A memorable evening is making its way to San Jose, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for lovers of poetry, art, theater and films. Acclaimed Indian poet, writer, director, lyricist Gulzar will be reciting some of his poetry to a live audience at the Center for the Performing Arts in an event presented by Bollywood Events. The gems written with his pen shall resonate in your hearts and minds forever.
From writing poetry to lyrics for songs, from writing screenplays to directing films, Gulzar Sahab has given everyone something to reminisce about with each work of his. When it comes to films, his trademark lies in always using a flashback technique, as he believes that the present is never complete until the past is reflected upon.
Gulzar is one of the most revered lyricists, writers and film directors Bollywood has ever produced. He was born Sampooran Singh Kalra in a Sikh family in the small town of Dina (now in Pakistan). Deeply engrossed in literature and poetry right from his school days, he avidly listened to Hindustani music, attending concerts by Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. His family moved to Delhi after Partition, but Sampooran moved to Bombay to pursue his ambition to become a writer. He started working as a mechanic in a garage and wrote poetry in his free time under the pen name Gulzar Deenvi.
In 1963, “Mora Gora Ang Laile”, written for Bandini, became Gulzar’s first credited song to be recorded. It was really in the 1970s that he produced his most important body of work as a director and lyricist. He wrote scripts and dialogues for a number of Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies: Anand (1970), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972) and Namak Haram (1973); and Asit Sen movies: Do Dooni Char (1968), Khamoshi (1969) and Safar (1970). In his first feature film as a director, Mere Apne (1971), Gulzar used Salil Choudhury to compose music to lyrics, having developed a strong relationship with him during their work together in Kabuliwala and Anand.
Gulzar’s most successful songs were in collaboration with R.D. Burman, whom Gulzar considered to be the anchor in his life. Their work together in Parichay, Aandhi, Ghar, Masoom, Ijaazat and many other movies created some of the best songs ever to be made for Hindi films.
Gulzar has won many National and Filmfare Awards over the years. He won his first Filmfare Award for Best Lyrics in 1977 for “Do Deewane Shehar Mein” from Gharonda, set to Jaidev’s music, and more recently in 2010 for “Dil To Bachha Hai Ji” from Ishquiya, composed by Vishal Bhardwaj. He is also the recipient of a Sahitya Akademi Award for his book of Urdu short stories, Duan. In 2009, recognition came from across the world, with Gulzar winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire.
Gulzar’s poetry has been compiled into two volumes: Raat Pashmine Ki and Chand Pukhraaj Ka. He is the subject of a biography, “Because he is…” by his daughter Meghana Gulzar.