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Lyricist Yogesh

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  • suwag11
    A link to an interview with the lyricist Yogesh. Ajay http://www.screenindia.com/news/Well-versed/313094/ Yogesh s name has always been synonymous with quality
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2008
      A link to an interview with the lyricist Yogesh.



      Yogesh's name has always been synonymous with quality lyrics like
      Zindagi kaisi hai paheli from Anand or Rimjhim gire saawan from
      Manzil. Even today, whenever meaningful verse is needed, as in Suno
      Na..., he is one of the first choices
      He's as full of beans as a twenty-plus young man, and one would never
      connect him with the consistent struggles that he has faced early in
      Lithe and energetic at 65-plus, Yogesh's attitude and body language
      reflect only his positive approach to life, and though the pain must
      be there within, he humorously relates off-the-record anecdotes of
      how he had a role in mentoring almost six music directors, all of
      whom cast him aside the moment they got their first whiff of success.
      "Please do not mention their names," he requests humbly. "I do not
      want to hurt anyone. It was I who was never inclined towards the
      tricks of this trade. Raj (Kapoor)saab had called me to RK Studios
      after hearing my two songs Zindagi kaisi hai paheli and Kahin door
      jab din dhal jaaye, (Hrishida had dedicated the film to Rajsaab who
      had inspired the story) but when I reached there the watchman took
      one look at me and refused to believe both that I was a shaayar and
      that Rajsaab had summoned me. I never wore the adornments of a
      shaayar - the kurta, the pyjama or the long hair! So all that the
      watchman said was `Tumhare jaise to roz yahaan aate hain!' This
      happened thrice and each time I had changed trains and buses to reach
      RK Studios in Chembur."

      Laughs Yogesh at the memory, `Years later, one of the top names in
      music scolded me for this, because I could have taken the help of
      anyone - Hrishida (Hrishikesh Mukherjee), Mukeshji, Mannada or
      Salilda - in getting through. The point was that Rajsaab must have
      thought that I never gave him importance!'
      Yogesh digresses and adds, "I never could work with any of the
      Kapoors. Anand was to be enacted by Shashi Kapoor but that too never
      happened." The poet obviously does not consider his work for Karisma
      Kapoor's Dulaara significant enough.

      But the real twist in the tale comes from the lyricist's revelation
      that he became a songwriter for the most inconceivable reason. Here's
      how the story went: "I came to Mumbai from Lucknow when my father
      expired and I wanted a job - but not in films. My cousin, the popular
      late writer Vrajendra Gaur, said that I should do something in films
      but never helped me though he could have. So a friend of mine named
      Satyaprakash was very angry about this and told me that I must
      succeed in films in any department I thought it apt! He told me not
      to worry about sustenance as he would look after that! A long
      struggle followed. I was living alone in a chawl and even learnt to
      cook!And I struck off my surname so that my cousin could never say
      that I was using some point of connection with him to get anywhere!"

      Yogesh considered the options of scriptwriting, dialogues writing and
      lyrics because he was good at memorising poetry from his
      schooldays. "My mother was extremely fond of poetry and I was brought
      up in the literary culture of Lucknow," says the poet. "So I began to
      try out writing songs, and providence helped me along with life's
      pains and struggle. I kept writing, and slowly realized that my poems
      were liked by my neighbours to the extent that no one believed they
      were originals!"

      Yogesh had a humble beginning with Sakhi Robin (1963) with music by
      Robin Banerjee, a small-timer whom he happened to meet. "He called me
      to his music room for over a month where he would just play music and
      I would listen, and after that when I asked him when he was giving me
      work, he just said, `I'm giving you tunes everyday for a month. Why
      are you not writing anything?'"
      The incident was an eye-opener in more than one sense. Yogesh
      realised that in films, most lyrics were written to metres given by a
      composer. "I found that easier than writing a song first," admits the
      writer. "Also 50 per cent of the effect comes from the melody and I
      do not recollect any composer who went home with my lyrics made

      Sakhi Robin's Tum jo aao to pyar aa jaye was a hit and Robin signed
      nine small films, most of which like Marvel Man, Flying Circus and
      Adventure Of Robin Hood were written by Yogesh. Among other early
      Yogesh films were Ek Raat with Usha Khanna ("Majroohsaab told me that
      no one had written a better song on beauty than my song Sau baar
      banaakar maalik ne that Rafisaab sang"). I also wrote a song for
      Laxmikant-Pyarelal, who were struggling then, in Duniya Nachegi.
      There was some financial problem and the music was not even released!
      Later, till the `90s, our's seemed a star-struck association as
      somehow any film planned with us never took off or was made without

