By Abhirami Pillai

I was in my sixth grade when I found my Dad sitting on the couch watching one of his favorite movie of all time, “Anand”. Even without the slightest interest in the movie, I kept watching it while having my snacks.

In one of the movie scenes, I heard Rajesh Khanna say, “Babumushoi, zindagi badi honi chahiye…lambi nahin.”

That’s how Gulzar Saheb entered into my reading world and it has been years since I started reading his work. Till date, I am mesmerized and charmed by his poems, lyrics, words more than ever.

Here are few things I discovered about the renowned Indian lyricist, poet, filmmaker, writer of all time.

Gulzar Was Not Born In India, He Moved To India:

All of us know him by his pen name Gulzar but did you know his actual name is Sampooran Singh Kalra.

Yes, you heard it right and also, he was born in Dina (Jhelum District, British India now part of Pakistan).

After Indo-Pak partition, Sampooran and his family moved to India. Along with partition came hardship of his life, for which Gulzar had to drop his studies.

Chased His Dream Despite The Hardships He Encountered In His Life:

He moved away from his family to support them. He came to Mumbai and took up various small jobs for his daily earning and livelihood. One of which was to paint up accident-damaged cars at a garage called Vicahre Motors.

In an interview, Gulzar Saheb recalls that the reason he took that job since it gave him an ample amount of time to read, write, attend college and get associated with PWA (Progressive Writers Association).

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Gulzar’s lyrics are soft and melodious but don’t mistake it for his personality. He is courageous, and a born-rebel at his heart.

Gulzar’s father never approved him of being a ‘writer’ but he anyways wrote under his pen name, ”Gulzar Deenvi”. Now he is known by his common name ‘Gulzar’ to the modern world.

How He Entered The Indian Cinema And Won Grace Over The Year:

Gulzar began his career with S.D. Burman, another famous music director as a lyricist for his film, Bandini. From then onwards he has worked with various other music directors such as Vishal Bhardwaj, Salil Chowdhury, A.R. Rahman.

Not only as a lyricist, he has also worked on other areas of films such as direction, screenplay, writing dialogues. During the 1970s, he has directed movies such as Anandhi and Mausam, later in 80’s he directed TV series, Mirza Ghalib.

Over the years, Gulzar has contributed a lot to Indian cinema history for which he has been highly recognized and awarded.

Not only he has won National Film Awards but also Grammy Award and Academy Award. Till date, he has won the most Filmfare Awards, 11 for best lyricist and 4 for best dialogue.

At 81st Oscars, Gulzar won the prominent Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “Jai ho” for the movie, Slumdog Millionaire.

He also won Grammy Award for the same song under the category for ‘Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.’

He is also the recipient of Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award and Dadasaheb Phalke Award which the highest award of the Indian cinema.

Over the years Gulzar has become eminent to the Indian cinema and literature. To the boy who came from nothing from some foreign land, with hardships and having that rebel nature in him; it is of no doubt that the reason he became so influential was through his hard work, humble personality and not to forget his endearing poems and lyrics.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: India Today, Hindustan Times, India TV + more


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