‘There’s no need for violence’

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 27 November 2017

Lyricist, script writer A M Turaz says that they have made Padmavati with lot of responsibility and there is nothing objectionable in the film

The controversies surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati refuse to die down. The Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh-starrer is making headlines every single day. After the makers deferred the release date of the film, several states have refused to screen it, Censor Board too is unhappy with the makers for screening the film without certification for a select audience from the media.

But one thing that has worked in the film’s favour is its music. Two of its songs — Ghoomar and Tu Dil Tu Jaan have topped the charts even though socio-political groups have raised objections over the songs and Madhya Pradesh government has asked schools not to play Ghoomar at any function. A M Turaz, the lyricist, isn’t complaining, rather he is happy with the positive reaction the song has received. 

Says Turaz, “More than a year ago, Sanjay sir told me that he was working on a film called Padmavati and wanted a song depicting the colours and flavours of Rajasthan. The song, Sanjay sir said, will be callled Ghoomar because it’s a traditional song of that region. Women sing it for their loved ones. Sanjay sir wanted to capture the tradition of that region.”

Turaz travelled to Rajasthan to research for the song because they had to keep the cultural essence intact. “I visited and studied the culture and emotions behind the traditional song and then wrote the lines. I am happy that all my hard work has paid off and people are liking the song,” he says. 

Turaz has penned seven songs in the film but refuses to speak about the other songs. He wants to wait till those songs are released by the makers. The whole process of writing the songs took him almost a year. “I used to write a song and then we would record it. It used to take time but we did not want to compromise on the quality and therefore took time to work on them,” he recalls.

Turaz says that even though Padmavati is a historical film and shows the culture of the past era, the lyrics will connect with today’s youth. “We wanted the youth to connect with that era; the lyrics have been written keeping that in mind. The youth should connect with the words and music immediately,” he says, adding, “We have given the needed tadka but haven’t compromised on the traditions attached to the song.”  

The film has been mired in controversies since its announcement, so was there any pressure on him while working on the project? “Of course, there was lot of pressure. Writers are mirrors of society and it’s a huge responsibility. We do not want to hurt anyone’s sentiments. And I can confidently say that Sanjay sir has made a good film and hasn’t shown anyone or any culture in bad light. He has composed the music and I have written the lyrics responsibly. We do not want to disappoint those who are emotionally attached to the music of that era. We wanted people to feel proud about the film.”  

The poet, lyricist, script writer and director say that he has included a lot of poetry in Padmavati songs. “In Ghoomar, there’s lot of poetry used in the antara. If you listen to the songs carefully, you will realise that they make a lot of sense and have great meaning,” says Turaz who has worked on television, albums and in films. He adds that each of his songs is a balance of poetry, lyrics and emotions. “I have always maintained that songs are for films and not the other way round. All the songs that I have written for films including Bajirao Mastani, Sarbjit, Chakravyuh and Guzaarish, have been situational but with a touch of poetry. If I am unable to add poetry to the songs, what’s the point of me writing these songs?,” he says. 

Talking about Sanjay Leela Bhansali, he says, “He is such a passionate filmmaker and the only one who has immense respect for poetry.”

Even though there’s no news of the film getting released anytime soon, Turaz is confident that things will be sorted out and people will like the film. He is unhappy with all the violence though. “We are creative people and we talk through our work. It’s up to the media to create awareness about the film. I think people need to sit, talk and understand the issue. There’s no need for violence. The beauty of this country lies in the fact that people from different cultures, religions, languages and traditions are living together. If that dies, what are we going to live with? We have to behave with a lot of responsibility,” he says before signing off.

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