‘Words are all I Have’

For award-winning lyricist-writer Irshad Kamil,every word has a soul and resonates with meaning.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published: March 13, 2012 3:47:13 am

There is a storm raging within him,a tempest of emotions,a rising wave of words that crash against the boundaries of his mind. Beneath his calm exterior,award-winning writer-lyricist Irshad Kamil struggles each day to find the perfect word,one that would do justice to his endless conflict and conversations with the self. “Words are nothing but expressions,expressions are nothing but emotions,emotions are nothing but feelings,feelings are nothing but poetry,poetry is nothing but soulful words,and every word has a soul,” he blogs on http://www.irshadkamil.com. It was the very stirring soul of the songs he penned for Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar that once again catapulted Kamil into limelight,taking him notches up in Indian cinema.

By infusing the element of truth,Kamil’s lyrics have raised the bar. Rockstar’s Sadda Haq is not just a song,it’s an anthem for justice,just like Kun Faya Kun is a heartfelt desire to reach out to God. He agrees there were moments when words almost ruined him. “Words have to be a xerox copy of your thoughts,and many a time,they are not,hence the song,‘Jo bhi main kehna chahoon,barbaad karein alfaaz mere’,” says Kamil.

As we meet him at the Chandigarh Press Club,Kamil opens up about his life,his frustrations,his junoon to go to Mumbai,and his karmic connection with Imtiaz Ali. “Imtiaz says he understands his song situation through me,” says Kamil.

A celebrated and sought-after lyricist,his diary is booked — there is Prakash Jha’s next film on Naxal movement called Chakravyuh,Saif Ali Khan’s Cocktail with Deepika Padukone and Akshay Kumar’s con film,Special Chhhabees. He is also penning a number for Son of Sardar on “Ajay Devgn and Kajol’s request”. Still,amid all the stars and success,Kamil stays grounded,just the way he was when he first spoke about his songs in Chameli and Jab We Met . A Phd in Hindi poetry,a writer and a former journalist,Kamil’s come a long way from Malerkotla in Punjab,writing poetry as a boy on his roof top,sharing rounds of shayari in college and working in television. “I was in Class V when my elder sister caught me writing a poem on Baabul. The song Baabul Pyaare was a hit in those days and I got inspired,” recalls Kamil,who later got a chance to work with Lekh Tandon on Zee’s Kahaan Se Kahaan Tak . “I always knew I had a flair for writing,and I started expressing in Hindi,Urdu and Punjabi for I feel language chooses a thought,” he adds.

Every day is a war,says Kamil,wherein he prepares with an army of words. “I sleep early in the morning,wake up around noon,grab bottles of water and sit in my balcony with my thoughts. Film writing to me is homework. My aim is to bridge the gap between pure and popular literature,” he says.

From serials to films,Kamil climbed the ladder. But it was Ali’s films that gave a vent to his innermost emotions and he says,“It was easy for me to relate to the character of Jordan in Rockstar. Jordan was me. I had my frustrations when my family pushed me into doing a PhD,into odd jobs,and questioning my move to Mumbai and how would I survive as a writer.”

Will he be able to pen another Sadda Haq ? “ Rockstar is just the tip of the iceberg,there is much more to come,” he says. For starters,there is Bolti Deewarein ,a play he’s written on redefining relationships that will be staged in Chandigarh on April 20.

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