Parikrama’s Sonam, Nithin and Subir create a raging soundscape for Manjunath, a biopic on one man’s struggle against corruption

This is a true story; a story of an ordinary man with an extraordinary zeal for justice. A common man who took on a corporate scam and paid the price for it. Manjunath Shanmugan, MBA from IIM Lucknow, 2003 batch. Sales officer, died on duty 19 November, 2005. That is how the movie on the life of this young IIM graduate begins. The struggle of this man to fight against the corruption in the oil mafia in Uttar Pradesh and his subsequent death shook the nation.

Manjunath, the biopic by Viacom18 Motion Pictures on this unsung hero directed by Sandeep A. Varma, was released last week and features music by Sonam Sherpa, Nithin Malik and Subir Malik of Delhi-based rock band Parikrama. Subir talks about the movie, its music and how the story affected their lives.

“Ever since it happened seven years ago, Nithin and I have been following the issue very closely. Like the rest of the nation, we were shaken up by the incident. We knew the entire story even before Sandeep came to us. Moreover, Parikrama and IIM Lucknow are very close. We played there in 1991 and that’s probably the college where Parikrama has played the maximum times.”

On a rock band composing music and the background score for a Bollywood film, Subir says Sandeep gave them total freedom. “We have never played for a movie. It was the script and the story that got us involved.”

He goes on to say that Sandeep “told us to do a rock n’ roll song in true Parikrama style. So it turned out to be an authentic rock song with Hindi lyrics. There is also a soulful ballad and one on an open highway which has a Bob Dylan vibe to it. This project was absolutely in sync with our style and comfort zone.”

On the production, Subir says it took them time and after everything was done, the film got stuck for a year and a half. “Then we noticed that a lot had changed, so we redid a lot of tracks, introduced live drums and bass, got everything remixed and re-mastered. It was good fun and a nice experience. I hope people like it.”

Subir went to see the film for the first time in the theatre over the weekend and he was “blown away. Hats off to Sandeep for pulling this off so well. I don’t personally watch masala movies. The last one I watched was Lunch Box. I would go and see something that we call parallel cinema which is actually mainstream now. I don’t expect Manjunath to be a commercial hit, but it will definitely create an impact.”

Looking ahead, Subir says this was an individual project. “Parikrama has nothing to do with the film. It’s just the three of us so we are calling it the SNS Trio for Sonam-Nithin-Subir. We plan to go forward and make this a live setup as a hardcore rock n’ roll gig with Hindi lyrics.”

He adds that on the other hand Parikrama is turning 23 on June 17. “We’ve just announced a 15-city tour in June. It will continue to be and live up to its legacy.”

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