prasoon joshi : a ‘gulzar’ in the making?

03 Sep

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.

prasoon-joshiNow, 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

Really sublime!

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.

gulzarWhile 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


Posted by on September 3, 2009 in bollywood, lyrics, movies


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “prasoon joshi : a ‘gulzar’ in the making?

  1. Pavan Jha

    September 4, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    Good Article with heart and intent at right place.. I have always believed that two lyricists of our times Prasoon Joshi and Swanand Kirkire are doing excellent work and sometimes you can feel the fragrance of “gulzarism” in their words. I still would not like to put a tag “a gulzar in making”. I wish and hope they should become Prasoon Joshi and Swanand Kirkire as much as Gulzar is not remembered for being a Sahir or Shailendra. The best part of Gulzar’s dynasty is he never followed work of any other artist and created his own genre of mix blend of poetry and lyrics. PJ and SK are the promising lot for future of hindi cinema in terms of writing but should not carry forward the flag by imitating a popular style. I would consider them great lyricists only when they create their own genre rather than termed as followers of some genre..

    Some best lines from Prasoon Joshi that you forgot to include are from his first assignement Phir Milenge :

    कुछ खुशबुएं यादों के जंगल से बह चलीं
    कुछ खिड़कियां
    लम्हों की दस्तक पे खुल गईं
    कुछ गीत पुराने
    रखे थे सिरहाने
    कुछ सुर कहीं खोये थे
    बन्दिश मिल गई

    he has yet to match something to this one.. he is very promising and has a good dictionary of poetic words but in recent times I find him restricted to a few words and that is not a good sign… If you start repeating in just 3-4 years even in different genres of songs.. then their surely is a problem and he needs to extend his range for sure.. and in that area Gulzar should be his best teacher. who is still penning kajaraare, beedi, maiyya maiyya, dhenta nan on one hand and naina thag lenge, bol na halke halke and ye huzoor bhi kaminey.

    I wish Prasoon Joshi comes out with more to offer and creates his own genre. I know he is capable of but probably needs time and honesty in intent/writing.

    • crazyrals

      September 5, 2009 at 2:04 PM

      thanks pavan for such a nice incisive comment. i was looking forward to ur comment on PFC, especially bcos u r such a huge gulzar fan. your comment means a lot to me.
      yes, i missed out on phir milenge. the songs are awesome. seems like prasoon keeps his best for shankar-ehsan-loy and ar rahman; just as gulzar produced his best with ar rahman and rd burman.
      i too hope that he carves a niche of his own…

  2. sinha

    September 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    dear jha ji,

    thank you for highlighting prasoon joshi’s work for phir milenge . It is indeed wonderful and so is mann ke manjeere the album he did with shobha mudgal. I don’t know about repetitions but if one is to see his latest body of work- Delhi 6 I think it is par excellence. ariziyaan gives even an agnositc like me goose bumps-” Sar utha ke maine toe kitni khwaesiyen ki thi, kitne khwaab dekhe the, kitni koshishe ki thi… tu jo rubabroo aaya, nazerin na mila paya , sar jhuka ke maine kya nahi paya”.. wah. then the brilliantly playful maskalai with its layered meaning_ ‘udiyon na daryion..tan taan le muskaan le…ghar tera badal ki colony… ” teh uttely romantci dafatan – word one is hearing after eons- samundar leharon ki chaadar od ke so raha hai… ghazoln ki sohbat mein geet behaek rehen hai…” or genda phool’s { bushirt pehne ke khaiye beeda paan” or even noo”… I think hsi work speaks voulms. He has introduced freh voabulary and with meaning. even an innocous ” rdb song masti ki paathshala -“naata sanaata lambu shor” has experimentative words and meanings. khoon caha or rubaroo’s ‘soorja ko main nigal gaya’- this is pure poetry. Yes I agree compariosns with gulzar ji or any other poet are not correct becasue Prasoon joshi’s work is distinctive and has his stamp. which is commendable. He is a rare gem and should be acknowledged thus by all music and poetry lovers like us.

