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An interview with young Indian lyricist Pratyush Prakash, whose song got Oscar nomination
The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014 and the award ceremony will take place on March 2, 2014. This year's awards could be special for India as five songs from Kerala-based filmmaker Rupesh Paul's multilingual film 'Kamasutra 3D' are among the 75 numbers in contention for nominations in the Original Song category for the 86th Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the 'Kamasutra 3D' has made it to the Best Original Song list, with "Aygiri Nadani", "Har Har Mahadeva", "I Felt", "Of The Soil" and "Sawariya". The songs were composed by Chennai-based music directors, Sachin and Sreejith, while its lyrics are penned by Rupesh Paul and Pratyush Prakash.

Pratyush Prakash is one of the youngest Bollywood lyricist whose work has been nominated for the Oscars! In an exclusive interview to this citizen journalist , Pratyush said that he was bit more than just happy, just excited on the preliminary nomination. He said that he wanted to relive that moment   when he had got the news. Here's the excerpts from the interview.

Ankita Mahajan: Tell me in brief about yourself- what you do, your hobbies, interest and family.

Pratyush Praksh (PP): I come from a joint family and hence I am too emotional. I am one of those rare guys who would cry seeing a typical Saas-bahu serial. I love cracking jokes, I am a good mimic at times. I am Papa’s Boy & Mumma’s Son kind of a guy. I am a big foodie, I can eat anything and everything, provided it is not healthy (yes, I love junk).

My hobbies include Bedroom Singing & Bathroom shouting. I love writing, I prefer writing in the loo, it goes with the saying- “A Lotus Blossoms Amidst Mud & Dirt”. Professionally, I am an Instructional Designer, working for Origin Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Wait, I forgot about my family. There's my father, mother, an elder sister, uncle, aunt and a small cousin.

When did you realize that you had this creative talent? Also, can you share the first song you have written and for whom?

PP: It was when my friends used to see cartoon network and I would stick to etc music channel or any other music channel. While my family used to sleep after watching Indian Idol, I would see the repeat telecast of it along the “Behind the scenes” segment.

I wrote a poem on my lost childhood while I was in class 9th. My father read it and he asked me not to stop writing ever. Motivation can come from anywhere, all you have to do is- embrace it, and never let it go.

The first song I wrote was when I was 17, it was for an album. The song name was “Mil Ja” sung by Suprita Rajaram.

Mahajan: Oscars do means a lot for everyone. How you felt after receiving the news that your work has been selected in ‘best original song’ category for Oscars?

PP: It was 7.30 in the morning when the music director called and informed me about the preliminary nomination. I was a bit more than just happy, just excited. I wish to relive that moment again, I went to the washroom and tears started flowing of my eyes. This was for the first time that I didn’t wipe my tears, I allowed them to flow. My happiness doubled when I heard my father saying-“Ye mera beta hai”. That moment was no less than life for me.

Mahajan: Currently music industry does not rely on classic songs. There is Indo-Western, rap and other genre marking their presence. How would you see earlier and today’s music level?

PP: Earlier, the beauty of the songs lied in their lyrics, which are fading out as the time is progressing. But it is good to see that people these days listen to lyrically driven songs too, I believe the time will return soon when we will again start listening to a song because of the lyrics.

As far as the composition is concerned, I feel that it has got better with time; you will see a lot of independent musicians coming up. Folk music, country music has made their stand. I see no bad in the present music, I am loving it. But I wish the lyricists today take this seriously and keep the worth of their ink.

Mahajan: Every person has his/her role model. Who is yours? Any special reason for the same?

I personally don’t have any role model, but yes, I adore Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics. The reason why I love him is that he is the only lyricist who can pen something like “Emotional Attyachar” & “Raabta” at the same time, with the same zeal. I love his visualization and his choice of words.

Mahajan: ‘Yo-Yo’ is a trendsetter. Your comment.

PP: I was once his fan. Now, I have started hating him for the songs he has come out with in the recent times. He, according to me is carried away by the immense fame he has achieved. I have certain respect for him for the kind of songs he has made in the past, but I would love to see him grow. I would suggest him to concentrate on music, its being his cup of tea.

Mahajan: How was your experience while working for Bollywood’s one of the most classic films- Kamasutra 3D (remake of Kamasutra, 1996).

PP: I had no idea what was going to happen when I stepped in Sreejith’s sir studio on 10th September. We started talking about the project and then I inquired about the movie. I went numb when he said that it is for Kamasutra 3D; You know it is a big movie and is one of the most awaited one too.

I had no clue what was happening, I told to myself- “Jhuth bol rahe hain yeh”. But then I gave my 100% to the songs, at a place I felt like giving up because it was getting tougher to write for the semi-classical tune “Saawariya”, but then Sreejith-Sachin sir bestowed their faith on me and we finalized the lyrics after some 5 dummy lyrics.

You know you get hell frustrated when you have to write and erase, and write again, but it was totally worth it. Shaan and Vijay Prakash are my favorite singers and luckily I ended up writing for both of them. Bhagwaan ji kuch jyaada hi khush the mujhse, shayad :)

Mahajan: Do you see yourself winning the Oscars for the country?

PP: To be honest, I have high hopes from the song “Saawariya”. I have not yet heard the other four songs of the movie which are also nominated under the “Best Original Song category”. But, Saawariya is a kind of song which will never go unnoticed, with the quality of music, the quality of vocals it has been decorated with, it will surely catch the right ears.

As far as winning is concerned, I am confident. We have put-in everything we had to the song, and I believe in the result which hard work pays. So, I am confident!!

Mahajan: Any project you are working on currently? Who will be the music director you would love to work with?

PP: I am working on an experimental bollywood film starring Huma Qureshi, Rajat Kapoor etc. I am open to working with anyone, provided their music is good. But yes, my smile will be an inch bigger if it comes out of AR Rehman or Vishal-Shekhar.

Mahajan: Experiment is a lifeline of music industry. If you are asked to experiment with your writing or inventing new style, do you think you can deliver the result accordingly?

PP: Inventing in the sense, I can write something like “Chikni Chameli”, but I will never write anything like “Blue eyes” or “Tinku Jiya”. I am open to writing any kind of songs, provided that the director is not willing on selling shit. Compromising with art is somewhere similar to raping it.

Mahajan: What advice would you give to budding lyrics writers? Any tip to share?

PP: A soldier knows that there are chances that he will die on the battlefield, but he makes sure that his blood does not go in vain. Similarly, your pen allows its blood (the ink) to flow out of its body, never let it go for a bad cause. “Pen your Pain”, life will seem less harsh then.

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