Manoj Yadav on writing World Cup song (interview)

Mumbai, Jan 5 (Calcutta Tube) Lyricist Manoj Yadav, who has penned the popular ICC Cricket World Cup anthem ‘De Ghuma Ke’, says he initially struggled to write the lyrics for the song that is replete with fun Hindi phrases. His brief was that the song should strike a chord with the rural and urban cricket lover.

Yadav was told that the song has to have a strong fun element.

‘I got a call from O&M (Ogilvy & Mather) that we need to make a song for the ICC World Cup and gave me the brief. The brief was that it should not sound like just another anthem, which is motivational and inspirational; it should have a fun element too,’ Yadav told IANS.

‘De Ghuma Ke’ has been composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and crooned by Shankar along with Divya Kumar for the world event that kickstarts Feb 19 and will be held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

‘I was told that a farmer should also like it and even a multiplex goer enjoy it. It was quite tricky for me initially because I didn’t know what way to pick. It was challenging. Then I sat with Shankar and we came up with ‘De Ghuma Ke’,’ he added.

It took Yadav two weeks to write the entire song, which is peppy and upbeat.

He also revealed that Shankar was quite a guiding force when he was penning the lyrics.

‘In the beginning I was quite confused what to write. So I asked Shankar. He briefed me and his guidance was always there. He said, ‘Forget that you’re writing a song for cricket. Just write what you like and go beyond your imagination.’ Luckily, what I wrote was liked by everyone,’ said Yadav, who has also written the Lux soap jingle for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

He also said that working on the song was an emotional moment for him.

‘A writer lives for these opportunities and so is the case with me. First of all it’s a World Cup song, secondly it’s with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, one of the top music directors, and third it’s about cricket, which is my favourite game – what else does one want?’

‘I love playing cricket, used to play it a lot. I can’t express how I felt when I got this song. Never thought I’ll be chosen to write this. I’m thankful to god and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy that they considered me for this track. It’s an emotional moment for me,’ he added.

‘De Ghuma Ke’ has commonly used Hindi terms like, ‘aare paare’ (this way or that), ‘guthi gutham’ (fisticuffs), ‘juta hausla badla faisla’ (buck up and change the game) and ‘jiyo khiladi wah re wah re’.

However, all was not easy for Yadav; while writing the song the fear of criticism always lurked.

‘As a writer you do wonder whether people will like it or not. This thought is always there, but when you make people hear it and they like it, then you get the positivity,’ he said.

‘Yes, there was a fear of being criticised. The CWG (Commonwealth Games) song was so nice but people compared it to other songs of A.R. Rahman and criticised it. If it had been seen as a stand alone song I’m sure people would have liked it,’ he said referring to the CWG song ‘Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto’, which was panned.

‘So I do have that fear too, but I will still hope that people like my song and take it in its right spirit,’ he said.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at

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