Having started his film career in 1963 with ‘’Bandini’’ veteran lyricist, writer, poet, director and producer Gulzar who has just turned 77, remains as much in demand today as ever.
Born in Jhelum district of Pakistan on August 18,1936 Gulzar was known as Sampooran Singh Kalra and started life as a car mechanic in Mumbai. But after the break he got in ’Bandini’ where he was asked to compose just one song’’Mora Gora Ang Layle’ by Shailendra, he never looked back.
The Grammy award winner which he won for his song ‘’Jai Ho’’ in ‘’Slumdog Millionaire’’ along with A R Rehman was probably the highest award in his kitty, but not the only one. Ranging from Padma Bhushan and the Sahitya Akademi to Filmfare and national awards, the variety of awards is as varied as is the range of emotions he has managed to stir in his long stint as a lyricist. And not to be forgotten of course was the most coveted Dada Sahib Phadke award being the highest award in Indian cinema that he recently got.
Gulzar is synonymous with the best in Indian cinema whether as dialogue writer, lyricist, director or producer. His name has been associated with masterpieces of Indian cinema like Anand, Koshish, Mausam, Aandhi, Achanak, Gharonda, Mausam, Izazat, Maachis, and Slumdog Millionaire. For some he write the unmatched dialogues and some he directed. He also wrote screen plays for some TV serials.
But to me Gulzar means poetry because it is here that his creativity, daring and innovation stand out the most. It is here that he invented a new idiom which shocked the conformists but they had no choice but to accept it as a breath of fresh air in an industry that was reeking of sleazy numbers and copied beats.
Among some of my favourties are ‘’Tere Bina Zindagi Se koi’’ (Aandhi), ‘’Dil Dhoondhata Hai’’ (Mausam),’’Hazar Rahein Mud ke dekhi’’ (Thodi si Bewafai), ‘’Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi hairam hoon main’’ (Masoom), ‘’Mera Kuch Samman’’ (Izazat), ‘’Kajrare’’ (Bunty aur Babli), ‘’Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji’’ (Ishkiya) and ‘’Beedi Jalaile’’ (Onkara).
I would particularly like to mention the last two songs to point out that the craftsman who could create magic with his
‘’Humne Dekhi hai un ankhon ki mahakti khushboo haath se choo ke use rishton ka ilzam naa do’’ or ‘’Dil Dhoondhta Hai’ did not shrink back in disgust when asked to write a song like ‘’Beedi jalaile Jigar se piya Jigar mein badi aag hai’’ to be filmed on Bipasha for a Vishal Bhardwaj film called Omkara.
Gulzar remains in demand today and will always be because he has learnt to adjust with the changing times and the new generation of cine-goers. And being Gulzar he does things on his own terms.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
Image Source: Gulzar
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