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Jayati Godhawat

IWB Blogger

On Day 3 Of JLF, Neelesh Misra Charmed The Audience With His Stories

  • IWB Post
  •  January 21, 2017


On day 3 of Jaipur Literature Festival, the charm of Neelesh Misra captivated us all. In the session, The Kahaani Connection: Story of My Stories, Neelesh talked about his journey as a Journalist, Lyricist, Radio Jockey, and a newspaper publisher. 

He initiated his session by warning the audience, “Isse aankhen khol ke suno,” in reference to his radio show tagline, ‘Isse aankhen band karke dekho.’

On his journey as a Journalist:

As a journalist, he extensively covered Kargil war, 2004 tsunami, floods in Bihar, etc., Neelesh shared how traveling for work made him meet so many people.

“Those journeys, moments, and travel stories stayed with me and one day, I told my editor that I needed a sabbatical to go to Mumbai.”

 In Mumbai, he started a storytelling music band, which was a novel idea.

“In my life, I have heard this line so many times, “It’s a brilliant idea, but, it will not work,”  he said.

“But, when we performed for the first time at Kala Godha, people loved it. And, it changed the course of my life.”

On his Lyrical Journey:Jaipur Literature Festival

For many years his journey as a lyricist in Bollywood movies co-existed with his job as a journalist. Neelesh recalled how he wrote songs, “while walking in the mall in California and on a train in Italy.”

“Initially, I was a specialist in writing hit songs for the flop films, “ he joked and revealed that his first song was ‘Jaadu hai nasha hai’ for the movie ‘Jism.’

However, he also said that now he’s bored of writing songs for movies.

“People now want ringtones and not songs. And, I cannot write ringtones,” he said and everybody in the audience cracked up.

On him becoming a storytelling RJ:

Talking about the impact of The Neelesh Misra Show which is aired on Red FM across 35 cities, Neelesh revealed that it has made him a better person.

“I get so many messages where people tell me how my stories have changed their lives and it is so humbling.”

On creating a newspaper for villages:

Through, Gaon Connection, Neelesh provided a media platform to the rural areas. So, “Why was it necessary?” asked the moderator, Rahul Pandita.

Neelesh smiled, “There are so many changes that are happening in the villages and there are so many challenges they have to face every day, so why are we not covering it?”

Of course, Neelesh wasn’t taken seriously when he pitched and initiated Gaon Connection.

“Pehla ek saal toh bas yahi sunne me nikal gaya, awww, so cute, Neelesh village ke liye akhbaar nikaal raha hai,” he said satirically.

“But, we worked hard, sustained and grew. Now, we have a strong backup and it feels so good,” he said.

In the end, he revealed his mantra in life and I believe that’s what makes him one of the most treasured storyteller.

“Think by becoming the other person. I become another person, every day. I am a child, a woman, and some days, I also become a yellow scooter.”

He concluded the session by singing his favorite song that he had written for the movie ‘Barfi!’

“Kyon naa hum-tum….. Chale tedhe-medhe se raston pe nange paanv re..,”

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