Journalist-turned-writer-lyricist Sanjay Masoomm in conversation with Shabdita Srivastav
How would you describe your journey in the industry?
It’s been 15 years now. I started my career as a dialogue writer with Sunny Deol’s film Zor. After that, I wrote the dialogue of his other films in different genres such as action and romance as well. I have worked with experienced directors such as Rakesh Roshan and Mukesh Bhatt and, on the other hand, I am also working with new directors such as Kunal Deshmukh and Vishal Mahadkar.
Why did you decide to switch from journalism to dialogue writing?
I was a journalist for 15 years before I made the career switch to dialogue writing. I had written for films like Indian and Jannat, which were huge hits. Then, in 2008, I felt I should turn my full attention to cinema. My children were young and I needed to support my family. But I believed I could make it work out and thus decided to quit journalism.
There was a lull in your life. What was that like?
Everyone goes through a phase like this. And, yes, it bothered me. I had delivered hit films and had also written for not-so-successful films like Hawa, Sheesha and Baaz. But I was optimistic that I would bounce back. It was Raksha Mistry’s film The Killer, my first film with the Bhatts, that helped me make a comeback.
After that, I went on to write for films like The Train, and then Jannathappened. I have written for Jannat 2 as well and additional dialogue for Blood Money. Since then, my association with Vishesh Films and the Bhatts has been steady. I also did Krrish with Rakesh Roshan.
Usually directors choose to work with new writers but directors like Mahesh Bhatt and Rakesh Roshan have repeated you in their films.
It’s the faith these people have in me. Of course, I too work hard and try to live up to expectations. Mukesh Bhatt says I am his Sachin Tendular who always hits a six! With Rakesh Roshan, I did my first film Krrish and five to six years later, when he was ready with the screenplay of Krrish 3, he called me and said, “The screenplay of the film is ready. You please come and meet me.” I wrote the dialogue of the film and he liked it.
From dialogue writing to turning lyricist, is direction the next step?
I am grateful to Mahesh Bhatt for giving me the chance to explore the poet inside me and letting me write the songs of Jannat 2. I have written two songs for the film and for Raaz 3 too. Now I am writing songs forAashiqui 2 as well. As of now, I am content with exploring this facet in me and would like to continue this for two years at least. After that, I will definitely direct.
Who would you like to cast in your directorial venture?
If all goes well, I would like to cast Emraan Hashmi. If he has the dates and he likes the script, he will be the first person I contact. Kyuki mujhe lagta hai ki shayad main use samajhta hoon aur woh mujhe.