From ‘Bombay’ to ‘Yuva’, lyricist Mehboob had a very fruitful association with composer A. R. Rahman. Together, they worked on several films like ‘Rangeela’, ‘Doli Saja Ke Rakhna’, ‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’ and non-film albums like ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Gurus of Peace’. A health crisis did not let Mehboob work for several years but now, the lyricist is back with the Tiger Shroff – Tara Sutaria starrer ‘Heropanti 2’. While Mehboob has written all the songs for the film, the music has been scored by his close friend and long-time collaborator A. R. Rahman.
‘Heropanti 2’ is quite a diverse album with songs of different moods. It is believed that incorporating songs in an action film is a very difficult task. Was it tough to find situations in the film where songs could be used?
Not really! Ahmed (Khan) has been a choreographer for several years now. His sense of music is very good. He had already marked out the situation for the songs in the script. We wanted to create songs that would serve the film and take the narrative forward. Ahmed is a very good narrator and explains the situation very well. Working on the album was a very smooth experience. When he explained the situation of ‘Dafa Kar’, I came up with a slightly different thought. He really appreciated it. I wrote the mukhda and then, Rahman composed a tune around it. Rahman mostly composes the tune first but he made an exception this time.
A. R. Rahman and you had put together the album of ‘Lakeer’, Ahmad Khan’s debut directorial venture. It must have been a special feeling to get back to work with the team.
Yes! One day, I got a call from Rahman. He told me, “somebody wants to talk to you”. He patched the call with Ahmed and I was extremely happy to hear his voice after a long time. Ahmed and I screamed our hearts out. All those wonderful memories of working with each other started coming back. We started chatting and it reached a point when Rahman and had to intervene and say, “guys, let’s get back to work!” (laughs). Ahmed told me that he wants Rahman and me to work on his next film. I was very excited to work with them on the project.
You have worked with A R Rahman on so many films. What is that one quality of his that you find the most special?
We have gone beyond that stage. He is like family to me. It is difficult to say what I like about him. Last year, we completed 25 years of working together. We work with a lot of passion and confidence.
Health issues kept you away from work for a long time. ‘Heropanti 2’ was, in a lot of ways, marked your comeback into the industry. How do you look at your professional journey ahead?
I have been fortunate enough to work with good producers and directors. Even now, I am working with people who have faith in my abilities and sensibilities. I have signed a couple of projects which should be announced soon.