If there was ever an afternoon to beat the Delhi heat in an intellectual way, it was an afternoon spent with the Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, Gulzar. He’d come to the Doordarshan studios for an interaction on Munshi Premchand, as it was at his insistence that two of the iconic writer’s novels, Godan and Nirmala were being converted into DVDs by the national channel. READ: ‘Kya Dilli Kya Lahore’ authenticity pleases Gulzar After a tasty lunch, everyone settled into the airconditioned comfort of the studio, as Gulzar saab bustled in. There was the usual inaugural bouquet ritual, and then DD DG Tripurari Sharan said a few words about how Gulzar has now been a favourite of over three generation of Indians. And then, Gulzar took over – he was at his humorous best, never missing a punchline or letting go of a repartee. But couched in all this, were points to ponder. SAHITYA IS A REMINDER… Gulzar recalled reading Premchand and his works Haj-e-Akbar and Idgaah in school. "Maine dekha hai, apne maa ko dekha hai tandoor mein rotiyan banate huey. Dekha hai kaise geele kapde band ke woh tandoor mein roti dalti thi aur nikalti thi. Mujhe laga Munshiji ne mere maa ke baare mein likhi hai Idgaah mein." He explained how, over the years, at every stage, he has re-interpreted the works of Premchand, and felt, "sahitya apne waqt ka recorder hai ya reminder. But never a reformer." READ: Gulzar receives Dada Saheb Phalke Award, feels honoured …WHEREAS CINEMA IS A MIRROR OF SOCIETY "Cinema is a mirror, it reflects society. So, you cannot compare it; what you see all around you is what you get in the movies. Cinema loud karke aap tak wohi cheez pahuncha deta hai. Warna jo violence, terrorism society mein hai woh cinema se toh kahin zyada hai. There is no background music in real events. But still, headlines shake you every morning." THE YOUNGER GENERATION KEPT ME FROM BECOMING BESAHARA After this, he sat down to face an open house Q&A session. Someone asked him, through his career, what did he regret having missed out. Gulzar quickly came back with, "Woh miss kiya hai jo ab tak nahi bana hai." And then tempered it with, "Aapke chaaron taraf ki zindagi mein wakya hote rehte hain. Main bada tez chalta hoon phir bhi zindagi se peeche reh jaata hoon. Isliye koshish yeh hai ke zindagi ke saath kadam milake chaloon." He was then asked when did he jump to the big league after taking chhote chhote kadam in the film industry. "Bhai, itne chhote chhote bhi nahi thay kadam mere," replied Gulzar. READ: This would probably be my last chance to visit Pakistan: Gulzar But he did recount how it was filmmaker Bimal Roy who was instrumental in pulling him into the film industry. "Bimalda persuaded me to assist him. ‘Mere saath kaam karlo assistant director toh ban jaoge, wapas uss garage mein nahi jaana padega tumhe’, he told me. And later, I was helped by contemporaries like RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Madan Mohan. Uske baad, the wonderful younger generation, besahara ho jaun usse pehle yeh mil gaye. Vishal Bhardwaj, Shankar Ehsan Loy, AR Rahman. Unhone haath pakad liya. Unhe lagta hai maine unka haath pakda… nazariye ki baat hai." COULD MORA GORA ANG LAI LE FIT THE BEEDI JALAILE SCENARIO? To a question on why he writes bawdy lyrics, Gulzar said, "With my lyrics, what you hear is not what it is. Sateh kured ke dekhiye. Bahut zyada kaha hai maine. Beedi Jalaile jigar mein piya… Woh line bahut kuch keh rahi hai kisaan ke lifestyle ke baare mein… Woh ladki baat hi nahin karti thi gaali ke bina film mein, wahan Mora Gora Ang kaise fit ho jaata? Or take Goli Maar Bheje Mein… Baar baar woh shaqs phone kar raha hai. It is not that superficial. Say, there is a scene in a lift for a song. Wahan Mein Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki ka mahaul hai? Mein itna bura toh nahi likhta, lekin mujhe maaloom hai mujhse achhe likhne wale bahut saare hain." Listen to songs of Gulzar on Gaana.com FILMI GAANE IS NO POET’S COMMITMENT Gulzar had the lady who asked him the question blushing when he said, "Chaddi Pehen Ke Phool Khila Hai… is the most appropriate line for those who visualise it with the scenario. Remove it from that context and it will sound odd. Filmi music has to be seen and heard. It is based on the visualisation of a particular scene. That is no poet’s commitment. It is a visualisation of what’s happening on screen. Remove it from context, and it doesn’t mean anything in isolation. Jaisa film hai waise songs hain. The Making Of The Constitution by Shyam Benegal is a big thing to make, it is not easy. He is a great filmmaker. But you don’t want to see that. You must learn to accept, I expect you to grow up a bit as well. Entertainment can be of lofty things also. But it was this answer, to the question of why Doordarshan doesn’t show programmes like other channels do, that made Tripurari Sharan’s day. Gulzar said, "It’s a big responsibility, being a national channel. Do you think I could have made Munshi Premchand or Ghalib in any other channel? They wouldn’t have wanted it in the first place." This had Sharan clap, and ask aloud, "Hope our cameras are recording this!" THE DEHAATS FOUND IN PREMCHAND’S NOVELS ARE STILL FOUND IN INDIA He recalled going on a location recce before shooting the Godaan episode for DD, back then, for the serial Tehreer… Munshi Premchand Ki. "Bahut dekha, but kahin gaon ka mahaul hi nahi tha, har jagah TV ke antennae… And then, somewhere between Gujarat and Maharashtra, we found this place. Bilkul waisa jaise bandhwa majdoor jinpe kahaniyan likha karte thay Premchand, waisa. Mann mein bahut khushi hui, but there was sadness also. That azaadi ke 60 saal baad bhi aise dehaat hain hamare desh mein, jahan log bhi waise hi hai, kahaniyan jaise, ke woh dehat dehaat hi reh gaye." He also recalled making Nirmala, saying, "The girl who played Nirmala, Amruta Subhash, such a fine actor, I saw her before coming here at the hotel, she’s come for the National Awards, has won it for a Marathi film. Aaj bhi waise hi hai, jaise thi, and I felt proud thinking itne bade fankaar ne kahan se shuruat ki thi." WATCH: Gulzar recites poetry at Jagjit Singh concertTags: actor, concert, director, film, movie, music, tv
Besahara ho jaun, usse pehle younger filmmakers mil gaye: Gulzar
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