Sameer Anjaan does not need any introduction. He is a prolific lyricist who started in 1982 but became hugely popular in 1990 with the Nadeem-Shravan craze that started with ‘Aashiqui’ (1990) and the rise of Anand-Milind with ‘Dil’ (1990). The quiet, reserved and soft-spoken lyricist has worked with all the big names in the Hindi film industry including Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit, Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen, Bappi Lahiri and a lot of other talented composers like Aadesh Shrivastava, Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam, Sajid-Wajid, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, etc. Sameer’s ability to connect with the masses has been instrumental in his success as he is a versatile lyricist. Throw him a situation, he will turn it into beautiful, yet understandable poetry. If one is still humming ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s title track, well it is written by Sameer.
During this pandemic, he teamed up with Harshit Saxena for “Bas Kuch Dino Ki Baat Hai” – a song that encourages people to be more patient. In this interview, he opens up on his inspiration, the need to reinvent himself and his second book.
Where did you derive your inspiration for writing such poignant lyrics? Something must have touched you deeply, I guess.
I cannot pinpoint this one thing which inspires me but it may come from time, moment, people, sadness, happiness and sometimes the situations. Like the present situation, whatever I feel, I should send those messages through my poetry to people who are my fans.
The title of the track is very original and completely different from your body of work, already out there. Was it a conscious decision to write something different?
I have learned how to change my style from so many creators because you have to move with time, otherwise, it would be difficult to survive and it won’t be an easy task. I have done so much work. It is not easy to move with the present time because the current generation has got their own thoughts, language and style of tune. So be with them, follow their thoughts and try to take what the new writers are writing. And try to compete with them. However, most of the writers when they begin, they are trying to follow me. For me, this is the biggest challenge that I have to change myself. Otherwise, I look at myself as very monotonous.
You share a great working rapport with Harshit Saxena. Is there something like a cosmic connection between you two?
Harshit Saxena is a very good singer and composer. He respects me and like the work I do. The best part I feel while working with him is that whatever he composes or sings, the melody line is always very strong. He is a young boy and very ambitious. We have worked on many films and now we are doing a lot of private work. I am hoping whatever he is dreaming, he will achieve. I like to work with those people who are foremost a good human being. Harshit is a very good boy, obedient and down-to-earth. All those qualities always attract me. I usually do not want to work with people who do not have those qualities, irrespective of their talent.
How did this pandemic change your views about humanity and life, in general? What did you learn the most about yourself while being at home in lockdown?
It has changed me tremendously and it has been three months I am at home. I did one great thing. My first poetry collection, ‘Sameerana Geet’ has already released and now I have started the second part of this book. I have named it ‘Sheeshe Ka Samundar’ and I am writing a lot of my private poetry which I have never used before in films.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.