Sanjay Masoomm, an established writer who recently turned lyricist with Jannat 2 talks about his journey in the industry
I have always had a flair for writing. It was only after I got a degree in Law that I decided to move to Mumbai and make a career in writing. So I re-located from Uttar Pradesh in 1990. After some struggle, I joined Dharmyug Times, as a journalist. Just when I thought I had a foothold, the magazine folded up. However, all was not lost. We fought a court case, after which all the employees were shifted to Navbharat Times and I was assigned the Sub-Editor’s post. I was with the newspaper for more than a decade.
While I was with Navbharat Times, I got the chance to write the dialogue of Sunny Deol’s film Indian. It was director Padam Kumar who introduced me to Sunny Deol. While Indian stalled, I met Sangeeth Sivan, who was looking for a new dialogue writer. He gave me two scenes and told me to write the dialogue for them. That’s how Zor became my first film. Even though my dialogue in the film was appreciated, the movie was not a box-office success. And my first successful film was Indian. After that, for a while, I only wrote dialogue for Sunny’s other films in different genres such as action and romance. This includes Indian, Champion and 23rd March 1931: Shaheed, among others. Soon, offers from other filmmakers trickled in.
Despite having done several films, there came a time when I was left with no work. Yes, I know 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. And suddenly life had come to a standstill. I was restless. But somehow, I was optimistic. It finally happened with Raksha Mistry’s film The Killer, my first film with the Bhatts. Working with Bhatt saab was a turning point in my career. With this film, we established a good rapport and I wrote for his films, The Train, Jannat and Blood Money (additional dialogue).
Other filmmakers began to take notice of me. Offers started pouring in. Rakesh Roshan approached me for Krrish. My excitement knew no bounds. But it was shortlived. The first draft was rejected by the Roshans. I was asked to re-write it and this time, came out with flying colours. 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 clinched a deal to write the dialogue for Krrish 3, which is under production now. Mukesh Bhatt says I am his Sachin Tendular, who always hits a six!
In 2008, I felt I should turn my attention, full-time, to cinema. My children were young and I needed to support my family. But I believed I could make it work and I decided to quit journalism for good.
Dialogue writer to lyricist
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 as well. I am content with exploring this facet and would like to continue this for at least two years. Right now, my hands are full with Vishesh Films’ Murder 3, Yash Raj Films’ Gunday and Krrish 3. I am also writing lyrics for Aashiqui 2.
I have worked with experienced directors such as Rakesh Roshan and and the Bhatt’s and, on the other hand, I am also working with new directors such as Kunal Deshmukh and Vishal Mahadkar. Now, I am nursing a secret desire to direct my own film some day. 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 would contact, kyuki mujhe lagta hai ki shayad main use samajhta hoon aur woh mujhe.