The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Anjali Ghosh, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Poet of an extraordinary finesse, an accomplished filmmaker and an ace lyricist, Gulzar is a versatile talent India is proud to have. Known for writing stories weaved with sensibilities and emotions, Gulzar has delivered some of the most cherished and memorable songs for films and serials.
Sampooran Singh Kalra, known popularly by his pen name Gulzar was born on 18th August in Jhelum districtin British India, whose family moved to India after partition. He started his career as a songwriter with the music director S D Barman for the movie Bandini (1963) for which Gulzar wrote the song “Mora Gora Ang Layle”, sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
Let us explore why Gulzar’s songs are very close to our heart. When we hear “Humne Dekhi Hai Un Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo” or “Aapki ankhon mein kuch, mehke huey se raaz hai” we fall in love with the Shayeri. Over the years, one of his USPs has been the expression of complex ideas in the simplest of words. In his words, the confession of love becomes “Aajkal paon zameen par nahi padte mere” the chore of house-hunting becomes “Do deewaane ish sheher mein” the grief over a relationship-gone-sour is” Mera kuch saaman tumhaare paas pada hai “– all simply written yet heart penetrating. When you listen to “Ae Zindagi, Gale Laga Le” from Sadma, the bonding between the autistic girl lady and his saviour becomes live to the onlooker. “Do Naina Ek Kahany.” is essentially a lullaby from Masoom, but Gulzar’s words beautifully depict the mother’s turmoil without taking away from the feel of a song. The song “Tujhse naaraaz nahi zindagi, hairaan hoon main” from the same film is the beautiful depiction of Infidelity in marriage and the dilemma associated with it.“ Meri Jaan, Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho” from film Anubhav so simply captures the banter between a husband and wife who are trying very hard to rekindle their marriage. If Gulzar has written emotional odes to love, he’s also penned “Kajra Re” the mother of item numbers in Hindi Films but that was also sprinkled with his poetic fineness. If he’s made the Oscar-winning Jai Ho with AR Rahman, he’s also written for a Yo Yo Honey Singh single (Horn OK Please) in Dedh Ishqiya (2014), proving that he can read the pulse of every generation. His latest Dum ghut-ta hai in Drishyam creates a mood that grips you.
Gulzar’s most special role has remained till date as a lyricist. He has worked, as a lyricist, with the most talented people of the Bollywood like: R.D. Burman, A.R. Rahman, S.D Burman, Maden Mohan. Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Rajesh Roshan, Shankar Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhary, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, etc. Other than Mirza Ghalib, he has worked on other television series like Tahreer Munshi Premchand Ki and has written the lyrics for serials of Doorsarshan like: Jungle Book, Hello Zindagi, Potli Baba ki, etc. He had written dialogues for many children’s series on the television, like: Alice in Wonderland, Guchche, Potli Baba Ki, etc. Also, when recently Indian and Pakistani media houses combined to start a peace campaign called Aman ki Asha, then Gulzar was asked to write the anthem. He came up with a beautiful compilation of words called Nazar Main Rehte Ho. It was musically composed by Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Gulaz has also worked very closely with the Ghazal Maestro of Indiam Jagjit Singh and worked on his albums like Marasim, Koi Baat Chale, etc.
The drama of human relationships is Gulzar’s playground. He understands the intricacies and complexities of love, the anguish of separation and poignancy of longing. Gulzar makes you visualise the situation whenever you listen to his songs which has helped him stay relevant for five decades in the film business. Gulzar’s Golden touch can make any song safely stored in our heart.
Wish you happy birthday, Gulzar Sahab !!!