Bajrangi Bhaijaan Exclusive: Genesis of Selfie le le re
I am a lyricist because of Pritam. I’ve partnered with him in his early days and we’ve made some great songs. Then last year he took a long sabbatical. Bajrangi Bhaijaan is his comeback film so he asked me to work with him once again. ‘It’ll be like old days!’ He told me.
Trust me, it was nothing like old days. Pritam, over the years, has become too critical of his own work, like all hardworking successful people become. It took us a month to make this song. A lot was composed and a lot was written that was just trashed. The process was exhausting. But I was clear about one thing. I wanted to write a song that no one else could have done except the two of us. #Selfielelere is that song. It has all the elements of a Pritam blockbuster and the ‘meaningful quirk’ that I strive to achieve.
This was a tricky and a difficult song because it is so situational – it cannot be lifted and put in any other film – yet it had to be generic and fun enough to have a mass appeal. The references to the fact that Salman Khan’s character (Pawan) is a devotee of Bajrangbali had to be there but the song had to be as far away from a ‘bhajan’ as possible.
There are many lines that I’m proud of in this song but the best has to be the use of ‘Anukampa’ rhyming with ‘Shanka’ ‘Lanka’ and ‘Danka’. I bet you cannot anticipate this rhyme structure when you hear it for the first time. It just brings a smile to your face and imparts the innocence and amicability to the character immediately.
Ironically, ‘Selfie le le re’ was a last minute addition to the song. It just sealed the song for us because all the rest of the stuff was so rustic and desi.
I must also thank and appreciate the director Kabir Khan for being so patient with us. We were finalising the lyrics, all the way through the shooting and he never once lost his cool. In fact, he and Remo accommodated some changes even after two days of shooting was already done. It’s shot so lavishly on an immense scale, that at that time to let us make changes was nothing less than being Buddha amidst a war. Kudos to Kabir and the production.
This is and will be one of my best songs and a film like Bajrangi…, a star like Salman and my dear friend Pritam, deserve nothing less than that from me. I took a selfie (I rarely do) after we finished the song and the smile on Pritam’s face says it all.
(In a series of exclusives, noted Writer & Lyricist, Mayur Puri will decode the songs penned by him for the highly awaited Samlan Khan starrer- Bajrangi Bhaijaan)