Piyush Mishra is a well-known film and theatre actor, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter and music director in the Indian Film Industry. He’s an outsider who stepped into the world of Indian cinema in his 40s in 2002 when he shifted to Mumbai before which he was doing theatre in Delhi. He has said in an interview that he’s been gifted with what he does today and I believe him because of the sheer beauty of his creations. Some of his most memorable roles have been ‘Maqbool’ (2003) and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ (2012). As a lyricist, his songs ‘Arre Ruk Ja Re Bande’ in ‘Black Friday’ (2004) and ‘Aarambh hai prachand’ in ‘Gulaal’ (2009) are a treat to listen to. One of his songs that has stayed with me is ‘Husna’ that he sang in an episode of MTV Coke Studio in 2012.
Born in Gwalior as Priyakant Sharma, he lived in an authoritative household of his aunt. This made him a rebellious child and that’s when he wrote his first poem in class 8th. He was in his 10th grade when he changed his name to the one of his choice, by which we all know him today. He started doing theatre around this time. The stage was where he felt that he was heard and he stuck to it even though his family kept insisting him to concentrate on his studies. National School of Drama was where he finally ended up despite all the retaliation and that’s when he stepped into the realm of stories.
In 1995, he married Priya Narayana whom he met 3 years ago and fell for instantly. She constantly supported the family in the days when he could not. Today, they are settled in Mumbai with 2 sons and are living happily in the life they have together created.
In 2016, Piyush Mishra came up with a band of his own called ‘Ballimaaran’. This was his way to pay homage to ‘Mirza Galib’ who resided in that area in Delhi. If you step into the narrow, delicate lanes of ‘Ballimaran’ you’d find an almost deserted house of the great poet converted into a museum. The initiation of the band happened when Piyush Mishra met one of his fans singing his songs that he used to perform in his theatre days and since then they became comrades. They have been performing all over the country for the last 4 years.
Poetry is an essential part of his life and you would find some of the most vibrant observations of the human mind, love, politics, and relationships. His verses leave you with a feeling of awe every time you hear them, especially in his mesmerizing voice. Here are some of his best works
‘Ghar’ – Written and sung by Piyush Mishra for MTV Coke Studio, Season 3 in 2013
‘Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kaam Kiya’ – Written by Piyush Mishra and Published by Rajkamal Prakashan
Get it here
‘Aarambh Hai Prachand’ (Songs by Piyush Mishra) – Written by Piyush Mishra and Published by Rajkamal Prakashan
‘Gagan Damama Bajiyo’ – Highly acclaimed play on the life of Bhagat Singh by Act One Theatre Group which is written and directed by Piyush Mishra.
Piyush Mishra’s reflections on life and love have often come from deep personal experience and he’s always stepped into newer realms of his profession and excelled. He started with theatre, got into lyrics writing and scriptwriting, followed by direction and finally screenplay writing for films. For some, he is an institute of learning and inspiration and for some a living legend but for me, he’s an old friend who understands and puts my emotions into beautiful poetic verses so craftily that I feel we have known each other for years and this is how I pay homage to him.
जो भी होता है दुनिया मे उस्को तुम लिखकर केहते हो
You express whatever happens in this world with your words
मानो इसके तूफनो मे तुम खुद ही आकर रेह्ते हो
As if you yourself have lived in the storms that have occurred here
गर गीत लिखो तो भा जाए उस ‘भगत’ को भी जो नही रहा
When you write a song even Bhagat Singh feels elated even though he’s no more
गर दासतान हो ‘गालिब’ की, केहदो जो उसने भी न कहा
You speak that what ‘Mirza Ghalib’ didn’t when you write his story
लहोर तुमहरा शेहर नही पर उसको जी कर आए हो
Lahore isn’t your city, but you have lived it in your music
‘हुसन’ की पुकारे आने दो, जिसको तुम छुकर लाए हो
Let me hear the calls of ‘Husna’ who you have touched and brought here.
जैसे वो तुमहरा साया है, कोइ गीत नहि, कोइ राग नही
As if she was your shadow, not a song, not a melody
जलते हो तुम उस जादु मे, हा भले तुमहरी आग नही
As if, you burn in her magic even though it’s not your fury
नगमे जो दिल को छू जाए, खुद आकर मुझसे केहना तुम्
Come and tell me yourself, the stories that pierce my heart
चाहे जो हो इस दुनिया मे, बस यु ही लिखते रेहना तुम ।
Whatever may happen in this world, write the way you do always.