Manoj Muntashir has a way with words, says Baahubali director is the reason he worked on both the films
Upala KBR (DNA; April 6, 2017)

Manoj Muntashir, who has written the Hindi dialogues and lyrics for both Baahubali and Baahubali 2 is pretty excited about Baahubali 2 releasing this month. He is the name behind hits like Teri Galliyan (Ek Villain), Tere Sang Yaara (Rustom), and Kaun Tujhe (M S Dhoni), tells us why it has been such a challenging journey for both the Baahubalis.

What was the brief given by S S Rajamouli?
He is a sweetheart and the main reason why I have written the lyrics and script for the two Baahubali films. There is no other reason for a Bollywood writer who is doing 17 films at a time to rush to do a dubbed film in Hyderabad. When Rajamouli approached me for Baahubali, I could not say no. He didn’t give me a brief. In fact, when we met I told him outright that it could not be a direct translation from Tamil to Hindi. The last Tamil film translated in Hindi was Bombay but more than 25 years later, the audience has become smarter and won’t go to buy tickets for a film in a translated language.

Why so?
There has to be synchronicity in the dialogues and the lips. The biggest challenge was to match the lips. If you have noticed, most critics wrote that it never sounded or felt like a dubbed film as I have tried my level best to match the lips. This requires having a plethora of words at your command. Just feeding translated words does not have the same impact. Devika Bahudhanam (the line producer) helped me a lot in this. She guided me at every junction. For both films, we have evolved a lingo and new sounds for the characters. We’re also maintaining the purity of the language and have been able to match 85 per cent to the dialogues and lip-synching.

Is it tougher to write for Baahubali than, let’s say, Ek Villain or Rustom?
Both are equally challenging. When you write for a film like Baahubali, you have to make the language sound dramatic and colloquial and yet, not contemporary. It’s a mix of Urdu and colloquial Hindi. When that happens, it’s a challenge. It was used in BR Chopra’s TV epic Mahabharat by Dr Rahi Masoom Reza who used the Vedic language, throughout the series. I have tried to use the same approach. It is in my blood. I didn’t have time to learn the language. I am a Brahmin and though I write in Urdu, I have learned shlokas as a child.