One of India’s most respected film makers Gulzar has directed some of the enduring classics of Hindi Cinema like Parichay, Musuam, Aandhi, Angoor, Ijaazat and Macchis, remembered not only for their storytelling but also their unforgettable songs. He continues to be one of the most popular lyricists in mainstream Hindi cinema with several recent chartbusters to his credit.
Apart from the many Filmfare and national awards for his films and lyrics, Gulzar has also received the Sahitya Akedemi award in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2004 he became the first Indian lyricist to win an Oscar for the song ‘Jai Ho’ from the film slumdog Millionaire the song went on to win a Grammy in 2010. Gulzar lives and work in Mumbai.
Sunjoy shekar was born in sahebganj a sleepy town on the banks of the Ganga where part of Bandini the motion picture for which Gulzar wrote his first song was filmed. Sunjoy tells stories for a living and has more than three thousand hours of story writing credits on a host of television channels across India and Indonesia. He divides his time between Mumbai, New Delhi and Jakarta.
I grew up wearing the sound of Gulzarsaab lyrics in my ears. Shards of his song still reverberate in my ears from numerous occasions: ‘Dakiya dak laya’ from a dark rainy dawn in August twenty-eight years ago playing on the Philips sound box: Mera Kuchh Samaan’ from a misty foggy Delhi university December: ‘Ek akela is shahar mein’ from an insipid hot unemployed afternoon in Mumbai. His songs have always evoked feeling association. And I am but a smuggler trying to surreptitiously smuggle the feeling those associations evoke in their original language across an impermissible alien words cape.
Gulzar lyrics transcend social barriers. A rickshawallah in the bylanes of Mumbai hums the tune of Chhaiyya Chhaiyya without being aware of its literary merit while an elite Urduwallah admires its tribute to sufi traditions wrapping it around himself over single malt on a cold cloudy Delhi evening. There is nothing in common between the two but Gulzar touches them both. The rickshawallah banging his overused T-series tape recorder with his foot when the song stope in between is inarticulate illiterate. But he too is stirred by Gulzar evocation he too lapses into euphoria like the Dilliwallah over his scotch. A common thought shared in a familiar language weaves magic. Gulzar lyrics are not just words not just rhythm.
The Italians believe that a translator is essentially a traitor. They even have a phrase for it: traduttore traditore and I must confess that I do feel this. You work with a necessary handicap when you translate Gulzar lyrics the songs are so well known the rendition the music the picturization that they are permanently etched in the collective consciousness of the listeners. And to add to that Gulzar songs can still stand on their own even if you were to strip the off the context of the film. Let us take the songs of Lekin. Everybody knows that the film is built around dimple kapadia ghost on the face if you take the movie out of the picture it holds. Listening to Gulzar songs are like unraveling layers and layers of meaning. And yet you need to keep the whole thing in context you cannot take it too far away from the image already ingrained in the listeners mind.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend