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Kausar Munir reveals how music composers send same musical note to different lyricists

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Indian Screenwriters Conference 2018, the lyricist narrated an anecdote on how composer Pritam had used lyrics by her and Amitabh Bhattacharya and mixed them in a song for Tubelight (2017).

Varun Grover, Kausar Munir and Swanand Kirkire at a session at the Indian Screenwriters Conference 2018. (Photo Shutterbugs Images)

Mayur Lookhar

A writer puts his/her heart and soul to pen what he/she believes is a fine piece of work. However, things don’t always pan out as the writer had perceived it to be, often leading to frustration. Writers go through some bizarre experiences too.

Lyricists Kausar Munir, Swanand Kirkire, Abhiruchi Chand and Shellee were part of a panel that discussed a few issues that writers face at the 'Pal Do Pal Ka Shahyar' session at the thre-day Indian Screenwriters Conference 2018 in Mumbai.

Munir shared the bizarre experience she had when she wrote a few songs for Tubelight (2017), starring and produced by Salman Khan. The rest were written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The duo were alarmed to know that music composers sent the same musical note to different lyricists.

“Amitabh Bhattacharya wrote a few songs for Tubelight and so did I. We went together for the premiere show. Before every song would play on the screen, both of us would say, this is my song. So, we had a song where Bhattacharya said that this is his song, I told him, no it is mine. The body language changed. So, as it turned out, the first few lines were written by him, [and the] cross line was mine," said Munir.

Kausar Munir

After the film screening, Munir and Bhattacharya cornered Tubelight (2017) composer Pritam. “You would be livid at Pritam, but when he is present in front of you, then you can't help but be nice to him. Pritam merely said 'speak to the producer'," said Munir. She went on to mock that idea saying, "Who is the producer of Tubelight? I’m not going to speak to him! [Salman Khan],” she said, as the audience laughed and clapped.

A young writer from the audience spoke about how writers send their lyrics, but it might take a long time for the them to be transformed into a song, and there are further delays by the time it is used in a film. Many a times a lyricist may not even know eventually if his/her song is featured in a film.

Agreeing with the dilemma brought forth by the member of the audience, Lyricist-singer-actor Swanand Kirkire said, "Today, [writers] are epxected to write generic songs. People [producers, composers] would tell you, 'sir write such a song that can be fitted to any film.' Why would I write such a song? I rather write a song that is part of a particular film, a song that is organically made for this film. Earlier, we wrote songs according to the situation. Today, we don't have these situations. A lyricist may have to write generic songs, but the sooner they leave it, the better [it is] for their growth,” said Kirkire.

Swanand Kirkire