Punnu wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Gulzar ( Real name, Sampooran Singh Kalra ) was born to Makhan Singh Kalra and Sujan Kaur on August 18, 1936 in West Punjab. When He was 11, His family had to shift to India due to Partition. Gulzar had a flair for writing right from his teenage, and he took that hobby to a level of passion by the time he grew up. When Gulzar moved out of his teens, He started working in a garage to make his ends meet and used to write poems as a hobby.
Gulzar saab first assisted on the films like Shriman Satywadi (1960) and Kabuliwala (1961). But the major break came for him when he was spotted by famous director Bimal Roy while he was working in a garage. When S.D.Burman had a tiff with Shailendra while working on the music of Bandini, Bimal Roy asked Gulzar to write a song for that film, and Gulzar came up with a gem “Mora gora ang lai le...”. Although Shailendra and S.D.Burman patched up soon and Shailendra wrote the rest of the songs for Bandini, Gulzar became a full-time assistant to Bimal Roy and formed a close relationship with him. Gulzar then took up to full time writing and continued by writing dialogues and Lyrics. Some of his noted works in the 60s were for Aashirwaad (1968), Sunghursh (1969) and Khamoshi (1969).
Gulzar made his directorial debut with Mere Apne (1971). This film was based on the rivalry of two youth gangs, and an old woman torn between them. Mere Apne won a lot of acclaim. Same year, Gulzar also wrote dialogues for Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand and Guddi and won all the praises for his close-to-life lines he penned. Gulzar soon established himself as a great lyricist and director. He wrote and made acclaimed and successful films like Parichay (1972), Koshish (1972), Achaanak (1973), Aandhi (1975), Mausam (1976) and Khushboo (1976), His penned songs for the same films and other films like Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972), Namak Haraam (1973), Ghar (1977), Khatta Meetha (1977), Golmaal (1979) and Khoobsurat (1980) are remembered till date.
Gulzar continued working as a lyricist and also made a few more films. His Namkeen (1982) was critically acclaimed. Meanwhile, His lyrics for films like Thodi si bewafai (1981) and Masoom (1983) came for a lot of praise. In 1987, He made Ijaazat based on a short story by Subodh Ghosh and again won a lot of acclaim for it. He also won all the awards those year for his penned songs that year. Although His Libaas did not see the light of the day but Lekin (1991) again was praised by the classes. He also won a lot of praise for his lyrics for this film. In 1996, Gulzar made Maachis which was a great hit both critically and commercially. However, His next film Hu Tu Tu didn’t really click with the critics as well as the audience. Meanwhile, Gulzar continued writing songs for hindi films. His songs for Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se (1998), Satya (1998), Fiza (2000), Asoka (2001) are loved by one and all. His contemporary and young lyrics for films like Saathiya (2002), Bunty aur Babli (2005), Omkara (2006), Guru (2007) and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) won him a new generation of fans and devotees.
He is working as a lyricist for two in-production films – Subhash Ghai’s Yuvraaj and Dumkataa.
Gulzar won 18 Filmfare Awards in all – Best director – Mausam (1976) Best movie (critics’) – Aandhi (1975) Best story – Maachis (1996) Best dialogue – Anand (1971) Best dialogue – Namak haraam (1973) Best dialogue – Maachis (1996) Best dialogue – Saathiya (2002) Best lyrics – Do diwane shehar mein – Gharonda (1977) Best lyrics – Aane wala pal – Golmaal (1979) Best lyrics – Hazaar raahein mud ke dekhii bewafai – Thodi s (1980) Best lyrics – Tujhse naaraz nahi – Masoom (1983) Best lyrics – Mera kucch saaman – Ijaazat (1988) Best lyrics – Yaara sili sili – Lekin (1991) Best lyrics – Chaiyya chaiyya – Dil se (1998) Best lyrics – Saathiya – saathiya (2002) Best lyrics – Kajra re – Bunty aur Babli (2005) Lifetime achievement award Best documentary – Amjad ali khan Besides these, He has also won 6 National awards Best screenplay – Koshish (1972) Best director – Mausam (1976) Best lyrics – Mera kucch saaman – Ijaazat (1988) Best lyrics – Yaara sili sili – Lekin (1991) Best film – Maachis (1996)
An insight into the life of Gulzar can be taken through a book called 'Because he is...', a biography written by his daughter Meghna Gulzar.
He married actress Raakhee and has a daughter Meghna Gulzar, who has made films like Filhaal (2002) and Just Married (2007) He was associated with the Progressive writers’ association in Delhi. He has also written a no. of books of poems, children’s stories and short stories. In 1988, Gulzar also made a TV serial Mirza Ghalib with Naseeruddin shah in the title role. He always used a flashback technique in his films,due to his belief that the present is never complete until the past is reflected upon.