I love telling stories but the first love is poetry – Gulzar
Gulzar Birthday Special: The book ‘Boskiyana’ published by Radhakrishna Prakashan is based on the life and writings of lyricist Gulzar. Gulzar’s house name is ‘Boskiana’. In this book, the atmosphere of Gulzar Saab’s house, his living style, his likes and dislikes and his perspective is based on. This book is a long series of things. Here are selected excerpts from this book-
For some time we remain silent. Tea has arrived. His steam is making a season like no one. Everyone knows, they have been drinking tea in the glass since the time the tea was good. No one has been able to change him from a cup of tea to a coffee shop. Neither the purpose changed, nor the nature!
There are so many books on your desk that some space is left. According to Meghna ji, you feel safe as you are sitting in the fort of books. You read many books at once. From Federer’s ‘Open’ to Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography. From Nobel-winning storytellers to writers-poets from Patna-Ayodhya. The trend of Marathi and Bengali poetry is going on. Farhana ji is bringing the pages by composing the Devanagari of Urdu script. It looks like a big literary paradise.
These films were never my intention. I was happy with my writing. When I was working in a motor garage… Bimalda must have noticed something inside me – either intelligence or hard work! He said, I know you don’t like to write for films but come and sit with me in the directors meeting. you will like it Do whatever you want, but don’t go back to that motor garage. That’s not your place. That was the most emotional moment of my life. No one had told me like this before. He was like a father. I burst into tears. He pulled me up and lifted me, the color of life changed.
That’s how I got into films. But the books did not leave me, they kept on moving along.
….. so films went on to create an extension of your inner writer….?
The film is commissioned, you have to get into it according to the concept – the script and the characters come. There are many types of restrictions. Poetry is my promise, it is a big canvas – here is my secret.
Then writing has its joys and sorrows. Whether it is a poem or an Afsana, there is also a sigh, also a scream, also a cry. But yes, it is not a cure for human pain. He only keeps human pains for mummia so that it can be remembered for centuries to come.
There are stories that are not fabricated, they keep happening. Something is clearly visible. Some are missing, if you peel off the upper surface a little, then they come up after billowing.
When literature starts making a relation with life, then you start transcribing it with your life. This transcription happens everywhere where your creation finds its way.
Words do not extinguish fire, words do not heal wounds. But –
Tightening my nose
entering the forest of alphas
When I bring someone who believes
And the fingers are peeled but
Keeping those words on your tongue
A juice dissolves in the mouth.
Some day, some time I remember that it was decided that now let’s keep writing.
Can’t remember a single moment. There is not even a single point with such a film style that it happened and the whole picture suddenly changed. There is a graduation process that goes on. Since childhood, we all keep recording the things happening around us. A covered handi – containing water and kept on the stove. There comes a time when the water starts boiling, steam starts moving its lid, the lid starts hitting the sides of the handi. I’m like that lid, I played so badly that I had to let the steam out.
- I read an excerpt from a letter written by him to Prashant Kumar, the editor of the book being prepared on him –
The date is not known exactly, but investigation has revealed that there is a town in the district Jahlam – Dina – which is now in Pakistan. I was born there under Sardar Makhan Singh ji. It was August 18, 1934. Whether it was day or night – it is not known. My mother’s name was Sujan Kaur. I only know the name, I do not know their appearance. After growing up, searched a lot, no picture was found. That thought is sometimes very disturbing, although there is no particular reason for the trouble. Still, it would have been better if I had seen him from whose meat I was born.
From, I think, I became a poet too, or I felt the urge to say so much – ‘rich’ because there was a ‘joint family’. Five brothers, three sisters, three father’s marriages…. (First one died, then the new mother to take care of the children) So the kind of atmosphere you can imagine, it was all too.
Things were not very happy. So those difficulties which were of childhood, it is obvious that it hurts the mind. I think he has become very rich. I took great advantage of him and if he had a very happy childhood, he would probably have been a very useless person.
Raised in Delhi. Passed school from there. From Primary-Municipal Board Middle School and Matriculation – Delhi United Christian School. The college remained divided – St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Khalsa College Bombay, National College, Bombay – finally left after failing Inter. I talk like I am a graduate.