  3. ghazal sinha

    September 19, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Well i think what Prasoon Joshi has done is just amazing ,i personally had lost any intrest whatsoever in lyrics of our films,he single handdly has made me now very keen on them.He according to me should be awarded just for bringing meaning back to our songs and on top of it quality of his thinking is very very high when its lyrics by Prasoon joshi i write them down first and then find so many hidden meanings in it,he communicates at various levels his wrting is very layered and inspirational,i can’t forger KHHONTEY SE BANDHEE HAWA MIL KE CHUDAO SARE…when i heard this song for the first time is blew my mind what a thought and what construct,GOD BLESS PRASOON…..

  4. menatewari

    September 27, 2009 at 3:02 AM

    mai prasoon joshi ko kewal ye kahana chahti hoon ki apni mitti se jude raho. kumaoni lok geet ko bhi barawa do. jaise bihari log biharilokgeet kobarawa de rahe hain rajasthani wahan ke lok geet ko age bara rahain hain kyon na kumaoni lokgeet bhi age bare.jaise sakun ankher,namkaran ke geet,vivah geet,. bahut sampada chupi hai paharon me.ise age lao isi tarah lok sangeetbhi age barh jayega.Tumeh hamara ashish. Meena aur Jiwan.ALMORA

  5. kabeer

    October 20, 2009 at 4:28 AM

    Very good discussion,Prasoon has really done amazing work,he is without a doubt the only poet for the new generation in india cinema he has class and very effective language, makes very complex points with great ease i recently read the lyrics of London Dreams they are outstanding every song has something amazing to say,in my opinion our filmy people should value the change he has brought in the film craft and the literary people should understand how Prasoon has brought about a change in taste of our youth and there care a damn attitude towards poetry.

  6. nasreen

    March 10, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Gulzar has taken another birth in form of Prasoon joshi he is the one and only hope for the new age poetry and i think we are lucky to have found him,lets face his talent is a gift for him and for us i think he is not Gulzar in the making he actually has already become one , and also his poetry has anger of youth which makes him more potent.

  7. leo rahman

    April 4, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Great and an apt choice of words is what makes any lyricist worthy of being heard just for his name alone. On closing eyes and listening to poetry of Prasoon sir and Gulzar saab, you can hear distinctly whose pen is behind the song. BUT THERE IS A VERY FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM, if you want to compare them in any way. Gulzar saab’s lyrics is like powder thrown on any situation, but Prasoon sir’s is one like a silk cloth on the situation. Former deals with atoms and latter with the molecules, which atoms make…! Please don’t compare them..!! It violates their creative territories..!! No hard feelings.., just a common guy’s words…

    • crazyrals

      April 5, 2010 at 7:52 AM

      @leo rahman : absolutely agree with u on the lyrics aspect as well as the fact that no two people should be compared. but if u read my post again, u will realise that i have not compared the two at all. i have said that prasoon is writing lyrics which sound like its from ‘gulzar’s school of thought’.

  8. रीतेश खरे

    September 23, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    गुणीजनो, समीक्षकों, विचारकों के प्रति आदर व्यक्त करते हुए यह नाचीज़ बस यह कहना चाहेगा…कि बातों के परे जो भी जितना कर सके चाहे वो गुलज़ार साहब हों या प्रसून साहब…यह साहबी जो भी शख्स पाता है वह काम हर तरह के करता है..वह अपने गीतों, शब्दों, वाक्यों, तजुर्बों को दोहराता है..पर जैसे गुलज़ार साहब ने गुणवत्ता के साथ गणनात्म्कता का भी बराबर ध्यान रखा है वैसे ही प्रसून हों या स्वानंद या कोई नया उभरता चेहरा, उभरती कलम..ये फनकार भी इसी लहजे को कायम रखेंगे तो बेशक एक मिसाल बनेंगे. मुझे संदेह सिर्फ इस बात का है कि यह जो “सितारा पूजन रीति” है हमारे यहाँ, इसके साये में जो और भी कई प्रतिभाएं हैं, उनपे ग्रहण न लगे. मेरी अपील है कि हमारे श्रद्धेय जन इस बात को अपना समर्थन दें. धन्यवाद!


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