Two time National Award-winning lyricist Swanand Kirkire is one of the most prominent names in the Bollywood songscape. Screenplay writer, assistant director and singer, Kirkire has donned many hats. He has a flair for describing the most complex of thoughts through simple, straightforward use of words.
Let’s take a look at some of his best creations.
1. Yeh Fitoor Mera (Fitoor)
Fitoor is a perfect case study in making unforgettable lyrics with the least words. In fact, there are only two verses here. But these two verses convey the two crucial instruments of success. Raw passion and luck.
The lyrics reiterate Noor’s gratitude towards the almighty (thanks to a mysterious benefactor) at the same time reassuring that obsession almost bordering on madness is the key to his triumph. Noor goes from a poor boy to a renowned artist. Whether this sense of achievement is directed towards Firdaus or to the life he has made for himself is left to one’s imagination. It holds the same intrigue as Firdaus’ intentions in the film.
Charles Dickens captured Pip’s rags-to-riches story in several hundred pages. Swanand Kirkire managed to encompass Noor’s perception of success in bare minimum poetry. Take a bow, sire.
dheeme dheeme jal rahi thi khwaishein
dil mein dabi, ghut rahi farmaaishein
banke dhuaan wo
tujh tak jaa pahunchi, parvardigara..
deewangi ki hadd maine nochi o parvardigara
2. Navrai Majhi (English Vinglish)
The blend of two diametrically opposite cultures, Marathi and Punjabi bring out the most fun wedding song of all time. The Marathi lyrics are absolute genius as they convey the typical Marathi flavor while keeping the artistic sensibilities intact. If people didn’t know better, they might think the lyrics are from a time immemorial Marathi folk song. Stuff every grandmother loves to sing at weddings.
A song in adoration of the bride couldn’t have been better written. Words like ithlaati balkhati, bharmati, sakuchati lend a playful elegance which is the hallmark of an Indian bride. The lyrics cherish the culture and Indian tradition of giving our daughters away.
Baurai chali sharmaati ghabraati wo
Piya ke ghar ithlaati balkhaati wo
Surmai naina chhalkaati-chhalkati wo
Piya ke ghar bharmaati sakuchaati wo
3. O Ri Chirayya (Satyamev Jayate)
Most songs in reverence to women have a tone of accusation. Swanand Kirkire makes a complete U-turn and takes responsibility for women’s plight in the world. In the first verse, Swanand paints the ignorance and the horror of debilitating women to the verge of devastation.
Humne socha nahi
Tu jo ud jayegi
Ye zameen tere bin sooni reh jayegi
Kiske dum pe sajega mera angna
In the second, he opens up a hopeful picture of making amends to the atrocities on women to make a better place for them.
Tere pankho mein saare sitare jadoon
Teri chunar dhanak satrangi bunoon
Tere kajal mein main kaali raina bharoon
Teri mehandi mein main kachchi dhoop maloon
Tere naino sajaa doon naya sapna
The lyrics steer clear of blaming anyone and rather focus on giving women the unrestricted power to dream.