Bollywood lyricists; a lost world in the glamour of singers and musicians

Here's an ode to Bollywood lyrics, a world of words that often gets lost in the glamorous world of music and singing.

Bollywood lyricists; a lost world in the glamour of singers and musicians

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Prasoon Joshi and Gulzar

Yesterday, the much-awaited number of ‘Half Girlfriend’, ‘Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga’ was unveiled. The soulful voice of Arijit struck chords of our hearts yet again, as we sank into the sweet melancholy that love is, feeling the pangs that Madhav bears for Riya. The words were equally poignant but as usual, social media just remembered the composer (Mithoon), and the singer (Arijit), and nowhere did the mention of Manoj Muntashir come, the one whose beautiful Urdu verses brought the song alive. It triggered the lyricist, and why will it not, when his words were what brought out the soul of the number, combined with the amazing voice of Arijit and musical composition of Mithoon.

But it surely got us thinking.

What is it that comes to our mind, when we first listen to a song? The music, whether or not it strums the beats of your hearts, the singer, how deep can the soulful voice penetrate inside your conscience. We do fall in love with the words too, but that comes as an afterthought, and then we search on the internet for the name of the lyricist, a part of the composition who is mostly forgotten.

We know Arijit Singh, we know Pritam, we know Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, we know Jatin-Lalit, Udit Narayan, Shreya Ghoshal, and the likes. But, how many of us have heard the names of Aditi Paul, Swanand Kirkire, or even Prasoon Joshi, just with a click as soon as we hear their words? Not really. Reason being that the publicity that the two elements of a music composition, tune and vocals, get, is not received by the third element, lyrics, and the person behind it.

Whenever there is a new song release, the singer, and the musicians trend on social media. Lyricist, as an afterthought. However, these are the people whose words bring meaning and soul to the song, the words that stay after you, long after you have heard the melody, a poetry soothing your heart and soul.

Be it the musings of Javed Akhtar and Gulzar, or the new-gen rebellions fused with poetry, of Prasoon Joshi, Irshad Kaamil and Amitabh Bhattacharya, and the likes, the lyrics and words have changed a lot in Bollywood. There is a whole transition that words and their meaning have gone through, beautifully transporting us.

Remember the poetry of ‘Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara’, that whimsically played with us? As stunning visuals passed before our eyes, the musings of Imraan’s character brought a charm to the scene that otherwise would have been forgotten. It was later on, that we came to know that the words that were magically feeding our parched souls were actually penned down by Javed Akhtar. See what we are driving at? Even a name so popular has been victim to this mere practice of forgetting the lyricist, and giving all credit to what we hear and see, not what we process, in the form of words.

Lyrics are the soul of the song, the scene, the tune that lingers in our minds. These should not be forgotten. We rest what we had to say, with these beautiful lines by Javed Akhtar,

Kyon dare zindagi mein kya hoga,

Kuch na hoga toh tazurba hoga,

Hansti aankhon mein jhaank kar dekho,

Koi aansun kahin chhupa hoga.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Even without music, even without a voice. Such, is the magic of words, such is the power of lyrics, something that gets lost in the glamorous world of singers and musicians.