As I am jotting down this post, Javed Akhtar Sahab is writing lyrics for Shantanu Moitra under Rakeysh Mehra's direction. Prasoon Joshi is busy penning down lyrics for Vishal Shekhar and Zoya Akhtar is the director here. Well, I have been a witness to a wonderful music workshop here at IIFA, Singapore. It has been a great debate on the method of making music in Bollywood. Javed Sahab surprised everyone with the information of the presence of 50 songs in the first talkie film (Aalam Ara) of India. He also enlightened the gathering with the information on Urdu-Parsi theatre groups that were extremely popular during the 1930s.
There was a heated debate on the relevance of lip sync songs versus songs that are used in the background in a film. Javed Sahab vociferously supported the lip synch songs while his daughter Zoya Akhtar stressed on the 'requirement' of a situation in a film rather than blindly adhering to the lip synch formula. The panel also discussed the age old debate on lyrics-written-on-tune or Tune-written-on-lyrics. Prasoon shared his experience stating that it can happen either ways. He wrote the title track of Rang De Basanti and Rahman composed the tune later. He also said that there are occasions when one line of a tune leads to several lines of words and then the song develops. Umrao Jaan's ghazals had been written by Abba much before they were used in the film. Yes he did tweak the words slightly. Seene Mein Jalan from Gaman was a ghazal written by Abba and Muzaffar Ali sought permission to use it in his debut film. The rest is history. Abba did write to Shiv-Hari's tunes in Yash Chopra's Faasle but even there one ghazal 'yeh khafile yaadon ke kahin kho gaye hote' was taken from a ghazal written much earlier.
The two teams will be presenting their impromptu compositions shortly. For me, this has been the most fascinating event of IIFA Singapore so far. Very very intellectually stimulating.
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