Nowadays you are doing Ph.D. and D.-lit. are the ones. You got the Doctor of Literature award and after doing research on you people have started becoming doctors.
I don’t know whether the school of life was passed so successfully or not. The universities that these give, it seems very different. Thank you, learned people. This is also a tradition of the society.
I was never able to remember the lessons taught in school, the reason for this was that I never really cared about numbers. However, I soon realized that what was being taught in the books actually had to do with the real life. And when I understood that, those lessons went above and beyond what was written for me.
I miss reading ‘Idgah’. It was the story of Munshi Premchand. The story is of a child who sees his grandmother picking up rotis that are torn by hand. There is no tongs, grandmother is lifting it by hand, so fingers get burnt. On the day of Eid, the child asks the grandmother for some money in Eid. She gives it to him out of some money kept with her. He asks for more. Grandmother thinks, some swing etc. will swing in the fair, if she roams, she gives some more coins, that go, roam around and have fun. When he returns home in the evening, she asks about the swings. She is surprised when he says, he didn’t swing any.
Dadi says then what did you do with the money?
He takes out the tongs, that now you will never have to burn your hands while making roti.
I could relate myself to this story as we too used to watch our mother put and remove the rotis from the hot tandoor, every time her fingers would get stained. So the story that was meant for children to write explanations and essays went beyond words for me. I used to get attached to it. Gradually I started reading books of great poets. My elder brother had a text book ‘Bal-e-Jabril’ written by Allama Iqbal, I took it and did not return it. Much later, I told him about this, he had the impression that he might have lost it somewhere. Thus literature and books became my passion from the beginning.
This tendency of mine towards writing came out in the form of poetry. I also love telling stories but the first love is poetry. Can’t say why? It’s like asking why you wear this particular dress – there’s no one answer.
Circumstances can be external, personality is internal. Whatever chooses the person inside you chooses, he chooses his colors too. Whatever thoughts are in your mind, that is what you choose. External circumstances are involved in you, if you were only outside, you would have missed out. When the effects were internal, they became a part of personality.
It is certain that you cannot go anywhere incomplete. You are fulfilled everywhere. Your personality will inevitably be everywhere with its nature. Even the food you eat, or the lentils you don’t eat – that also tells your mood, your taste, your taste. Your work keeps you exposed all the time. You can’t hide things. In my writings, in my films, I will be there. It’s the same with everyone. It’s just that extroverts are immediately exposed by speaking, introverts open up with a little time.
A long time ago, in the ‘Seven notes fair’ of ‘Madhuri’, a reviewer had written – Gulzar lit many lamps in search of life. Some burn, will keep on burning, but even after giving every effort, Gandumi is just lighting up like a faded out shot of a tree. An honest lover cannot even throw that lamp carrying a constant flame inside himself.
- Keeping all this, how does the first form of any creation become in the flame of life?
Even if it is a film, something else is being written or created, even then, the moment has to be imbibed with full vigor. Some subject touches me. Attracts a character. Its fibers glow in different colors. In the layers of any event or moment, I find my possibilities. Trying to solve complicated threads goes on. A picture begins to emerge. Then it appears as soon as it gets the chance.
- They read a page from the diary – ‘Images’
I was also sitting in that hall
Where the characters of a film on screen
Javed looked alive
Everything about them is big, thinking is big, deeds are big.
each one of them
There was a tamasil for all the viewers
I was the actor
you were an actress
When holding your lover’s hand
life at a glance
With just this tear on his chest
gave in writing
how true were those characters
who were on screen
Those two were so fake, the shadows were sitting recently.
…what were those fake shadows, what were those real characters. A ray of light falls from the window, then another ray falls. In the big black-black boxes of technology, many people make shadows on the go, which we usually call film making. Actually nothing happens in the boxes. It is in that which decides the way of passing the rays of light. In this way, when the rays pass, some shadows come in hand. This is a film, it is a cinema. In the dark hall there is a living moment of life. But after all it is a technique. This technique has to be made like your own by your skill.
Publisher: Radhakrishna Publications