Writing is not new to Subhash Ghai. As the filmmaker informs, he has written 24 scripts, turned 19 into films that he has directed of which 14 were blockbusters. And now, he has branched into writing lyrics, penning three songs for his upcoming production, 36 Farmhouse, which he has also set to music.
“I wrote the songs during the pandemic and encouraged by my collaborative partners, Zee Studio and Zee Music, recorded Mohabbat Mohabbat with Sonu Nigam and Mind Your Business, Aage Nikal with Hariharan. I love both and they love me, immediately agreeing to sing and graciously not charging even a rupee. The third song, Happy Birthday, offers a platform to new talents, sung by Vaishnavi Sriram and Vishesh Jain from the Whistling Woods International School of Music,” informs Ghai.
He points out that since the beginning of his career, he has been re-inventing himself every three to four years, starting his journey as an actor, then, turning writer and director. Initially, he directed films for outside banners and later, for his production house, Mukta Arts, which has since diversified successfully into distribution and exhibition. “Fifteen years ago, I became an educationalist and started my film, communication and creative arts institute. Writing songs and composing them is just another way of growing and evolving as a person and a filmmaker. It’s a beautiful, meditative exercise,” he asserts, quick to add that all three songs are fresh and original.
36 Farmhouse is based on a story by Ghai, of some poor people breaking into a farmhouse for much-needed essentials, only to discover that the rich owners are into bigger crimes. “Its tagline reads ‘Some steal for need… Some for greed’ and it’s a fun take on real issues with songs like Mind Your Business reflecting the humour and in complete sync with the way the character,” he informs.
Today, is Subhash Ghai and Rehana’s 51st wedding anniversary and his company Mukta Arts’ 43rd anniversary. Talking about the double celebrations, he remembers how his father would always stress on balancing family and career, which have a 50-50 importance in one’s life and together determine how successful you are. “Since I have a happy marriage and a happy family, and professionally, a happy team, I would say I am a fairly good achiever,” he smiles with satisfaction.
Ghai admits as a writer whose dialogue still resonate, writing songs was not difficult because there was an inherent sense of rhythm and expression. “From (Anand) Bakshi sahab and Javed Akhtar, I learnt how to choose the right words, turn prose into poetry. And working closely with geniuses like Laxmikant-Pyarelal and AR Rahman, has enhanced my music sense,” he avers.
Will he continue making music? “That would depend on the project. If it requires professionals, we will engage them. If I can contribute in any way, I’ll be happy to do so. I’ll never force myself on any project, I’m happy rediscovering myself every day,” Ghai signs off.
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