Lyricist by chance

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Songs we’re singing: Swanand Kirkire.
Songs we’re singing: Swanand Kirkire.

He’s won the Award for his song but Swanand Kirkire hopes to direct a film one day.

Swanand Kirkire, who has won the National Award for the Best Lyricist for his song Bande Main Tha Dum in “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, represents the new face of lyricists.

Swanand goes back in time, “So many wonderful songs had already been written about the Mahatma. We wanted a song, which would be contemporary and match the language of Munnabhai without being frivolous. Some 200 lines were before us. Finally Vidhu (Vinod Chopra) came up with Bande Main Main Tha Dum and I took over.”

Swanand admits he is not a poet. “I am a lyricist who wants to be part of the entire creative process of a film to deliver the songs. I don’t have any bank of songs.” According to him, honest expression, engagement with the narrative and characters and synchronisation with times are the three requirements of a good song. “We are writing for a generation in which a Bengali could be born and brought up in Kota.”

Happy times

He says the scope for sad songs is almost non-existent these days. “We are in happy times and the youth has a fresh approach towards solving problems. Songs like Tasveer Banata Hoon Tasveer Nahin Banti would no longer work, as the youth wants to create the picture he wants any which way.”

This NSD graduate sees a link between the people who have won an award this year. “People like Raju, Vishal, Kabir and I come from small towns and understand the pulse of middle class India because we have lived it. But we are also aware of what’s the latest in the West.”

Swanand became a lyricist by chance. He started as an associate director, has been a dialogue writer for “Chameli” and a singer in “Khoya Khoya Chaand”, where he also penned some of the chartbusters. “I was a theatre person who wanted to direct a film. In theatre you do lots of things. So I used to write songs as well.”

Once in a blue mood he wrote Bawra Man Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna. “When I was assisting Sudhir Mishra on ‘Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi’, I recited the song. Sudhir and music composer Shantanu Moitra found it fitted in a situation. Among those who liked it was Pradeep Sarkar. He offered me ‘Parineeta’. Thus I became a lyricist. National Award notwithstanding, I will continue to work towards my goal: directing a film.”




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