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‘I’m hired for my work, not for my gender’

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SUBHASH K. JHA
Published Sep 24, 2015, 5:11 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 5:43 pm IST
Anvita Dutt talks about breaking into the male bastion of Bollywood
 A still from Shandaar
  A still from Shandaar

In a profession ruled by men, Anvita Dutt has made her presence felt as a lyricist with her songs in Student Of The Year, Queen and now Shaandaar. In fact Anvita’s lyrics these days are staple in the films produced Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar. Ironically while film lyrics over the generations have largely described feminine beauty and grace, the most famous lines have been written by men.

Anvita refuses to see lyric writing as a male domain. “I don’t think that writing a song is a gender-specific skill. It’s just the ability to say the best possible thing about a particular story situation set to a specific tune. Gulzar Sahab wrote Mora Gora Aang Lai Le in Bandini. It conveyed such a delicate insightful feminine perspective!”

Anvita says that she has not encountered any gender discrimination in the industry. “My journey so far has been wonderful. The muse does not choose as per gender, religion, caste or colour. I have worked only with very talented people, both as a lyricist and as a writer. They have all made me shine.”

She started as lyricist and dialogue writer in Yashraj Film’s Neil N Nikki in 2005 and has never looked back.

“I was very fortunate. Each piece of work I did led to another offer. The struggle is always to be better, to find my voice. This is always tricky for a commissioned writer as he or she has to abide by someone else’s vision.”

As a scriptwriter, Anvita has just found her voice in Shaandaar. Here too she has encountered no discrimination. “Again as a screenwriter I’m just that. A writer. Not a woman. No one hires me because I’m a woman. It’s because of my work. And hence the work is not manipulated or controlled because of gender. I might face difficulties because of other reasons. Not stereotypes.”

On the anvil is a film produced by Neeraj Pandey, and another one directed by Farah Khan.

Anvita is looking forward to the future. “Hopefully I will direct a film soon. I have done really successful work with Karan Johar. His Dharma Productions has always been a fun experience.”
 

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