The presence of National Award winning lyricist Prasoon Joshi at the Jaipur Literature Festival drew a packed house at the sessions he attended.
He composed the lyrics for Hawan Karenge from the film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Questioned about the vulgarity in ‘item songs’, he said, "The success of my song Hawan Karenge proves that it is not necessary to use vulgar words in item songs.
“Every song that I write is a story that tells the same things but in a way that touches one’s soul,” he said.
He is a regular at JLF for the past three years. The audience lapped up his rendering of Tujhe Sab Hai Pata from Taare Zameen Par, Rubaru from Rang De Basanti, and Mashal from Satyagrah.
“Kyon sahte hai wasn’t part of the initial song that we had composed for Rang De Basanti. The sound engineer put it in by mistake,” he revealed about Rubaru.
He entertained the audience with other such trivia. In one song, he said, he used the term H2SO4 instead of the more colloquial tezaab (acid). “But I did it because I was a physics and science student. So, what you study never goes in vain,” he told his mainly young audience.
The lyricist brought a lot of positive energy to the session. He stressed on individual identity. “What makes you unique is what you are.”
Joshi filled in for poet Javed Akhtar, who cancelled due to ill health. “When a language dies, its culture dies along with it. There is no fight between languages, the fight is with people. So the language should be saved," said Joshi during a session named ‘Urdu Mein Hindustan.’
In the picture: Prasoon Joshi and Shekhar Pathak in conversation with Manjushree Thapa. Photograph: Chandra Mohan Aloria