Sandeep Nath – the magician of words

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Balbir Singh, Neerav Rastogi, Dr. Satish Rai, Sandeep Nath, Manjit and Harmit Chopra  

By Neeru Saluja

Bollywood films are incomplete without songs. And a good song is incomplete without meaningful lyrics. Lyricist Sandeep Nath is one of those few lyricists who has still kept the poetic touch alive in film music.

Mostly known for his song ‘Sun raha hai’ from Aashiqui 2, Sandeep Nath has also written the songs for Saawariya, Fashion, Sarkar, Corporate and Page 3. He started his career with Ram Gopal Varma’s Bhoot and since then has penned songs for more than 50 films.

Thanks to the organisers Neerav Rastogi and Megha Agarwal, we got to know more about Sandeep. In an intimate get together with Nitin Madan as the MC at Kings Indian Restaurant, we indulged into an evening with the lyricist and his songs.

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Rekha Rajvanshi in talk with Sandeep Nath  

A lawyer by qualification, a writer by profession and a poet at heart – how did Sandeep start his journey?

“I started writing at a very young age. My mother saw my diary and encouraged me to write better. I started reciting my poems in kavi sammelans, holi milan and wrote in magazines and newspapers. But I knew if I wanted a wider audience I had to write lyrics for films,” reveals Sandeep.

Sandeep Nath has written different genres of songs varying from melodies, sufi to item songs. Are songs based on the character, the script or the scene these days?

“There are two kinds of people that approach us. Some directors say give us a good song and we will create the situation in the film linking to the song. The others say that this is the situation in the movie and can you write a song. The song has to be linked to the film and the story. But if the song has its own identity then it needs to be strong on its own”.

“For example, when I was called by Ramgopal Varma to write a song for Sarkar, Amitabh Bachchan was dressed in black with glasses and a red tikka on his forehead. I had to depict the character via the song. So the director called me on the sets to show me a sequence of the film so I can understand his character. I realised that Amitabh Bachchan’s character is like a modern Krishna and then I penned the songs of the film,” tells Sandeep.

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With Balbir  and Lucky  Singh


While many compare that today’s songs lack thought and emotion, Sandeep firmly believes that thoughts are incomplete without emotion.

“A  song is made out of three things – thought, atmosphere and character. All these three elements have to work together to make a quality song as they drive the composition and singing. It’s also important to understand the language so the lyrics can be written to suit the tune of the song,” shares Sandeep.

In today’s world, do you think lyricists play a second fiddle to singers and directors?

“In the olden times when a song was played on the radio anyone could guess who the lyricist was. Actors like Manoj Kumar used to stand up and greet the lyricists as a mode of respect. Till date today, neither a producer or director has changed a single word of my song. And it’s not only us who are working behind the scenes – there is the cameraman, art director, spot boy – all play an equal part to make a film successful,” says Sandeep.

The evening ended with Sandeep the poet sharing his ghazal with us:

“Khud ko khona chahta hoon

Sab ka honaaa chahta hoon

Jis par hasti hai duniya

Uspe rona chahta hoon”

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