Known for his splendid work which weaves itself around themes of romance, longing, heartache and the intricacies of life, Gulzar has been at the heart of Indian music, literature and film industry for the past sixty decades. His range of artistic skills is spread over numerous areas and it is completely justified to say that he excels at each one. Be it his capacity to direct his movies like Aandhi and Khushboo, or be the lyricist behind cult classic songs like Chhaiya Chhaiya and Tujhse Naraz Nahi, Gulzar has proven that his skills are no short of the Midas Touch. To celebrate this miraculous man’s 89th birthday, we present to you five times when Gulzar’s craftsmanship left the country in awe.
His screenplay for the movie ‘Masoom’
In 1983 the release of the movie Masoom presented to the Indian audience a perspective which was previously untouched. With its emotionally complex dialogues and intense exchange of emotions, the Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi starrer ‘Masoom’ kindled the hearts of many. Gulzar’s screenplay along with the much celebrated song, “Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi” are still as vividly relished as they were forty years ago.
“Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi hairan hu main, tere masoom sawalon se pareshan hu main”
Lyrics for Anand
Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand was by itself a movie with ample profound meaning. Its approach to topics of life, death and letting go was applauded by the spectators immensely. Gulzar’s words for the poem ‘Maut Tu Ek Kavita Hai’ along with the narration by Amitabh Bachchan added further gravitas to the plot and in fact was a determining factor in the conclusion of the movie.
“Maut tu ek kavita hai, mujhe ek kavita ka vaada hai milegi mujhko”
His direction, screenplay and lyrics in Ijazat
Ijazat released in 1987 brought forward complex human emotions of love, separation and grief. Directed by Gulzar and starring brilliant actors Naseeruddin Shah, Anuradha Patel and Rekha, the movie has a way of connecting the past with the present which leaves the heart of the spectator aching. The dialogues, which communicate nuances which aren’t overtly presented otherwise, add a lot to the narrative. Moreover the song “Mera Kuch Saaman” penned by Gulzar, is a beautiful letter from a forlorn lover in the form of a melody. In it he writes,
“Mera kuch saamaan tumhare paas pada hai, saavan ke kuch bheege bheege din rakhe hain aur mere ik khat main lipti raat padi hai, vo raakh bhujaa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do”
His work in the Dil Se Album
Released in 1998, Dil Se starring Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, was a revolutionary movie. The storyline, the beats and the dialogues all seemed fresh to the Indian audience at that time. The movie’s music album stood out extraordinarily. Written by Gulzar songs like Jiya Jale, Dil Se and Chhaiya Chhaiya amongst others swayed billions with their unique composition. Chhaiya chhaiya especially found a huge fandom of its own; Gulzar’s poetic words coupled with Rahman’s groovy music became a favourite in the youth as well as the old alike.
“Woh yaar hai jo khusbhu ki tarah, jiski zubaan urdu ki tarah, meri shamo-raat meri kaynaat woh yaar mera saiyyan saiyyan”
The writer of Oscar-winning Jai Ho song
When Slumdog Millionaire, a movie depicting a story of an Indian boy winning a reality tv show, set its foot in the global movie business in 2008, Gulzar played a key role in the escalation of its fame. The movie’s popular song ‘Jai Ho’ was penned by the writer and beyond getting its due appreciation, the song was also honored with Academy awards in the best original score and best original song categories in the Oscars. It was the first Hindi song to be bestowed with the said awards. Paired with vocals from the legendary Sukhwinder Singh, Jai Ho was not just on the mind of Indians but also was appreciated worldwide.
“Ratti-ratti sachi maine jaan gavayi hai, nach-nach koylo pe raat bitayi hai, akhiyon ki neend maine phoonko se uda di, neele tare se maine ungli jalayi hai”
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