Gulzar (18 August 1934 )
When Gulzar saw the sea of bouquets that arrived at his doorstep in Pali Hill on Monday morning soon after the Oscar announcement, he told an old friend, poet Arun Shevate,Bhai, why don’t you remove the cellophane wrapping so that the flowers can breathe.
This gentle, lyrical spirit has pervaded his 50-odd years of writing from his debut in Bandini, to the slick Slumdog Millionnaire. He has created a legacy of gems, some pensive (Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo), some exuberant (Chaiya Chaiya, Kajra re), but always memorable (Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa to nahin). His extraordinary ability to touch a chord with people across generations and cultures makes the Academy Award particularly deserving.
Gulzar, born Sampooran Singh Kalra, started his life as a garage mechanic in Mumbai, but was spotted in literary soirees which were then a popular feature in the city. Lyricist Shailendra cajoled him to write a song for Bimal Roy’s classic Bandini. With Mora gora rang layee le came instant fame and began his tryst with the Hindi film world, where he penned songs, wrote dialogues and scripts. He later moved to direction, tackling a range of themes from personal to political, Meera to Maachis.
He first collaborated with Hrishikesh Mukherjee as a scriptwriter for Guddi and Anand. His first film as director was Mere Apne, which captured the urban angst of the 70s, followed by Parichay an adaptation of Sound Of Music followed by Achanak, a seering love story. Then came Koshish, a poignant tale of a physically challenged couple, followed by Aandhi, rumoured to be based on the woman behind the politician that was Indira Gandhi.
He followed his tracks with host of other films including, Khusboo based on a Sarat Chandra novel,Mausam, Kitaab, Kinara Meera,Namkeen, Angoor,Ijazat, Libaas, Lekin, Maachis, Hu Tu Tu. Besides these films, he also made several short and documentary films.
The subject of all the films are diverse and explore different facets of human emotions. Though most of his films depicted sensitive aspects of human emotions, Angoor stood out for its brilliant comedy. It was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. He approached child psychology with great tenderness in Kitaab. The film starred the Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar and Master Rajoo. Meera was a historical starring Hema Malini in the lead role. He got the music maestro Ravi Shankar to compose the music of the film. Ijazat was a poignant love triangle starring Naseeruddin Shah, Rekha and Anuradha Patel. It featured his most praised lyric Mera kuch saman tumhare pass pada hai. Maachis highlighted the plight of Sikh youths during the peak of the Khalistan movement. Lekin was adapted from Tagore’s famous short story Hungry Stones.
Gulzar also directed a few TV series, the most notable among them being Mirza Ghalib starring Naseeruddin Shah in the title role. The songs were rendered by Jagjit Singh and remain eternal favorites. As a director he felt most confident working with R.D. Burman whom he used to affectionately called Pancham. The duo even wemt to compose non filmy albums like Dil Padosi Hai.
Many say he is the most important lyricist in Hindi cinema after Shailendra and Saher Ludhianvi, infusing fresh meanings into words without resorting to the usual cliches. It is to his credit that as a lyricist he delved into almost every aspect of human emotions, from romance to sensuality to fantasy, to comedy, to patriotism, to item songs to what have you. With equal fecundity he wrote the ethereal Jia Jale to the raunchy Chaiyya Chaiyya in Dil Se. his Beedi jalialey jigar se piya set a new benchmark for all item songs.
Gulzar’s appeal extended to children as well: Jungle jungle baat chali hai pataa chalaa hai, is remembered by all who watched vintage, no-remote Doordarshan.
In his trademark kurta pajama and white canvas shoes, the poet remains an enduring and beloved figure whether on a Bandra tennis court or a cold confines of a recording studio.
|Sr No.||Year||Credited As||Movie Show in detail|
|3||2016||Lyricist||Shor Se Shuruaat|
|9||2014||Lyricist||Kya Dilli Kya Lahore|
|13||2013||Lyricist||Ek Thi Daayan|
|14||2013||Lyricist||Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola|
|16||2012||Lyricist||Jab Tak Hai Jaan|
|17||2011||Lyricist||Teen Thay Bhai|
|18||2011||Lyricist||Chala Mussaddi Office Office|
|29||2007||Lyricist||Jhoom Barabar Jhoom|
|32||2007||Story Writer||Dus Kahaniyaan|
|33||2007||Lyricist||The Blue Umbrella|
|39||2005||Lyricist||Bunty Aur Babli|
|43||2003||Lyricist||Kagaar: Life on the Edge|
|50||2002||Lyricist||Dil Vil Pyar Vyar|
|57||1999||Director||Hu Tu Tu|
|58||1999||Lyricist||Jahan Tum Le Chalo|
|76||1986||Screenplay||New Delhi Times|
|79||1984||Lyricist||Hip Hip Hurray|
|80||1983||Dialogue||Zara Si Zindagi|
|89||1980||Supporting Actor||Griha Pravesh|
|104||1951||Supporting Actor||Maya Machhindra|
|106||1948||Supporting Actor||Lal Dupatta|
|108||1947||Supporting Actor||Extra Girl|
|111||1943||Supporting Actor||Mera Khwab|
|115||1940||Supporting Actor||Prem Nagar|
|116||1940||Supporting Actor||Nirali Duniya|
|117||1940||Supporting Actor||Civil Marriage|
|118||1939||Supporting Actor||Zambo Ka Beta|
|119||1939||Supporting Actor||Uski Thamanna|
|120||1939||Main Lead||Imperial Mail|
|121||1938||Supporting Actor||Three Hundred Days After|
|122||1938||Supporting Actor||Gramaphone Singer|
|125||1937||Supporting Actor||Atma Tarang|
|126||1937||Supporting Actor||Jeewan Jyoti|
|127||1936||Supporting Actor||Sagar Ki Kanya|
|129||1936||Supporting Actor||Deccan Queen|
|130||1935||Supporting Actor||Raj Tarang|
|131||1935||Supporting Actor||Nirdoshi Abla|
|132||1935||Supporting Actor||Maut Ka Toofan|
|134||1934||Supporting Actor||Shaher Ka Jadoo|
|136||1932||Supporting Actor||God Of War|
|137||1932||Main Lead||Bhedi Khanjar|
|138||1931||Supporting Actor||Golden Dagger|
|140||1930||Main Lead||Brave Hearts|