I would like to make a mention of the song Dil Gira Dafattan, which has been written with immense feelings and emotions. And we also had Masakali which is such a fun number. So, in one album he packed a punch with such variety and depth of thoughts. In fact, in Delhi-6 he also co-wrote the screenplay which means he not only understands the medium but has also gained fine grip of it. He is looking to expand his horizons and we can expect some good story/screenplay out of him.
Maa from TZP:
I don’t get moved that easily, but this song creates the magic which can melt a stone. A beautiful peice of poetry, a dedication to every mother that echoes the sentiment of every child who has been showered by mother’s love.
Mai kabhi batlata nahi
Par andhere se darta hoon mai maa
Yun to mai dikhlata nahi
Teri parwah karta hoon mai maa
Tujhe sab hai pata hai na maa
Mom knows everything, mama’s boy, mom knows best and so many other phrases come to mind. But most of all, I recall what Mother Teresa said that God created moms so he could be everywhere.
Jab bhi kabhi papa mujhe
Jo zor se jhula jhulate hain maa
Meri nazar dhoondhe tujhe
Sochun yahi tu aake thamegi maa
Unse mai yeh kehta nahi
Par mai seham jaata hoon mai maa
Chehre pe aane deta nahi
Dil hi dil mein ghabrata hoon maa
Tujhe sab hai pata hai na maa
His delving into child psychology and coming up with such gems shows us a glimpse of his sensitivity and emotions. The ease with which he brings out those feelings is amazing.
Kholo Kholo from TZP:
I chose this song only to highlight the playful lyrics that Prasoon can come up with. This not only establishes his range but also the imagination that he is capable of.
Kholo kholo darwaze, parde karo kinare
Khute se bandhi hai hawa, Milke chhudao sare
Aajao patang leke, apni hi rang leke
Asaman ka shamiyana aaj hume hai sajana
Tu dhoop hai chham se bikhar
Tu hai nadi o bekhabar
Beh chal kahin, Udd chal kahin
Dil khush jahan, teri to manzil hai wohi
His handling of situation with such creative thoughts is beautiful. Prasoon’s lyrics in TZP is commendable because it shows the understanding that he has of children. Of course, he must have been guided by the sensitivity of Amole Gupte; but yet, to come up with such poetic lines is sheer genius. In fact, the title song of the movie and the Bum Bum Bole are songs which are at perpendiculars with each other, but Prasoon writes them both with such ease without ever losing the message in it.
Khoon Chala from RDB:
A call for revolution, a call for change, a call for new enthusiasm and a call for blood akin to what Bose once said – give me blood and I will give you freedom. Echoing those very sentiments are these wonderful lines.
kuchh kar guzarne ko khoon chala, khoon chala
aankhon ke sheeshe mein utarne ko khoon chala
badan se tapak kar, zameen se lipatkar
galiyon se raston se ubharkar, umadkar
naye rang bharne ko khoon chala, khoon chala
It brings out the pangs of revolt beautifully. Everytime I hear this, I get goose-bumps. It makes me sit up and think about how we take things so lightly instead of speaking out against it.
khuli si chot lekar, badi si tees lekar, ahista ahista
sawaalon ki ungli, jawaabon ki mutthi sang lekar, khoon chala
The movie demanded such lyrics, such pain and the subsequent actions that follow. Prasoon has very effectively described a revolt with such less words which actually translates to a whole lot of ideas.
Lukka Chhupi from RDB:
Another ‘mommy’ song but in a ballad format, sensitively written. The innovation in the song is the fact that its an ode from a dead son to his mother, which hasn’t been done before.
Luka chuppi bahut huyi, saamne aaja naa
Kahan kahan dhoondha tujhe, thak gayi hai ab teri maa
Aaja saanjh hui mujhe teri fikar
Dhundhla gayi dekh meri nazar aaja na
The manner in which the son, who is no more, describes the nether world is awesome.
Kya bataoon maa kahan hoon main
Yahan udney ko mere khula aasmaan hai
Tere kisson jaisa bhola salona
Jahan hain yahan sapno vala
Meri patang ho befikar udd rahi hai maa
Dor koi loote nahin beech se kaate na
The mother’s concern for the son and the son’s free-spirited reply makes for an enigmatic listening. This is one of the best songs to be written, not many people realize the beauty of it.
Teri raah takey aankhiyaan jaane kaisa kaisa hoye jiyaa
Dheere dheere aangan utre andhera, mera deep kahan
Dhalke suraj kare ishara chanda tu hai kahan
A couple of more songs worth mentioning are the Khalbali and Pathshala. While Khalbali brings out the angst in the youth and the boiling passion to do something, Pathshala describes college fun times and those moments of frolic and playfulness.
Let me quickly list a few more songs that would bring out Prasoon’s versatility and paint a bigger picture of his wonderful thoughts and imaginations. Two songs from Ghajini stood out, Guzarish and Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayi. The two songs are written for different situations, but both are nice.
In Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, he has written Seedhi Sapaat Zindagi which has some nice similies and Lazy Lamhe which is a totally fun song. And how can I forget the Chand Sifarish song which was a light hearted romantic number. Now this takes me back to his songs in the movie Hum Tum where he wrote Ladki Kyon Na Jaane Kyon to Chak De Saare Gham to Gore Gore Se Chhore and finally to the romantically poetic title song of the movie.
While I refrain from comparing Prasoon to Gulzar, I do believe that Prasoon has the pen with which he can put across creative thoughts and myriad ideas. If Gulzar is the clear stream of reason, Prasoon is a trickle of that spring, if Gulzar is that blazing sun of heated thoughts and words then Prasoon is a spark of those ignited flames, if Gulzar is the peak of serenity and calmness then Prasoon is but a hillock belonging to the same range of mountains. I just wish he continues to write, write well and touch people’s lives with his writing. I am ending this post with an ode on Prasoon using his onw words …
naam -o-nishaan rahe na rahe
ye caarvaan rahe na rahe
ujaale mai pee gaya
roshan hua jee gaya
kyon sehte rahe
ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai
This post was first published on PFC