Poet, and lyricist, Prasoon Joshi is one of the most respected names in Indian cinema. So, when his name was announced as the new chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, marking the end of the controversial tenure of Pahlaj Nihalani, it seemed like the perfect decision by the Center. The appointment of the 45-year-old poet has been ordered with immediate effect for a period of three years or till the next order.
Born in the hilly town of Almora, Uttarakhand, the poet and screenplay writer started his career with Ogilvy and Mather and went on to become the vice-president and national creative director of McCann-Erickson.
However, Prasoon Joshi’s sudden shift from the world of marketing and advertisement to the field of arts and literature was not really surprising to his close ones. This once ad-man published a book inspired by Frederick Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ titled ‘Main Aur Woh’ at the tender age of 17! Needless to say, his foray into the world of creativity was destiny in itself.
Prasoon Joshi and the Ad World
Although Prasoon Joshi is a noted lyricist in Bollywood, his creative journey started in the world of advertisement. In fact, he started his career with advertisement and had even penned numerous jingles, some of which had been extremely famous and brought immense accolades to him. Remember that Aamir Khan-starred series of advertisements that had “Thanda matlab Coca Cola” as the catch-phrase? Well, you would be stunned to know that Prasoon Joshi had composed it while traveling in a train! The idea struck him when he saw a coolie resting on a sack under a cool shade in the otherwise hot station. This advertisement won him the Golden Lion Prize at Cannes for advertising. His Happydent commercial was listed by Bob Garfield of Advertising Age as one of his personal favorites for the 2007 Golden Lion Prize.
Joshi’s other notable advertisement compositions have been for NDTV (Sach Dikhate Hain Hum), Saffola (Abhi toh main jawaan hoon), Perfetti (Alpenliebe, Chlormint), LG and Marico among the rest.
Prasoon Joshi and Bollywood
Prasun Joshi began his career in Bollywood as a lyricist with ‘Bhopal Express’ that released in 1999. However, it was his composition ‘Kaun dagar, kaun sehar’ in the 2001 Rajkumar Santoshi film, ‘Lajja’, that brought him into the limelight. After that, he composed songs for numerous Bollywood films like ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Black’, ‘Delhi 6’, ‘Fanaa’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ among many others.
Prasoon Joshi’s impressive creative zeal won him the National Award for Best Lyricist twice – the first time in 2007 for ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and the second time in 2013 for ‘Chittagong’.
What not many people may know is that his poetry is not simply limited to penning Bollywood songs. Joshi has also been extremely successful in composing verses for indie-pop, a special mention goes to Subha Mudgal’s breakthrough albums – ‘Mann Ke Manjeere’ and ‘Ab Ke Sawan’.
Known for being extremely opinionated on social media on contemporary issues, Prasoon Joshi had been awarded the Padma Shri in 2015.