By -Rekha Rajvanshi
‘Khud ko Khona Chahta Hun, Sabka Hona Chahta Hun’ Bollywood lyricist Sandeep Nath’s ghazal is still echoing in my mind. Sandeep Nath, a renowned Bollywood lyricist, poet, director and screenwriter visited Sydney on 12th Feb. He has written a variety of songs in many hit Bollywood films like Bhoot, Paisa Vasool, Page 3, Sarkar, Saawariya, Sarkar Raj, Fashion, Wada Raha, Jail, which provided him fame and acclaim.
Sandeep started his literary career as a poet at the age of eighteen. He has two published poetry books “Mujhko Kuch Bhi Naam Doh”, “Darpan Ab Bhi Andha Hai” and many newspaper articles on his credit. He worked with famous Bollywood personalities such as Lata Mangeshkar , Asha Bhonsle, Sukhvindar Singh, Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala, Kailash Kher, Shreya Ghosal, Ram Gopal Varma, Sanjay Leela Bhanshali, Madhur Bhandarkar, Pritam, Monty Sharma, Salim Suleman, Shamir Tandon & many other creative people. Sandeep became popular with his song ‘Sun Raha Hai tu’ from Aashiqui 2. He also got “Stardust Award” for his outstanding performance as a lyricist for the film ‘Saawariya’.
Meet and greet was organized by Neerav Rastogi and Megha Agarwal in the Kings Restaurant and was attended by the prominent people of Sydney. I got an opportunity to interview Sandeep afterwards.
RR- This is your first visit to Sydney, but very short one, any particular reason?
SN- I came to Australia to look for some good shooting locations for my upcoming film, particularly in Brisbane and Gold Coast. My friend Neerav Rastogi invited me to visit Sydney. On his request, I came here. He organized this meet and greet and I am happy to meet creative people of Sydney.
RR- Tell us something about yourself?
SN- I was born in UP in a Bengali family. I studied in Allahabad, Moradabad, Bijnor, Dhampur & Chandpur. I used to pen poems since the age of 12. One day my mother saw my diary, I was 16 then, she was surprised. She encouraged me to continue writing and suggested a few changes. Her support boosted my interest, and writing became my passion. Living in UP, improved my understanding of Ganga-jamni tehjeeb and Hindi-Urdu poetry.
RR- How do you write lyrics for films?
SN- When directors give me a situation and I put myself in it and start thinking like that character, slowly thoughts become words and are expressed in form of lyrics. Whereas some directors ask for a good song and I have to create a situation and link it to the song. I am fortunate that producers or directors didn’t have to change words in my songs and music lovers like them.
RR- These days lyricists are given ready tunes and lyrics are composed on that. How does that work for you?
SN- Yes, that is the trend now a day and all lyricists have to put their best talent forward. I take it as a challenge, work hard, use beautiful words and that’s how the best lyrics are written. I have written different genres of songs varying from melodies, Sufi to item songs. And it’s not only us who are working behind the scenes – there is the cameraman, art director, spot boy – all play an equal part to make a film successful,” says Sandeep.
RR- Please share with us the most interesting moment in your life.
SN- My dream came true when Lata Mangeshkar ji agreed to sing my song. When she was asked to sing for the film Page 3, she said she would sing only if she liked lyrics. It was like sitting in an exam and I gave my heart to it. When my lyrics were sent to her, she not only agreed to sing but also expressed her desire to meet me. She addressed me as ‘Kavi ji’ and blessed me saying ‘this song will become popular’. The song was ‘Kitne Ajeeb Rishte hain yahan pe.’ That was the moment I will always cherish.
RR- Do you think lyricists don’t come in lime light like actors and actresses?
SN- We work behind the scenes but poets and lyricists always had a special place and were treated with respect. We work behind the scenes and play our roles in making a film, same as cameraman, art director, spot boy, choreographer etc.
RR- Any message to the readers of The Indian Telegraph?
SN- What I would like to say is – ‘I enjoyed being here with you all. You are doing an amazing job here in Australia, you live so far away but are still attached to your home country and culture, you know everything happening in India, from politics to Bollywood. You are doing challenging job by teaching your kids Indian Samskara in a foreign land. Please keep doing so and I love you all!’