Lyricist Manoj Muntashir talks to Joanne D'silva about the process of writing the lyrics for Woh baarishein and shared his expectations of the song, He also revealed what was it like working with Arjun Kanungo and more...
What are your expectations from Woh baarishshein?
My expectation of my songs is always high. But for Wo baarishein it is little different, because the song is about heartbreak. So it is beyond numbers, though numbers do matter. More than anything else I want people to relate and connect to it. If they have loved someone or lost someone, I really want this song to bring back a million memories for them.
What was the process when you sat down to write the lyrics?
It is a very organic process. In fact, what I always do is try to get a glimpse of my past in my songs. So that is what it makes them more relatable and real. Otherwise it is very simple to write the routine words about baarish - you can say so much. But what is more special about this song is it actually brings back memories from my college days, when I was in love. I'm still in love with many people, my audience especially. But when I was in love with a girl, my first love, I remember the moment when both of us were holding an umbrella and it was a windy day, so we looked into each other's eyes and let the umbrella fly away. That memory got its place in this song when I heard the tune. The melody was haunting and the tune was beautiful and at the same time, I found it very challenging, because it had its own disjointed structure. For a writer to write in a staccato and disjointed structure is a challenge. And to put everything into some sense was a challenge too, so I tried my best and this memory just comes as a flashback into my mind. I am not sure if this incident happened in July, but the word fit well in the song. And July is the only month In India where it is raining almost everywhere. So the tune guides me and I follow it. When you start listening to the tune many times over, it starts talking to you. In the business of writing, listening is a fine art. The tune gave me words like, "Woh bhi kya shaam thi, barse the toot ke, baadal July ke har jagah, hathon mein chhatriyan, dono ke thi magar, bheege the dono hi bewajah, woh baarishein kya ho gayi."
Whom would you like to dedicate Woh baarishein to?
I would dedicate this song to my audience, because the very idea of writing this song was to connect with the audience. This is something that we all have gone through and this monsoon season, it brings back both happy and sad memories.
How was it working with Arjun Knaungo?
Arjun is a gentleman. A young champ who has everything going for him. And yet, so modest. This is our first song together and once you meet him and talk to him, he is so full of respect. He has a lot of respect for the art and artist. And the person I am, I'm very choosy when it comes to my writing. For a film I'm cool, but for independent music, I am a very hard nut to crack. The moment Arjun called and approached me for the tune... because of my fondness for him, he knew that if I liked the tune I would never say no.
What do you prefer - independent music or film music?
Both platforms have their own space and beauty. As long as there are originals, I am very happy. And the thing is, we are caught in a state where a lot of music has been recreated. But that is not a problem - I recreate a lot of songs and I am very happy that the songs of yesteryear that have been a huge success then and have been forgotten are coming back. But at the same time, if they are coming in at the cost of originals, it is not a good thing. I am someone who wants more and more originals to come in.