Not only lyrics, even the music is sometimes atrocious: Prasoon Joshi (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Ad-guru Prasoon Joshi, who has also penned down lyrics for films while being the CEO and chairman (Asia Pacific) of McCann World group India, says that sometimes, both the lyrics and the music in cinema look atrocious.

Joshi, who has songs like “Taare zameen par” and “Chand sifarish” in his kitty believes that today, besides the lyrics being “cheap”, even the music is so.

“If you think that the lyrics are cheap, even the music is cheap at times; it’s just that sometimes we don’t know how to call music cheap. You can’t say that only the words have become sub-standard and objectionable. There is some music which is atrocious,” Joshi told IANS in an interview.

“A bad creative product is a bad creative product. Indeed, there is some work which is really sub-standard, but I know that they don’t survive the test of time,” the 44-year-old added.

Are double innuendo songs the road to success?

Not at all, retorted the Padma Shri awardee, adding that one had to guard children from these kinds of songs.

“If we cannot protect our children then there is something wrong with our society. We definitely need to take offense to things which are not appropriate for children. Such songs are extremely irresponsible and I condemn this quality of work,” he said.

According to the lyricist of Silk Route’s “Dooba Dooba Rehta Hoon”, artists who cannot fathom the impact of such songs on children have no right to be called creative.

“They definitely should be shown the mirror and told that there is something like conscience,” Joshi said.

On the flip side, people who bought such songs were also complicit.

“We should understand that it is not right to blame only the creators. You also have to understand that there is somebody who buys them; somebody plays them at a place where children are listening.

Having written lyrics for music maestro A.R Rehman’s “Zariya” and “Jhelum Naina” for “Coke Studio”, Joshi contended that one can jam more while working on an independent album where there is not much of a time constraint, unlike what Bollywood demands.

“The last time I worked with A.R Rehman for ‘Coke Studio’, the deadlines were very tight. But with a platform like ‘Coke Studio’ and private albums, you get more freedom; as an independent musician you can jam more,” the lyricist of several indi-pop albums said.

Asked how he balances Bollywood with the advertising world, Joshi quipped that it just happens.

“If you have to do it, then you have to do it. And I want to do both well. Advertising is my profession; it’s my day job but film projects are something I am very selective about,” he said.

“I choose very few (films) and do so when I feel I must. There is a very specific reason for all the projects I do, whether it is ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ or ‘Fanaa’. With every project I take up, I do something I have a calling for. I feel that I must do it because this inspires me. And I have to get it out of my system. Therefore, I do it for a very specific reason,” Joshi added.

It’s a known fact that every creative person sometimes faces a “writer’s block”. How does one deal with this? Joshi, who has a string of highly-acclaimed ad campaigns to his credit such as those for Chlormint and Coca-Cola, advised that one should not panic or become adamant while dealing with a situation like this.

“Every writer faces a writer’s block. Dealing with it… just don’t be too adamant, do something else.”

Where does he get his ideas from?

“I don’t choose ideas, ideas choose me. I am lucky that they pass through me. You just have to accept it and wait for the inspirational moment. If your intent is right, the inspirational moment will come,” Joshi concluded.

(Kishori Sud can be contacted at

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