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    “I’m Still in RDB Groove,” says Prasoon Joshi

    [Interview by Faridoon Shahryar]
    Saturday, November 04, 2006
    “I am still in the groove of ‘Rang De Basanti’….I still haven’t come out of it. The message of the film is very strong….We still discuss RDB…,” says Prasoon Joshi, the lyricist par excellence and an advertising guru of the biggest magnitude in the country. Well, if you’ve feasted on the lyrics of ‘Hum Tum’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Fanah’ and if ‘Thanda Matlab Coca Cola’ advertising campaign of Aamir Khan has appealed to you then Joshi is the man. Indiaglitz caught up with the reticent genius at the launch of lyricist Sameer’s biography in a musical function in Mumbai. Over to an exclusive interview with the man himself:

    Something about Sameer

    I think Sameer sahib is widely experienced. He has worked with so many music directors and directors. He has given many hit songs. He has been in the industry for so long and it is part of people’s day to day life. I am eagerly awaiting reading his book. I am sure it will teach me something about the industry and song writing as well.

    He has come in for criticism for compromising on quality at several occasions as a lyrics writer…

    It’s very subjective. Something which is quality for someone may be esoteric for someone else. One man’s poison is another man’s food. It is unfair to categorise him like that. Let’s face it so called songs have worked for people and the industry has again and again went to him. He connects with people very fast and that’s his strength. I respect his approach and after all nothing succeeds like success.

    You are a quality lyricist but why such scarcity of your films with credits of Prasoon Joshi

    Before turning a lyricist I had been struggling. I also have my responsibilities towards Advertising which is my profession and it supported me for so long. I have my responsibilities over there which didn’t allow me to take up too much work. I just take on very few projects in a year so that don’t have more than what I can chew. In the future when I have more time I shall do more films.

    So, what films are you doing right now….?

    I am doing Aamir’s next film as a producer which is called ‘Taare Zameen Par’. It’s a children’s film. I am also doing Rituparno Sengupta’s ‘Sunglass’.

    Rang De Basanti has been nominated for the Oscars….You have written the lyrics as well as the dialogues….

    ‘Rang De Basanti’ is a very special project. I must admit it’s not difficult to churn out songs for me but with RDB I felt I am stuck because the subject was so honest. If I am not feeling from inside I can’t write. We had discussions with Rakeysh, Rehman and Aamir. And then suddenly it started flowing…Boom boom…I wrote three versions of ‘Rubaroo’ and we recorded all of them…Me and Rehman we went mad with that song…..Tomorrow if someone wants to archive we have three recorded versions of ‘Rubaroo’. I think initially it was very tough but when I got into the groove of ‘Rang De Basanti’ things flowed…I am still in the groove of ‘Rang De Basanti’….I still haven’t come out of it. The message of the film is very strong….We still discuss RDB…

    What are your impressions about the film getting nominated for the final five in Oscars?

    That is very difficult to say unless you watch all the films at one go. It will be unfair to say that if we don’t watch all the films together it won’t be proper to say that RDB is the best film even though I am so close to it. It also depends on the jury. And something which is close to this country may not be contextual to other countries. There are lots of variables there. But I am happy that it has been recognized by this country.

    RDB is one extreme of patriotism while in ‘Fanah’ you turn an absolute romantic….It was a total departure…

    It was a conscious decision. I always want to do new stuff. I wrote for women…I wrote for ‘Silk Route’ then I wrote for ‘Aankhen’, Aids film ‘Phir Milenge’…then I wrote one song in ‘Black’….Haan Maine Choo kar Dekha Hai…Mausam Ki Adla Badli Mein Pawan Gulabi Ho Jaati Hai…Haan Maine Choo Kar Dekha Hai…Raat Sadak Ke Chalte Chalte Bilkul Aadhi Ho Jaati Hai…Haa Maine Choo Kar Dekha Hai…Garam Gunguni Dhoop Se Baatein Ki Hai Maine…Paani Ke Behne Mein Hasi Suni Hai Maine…Sab Kahte Hain Deep Bujhe Hai Lekin Baati So Jaati Hai…Haan Maine Choo Kar Dekha Hai….it’s a person who is blind…and the thought was that a person who can’t see maybe that person can see more than us…

    Are you a part of ‘Saawariya’


    There’s an element of Hindustani in your lyrics which is an effortless mixture of Hindi and Urdu…In fact you are the only one who seems to be doing that….

    I owe this to my upbringing because I was brought up in a Hindi family where lots of Hindi books were available. Later on I got exposure as I stayed in cities like Rampur, Lucknow, Muradabad…which have a lot of Urdu influence. I read a lot of Urdu poets. In my life Urdu and Hindi came very effortlessly. All my parents who spoke Urdu I got an opportunity to converse with them fluently.

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