“Heartiest greetings on your birthday, Gulzar Sa’ab. May you continue to inspire us with your poetry @meghnagulzar,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.
Born on this day in 1934, Sampooran Singh Kalra, known popularly by his pen name Gulzar, started his career with music director S.D. Burman as a lyricist in the 1963 film Bandini and worked with many music directors including R. D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vishal Bhardwaj and A. R. Rahman.
Gulzar primarily writes in Urdu and Punjabi; besides several dialects of Hindi such as Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Haryanvi and Marwari.
His poetry is in the Triveni type of stanza. His poems are published in three compilations; Chand Pukhraaj Ka, Raat Pashminey Ki and Pandrah Paanch Pachattar. His short stories are published in Raavi-paar (also known as Dustkhat in Pakistan) and Dhuan (smoke).
For the peace campaign Aman ki Asha, jointly started by India’s and Pakistan’s leading media houses, Gulzar wrote the anthem “Nazar Main Rehte Ho”, which was recorded by Shankar Mahadevan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Gulzar has written ghazals for Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh’s albums “Marasim” (1999) and “Koi Baat Chale” (2006).
Directed and produced by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the 1968 film Aashirwad had dialogues and lyrics written by Gulzar. Song lyrics and poems written by Gulzar gave the poetic attribute and the “much-needed additional dimension” to Ashok Kumar’s role in the film. Ashok Kumar received the Best Actor at the Filmfare and at the National Film Awards for this role.
Gulzar’s lyrics, however, did not gain much attention until 1969’s Khamoshi, where his song “Humne Dekhi Hai Un Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo” (lit., “I have seen the fragrance of those eyes”) became popular. Ganesh Anantharaman in his book Bollywood Melodies describes Gulzar’s lyrics, with the purposeful mixing of the senses, to be “daringly defiant”.
For the 1971 film Guddi, he penned two songs, of which “Humko Man Ki Shakti Dena” was a prayer which is still sung in many schools in India.
Gulzar has written lyrics and dialogues for several Doordarshan TV series including Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Hello Zindagi, Guchche and Potli Baba Ki with Vishal Bhardwaj.
He has more recently written and narrated for the children’s audiobook series Karadi Tales. Gulzar is also associated with Aarushi, Eklavya foundation an NGO based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh working in the field of education. He has written stories and poetry for the magazine Chakma.
He also wrote the theme song for Motu Patlu, an Indian animated sitcom.
Gulzar also wrote poetry, dialogues and scripts. He directed films such as Aandhi and Mausam during the 1970s and the TV series Mirza Ghalib in the 1980s.
He also directed Kirdaar in 1993.
Gulzar has won several Indian National Film Awards, 21 Filmfare Awards, one Academy Award and one Grammy Award.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2004, the third-highest civilian award in India, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award - the highest award in Indian cinema. (UNI)