The Beginning of a Dream:-
"Irshad Beta, when you grow up, what would you like to be?"
"I would like to be a Bollywood writer and lyricist."
"Ha ha ha. Are you out of your mind? Bollywood is for those who are from Lucknow and can speak Urdu with clear diction. You are not fit to be in Bollywood. Come on.."
Can you imagine the impact of these words on the psyche of a young boy full of enthusiasm, vigour and energy for life? At a family get-together, a visitor said these words. That day a young Irshad Dalal with rebellious streak made up his mind to prove himself by being a part of the Hindi Film Industry although he knew that the odds were heavily stacked against him.
Upleta Born Irshad was a voracious reader since his childhood & He was lucky enough to have access to great minds and their books at Kutubkhana.
Today Irshad Dalal is a name to reckon with force in the entertainment industry operating out of Mumbai where he arrived from Junagadh as an insecure teenager at an unripe age of just eighteen years to work in a private bank as a clerk to support his family way back in 1990-91.
Bombay Calling & The Journey Begins....
How did it all begin?
"Well, I am a great fan of Sahir Ludhianvi and Anand Bakshi. I am a self made artist. I taught myself every aspect of film making right from story-telling to screenplay-writing to casting to acting to penning down lyrics as per the situations. I am a gifted person. Allah has been kind enough to gift me with the ability to write both lucid prose and free flowing verses." Irshad Dalal says with a smile.”
But the struggle was never easy for someone like Irshad Dalal who does not have a Godfather or any kind of family connection in the film industry. And, most importantly who was not born into a family of native Urdu speakers. Initially nobody took our young and innocent Memon boy with chocolate face and curly hair seriously.
This struggle did not last for days. It did not last for months. You would be surprised to know that Irshad went through both heart breaking and back breaking struggle coupled with nasty rejections for a full decade.
Irshad's first break came after ten years of pouring blood and sweat. Circa 2001. The then famous Bollywood playback singer Roopkumar Rathod released his album titled "Sun Zara". He gave Irshaad a break as a lyricist who contributed one song “ Taasir mere pyar mein” for this album. This number penned down by Irshad became hugely popular giving the struggler much needed recognition. Irshad Dalal had arrived in style.
There are numerous instances where Irshad presented story ideas or submitted his manuscripts for films or TV serials and received rejection letters. But later on he would come across his stories on celluloid albeit in the name of some other artists. It would have broken the heart of a lesser mortal. But Irshad, strangely, felt happy at these cruel experiences thinking that his work would find takers one day since he had his fingers on the pulse of Bollywood.
After twelve years of constant struggle, Irshad Dalal received his reward. "The Command Force" - a CID type crime show - started on Doordarshan. It was a precious moment for our Memon writer whose name as a writer in gold letters was appearing on the Television screen for the first time. Irshad was nervous initially at the time when this show released. However, when he saw his name flashing on the screen, he felt so much of pride and happiness as if he had single-handedly won the cricket world cup for his country. After this Irshad Dalal has never looked back.
Just like any typical Memon achiever, Irshad Dalal is down to earth and extremely courteous. He does not accept the credit for the success that he has achieved by the dent of his sheer hard work. On the contrary, he gives all the credit to his mother with whom he shares a very special bond. "Maa ki dua" & He acknowledges the support of his loving and caring wife Firdaus Dalal too.
Irshad Dalal is fortunate enough to contribute 34 out of 36 episodes & 30 original songs in a unique talent reality show "The War of Talent" [ Mx Player]. These 34 stories are full of drama, action, emotion, tragedy and comedy without any obscenity or vulgarity.
This is a world record in itself. No other writer and lyricist has managed such a feat before. The producers of "The War of Talent" are making all the efforts to gain Irshad Dalal entry into the Limca Books of Records.
Apart from the hugely successful "The War of Talent" , Irshad Dalal has also written stories and screenplays of "I am Banni (Hindi Film)", "The Command Force", "Kanaphoosi", "Happy Homes", "Big Googly""Yam Kisi Se Kam Nahi", "Goldie Ahuja Metric Pass, comedy shows on TV and "Abhimanyu - the Fastest Fit (International Musical Play -Broadway) and many famous punchy one liners for the commercials of corporate products and lyrics for the Hindi Film Albums and private albums.
This Upleta born and Junagadh raised Memon has carved a niche for himself in every format of writing proving his full mettle as a creative artist.
Being a talented Memon and a proud Gujarati, he consciously decided to expand his horizon. And, this is precisely why he has been active in the Gujarati film industry for quite some time now.
He has written the stories of box office hits like "Hungama House", "Dosti Unlimited" and "Pagalpanti" known for the rib tickling comedy drama. He has written lyrics for a couple of private Gujarati albums as well. The year 2021 is going to witness the releases of as many as three Gujarati films written by Irshad Dalal apart from many Gujarati songs.
Irshad Dalal is a man who likes to wear multiple hats. Apart from story and screenplay writing, he is a regular contributor as a column writer for a few Gujarati magazines. He writes "Infotainment" column for a Gujarati magazine called "Feelings". He is also a consultant for an English magazine called "Perfect Woman".
The icing on the cake is Irshad Dalal has got much awaited opportunities to appear before the cameras in guest appearances in various roles in TV Shows and films.
How did this all become possible? When asked, Irshad Dalal turned philosophical in his trademark style and recited this couplet for us.
"Dil se kar tu khwahishen,
dil se kar tu koshishen...
Kaise door hongi na,
phir ye teri gardieshen...
Khud se thoda pyar kar,
khud pe aitbaar kar....
Khud hee toot jayengi,
jo bhi hongi bandishen...."
Kyc (know your community), initiative by memon ID is a series of stories under the platform of StoriesOfMemons on various Memon individuals & organizations established in India & abroad highlighting their contributions for welfare & upliftment of society & Memon community across the globe.