Tuesday, August 18, 2009


जन्मदिन की असीम शुभकामनायें गुलज़ार साहब

I do not like it when one tampers or misquotes a शेर, even when the misquotation is as small as replacing a 'में' with 'से'. And if it is a favorite one, forget any forgiveness. Now sample this:

ये इश्क नहीं आसाँ
अजी एड्स का खतरा है
पतवार पहन जाना
ये आग का दरिया है

And this comes from the mighty pen of Gulzar... and my love for Gulzar has grown only with these lines. The depth of the thought and the subtlety of the emotion, both are unparalleled, except for, may be, Ghalib. I don't know how does he put a poetic sweetness in words like fatak, hu-tu-tu, and dhadak-dhadak. His poetry is like a breeze of freshness and sweetest experimentation amidst the cacophony and thoughtless repetition of old emotions.

And this is when Gulzar's writings in films is just the tip of the iceberg of his poetic and literary genius. His short stories in रावी पार are binding and his poetry is... well, beyond words. The following verse inspired name of the two of his collections - पुखराज and रात पश्मीने की.

इक सबब मरने का
इक तलब जीने की
चाँद पुखराज का
रात पश्मीने की

I distinctly remember the night, when I was tired of studies and sitting in the IIMA library, I read रात पश्मीने की. Around midnight, I was so overwhelmed that I wrote a poem for Gulzar. Even more distinctly, I remember the day when I got to recite the same poem in front of the Maestro himself and at the end of it, he hugged and blessed me. With such genius and status, such simplicity and sweetness is what makes Gulzar even more special and lovable.

As Gulzar celebrates his 73rd birthday today, I hope to see a worldwide celebration for him two years later - on his अमृत महोत्सव (perhaps a picture of him between an already won Oscar and a probable Nobel). He is one of the most special persons in my life. I wish गुलज़ार many more moments and many more aeons of creation, poetry, love, admiration, and sweetness.

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