      Times changed by a strange quirk. "I had no money to even buy a
      gramophone to hear my own songs, so we would go to Sabita Choudhary,
      who was not even married to Salilda then but was seeing him, to
      listen to the records as she had a turntable," recalls Yogesh. "It
      was she who recommended me to Salilda as Shailendra was no more and
      Salil Choudhary was making a comeback with a film named Anand. And
      with Anand I took off. Hrishida and I worked in several films like
      Sabse Bada Sukh, Mili, Rang Birangi and Kisi Se Na Kehna while Basu
      Chaterjee heard my songs and summoned me for Us Paar and Rajnigandha."
      Till Pratiksha, Basuda's last film to date, Yogesh wrote most of his
      subsequent films, prominent among them being Chhoti Si Baat,
      Priyatama, Dillagi, Manzil (1979), Baaton Baaton Mein, Apne Paraye
      and Shaukeeen. Chor Aur Chand, Hamare Tumhare, Honeymoon (1973),
      Mahesh Bhatt's debut film Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain and Sshhhh… are
      among his other known films.

      "Salilda was my favourite composer," declares Yogesh. "Very reserved
      when I was first introduced to him, once he opened up he was great
      fun.He was probably the only Bengali composer with a great sense of
      Hindi lyrics, maybe because he was a writer and poet himself, and so
      well-read that he was an encyclopaedia on every subject! In fact
      Bengali literature lost its greatest poet after Tagore when Salilda
      came into music and films! Everyone said that his compositions were
      like the jalebi, twisted and convoluted, but I never had a problem
      even in songs like Nis din nis din and Guzar na jaaye din din din
      (Annadata), Pyaas liye manwaa (Mere Bhaiyya) or Rajnigandha phool
      tumhare (Rajnigandha)."

      Yogesh is now working with Sanjoy Choudhury, Salil's son in Suno
      Na…. "His music is contemporary, but his approach is like his dad's."
      Suno Na…, he tells you, is an interesting story of an unwed mother
      talking to her unborn child and has five situational songs.

      About the other father and son pair he has worked with, he recalls
      with affection the quirks of Dada (S.D.Burman) who worked with him in
      Us Paar and Mili. "When Basuda first sent me to him for Us Paar, Dada
      warned me that he would throw me out if I was not good! Later, he
      gave me the tunes of Mili before he fell seriously ill. R.D.Burman
      recorded Maine kaha phoolon se and Badi sooni sooni hai and Dada
      would mock-criticise Pancham's treatment of the songs!" smiles Yogesh.
      "But Aaye tum yaad mujhe was a tune that Panchamda had not even heard
      from Dada, so I sang it out in my off-key way to Kishore Kumar and
      the arrangers and Kishoreda declared that he would sing it just the
      way I had! With Panchamda I later did at least 8-10 films, and it was
      Deven Verma who first signed us together for Bada Kabutar. But though
      Pancham liked me, I was fifth in his list, after (Anand)Bakshisaab,
      Majroohsaab, Gulshan Bawra and Gulzarsaab!"

      Yogesh never could reconcile to the cold, emotion-less business
      mindset of the industry. "But I have no complaints. I am content and
      financially secure. My three children are well-settled and I have
      simple wants," says the writer. "The only work I have done outside
      films are the title-tracks of 200 television serials and a choir song
      with Salilda. I have had the privilege of doing two films with Manna
      Dey as a music composer, Hemantda's home production Chala Murari Hero
      Banne and the script, dialogues and lyrics of Kishoreda's last film
      Pyar Ajnabi Hai."

      But the core mystery remains - how did he reach this level of
      excellence without any kind of poetic base? "I honestly do not know,"
      smiles the writer. "God helped me somewhere. But the fact remains
      that every time I would be at a recording I would want to improve
      some of the lines!"

      And what was his own take on lyrics? "Though my all-time favourite
      song that makes me cry is Koi gaata main so jaata written by Dr
      Harvanshrai Bachchan, I rate Shailendra, Sahir Ludhianvi and Pradeep
      as the best writers. Having grown up in Lucknow, I was influenced
      more by Urdu and shaayari earlier and wrote songs like Maana mere
      raqs-e-qadam and others. It was Salilda, whose metres were not fit
      for the ghazal-like format, who turned me into a kavi!"
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