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Lavanya Bahuguna


B-town’s Favorite Lyricist, Kausar Munir Shares Her Grandma’s Hippy Guide To Decision-Making

  • IWB Post
  •  August 24, 2019


Bollywood’s Screen Writer & Lyricist Kausar Munir admits that most writers secretly add a pinch of their own life into the work they do. “We are self-inspired. We like to find the characters that are in us or around us. Our personal experiences definitely shape our writing style,” she said.

Kausar’s first stint was as a writer for the famous TV series ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi.’ She later penned down some of the most loved Bollywood songs from the movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ishaqzaade, Dear Zindagi, etc. She was also the scriptwriter and language consultant in the movie English Vinglish.

In a telephonic conversation, Kausar and I inevitably fell into a discussion about how we can raise more women writers.

Excerpts below:

What, according to you, has helped you come this far?

When I started writing for ‘Jassi Jaisi…,’ I was one of the assisting writers in the team. In a span of one year, I was operating as one of the lead writers on the sets. I strongly believe that one’s sincerity and hard work never go waste. Developing these qualities is half the battle won, this is what I tell my teen daughter, too! Luckily, in this field, there is no hierarchy system and the one who writes from the heart gets to be on the top.

Why do we see fewer women in the writing field? Or, does it take long for them to get successful?

The job of a writer isn’t considered financially lucrative, especially if a woman aspires to be financially secure. What we need to understand is that the remuneration methods differ according to one’s skills. It is not always about the gender. Also, it has more to do with one’s talent rather than the number of years spent doing the job.

Having said that, I think the perspective towards the non-performing artists is gradually changing in the industry. In terms of recognition, too, we are slowly getting the credit. How sad that, for many years, the successful songs have been identified with the composer or the actors murmuring it on the big screen. The audience is often unaware of the lyricist’s efforts.

You once said that you quickly get bored with the tasks in hand and need a shift every now and then. What’s your way to handle the monotony and the writer’s block?

Professionally, I enjoy writing lyrics, scripts, poems in both English and Urdu. It’s true that I need frequent breaks and during such times, I opt for cooking or creating some kind of an artwork for my home. I like to be around people, so I absolutely enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

I am not running any kind of race and I like to take it slow. I don’t understand when they say women need to be at par with men. Statements like this force many of us to call men our competition and act all masculine to prove a point. I think we need to embrace our femininity.

Who happens to influence your thoughts?

My grandmother, Salma Siddiqui. She was a noted Urdu novelist and a very progressive woman. Always surrounded by the literary thoughts, she even found her life partner in a renowned poet, Krishan Chander. She explained to me well why women need to make their own decisions. This strong feminist was also a funny woman. While the world preached about the charm of a first meeting and the other first-evers, she would often stress upon the last time. “You never know when the last time is. So make the most of it” – she would tell us.

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