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People should choose a film like they choose an author: Gulzar

Aman Kanth

Jaipur: When it comes to music, contemporary Bollywood cinema is passing through one of the most challenging times. In a press conference on changing trends in Bollywood music, the troika of Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi fielded a volley of fiery questions in a thought provoking session ‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil’, discussing the current crisis faced by Hindi songs in Bollywood cinema on the second day of DSC Jaipur Literary Festival 2011.

Here are some of the excerpts:

Role of cinema in society:

Javed Akhtar lamented the death of good cinema. For Javed, there is no Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy and Raj Kapoor in contemporary Hindi cinema. To which Gulzar added, “The way one should watch a film is like the way one chooses an author.” Sharing his views on Indian films and songs, Prasoon Joshi said that people should hear the songs instead of watching them.

If Javed attacked the commercial angle of cinema, Gulzar did not present a rosy picture of Indian films either: “Films are not reformers, they mirror society. They entertain you commercially.”

On filmmaker vs lyricist feud:

For Javed, these issues are exaggerated by media. “The day we think that a film is hit because of its songs or songs are hit because of picture, all things will end,” said Javed, whereas Prasoon added that the role of filmmaker and lyricist is a collective whole, which has enough room for a particular expression.

On their first songs:

If Gulzar focused on the character and script of ‘Bandini’ for his first Hindi film song ‘Mora Gora Rang Laile’, Javed was pushed into song writing by Yash Chopra for ‘Silsila’, who was quite happy and content to be a closet poet while adman Prasoon Joshi came from Indi Pop background as he had already dabbled in songwriting for Shubha Mudgal and Silk Route. Prasoon’s first break in Hindi cinema as a lyricist was Raj Kumar Santoshi’s ‘Lajja’.

On place of classical music in Bollywood:

Javed was quite happy to answer this question and said, “There is hardly any scope for classical or semi-classical music in Bollywood as there is hardly any India in films. Films should reflect today’s society, but they are no longer interested in India.”