AM Turaz: In Sanjay Leela Bhansali's songs, the lyrics shine

19 May,2024 06:23 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sonia Lulla

With Heeramandi marking his sixth collaboration with Bhansali, lyricist Turaz on why he keeps returning to the veteran’s stable

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar marks lyricist AM Turaz's sixth collaboration with the director after past hits like Bajirao Mastani and Gangubai Kathiawadi. In this interview, he discusses creating music that did justice to the plot, and why the veteran director keeps turning to him to create magic with words.

Edited excerpts of the interview.

Why do you believe your association with Bhansali has been such a successful one?
Whatever magic exists [in our work], it is because of him. He respects good writing, and is passionate. I have learned a lot from him. He brings out the best in me. The kind of work that I can produce with him is one that I cannot with any other filmmaker, because he respects a creator. Usually, a film eventually seems to belong to the actor [alone]. Sure, an actor is the film's face, but the other creators need to be respected so that we are motivated to keep producing better work.

I am thankful to him for giving me good opportunities. If you notice his songs, you'll see that the lyrics are the stars. People say that the kind of lyrics we've written in Heeramandi are not the type people like to hear. But that's not true. There is a large audience for each kind of music.

Bhansali has previously said that he creates his films while also thinking about the music. We knew we were exploring an era that was far different from ours. We had to work on creating poetry that did justice to it. For instance, if you consider the song Saiyaan hatto jaao, it resembles the kind of flirtatious interaction that people had in that era. We also had to create poetry that did justice to a character who enjoyed shayri.

What was the kind of research that you did to replicate the music of that era?
I am a poet and read a lot of literature. For this film, we didn't create anything different; we simply revived the magic that existed in our history. We took inspiration from the bandish of Amir Khusro. If our people weren't drawn to our culture, a series like Heeramandi would not work. We need to trust our work, and we know that many people have faith in our trust. We don't need to destroy our history.

Is there any song from the set list that holds special significance for you?
Azadi is an important song for me because we have put the spotlight on women, a group that comprises 50 per cent of our population. If a group makes up half of our population, their rights should be equal to our own. When it comes to accounting for what has been done for the country, only the things that have been done are of importance; the individual's religion is of no significance. When women ask for freedom, they want it for their husbands, children, or other family members. We wanted to lavishly showcase that burning desire for freedom among women via this song.

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sanjay leela bhansali Heeramandi bajirao mastani Gangubai Kathiawadi bollywood news Entertainment News
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