“I HAVE WORKED WITH AS MANY AS 189 MUSIC DIRECTORS RIGHT FROM SHANKAR JAIKISHEN TO HIMESH RESHAMMIYA AS WELL AS 190 PLAYBACK SINGERS INCLUDING SONU NIGAM AND SALMAN KHAN”
Believe it or not, the veteran lyricist Sudhakar Sharma has written not just one or two but all the five songs for the Hindi version of the Marathi film Roundal. When I met him at the trailer launch of the film at Famous Studios in Mahalakshmi, Sudhakar was nostalgic with pride as he mentioned to me that it was the same old Famous where he had started his career way back four decades ago as an assistant who washed his car and swept the floors at the office of the veteran music directors duo Shankar Jaikishan
Over to Sudhakar Sharma
You hail from Haryana. How come you have written a song in Hindi for a Marathi film which has a completely different ethos?
Yes. Though I hail from Haryana, I feel that language can never be a barrier as far as music is concerned. I am not a Rajasthani but have written lyrics form 37 films in Rajasthani
Is this your first attempt at writing the Marathi version of a song in a film in Hindi?
No. It is for the third time that I have written in Hindi for a Marathi song. Earlier I had written for the Marathi film Saali Ne Kela Ghotala which I had written for music director Ashok Patki
How challenging was it for you to write for a Hindi version of a Marathi film like Roundel?
It was indeed challenging for me as a lyricist because I had told the producer that I would not literally translate the Marathi lines but write separately adhering to the meter. Roundel is about exploitation but it also has a track, of romance between the leading pair
In what way is it difficult to write the lines of a film which is dubbed from Marathi to Hindi?
The biggest challenge is that the culture of Marathi language is very different, The Hindi culture is the mother of all cultures. If the word Bellary, is used it will not be accepted in Hindi unless and until the song is picturized on a superstar. I had to write Bellari as Beliya Re as I no longer believe in making thukbandhi
How many songs have you written for the Hindi version of the film Roundel?
Though there are only four songs in Marathi, there are five in Hindi. Sonu Nigam, Javed Ali and Vaishali Maade have sung for both the versions of the film
Isn’t it for the second time that Sonu Nigam has sung a song written by you in Hindi?
Yes. It is after nearly nineteen years that Sonu Nigam who had sung a song for me way back in 2004 has sung for me, I should say that Sonu met me warmly when he came to record the song for the film.
Did you always know on whom the song would be picturised when you write a song?
No. Most of the time we do not know on whom a song is going to be picturised when we write the lines.. I asked Himesh Reshammiya on whom a song written by me and sung by Kumar Sanu was going to be picturised and he told me that the heroine opposite Salman Khan was Kajol in Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya. Would you believe it, to suit the presence of Kajol in the song, I rang up Sanu and asked him to add two lines- Tauba Tauba Yeh Aankhen Karti Hain Sau Sau Baatein
Salman Khan was the leading man of Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya. I believe you share camaraderie with Salman Khan.
Yes. I have written as many as 19 songs for Salman Khan in his career right from Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya. When you hear the songs, you will feel that Salman Khan himself had written the lines on his own
Do you think it has been tough to hold a distinct place of your own as a lyricist in today’s times when more than one single music director composes music for a film?
Today it is difficult for a lyricist to survive on his own though luckily by God’s grace I am busy even today and have not at all suffered because besides the music director himself, even then arranger, playback singer and also the wife of the music director is keen on writing lyrics
How many songs have you written till date?
Till date, I have worked with as many as 189 music directors right from Shankar Jaikishen to Himesh Reshammiya as well as 190 playback singers including Sonu Nigam and Salman Khan. Shankarji used to tell me to eat anything from the canteen and used to pay my bills and let me sleep in the staircase of Famous Studios during my struggling days. I have written songs which have been picturised on actors like Dharmendra, Salman Khan, Govinda, Rajesh Khanna, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol. I have only tried to learn from my 100 seniors in the profession including Hasrat Jaipuri and Majrooh Sultanpuri by being a part and parcel of all their mehfils, though I humbly state that my plus point is that I do not own anything and have not learnt anything from them.
In what way has lyrics changed from what it used to be earlier and what it is now?
Difference bahut zyada hain aaj kal. Earlier the lyricists had a lot of connection with literature and their roots but unfortunately today no, one is able, to relate to words like Panghat, gaon, chaoon, preet , pyar, nagar and gori because the new culture has taken over and it has become completely corporate oriented
Which are your personal five best among your songs?
Odh Li Chunariya (Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya) Chandi Ke Dal Pe Sone Ka Mor , which was Salman Khan’s first ever song as a playback singer), Manna Da’s Gori Soye Sej Par (Gori) a film starring Swapna and a new boy which I had written and directed before I had turned a lyricist
I have five films now as a lyricist including Atul Kulchaniya’s biopic on Sudarshanji and a Hindi film called Investigation