Union Minister Kapil Sibal releases his album of poetry Raunaq that has music by A. R. Rahman

We’ve heard Kapil Sibal discuss policies, election strategies, and debate on television, but how often have we heard him talk about poetry? A lesser-known side to the seasoned politician is his penchant for the written word. He has been writing for many years and is now launching a compilation of his poems as an album, titled Raunaq. Two singles ‘Kismet se’ and ‘Aa Bhi Jaa’ from the album have just been released.

“I started writing poems in English when I was 11 years old. In the last two years I’ve written in Hindustani as well and launched two books of English poems,” says Sibal, who is the Union Minister of Law and Justice and Union Minister of Communications and IT.

Raunaq, released by Sony Music, is a collection of seven poems, some of which have been set to tune by A.R. Rahman. “I collaborated with Rahman because he is the best. He injects a kind of energy that I could not have imagined. He gave soul to the lyrics,” says Sibal.

The Mozart of Madras, Rahman, had been wanting to work on this project for sometime. “The music has a vintage feel with a contemporary counter point. And there was no director to tell me what to do,” says Rahman and adds, “The full album should be ready in three weeks.” His favourite track is ‘Aa Bhi Jaa’.

According to Sibal, the poems are mostly about life in general and love. These poems were written by the politician over a period of two years. “They are a reflection of my thoughts and what I see around,” he adds.

Interestingly, the poems have been sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Shreya Ghoshal, Rahman and Jonita Gandhi. “Apart from these well-known singers, a few of the verses have been recited by me,” says Sibal.

There are four music videos and they feature Yami Gautam and Muzzamil, Shreya Ghoshal and the orchestra, Jonita Gandhi and also Rahman. It took the composer six months to create the music.

“Mr. Sibal and I met a couple of times before the final recording. Some lyrics needed a few alterations,” says Rahman.

Bollywood too seems to be intrigued by the minister’s poetic side. Sibal has written songs for quite a number of upcoming films and says that we will be hearing them soon. Multifaceted, yes, though he admits that given his tight schedule he doesn’t have the luxury of sitting back and taking time to write. “Whenever I can steal a moment, I write…mostly on flights!” he adds.