Javed Akhtar's lyrics in Om Shanti Om have come as a bit of a shocker to audiences. But the poet, known for his aesthetic verses, explains that he was actually asked to write dumb lyrics to fit the film's character.
His rhyming scheme in the song featuring Shah Rukh Khan has also taken many aback. The lyrics go like this - "Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco....Phirta hoon main New York, Paris, LA, San Francisco..."
Akhtar has a good laugh and says: "You must understand every song in a film has to go with the given situation and character. The dumbing-down, as you call it, in 'Dard-e-disco' comes from the fact that the guy who sings it is a bit of silly goose ... not exactly intellectually equipped to sprout poetry!"
The lyricist adds: "In the film-within-a-film in Om Shanti Om, it's shown that the hero (played by Shah Rukh) insists that an absurd song be composed for him to sing and dance on stage. While writing lines I had to constantly keep reminding myself that the song wasn't for Shah Rukh but the character that the star plays in a film within the film.
"We had to constantly keep checking my poetry to make sure it didn't sound intelligent. Every time I'd come up with a poetic image I'd be shouted down."
We've had instances of lyricists trying to sound more poetic than they are capable of being. This is one of those rare occasions when a poet actually had to scale down his skills to accommodate the character's intellect.