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Prashant Ingole: Working for Sanjay Leela Bhansali is in itself a big deal!

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MARY KOM music has been ruling the charts since its release. And not just the music, even the lyrics of the film has caught everyone’s fancy! So while the audience has been going gaga over the songs, we decide to chat with Prashant Ingole – the man behind the spectacular lyrics of ‘Ziddi Dil’, ‘Adhure’ & others in our special section Music Mania!

How did you develop the flair for writing?
I was born and raised in Belgaum. After having pursued B.com from Pune and Hotel management I ended up writing. I developed the writing keeda during my college days. I used to write for my friends, girl-friend, friends’ girlfriends and that is how I got the knack of writing.

How did you manage to get your big Bollywood break?
When I started writing songs, I knew that the only place it will work is in Bollywood. But my first break took me almost 9-10 years. It has taken me really long time and I have struggled a lot. I did couple of movies like AA DEKHEN ZARA in which I had a half song. That was the first break and after that I wrote for couple of small films like HIDE AND SEEK, STRIKER, DADDY COOL etc. But my first big break was ‘Party On My Mind’ from RACE 2 which went on to become a smash-hit.

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How did MARY KOM come about?
Immediately after RACE 2, I met this person called Sandeep Singh, who is the CEO of Sanjay Leela Bhansali films. I have known him for past four years and he is a very sweet guy. He told me that there is this film happening and asked me to meet the director. I went and met Omung Kumar and we clicked immediately because I thought we were very likeminded. This is how I came on-board for MARY KOM.

How long did it take to write lyrics of MARY KOM? Did you have any pressure while working on it?
It took me precisely 15-16 months to write the lyrics for MARY KOM. We were writing with many options and so to finalize it took me this much time. There was always a pressure while writing for MARY KOM because working for a producer like Mr. Sanjay Leela Bhansali in itself is a very big deal. For me the important thing was to set a benchmark which I did with ‘Party On My Mind’. So I had to aim higher with MARY KOM. I had big pressure of proving myself. Also knowing Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is one of the biggest filmmakers of India and his scale of work, we knew that he will keep a check and approve all the songs. So we had to work hard.

Were you nervous while working on MARY KOM?
I wasn’t nervous at all. In fact I was very much confident. I also had great support from Sandeep Singh and the director Omung Kumar.

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You have worked with both Pritam and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. How has been the experience?
While working with both Pritam and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, there has been one thing common and that is – writing for the songs took almost 3-4 months. When I wrote 'Party On My Mind’, it was written and approved in 14 minutes but the antaras took 3-4 months. Both Pritam and Bhansaliji are very passionate and have that pagalpan in them. I am very fortunate to work with them in my initial big projects.

What made you come up with ‘Ziddi Dil’?
When I read the script couple of times initially, I realized that the character of Mary Kom in this film is very stubborn, very ziddi. So this was the first song I wrote and it got approved immediately. My thought behind writing this song was that every individual is stubborn sometime or the other. Hence I thought ziddi would be the perfect word and people will relate to it easily. Also my heart was the inspiration behind penning ‘Ziddi Dil’. My heart is stubborn and that gave me the idea to write this song.

How many edits were required before your songs got approved?
Luckily what has happened is that all the lyrics have gone through minimal changes with it. ‘Adhure’ is Bhansali sir, Omung Kumar and Priyanka Chopra’s favourite song. And you won’t believe but there is no single line that I had to change. Same was the case with ‘Saudebaazi’. ‘Ab Teri Baari Hai’ had to be refined because I wasn’t satisfied with it.

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One moment that has stayed with you while working for MARY KOM?
One thing which I remember is that when ‘Ziddi Dil’ was launched, Priyanka Chopra had posted on a micro-blogging site that ‘This song definitely needs to be the champion’. I felt so good after reading that. And the best part is that Priyanka has performed on this song everywhere during promotions, be it ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ or ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’.

Did you have to be careful about your songs not getting similar to BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG?
No I don’t think so. We were not talking about that and we never thought of comparing it to BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. The songs of MARY KOM were completely on the script and merits of the character. I had to make justice only to the character, that’s it.

Which other actors, directors and music composers are you keen to work with?
Aamir Khan is someone I want to work with. He is one man I can think of at any given time because he is such a perfectionist! And also if given a chance, I want to work with Ranbir Kapoor! Also, I want to write lyrics for composers A.R. Rahman, Amit Trivedi and in directors for Vishal Bharadwaj and Ashutosh Gowariker.

Which are your forthcoming projects?
I have sung in three major projects which are scheduled to release in second half of 2015. I don’t want to be in the rat race and I should have the exclusivity of writing the songs, so I am not hurrying up in signing the films. I want to make a mark like that.

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