Sandeep Nath is a well known name of Bollywood. He is a lyricist, poet, shayer and screen writer. A renowned Indian film and literature personality, he has written golden words in the shape of songs in many a hit Bollywood films like Bhoot, Paisa Vasool, Page 3, Sarkar, Saawariya, Sarkar Raj, Fashion, Wada Raha, Jail which provided him fame and acclaim.
Excerpts of interview with lyricist Sandeep Nath
Q. Tell us about your childhood and the influences upon you that probably marked your personality, writing and future?
Ans. I was born in UP in a bengali family. My childhood was spent in Allahabad. After that we moved to different parts of UP off and on. I mainly studied in Allahabad, Moradabad, Bijnor (Dhampur & Chandpur). I started writing poetries at the age of 12 but it came into notice after 4 years when my mother saw my diary. She suggested me some changes and boosted my interest. After that there was no looking back. Writing something everyday becomes my passion. Slowly and gradually I became popular among friends. After reaching Moradabad & later Bijnor my poetry took wings. UP has that ganga-jamuna culture i.e. you have that Hindi-Urdu culture floating in the term of poetry. It helped me a lot to grow and understand the power of words.
Q. What made you switch over from mainstream journalism particularly crime journalism to poetry writing. Looking back which one interests you more?
Ans. Actually I am a very curious kind of a person, what is happening around....why it is....i look for answers. If i don't get them then it bothers me and then some piece of writing starts which is either a poetry, an article or story. Some time it comes in the form of discussions and debate. So more than crime I am always worried about the reasons of crime specially the social aspects. I have done crime journalism and poetry parallelly.
Q. You have penned down some beautiful numbers like 'Kitne ajeeb rishte hain yahan pe....., Fashion ka hai ye jalwa....., Govinda-Govinda, O Sikandar... and now Aye Janani..... Does your writing come from inspiration or need or by chance?
Ans. I always get a drive by the situations given by my directors. Then I place myself in the character and situations, start thinking in their way, then mix my experience of life and slowly-slowly a song starts forming. Actually creative process is a natural thing. One cannot force or manipulate it. It comes automatically.
Q. You have written for some of the best film makers like Madhur Bhandarkar, Ram Gopal Verma, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Mahesh Manjarekar, Tigmanshu Dhuliya, Sudhir Mishra, Major Ravi who according to you are capable of extracting the best out from you as a lyricist?
Ans. It is very difficult to answer. Every director has his own way of thinking and narrating a story. How he wants to position the song, everything depends on it. All the directors I have worked for are very talented so that way I have tried to give my best according to their needs.
Q. Who is your favorite lyricist and which music composer and singer does justice to your lyrics?
Ans. Shailendra ji, Majrooh Sahab, Sahir Sahab, Anand Bakshi, Niraj ji, Gulzar Sahab, Javed Sahab & Prasoon Joshi are my favourites.I have worked with very good composers and singers whether it is Lata Mangeshkarji, Asha Bhonsleji, Sukhvinder Singhji, Shankar Mahadevanji, Kailash Kherji, Shreya Ghoshalji, Sunidhi Chauhaanji, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Kunaal even Aakriti Kakkar and Sonu kakkar sung very well for me. As far as composers are concerned Pritam, Monty, Shamir Tandon, Salim-Sulemaan, Bapi-Tutul, Abhishek Ray, Sharib-Toshi, Anuj Garg everybody have done justice to my words.
Q. What genre do you prefer writing for (like romance, jingle) What all type of verses do you write. I believe you are writing a script too now?
Ans. Genre is immaterial for me, I only think about the situation, mental status of character, scenario. I am comfortable with all genres. As far as script writing is concerned, yes I am writing several films as screenplay & dialogue writer some of them will be released soon.
Q. Every artist dreams of the highest recognition in the shape of awards. Do you dream of a national award as best lyricist one day?
Ans. Yes, I am hopeful one day I will get the National Award. But during the writing I only think about my work.
Q. Do you agree that the quality of poetry has gone from bad to worse in present times and that music takes an upper hand than words of the number and its meaning?
Ans. I do agree but I'm hopeful good poetry will remain alive. Nobody can kill good poetry whether it is market pressure or anything else.
Q. Folk songs are being remade and remixed to give them a fresh and new feel with a popularity quotient. Does this have an effect on modern lyricists and their writing. In short are you affected.(eg Munni badnam and the likes)?
Ans. Everybody has his or her own way of thinking. I am not much concerned about it.
Q. We find lyricists like Javed Akhtar and Gulzar writing very mundane and colloquial poetry which goes hit with its snazzy music like 'Kajrare...'of the former and 'Beedi jalai le..., and 'Kaminey...'of the latter. What do you have to say about this kind of writing.Will you try writing like this too?
Ans. Actually films are a mass oriented medium and entertainment is an important aspect of film making so these kinds of songs become a good tool of entertainment plus it makes aware the younger listeners about our folk music.
Q. What do you have to say about the competition in every art in the industry these days. How difficult is the survival and what are the factors that can keep you at the top?
Ans. As far as the struggle in film industry is concerned it’s more mental. If you are prepared and sure about your talent then nothing can stop you and reaching to the top depends on lots of things. Most of the people say its luck but I am not sure whether its luck or something else.
Q. As a lyricist are you satisfied with the music composition that the music directors accord to your lyrics?
Ans. Definitely, a song is a combination of lyrics, composition & singing. Every department has to be strong and gel with each-other.
Q. What difficulties did you have to face to reach this place of having made a name to be reckoned with. You have written hit songs for hit movies like Page3, Corporate, Sarkar, Sawariya, Sarkar raj, Fashion, Kaandhaar etc.?
Ans. If I will only remember the difficulties then life will become more difficult. I always look forward and wait for the right opportunity. Once I get them I put my heart and soul to it.
Q. How you would define success in the industry and what are the hurdles that you find in the road to success here?
Ans. Success is a tricky word. It has lots of meanings. In my eyes success is consistency and to break the boundaries made by you and others. But it is not easy I am trying and trying.
Born poet, bred lyricist: Sandeep Nath