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Niranjan Iyengar: New season of '24' more complicated

Screenwriter and lyricist Niranjan Iyengar, who is back with the second season of his celebrity talk show 'Look Who's Talking With Iyengar', is also busy penning dialogues for the second season of the Indian version of hit television series '24'. He says it will be more complicated.

Anil Kapoor in '24'
Anil Kapoor in '24'

"It is a far more complicated plot than the show's first season. The drama quotient has been upped a lot. It is a very different format with a different tone. I am glad that the first season was accepted well and now we have a second season coming up," Iyengar told IANS on phone from Mumbai.

Actor Anil Kapoor brought a 'desi' version of the show '24' to Indian TV screens via Colors in 2013. A new concept, with high production values, an impressive line-up of actors like Shabana Azmi, Tisca Chopra and Mandira Bedi, the show struck a chord with viewers.

Iyengar, whose career has taken many twists and turns, began his professional journey as a film journalist and went on to assist Manish Malhotra as a costume associate.

"I started working as a film journalist in the 1990s. Till about 1996 I worked as a film journalist. Then I joined Manish Malhotra for three years as a costume associate and did a lot of fashion shows. I also did clothes for film stars," he reminisced.

Iyengar has also penned two songs for the remake of Subhash Ghai's "Hero" and is also co-writing the dialogues for Karan Johar's directorial "Ae Dil Hai Muskhil".

Asked how he ventured into writing dialogues and lyrics for films, Iyengar said he took those opportunities as they came.

"I came back to writing with my book 'The Making of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' for Karan in 2000. While doing it, I used to be on the sets and I used to suggest lines to Karan. Then he offered me 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. He was writing the screenplay and he wanted me to write the dialogues. That's how I got into dialogue writing," he said.

As far as writing lyrics is concerned, Iyengar began his journey with "My Name is Khan" in 2009.

"In 2009, Karan was doing 'My Name is Khan'. On one of the music sittings for the film, I started working on the songs and that's how I wrote 'Sajda' and that's when my foray into lyrics began. I also wrote lyrics for films like 'Kurbaan' and 'Heroine'," he said.

Amid the changing landscape of the Hindi film industry, where films like "Masaan" with bold storyline and dialogues are getting widespread acclaim, Iyengar says it is a "great sign".

"The face of cinema changes every decade. What I feel now is that they have found a sizeable audience. Earlier people used to only like the commercial mainstream, but today the audience is willing to watch a 'Masaan'. That's why they found the platform in multiplex. That's a great sign," he said.

The second season of "Look Who's Talking With Iyengar" airs on Zee Cafe on Sunday.

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