‘अस्वस्थ अन् अव्यक्त मी
भरून देखील रिक्त मी
ही भुकेची लाट सुंदर
एकाकी ही वाट सुंदर’
These insightful lines in Marathi are written by a young lyricist and writer from Pune, Valay Mulgund. 'Laya' (लय) refers to tempo of the rhythm and Valay, literally, is living this rhythm in his life. Born in a family where almost all family members are artists, Valay dreamt of becoming a lyricist at very young age. And, he is on the right track, focusing on his goal.
The viewers of Zee Marathi, Zee Yuva and Star Pravah entertainment channels can quickly relate to Valay when they listen to the melodious and meaningful title songs written by him.
Valay’s grandfather Late Krishnadeo Mulgund was a drawing teacher at Renuka Swaroop School. He used to perform folk dance since 1940. It is worth mentioning that Krishnadeo Mulgund pioneered 'Children's Theater' in Pune. With a proud feeling, Valay says, “My grandfather used to write plays for children, direct and choreograph the plays and even making necessary costumes for the same. He has choreographed many popular Marathi musical plays; 'Ghashiram Kotwal' and 'Janata Raja' are amongst them.”
Besides grandfather, Valay's grandmother and mother were also classical dancers and his elder brother is an artist having his own designing firm. So, how can Valay be different from this family of artists? He grew up watching all these art forms around him and started playing tabla, performing in school dramas. His passion for music and songs has been percolating in his mind since his childhood. He used to study in the background music and film songs. At one point, he fell in love with poetry, which he found a great medium of expression.
After finishing his matriculation, Valay decided to be a writer and a lyricist by profession. He completed his graduation and post graduation externally in Sociology and simultaneously, he nurtured his passion for writing. Initially, he worked in recording studios just to know about techniques and process of recording. Recalling the early days, Valay says, “Opting for no job for bread and butter, but going to be a full-time writer was my serious decision. And, I prepared myself for it. I thoroughly went on reading and studying writings of different prominent writers in Marathi, especially the saint poets and legendary. It helped me to understand different forms of Marathi poetry.”
In 2007, Valay presented first public recital of his poems- 'Eka Kavitesathi'. In 2008, his first movie song was recorded for the Marathi movie 'Achanak' directed by Yogesh Soman was released, and the singer was none other than Shankar Mahadevan! Immediately after the recording, this legendry singer full heartedly admired Valay's talent.
Like Shankar Mahadevan, singer Sukhwinder Singh also encouraged him by expressing faith in his lyrics and saying 'This boy is having exceptional potential of writing simple, meaningful songs'. It was great reward for Valay. Meanwhile, Valay handled various writing-forms. He translated scripts of cartoon serials and other serials like Shree Ganesh, from Hindi to Marathi, he wrote jingles and scripts for short plays performed during Ganapati festival and even the citations.
It was 2015 when Valay made his entry to television by writing title song of Marathi serial 'Duheri' on Star Pravah. Title songs of the first three serials on 'Zee Yuva' namely 'Freshers', 'Shravanbal Roackstar' and 'Yuvagiri' and '100 Days' on Zee Marathi are also penned by Valay.
Today, Valay's lyrics are being sung by almost all the leading singers including Shankar Mahavevan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Suresh Wadkar, Vinodkumar Rathod, Sudesh Bhosle, Javed Ali, Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Sukhwinder Singh, Sadhna Sargam, Harshdeep Kaur, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Bela Shende, Neha Rajpal, Adarsh Shinde, Sayalie Pankaj, Swapnil Bandodkar, Milind Shinde, Urmila Dhangar, Avdhut Gupte, Ravindra Sathe and Anandi Joshi.
Valay has written lyrics for around 22 Marathi movies including Achanak, Target, Dandgi Mula, Uday, TTMM, Cinemascope, Rangila Raiba, Barayan, Vantas, Land 1857, Kay Jhala Kalana, Sarva line vyasta aahet, Shimmgga, Ti and Ti…and some interesting projects are in the pipeline. He also successfully tried his hands on promotional activities of films 'Farzand', 'Pushpak Viman' and 'Nude'.
“Every project is unique having its own requirements. I need to understand that requirement, mood and the situation before writing the lyrics. In a way, I live those songs,” he states.
Thus, Valay has been busy these days, contributing to Marathi Theater, albums, television, films and short films. Recently, 'Samikaran'- a play penned by him has won the first prize at the primary round of 57th Maharashtra Rajya Haushi Natya Spardha.
Valay got opportunity to work with veteran and noted music directors namely Ashok Patki, Pankajj Padghan, Amitraj, Avinash-Vishwajit, Narendra Bhide, Chaitanya Kunte, Rohit Nagbhide and Sameer Saptiskar. For his achievements, Valay has been felicitated at several occasions by renowned personalities like Cricketer Chandu Borde, Scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, writer Pravin Davane and Pravin Togadia.
Valay's book- 'Ek Zaad Shabdancha'- a compilation of his selected poems, has won the 'Kavi Yashwant Puraskar' instituted by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad. The e-version of this book was launched by BookGanga on Gudhi Padwa this year. Valay also was nominated for 'Times MFTA 2018- The Best Lyricist Award'. Valay is satisfied with his lyrical journey so far. He never forgets to thank his wife Utkarsha, who has been a backbone of his career and his four-year-old daughter Nabha, who has been soul of his lyrics. Valay also expressed his gratitude towards his beloved friends namely Kedar Sonpatki, Mahesh Limaye, Mangesh Tambe, Bhushan Karandikar, Akshay Kulkarni, Jaydeep Kadu, L M Kadu Sir and many others. “All of them are with me since my initial struggle period. It is because of their moral support I could confidently chase my dream,” says Valay.
Valay converted his passion into his profession. Struggling phase is always there at every step. “But I learnt to accept rejections and failures with a positive mind. These failures shape up us. We need to prove ourselves to survive in this industry. Paths are always there, we need to find them,” he signs off.