Bombay Showcase

Music, lyrics and future direction

An Abhishek Kapoor film excites lyricist-singer-writer-actor Swanand Kirkire like no other.— Photo: Rajneesh Londhe  

n Abhishek Kapoor film excites lyricist-singer-writer-actor Swanand Kirkire like no other. Whether it is the director’s forthcoming Fitoor , or his previous outing Kai Po Che . “I like the way his film’s albums are creative in a commercial space,” explains Kirkire. In fact, Shantanu Moitra and Amit Trivedi are two music directors he must have worked most often with and likes them immensely for being ‘organic’. “Amit tunes in with the script, the characters and the situations, and likes to create a different sound for each film,” says Kirkire. “He is not into mass-produced factory tunes.”

Fitoor has Kashmir as a backdrop but instead of a pronounced focus on the familiar issue of unrest, it comes all seeped in love, much to Kirkire’s excitement. “I never get to write romance. Parineeta , and to an extent Barfi , must be the last time I got to write love songs,” he says. It challenges him like no other ‘rasa’ because every expression, turn of phrase, has been used time and again in film songs. How then does one reinvent himself? The other challenge offered by Fitoor was handling the Urdu language. The last time he did so was in Khoya Khoya Chand . “A Hindi movie lyricist has to be adept at languages. Parineeta was inspired from Hindi poetry, Munnabhai was all about Mumbai street lingo and 3 Idiots was more of jeans and T-shirt writing,” he explains.

In Fitoor , he plays with the words we associate Kashmir with: pashmina, haminastu, chinar, to evoke the culture and environment of the State. But despite the overt romance, he has made an oblique reference to the politics as well. “How can I not?” he talks about the abandoned homes so starkly visible in the Kashmir landscape: “Panchhi saare udd gaye kahin, bas ghonsle hain haminastu” (the birds have flown away, only their nests are left). In contrast to Fitoor , the metaphors and imagery in his other recent release, Saala Khadoos , were all combative since it was a boxing film. “I used words and phrases like ‘ladaku’, ‘khunnus’, ‘jadoo kiya tagda’,” he explains. Kirkire is happy with contemporary Hindi film music, especially the work of his fellow lyricists Amitabh Bhattacharya and Irshad Kamil. What he regrets is how music is getting narrowed down to a marketing tool for a film. It always comes before a film, to promote it. Though he wrote the Hindi lyrics for Robot , AR Rahman is a composer he is still hoping to work with on an original score some day. But right now, it’s time for a break from lyrics to focus on launching his directorial debut venture. He wants to keep working on it for the next four to six months and begin shooting in December. It’s too early to talk about it but the Indore-boy says that it will be a small-town film set in the Jhabua belt, the Narmada terrain that he is familiar with. He is hoping to cast his National School of Drama batchmate Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead, in this fun caper.

Meanwhile, ‘Bawra mann’ is a song that will never leave Kirkire. Is it like an albatross for him? Doesn’t he ever get tired of it or being asked about by every fan and even journalists like us? Kirkire has learned to live with it, and happily so. “Every song of mine has to match it now, but I like that it is still in the public mind and that I am asked to sing it wherever I go,” he says.

Our five favourite Swanand songs

Bawra mann dekhne chala ek sapna: Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi

Suljha denge uljhe rishton ka manjha: Kai Po Che

Raat hamari to: Parineeta

Khoye khoye chand ki talash mein: Khoya Khoya Chand

Sawali si raat: Barfi

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 6:30:27 AM |

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