This is a humble effort to share few notes about a personality that has added so much to our generation through his poetry, stories, screenplays and films.
Gulzaar 'Sampooran Singh Kalra' was born in 1936, West Punjab, Pakistan. Before becoming an established writer, Gulzaar worked as a car mechanic in a garage. Gulzaar has worked exhaustively in the Indian film industry for over forty three years. Gulzaar saab, as he is affectionately known has written in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Bhojpuri.
Gulzaar is known for making brilliantly sensitive portrayal of subjects ranging from human relations, biographical profiles and often controversial social issues.This has won him 5 National Awards, 19 Filmfare Trophies and the National Honour of Padmabhushan. He has written stories for around 60 films and directed 17 movies, each one a masterpiece.
As Gulzaar says “Music has a natural place in our lives. Right from the shlok you recite in your morning puja and the milkman who comes whistling on his cycle, to the fakir singing as he begs for alms and your mother humming around the kitchen...music fills our spaces naturally. it will always be dear to us” : as is evident from his compositions, that have decorated the landscape for decades:
His song in the film Mausam, ‘75, titled - Dil Dhoondhta Hai, phir wohi, phursat ke raat din [This heart searches for those carefree relaxed days!]
Aandhi, ‘75, the songs played a significant role in bringing out the mental complexities of the characters. Notable songs include: Is morse jate hai [Lot of different people go past this cross section].
Masoom,’ 83, the song tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi hairan hoon mai [O Life! – am not upset with you – just surprised]. The list goes on …
Some years back Gulzaar released a Ghazal album – Marasam - with popular Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. (Personally it was a thrilling experience to find the album on sale – having “imagined” such an album a few days earlier, given the fact that the two artists have so much in common).
His philosophy towards life seems very simple but is complicated to understand for a common person. He says - “The present is incomplete without the shades of the past.”
Among the things that I found fascinating – Gulzaar saab keeping roza (fast) for Meena Kumari, the famous actress of Indian cinema – as she was too weak to fast herself!
Meghna Gulzaar has written an exclusive biography on her father, titled "Because He Is..." after all a daughter has the right to hero worship the dad!
Details about his life, works and books
Films by Gulzaar Saab