INDIA. Mumbai: Kaushal S. Inamdar is a play writer, blog writer, singer, and above all a musician, par-excellence. He is also a multi-talented music director who has completed his 25 years of journey in Indian television and cinema. He has predominantly worked in the Marathi film industry and is a very well known musician over there. Recently, his music was selected for the Republic Day parade for Maharashtra’s tableau. His life journey is truly an inspiration for all aspiring musicians.
Kaushal was born in Pune, Maharashtra. However, he has spent most of his childhood in Mumbai. Kaushal’s father was a prominent income-tax advocate. However, the other members of his family were inclined towards music. Kaushal was very interested in music from his childhood. His mother was a musical artist and his grandfather was a violinist in V. Santharam’s first talkie in 1932. But, while growing up, he developed an interest in writing. Talking to Transcontinental Times, he said, “I always thought as to be a writer and I was groomed to be a writer.”
When he was in college, he had a dramatic circuit around him. Sumeet Raghavan, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Suchit Patil (now well known Marathi cinema actor), and Urmila Matondkar (Bollywood actress) were in that circuit. Groomed by the well-known playwright Chetan Datar, he developed his playwriting skills. At that time, he was also working as an intern with the famous movie writer Lekh Tandon. He was also writing for Sanjay Upadhyay who later became the head of the Colors channel.
Foray into music
While writing, he began to incline toward music. Along with this, he also started to take interest in Marathi poetry. Kaushal has given tunes to many classic Marathi poetries. At this juncture, he realized that music was his fate. His pieces of music were appreciated by great Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and Kusumagraj. They both encouraged Kaushal to take music as his career. “This was the time when I realized that music is my career and it came to me naturally,” he said.
Kaushal’s musical journey
Kaushal’s journey as a music director began when he gave background music for Miss World 1996 which was held in India. His first breakthrough came in the year 2000 when he composed music for the Marathi movie, ‘Krishnalcathachi Meera’ that was directed by Gajendra Ahire. Soon he began to play the music director’s role in scores of Marathi movies and TV serials. Prominent among them were ‘Balgandharv’ directed by Ravi Jadhav,’ Raja Shiv Chatrapati’ directed by Nitin Desai, and ‘Yellow’ produced by Ritesh Deshmukh and directed by Mahesh Limaye
Kaushal has given the background music to the famous serial ‘Shanti’. He also gave the music to the directorial debut of Nitish Bhardwaj ‘Pitruroon’. Talking about his journey, Kaushal said, “In these 25 years I have worked on quality music rather than quantity.”
A radio interview led to the creation of a path-breaking composition
In 2008, Mumbai FM radio invited Kaushal for a musical program in their radio show. After the program, Kaushal asked the Radio Jockey that why there were no Marathi songs in the playlist. The jockey replied that if they start playing Marathi songs, then the radio station would be dumped ‘down-market’. The jockey’s answer struck Kaushal and from that day his perception of his mother tongue changed completely.” As a caterpillar turned into a butterfly, a metamorphosis, you give any problem to a musician, he will turn into a song,” he said.
In 2010, Kaushal’s immense love and pride towards his state and its language gave rise to a wonderful composition now popularly known as “Marathi Abhimaan Geet“. He had spent a whole one and half years completing this song. This song is sung by 112 singers and 350 chorus singers and now has around 4.5 million views on YouTube. Famous singers like Hariharan, Suresh Wadkar, Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, and others have lent their voice to this soul-searching Marathi song. This song has inspired many people to love their mother tongue. This song has also been an eye-opener for many FM radio stations who have now begun to play Marathi songs in their daily shows. “I have proved that my mother tongue is not downmarket,” he said.
He has also written a blog “In defense of Marathi” in which he genuinely elaborated on the apathy shown to the Marathi language. Due to his efforts, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) started in the Marathi language as well. “Due to this, I now perceive music beyond entertainment, as I believe that it can solve the people’s problem or at least soothe them,” Kaushal said. The ‘Marathi Abhimaan Geet’ song has now received worldwide recognition. In 2019, the song was the background music in the Red Carpet of Oscar Awards.
Kaushal is planning to do a musical recording of Marathi poetries with the best possible technology around the globe. He has planned to record these in the five continents across the world. Talking about his future plans he said, “I want the next generation to realize their roots. I want to create a kind of legacy.” True to his personality, Kaushal is ‘the man of a storyteller in the guise of music’.