Neelesh Misra occupies a unique space on the Indian creative landscape, probably the only creative professional to work across so many diverse genres. He writes Bollywood lyrics and scripts, narrates stories every night on radio to a nationwide audience of 31 million people, is an award-winning journalist who now runs India’s first professionally run rural newspaper, Gaon Connection — and has written five books and edited two.
His last day job was as Deputy Executive Editor of the Hindustan Times. He moved on to pursue his love for writing and creating content that connects him with more and more people by means of books, stories, songs, scripts and his voice.
As a journalist, Neelesh Misra has covered conflict and insurgency over the past two decades in South Asia, travelling deep into the hinterland. His travels have taken him from the rebel heartlands of Kashmir to Naxalite-dominated areas of central and eastern India, to the faraway north-east which is home to some of the world’s longest running insurgencies. He has closely studied the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. For his reportage from India’s insurgency lands, he received the Ramnath Goenka Award For Excellence In Journalism and the K.C. Kulish Memorial Award in the year 2009.
As an author, He has written five books :
- 173 Hours in captivity: The Hijacking of IC-814 (HarperCollins)
- End of the Line: The Story of The Killing of the Royals in Nepal (Penguin)
- Once Upon a Timezone (HarperCollins)
- The Absent State (Hachette) co-authored with Rahul Pandita and
- Neelesh Misra ka Yaad Sheher, Volumes 1 and 2 (Westland-Yatra Books)
He also edited the following books:
- India Yatra (Harper Collins, with a foreword by Nandan Nilekani)
- Inspired India: Ideas to Transform a Nation (Harper Collins, 2010, with a foreword by APJ Abdul Kalam)
- Dream Chasing , One Man’s Remarkable True Life Story. This is a book by my father, Dr. S.B.Misra (Roli Books, with a foreword by Sam Pitroda)
As a radio storyteller, his show Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra on 92.7 BIG FM has been a huge successs. In this show, he tells stories of Yaad Sheher, an imaginary city that he has created. This show is broadcasted in 35 cities across the nation. You can listen to these stories Monday to Friday 9:00-11:00 PM, online at our official YouTube channel or visit the website.
” I am absolutely thrilled by the great response we have gotten by the listeners. I am obliged to them for their kind patronage and for making this program a huge success. It is very courageous of Big FM to have thought of such a show heard every week in 35 cities and the content uploaded to Facebook. This radio show is running it’s third season. I am thoroughly enjoying the whole experience of writing and narrating these stories,” he says about his experience.
The 3rd season of YKIB has an ‘Audio postcard’ where listeners can call in and send an audio message to their loved ones. This first-time feature on radio has already met with great response from listeners. Apart from several new programming initiatives, the show has also diversified with a completely new range of themes.
As a script writer, he wrote the script for “Ek Tha Tiger”, a Salman Khan starrer. At present, he is immersed in writing a couple of other scripts for undisclosed romantic and thriller movies.
As a lyricist, he has given great hit songs to Bollywood. He has, so far, penned the lyrics for over 30 Bollywood songs. “I love writing lyrics. Deep down, I am a poet. I have been writing poem for a very long time. I am a huge fan of Gulzar Sahab,” he says. The first lyric he wrote was for Mahesh Bhatt’s film Jism in 2003. This was right after he met him while researching on one of the books he was writing at that time.
Here are some of his most popular songs:
- Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai – Jism
- Chalo Tumko Lekar Chalein – Jism
- Bepanah Pyaar hai – Krishna Cottage
- Maine dil Se Kaha – Rog
- Khoobsoorat Hai Vo Itna — Rog
- Guzar Na Jaaye — Rog
- Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai – Woh Lamhe
- Lamha Lamha – Gangster
- Khwahishon Se – Holiday
- Tu hai Bhatakta Jugnu Koi — Holiday
- Neele Neele Aasmaa Taley — Holiday
- Bolo Na Tum Zara – Fight Club
- Gulon Mein Rang Bhare – Sikandar (Tribute to Faiz Ahmed Faiz)
- I am in love – Once Upon A Time In Mumbai
- Anjaana Anjaani ki Kahani – Anjaana Anjaani
- Abhi Kuch Dinon Se – Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji
- Ye Dil Hai Nakhrewala- Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji
- Humko Pyaar Hua – Ready
- I Love You – Bodyguard
- Dil Mera Muft Ka – Agent Vinod
- Khudaaya – Shanghai
- Banjaara – Ek Tha Tiger
- Kyon – Barfi
His personal favorite songs are Maine Dil Se Kaha of Rog (2005) and Kyon from Barfi (2012)
As a social entrepreneur, he has started India’s first rural newspaper Gaon Connection. Neelesh Misra is the Founder & Editorial Director of the newspaper. This project has been a great success so far. To know more about this project, please visit the website.
He has also founded a content creation company called Content Project Pvt. Ltd. “The idea is to have a team of talented and creative people who would work together to create content across media verticals. The team is called ‘The Mandali” (hindi for connected circle or community of people sharing similar interests). The Mandali consists a group of multi-genre, multi-discipline writers who I mentor,” he mentions. Neelesh Misra is the Founder & CEO of Content Project Pvt. Ltd.