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Playing With Words: ‘Irshad Kamil’

Irshad Kamil on the creatives of writing poetry and lyrics for films

Written by Screen Correspondent | Mumbai | Updated: February 13, 2015 9:47:59 am

irshad kamil

With the release of his book of poems, Ek Mahina Nazmon Ka, lyricist IRSHAD KAMIL on the creatives of writing poetry and lyrics for films.

Q.1 What is the major difference between writing lyrics and poetry?

Poetry is a free process, it is like flying in the sky. Writing songs too is similar to flying in the sky but within limits, as there are a number of factors to be taken into account.

Q.2 What was your experience while writing the book; did it give you the artistic freedom that writers crave for?

There is more freedom when you are writing for yourself, than when you are working for someone else. For films, you have to keep the story and characters in mind, whereas while writing poetry, our emotions and thoughts flow without any constraints. I have been writing poetry since a long time. This being my first book, Ek Mahina Nazmon Ka, I have written it in a particular nazm meant for my young followers and fans and has the tagline Love’s Long Biography. As the title suggests, it is a book on love with a very contemporary feel to it.

Q.3 Who is your favorite poet?

When you limit yourself to one favourite poet, the tendency to imitate the person increases. This is not good as you are robbed of your originality. But I do admire a few poets like Nirala, Kumar Ambuj, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Surjit Patra, Russian poet Rasool Hamzatov, Japanese poet Kazuko, German poet Rilke and Balamani Amma from the South as well.

Q. 4 Poetry encompasses different emotions on love and life. What does your poetry reflect?

Poetry is a medium to transmit your feelings and emotions on paper. If your feelings are true, your poetry will be honest, but if your feelings are fake, then your poetry will sound fake.

Q.5 How would you evaluate the poetry written by Farhan Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi?

They write very well. A poem expresses the latent feelings and emotions of the person. There have been several instances of members of the film fraternity penning poems in various forms which have always turned out to be good.

Q.6 You have been writing poetry since a long time, so how has your writing evolved over the years?

Writing poetry is an inherent talent, you are born with. But yes, over the years with experience we evolve as writers and poets. I have done a doctorate in Contemporary Hindi Poetry, and our syllabus involved reading lot of poetry. The habit of reading continued even after completion of the course. So, in order to be a good writer, you have to be a voracious reader.

Q.7 Where does your inspiration to write poetry come from?

I derive my inspiration from life, society, the world and the people around me with whom I interact. They are my muse from which I derive my inspiration.

Q. 8 The title of your book is very unusual, Ek Mahina Nazmon Ka.

There is a poem in the book titled Ek Mahina Nazmon Ka, which I liked, hence I decided to give that as the title of the book. Besides, it is a very apt title as the book contains 31 long and short poems for each day of the month.

Q.9 While, earlier poetry was written by a very niche audience, in recent times, we have people posting their poems on social networking sites too. What do you think of this trend?

Although it is a good trend, the poetry that we get to read on social media sites is more often to grab attention. But having said that, there are also some serious writers who post very good work. However, such writers should not judge their work by the number of likes and comments that they receive, but should strive to work towards improving their art. We should encourage the use of poetry in films, because we always get a good response when poetry is incorporated in dialogues in movies.

Q.10 Is it easier to get a book published if you are a celebrity?

It is not necessary to be popular to get your book published. You can get your book published by a local publisher as well. But, getting a book published is not important, the book should be read by people. There are many platforms today that promote young talent and even publish their books. Earlier, one of my plays Bolti Deewarein was published. I had also written an analytical book on Hindi poetry – Samkaleen Kavita

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