Music makes our world go round, but have we ever pondered that songs would be so lifeless, if not for the right lyrics? The role of a lyricist is way more important than we’ve ever made it to be. Although the likes of Javed Akhtar and Gulzar have received recognition, female lyricists in Indian cinema have not got their due.
A few women, however, have proven themselves to be incredibly talented lyricists in Indian cinema, across Bollywood as well as regional languages, with beautiful renditions. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
After working for over a decade in the advertising space, Anvita Dutt entered the entertainment industry, where she has donned the hats of a screenplay writer, lyricist and director. Her lyrics have been part of several popular films like Hey Baby, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Patiala House, Student of the Year, and Queen. She recently debuted as a director with Bulbul, a feature film released on Netflix, which was loved by audience and critics alike.
An English literature graduate, Kausar started out as a junior writer on the popular show Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, where she met Indian film director, Vijay Krishna Acharya. It was on his insistence that she wrote the song Falak Tak in Tashan. She then went on to write hit songs like Pareshaan from Ishaqzaade, Maana ke Hum Yaar Nahin from Meri Pyaari Bindu, and Nachdi Phira from Secret Superstar.
She might have written only a few songs, but those numbers have touched the deepest chords of our hearts. Her debut was the song Le Chal Mujhe for Anushka Sharma’s maiden production, NH10. Her next outing was Buddhu Sa Mann from the popular film Kapoor & Sons, followed by the soothing Theher Ja from Varun Dhawan-starrer October. The writer also assisted director Rajkumar Hirani on dialogues for Sanju.
Shreshtha made her debut as the first woman lyricist in Telugu cinema with Oka Romantic Crime Katha, before writing songs for Ko Ante Koti and Courier Boy Kalyan, among other films. She got much recognition for Chinuku taake and Merise Merise from Pelli Choopulu, , as well as Arjun Reddy’s Madhurame. Shreshtha has studied law from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and has always loved writing ever since she was a child.
Anu Elizabeth Jose
Formerly a software engineer, Anu debuted as a film lyricist through the super hit movie Thattathin Maarayathu (2012). She was nominated for, and won, quite a few awards for the same. With her songs being instant hits, Anu went on to establish herself as one of Mollywood’s prominent new-generation lyricists – her other works include God’s Own Country, Aanandam, Thira, and Oru Vadakkan Selfie, among others.
Tamil writer and former journalist Thamarai has been lauded for her magic with words, and is recognised as one of the best songwriters of Kollywood. Most of her collaborations have been with composer Harris Jayaraj and director Gautham Menon. Her maiden film was Iniyavale, after which she wrote lyrics for films like Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen, and Thenali, which had hit songs.
(Edited by Athira Nair)