Sought after Bollywood lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya chats with poet Shailender Singh Sodhi aka Shellee in a Vartaalap organised by the Screen Writers Association. He spills the beans on why he won't write dialogue for a film and the special comfort zone that he shares with composer Amit Trivedi. Aastha Sharma listened in...
Shellee: The contemporary lyricists that we have today like Irshad Kamil, Kausar Munir, Hussain Haidry and Varun write dialogue and screenplays. Some even write plays. Do you ever feel like writing like them, because a well written line can be dialogue as well.
Amitabh Bhattacharya: I’ve been given offers to write scripts, dialogue and stories by many people from the industry. As I do wordplay, they feel that I could write interesting dialogue too. I did try it for some time. But that sense of theatrics, screenplay and cinema, where I am told to lift one scene from the other, it is beyond me. I cannot understand that. I just enjoy playing with words around tunes and rhythms. And that is what I am still doing. Fifteen years ago I never thought I would be a lyricist, but I am one today. So you never know if my interest diverts towards that in future, then maybe I would choose that road. But as of now I am satisfied with whatever I am doing.
Shellee: Which are your favourite songs or albums so far?
Amitabh Bhattacharya: There are many albums and songs. But if I were to name a few that were somehow connected to me or have been a turning point, would start with Dev D and Emotional atyachar. Albums like Udaan, Agneepath, Lootera, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dangal are very close to my heart and have given me a sense of satisfaction. I have been proud to be a part of some very good films like Aamir, Udaan and Dangal. There are some singles as well that I enjoyed writing.
Shellee: Does Amit Trivedi have a different style of working?
Amitabh Bhattacharya: Yes, there is something special about Amit Trivedi, of course.
Shellee: When I write for Amit, though it is challenging, I have a different level of excitement. Even when you wrote songs for him - like Iktara with Kavita Seth or Emotional atyachar - they have been magical in their own way. Why do you think your collaboration with Amit Trivedi is so charismatic?
Amitabh Bhattacharya: I cannot provide a definite answer to this. Actually, the chemistry between the collaborators matters a lot. You do share a great chemistry with some people you collaborate with, right from the day one. And the result of the collaboration works wonders. Amit and I were friends and entered the industry at the same time. We shared a comfort zone. So the comfort zone helped us ease any kind of stress. He used to work on the tunes and rhythms and I used to work on lyrics. We trusted each other. The songs on which we have worked together are very special to both of us. Somehow I feel Amit Trivedi’s music and my lyrics create a special place in one's heart. Today if I work for Amit on any kind of music, it comes from a special place in my heart. For me it is like coming back home… yahan se maine shuruwat ki thi. This is the reason that the result is awesome, because it comes from a pure space.