Gulzar- the poet, lyricist turns 81 today!
Gulzar, the award winning poet, lyricist, director and producer turned 81 today. In his 59 year long career, he has worked with diverse music directors including RD Burman, Sachin Dev Burman, Hemant Kumar, Madan Mohan, Anu Malik, A.R. Rehman, Vishal Bhardwaj among others. TV series like 'Mirza Ghalib' and 'Tahreer Munshi Premchand Ki' are his small screen wonders.
Gulzari begins his lyrical journey
Sampooran Singh Kalra, popularly known by his pen name Gulzar, was born on 18 August 1934 in the Jhelum district of British India. Before becoming a song writer, he worked as a car mechanic in Mumbai. His career as a lyricist began with the movie Bandini in 1963. Gulzar wrote myriads of lyrics and then poetry, which then led to direction and production.
The King of lyrics
Gulzar began his career with "Mera Gora Rang Lei Le" (Bandini, 1963). However it was not till 1969, with Khamoshi's "Humne Dekhi Hai Un Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo", that Gulzar gained popularity. Some of his most memorable lyrics belong to the movies Anand, Mere Apne, Madan Mohan, Mausam, Maachis, Omkaara, Kaminey, Guru, Dil Se, Slumdog Millionaire, Raavan, Bunty aur Babli, Haider, etc.
Gulzar- the director
Gulzar directed his first film Mere Apne (1971). He then made Parichay (1972), Koshish (1972), Achanak, Aandhi (1973), and Khushboo (1975). Gulzar's Mausam (1975) won National Award for 2nd Best Feature Film, Filmfare Best Movie and Filmfare best director, along with other six Filmfare nominations. His other notable films that dealt with social issues were Libaas (1988), Maachis (1996) and Hu Tu Tu (1999).
His lesser known interest: production
Though Gulzar directed many movies and lyricised countless others, he wore the cap of producer only twice: Kinara (1977) and Kitaab (1977).
Of radiant awards and spellbinding achievements
Gulzar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002. In 2004, he was conferred with the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the arts. Gulzar won a Grammy on 31 January 2010 for the best song written for a motion picture, television or visual media- "Jai Ho". At the 81st Academy Awards, he won the Best Original Song for Jai Ho with A.R. Rehman.
Romancing the Filmfare and National honors
Gulzar Saahab has won 18 Filmfare Awards in total and 7 National Awards.
Poet who knows no equal
Gulzar's poetry is mainly in Urdu and Punjabi. He also writes in Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Marwari and Haryanvi. His poems have been published in 3 compilations: Chand Pukhraaj Ka, Raat Pashminey Ki and Pandrah Paanch Pachattar. Raavi-paar is the name of his book on short stories. TV series such as Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book, Guchche and Hello Zindagi owe their lyrics to him.
Gulzar conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke award
Veteran lyricist Gulzar was honoured with the highest honour in cinema for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema- the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, given every year by the Government of India. President Pranab Mukherjee presented Gulzar with the shawl, Swarna Kamal, and Rs.1 million at Vigyan Bhavan. Gulzar is the 45th winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (named after the director of film Raja Harishchandra)