His words have explained the state of our minds and set our moods. The lyricist of songs for films such as Tamasha, Rockstar, Zero and Sultan, among others, Irshad Kamil (pictured) launched his fourth book, Kaali Aurat ka Khwab, which is a collection of some of Kamil’s finest songs along with the stories behind them. It’s his way of painting a picture of his journey.
“People who are close to me and admire my work have often said that these songs not only make impact musically but even reading them is intriguing. As these songs were already out, I didn’t want to give another song book to the world. I added small anecdotes and titbits about the process behind these instead. More than a biography, this book is a biography of the songs I have written,” says Kamil, whose other books include Ek Maheena Nazmon Ka, on poetry, and Bolti Deewarein.
Kaali Aurat ka Khwaab, which loosely translates to Desire of the Black Lady, covers the period between Kamil’s first film, Chameli and his first “Black lady” or the Filmfare award for Love Aaj Kal. The book, with 15 chapters, contains equal amounts of prose and poetry. “All the unused verses, creative arguments during the process and interesting conversations are also included in the book,” says Kamil.
As he graduated from writing soap operas to becoming a lyricist, Kamil’s priority was to “keep the songs as real as possible”. Giving an example from his recent film Zero, Kamil talks about “Mere naam tu”, and says, “The song is about an epic romance that promises to last forever. To put forever in other words, I wrote Jab tak jahaan mein subah sham hai, tab tak mere naam tu (As long as the world has its mornings and evenings, you will be mine), which gives a beautiful twist to the idea of forever. I try to keep the emotions as real as they can be.”
Kamil, who wrote Jo bhi main, kehna chahu in Rockstar, is also the founder of Ink Band, considered to be the country’s first poetry band. He says, “Poetry has a great impact on this generation. I have seen youngsters captioning their social media posts with few verses of poetry. This band reflects on simple, conversational poems with music. This, in turn, has built our connection with young listeners and aspiring poets across all age groups.”
Performing majorly for college students, the band also has a YouTube channel, and their first video was launched by Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman. The poetry band released music videos featuring Kamil’s non-film song music series too. The compositions of the band are a mixture of poetry and music with an emphasis on expression. Musicians Prajakta Shukre, Agnel Roman, Ragini Shankar, Shridhar Nagraj, Ankush Boradkar and Deepanshu Pandit are the other members of the band.