Miracle Lyrics – A session with Prasoon Joshi

“I feel that all of us as human beings have to express something. We’re all bubbling with something,” said Prasoon Joshi, Indian lyricist, screenwriter, and poet. He gave a master class at the prestigious film festival Iffi on the topic ‘The Art and Craft of Lyrics’.

He started off with a story of how a girl narrated to him that someone shouted at a house and the house shouted back. She didn’t know the word ‘echo’. He said that if the word goes extinct, the whole narrative of the experience is gone.

An interesting fact Joshi revealed was that artificial intelligence (AI) has entered the world of scriptwriting. He acknowledged the importance of data and data processing but there was something that bothered him. “Imagine you’re standing in front of a funeral pyre feeling the heat and smelling the body burning. Everything you subliminally experienced can’t be captured by AI. Humans have so many dimensions. So, AI has a lot to catch up on,” he said.

He went on to talk about the market. “The market has one thing very clear – if it doesn’t sell then it stops getting made. I don’t completely agree with the market philosophy. Different types of art and languages have to be protected. They might not have a great market but it’s the responsibility of citizens to protect them. Many art forms are dying,” the zealous lyricist shared.

He gave some advice, “When you share a wallet, you’ll have to share a voice. If someone is paying for the product, you’ve to also listen to what they think about it.” He taught about the difference between public viewing and private viewing. “Psychologically you’ve to understand that they have different codes of conduct. It’s all about respecting other people. Apart from my freedom of expression, I also have to respect the people I’m expressing for, especially when I’m seeking their money,” Joshi explained.

The audience was captivated as Prasoon Joshi sang in the middle of his teachings with his genius lyrics and melodious voice. He inspired everyone by explaining through his own life that whatever you learn and experience doesn’t go to waste. Science was mostly in his field of knowledge and at one point he used scientific term(s) in his lyrics. “Even playing with children isn’t a waste. When I was writing ‘Taare zameen par’ songs, all the images have come from my daughter. I was describing her. Unless you’ve held a child’s hands, you won’t be able to tell about it,” he said.

Joshi ended the session with this unforgettable line: “Believe me when I’m saying this as I’m saying this from experience. There is nobody like you. Until the time you tap into that unique you, your job is not done. Don’t ever try to imitate anyone else.”