'I just live with my thoughts'

Famed lyricist Irshad Kamil who has penned some truly romantic numbers like Tum se hi, Tera hone laga hoon and the recent Tum tak and Main rang sharbaton ka from Phata Poster Nikhla Hero talks to CS about romance and writing.

Tribute to love
My idea was to write a purely romantic number. I wanted to compose something that did not look superficial. I took into account the characters of Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz and wrote something that came straight from the heart.

Love then and now
Films are incomplete without romance, and so is life. However, the outlook towards romance has changed. In modern times, sitting in a coffee shop is romantic, and so is getting away from the hustle bustle of the city for some quiet time. Producers want to cater to the youngsters who love disco numbers. This is why soft romantic numbers are slowly on the decline, and the reason behind modern love songs being fast-paced. Once in a while, we have songs like Aise na dekho, which was a soft number with only the guitar playing in the background.

Words of the rivals
I feel Sayed Quadri writes some fabulous romantic numbers. Swanand Kirkire too has some beautiful songs to his credit, I loved the ones in Barfi! Amitabh Bhattacharya who is famous for his zany lyrics can also pen down love songs with élan. Lastly, I like the work of Raj Shekhar who wrote for Tanu Weds Manu. I think he has a great future ahead.

Reflecting society
Whether it’s cinema or literature, every art mirrors society. Art that does not reflect any aspect of society doesn’t have heart to it. It’s nice to see new age directors, scriptwriters and lyricists trying to mirror society in their works. Talking about the new wave in cinema, I feel that people have realised that there are takers for every kind of film in India.

In my own world
A writer lives in his own world. His existence is dictated and ruled by his dreams which occupy his mind and heart for the greater part of time. If he lives in the mundane world that surrounds us, he won’t be able to write two romantic lines even for his wife. I am a very practical and pragmatic person in real life. All of us need to be like that because of the cut throat world we live in. However, I just live with my thoughts when I am at my writing desk in my study room.

Poetry rules
My favourite poets in contemporary Urdu are Dr. Bashir Badar, Waseem Varelvi. In Hindi, I like Uday Prakash and Manglesh Dabral. When it comes to Punjabi poetry, there’s Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Surjit Paatar. I love Russian poet Hamza.
Nothing beats the joy of reading. Literature makes your life a blissful one.  

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