Creativity is a curse – Prasoon Joshi

Dafatan, masakalli and now mukhtsar (Mukhtasar mulaqat hai from Teri Meri Kahaani)… unheard of little used words make a home in Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics and through them in our hearts. Ask him the secret and he shrugs and smiles. “To be honest, I came up with mukhtasar when I was in bed with bad back. Director Kunal Kohli and Wajid (of the Sajid-Wajid duo) came to visit me while I was convalescing at home. Wajid hummed the tune and Kunal asked me to give him a mukhda. Now, mukhtasar means brief, perhaps unconsciously, I wanted them to leave me in peace so I came up with Mukhtasar mulaqat hai…”

Prasoon’s amused by the fact that youngsters take to his songs in a big way without knowing the meaning of the words. “Masakalli is a made up word. I got maximum calls from people about that. The good thing is that people are curious about language and want to learn.” I assume that half the music composers he works with too wouldn’t know what he’s talking about.

He’s worked with Sajid-Wajid for Teri Meri Kahaani and somehow one can’t envision him gelling with the earthy composers. Prasoon says we shouldn’t bracket people in a hurry. “That’s like saying I can’t write the lyrics for Dabangg. I’m a professional and can work with anyone provided they respect me as a professional.”

The lyricist is also in the news for writing the lyrics of Aamir Khan’s TV show, Satyamev Jayate. The words ‘Mujhko khud ko hi hai tatolnaa, agar hai kami to bolnaa…’ touch a core and are quite introspective in nature. Prasoon says Aamir never wanted a marching song. “He wanted people to start questioning the wrongs that they see but become blind to. To see their own flaws because introspection is the path to redemption.”

We move from brand Aamir to brand SRK. Prasoon became friends with Aamir after doing several ads with him. He’s friends with Shah Rukh Khan too, as they have also done several campaigns together. But somehow, that friendship hasn’t resulted in them doing a film together. Prasoon blames it all on ‘campism’. “The people around SRK feel that I belong to Aamir’s camp and that has kept us from working together on a film project.”

Eyebrows were raised when it was known that Prasoon wasn’t writing the lyrics for Aamir Khan’s Talaash. Prasoon dismisses this saying it’s an Excel Entertainment film and not an Aamir Khan production. “It’s produced by Farhan Akhtar. Beta to baap ke saath hi kaam karega. Farhan’s first choice would obviously be his father, Javed saab (Akhtar). I can’t dispute that.” Prasoon has sort of got his own back by adding the lines Tu yeh bhi bhool jayega, ke Javed naam hai tera in the Humse pyar kar le tu song from Teri Meri Kahaani.

For the record, Prasoon has written the dialogue and lyrics for the Farhan starrer Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the upcoming biopic on the legendary sprinter. “Milkha Singh has lived life for real. Mine and Rakyesh’s struggles are nothing compared to his. His dignity, his grace despite so many setbacks needs to be emulated. He inspires you every time you meet him.”

Milkha Singh reportedly went through dark depression and took to alcohol. Prasoon says he can’t divulge what’s in the film as they want to maintain the curiosity. He is happy with the way the film has shaped up and with Farhan’s portrayal. “Farhan has physically and mentally transformed himself into Milkha Singh. You get goose bumps watching him.”

His six-year-old daughter Aishaanya enters the room with the family dog, Button. His face lights up on seeing her. “She had a small cut on the forehead the other day and I kind of treated it as a medical emergency. Creativity is a curse because you feel for everything at a higher level of awareness. I’m blessed that being a successful man keeps me out of money hassles. You can’t expect artistes to starve and produce masterpieces for your pleasure.”


  1. hithere 11 years ago

    Of Unheard word songs I like this the most

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      Dafatan was used in the song Chupke Chupke from Nikaah. Mukhtasar was used in Tum Pukar Lo. So its meaning is quite apparent from that song.

      Great choice on Zeehale muskin when it comes to unheard words. I correctly guessed it can only be Gulzar who can write this.

      Anyways I found this.

      ‘zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish, bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai

      zihaal = notice
      miskeen = poor
      mukon = do not
      ba-ranjish = with ill will, with enimity
      bahaal = fresh, recent
      hijra = separation

      Thus the meaning is: Notice the poor (heart), and do not look at it (heart)
      with enimity. It (heart) is fresh with the wounds of separation.

      Hindi mein (and more clearly): Ye dil judaai ke gamo se abhi bhi taaza hai.
      Iski bechaargi ko ba-ranjish (without enimity) dekho.

      Now the full song (it’s really beautiful).
      (There is equally beautiful remark after the song)

      zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish
      bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai
      sunaai deti hai jisaki dhaDakan
      tumhaaraa dil ya hamaaraa dil hai

      vo aake pahaloo meiN aise baiThe
      ke shaam raNgeen ho gayi hai
      zaraa zaraa si khili tabeeyat
      zaraa si gamgeen ho gayi hai

      kabhi kabhi shaam aise Dhalatee hai
      jaise ghooNghaT utar rahaa hai
      tumhaare seene se uThta dhuaaN
      hamaare dil se guzar raha hai

      ye sharm hai ya hayaa hai kya hai
      najar uThaate hi jhuk gayi hai
      tumhaari palakoN se girke shabanam
      hamaari aaNkhoN meiN ruk gayi hai

      Now a remark
      Many words of this song are in Persian. The phrase “Zihaal-e-miskeen”
      comes from a poem of Amir Khusrau. This original poem of Amir Khusrau
      is a unique masterpiece. The beautiful thing about this poem is that
      it it written in Persian and Brij bhasha simultaneously. The first
      line is in Persian, second in Brij bhasha, third in persian, and so
      on…!! What an unbelievable talent. And here are first four lines of
      that poem.

      zihaal-e-miskeen mukon taghaful (Persian)
      doraaye nainaan banaye batyaan (Brij)

      ke taab-e-hijraah nadarum-e-jaan (Persian)
      na laihyo kaahe lagaye chatyaan (Brij)

      This showcases Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s mastery over the two languages and the
      role played by him in the genesis of Urdu.

      The complete poem taken from is

      Ziehal-e miskeenn makun taghaful, duraye naina banaye batiyan;
      ki taab-e hijran nadaram ay jaan, na leho kaahe lagaye chhatiyan.

      Shaban-e hijran daraz chun zulf wa roz-e waslat cho umr kotah;
      Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun to kaise kaatun andheri ratiyan.

      Yakayak az dil do chashm-e jadoo basad farebam baburd taskin;
      Kise pari hai jo jaa sunaave piyare pi ko hamaari batiyan.

      Cho shama sozan cho zarra hairan hamesha giryan be ishq aan meh;
      Na neend naina na ang chaina na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan.

      Bahaqq-e roz-e wisal-e dilbar ki daad mara ghareeb Khusrau;
      Sapet man ke waraaye raakhun jo jaaye paaon piya ke khatiyan.

      And the English translation is:

      Do not overlook my misery by blandishing your eyes,
      and weaving tales; My patience has over-brimmed,
      O sweetheart, why do you not take me to your bosom.
      Long like curls in the night of separation,
      short like life on the day of our union;
      My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
      without your face before.
      Suddenly, using a thousand tricks, the enchanting eyes robbed me
      of my tranquil mind;
      Who would care to go and report this matter to my darling?
      Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
      I roam about in the fire of love;
      Sleepless eyes, restless body,
      neither comes she, nor any message.
      In honour of the day I meet my beloved
      who has lured me so long, O Khusrau;
      I shall keep my heart suppressed,
      if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.’

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