Thank you for all the lyrics and poetry, Gulzar Sahab
When you think Gulzar, you think of a lyricist who can write any kind of song. That is hardly true of any other lyricist in Bollywood’s history. With Sampooran Singh Kalra, or as we know him, Gulzar,
though, one can expect anything. Here is a list of five such songs that you probably wonder whether this is the same man who wrote meaningful songs, wrote these.
1. Chaiyya Chaiyya – Dil Se
Gulzar Sahab informs us that it was inspired by a Sufi song called Thaiyya Thaiyya by Bulleh Shah. When Shah Rukh Khan heard the lyrics of the song, he did not want it to be performed by a group of fakirs in the background, as was planned earlier. He wanted to dance on it himself. So he tricked Mani Ratnam, saying since the song is a deep poem, he would want to perform on it, hiding deep down in his heart, that he actually wanted to dance on it!
2. Jai Ho -Slumdog Millionaire
The whole world was dancing on the tunes of Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire, but hardly anybody knows that the song was not originally written from the film. The song was first written for Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj, but he thought the language of the song was too refined. Then Gulzar made some changes and additions to the song for A.R. Rahman, the song, of course, went on to win an Oscar as well as a Grammy award.
3. Ibn-E-Batuta – Ishqiya
In Ishqiya, Ibn-e-Batuta simply means the Moroccan Muslim Scholar called Ibn-e-Batuta or Ibnbatuta Here Gulzar has used the name of Ibn-e-batuta in a light mood to express a traveller. If you listen to the entire song, it simply tells you how to travel and live life, even though in its own funny manner.
4. Beedi – Omkara
For Omkara, Gulzar took up the pen for another close collaborator, Vishal Bhardwaj. In this song, the poet delivered a song full of mischief, and sensuality. His ability to use local lingo that fits in with the theme of the entire film, not just the song, is exemplified in this number.
5. Darling (7 Khoon Maaf, 2011)
The song Darling is, in reality, inspired by a Russian folk song, Kalinka which Gulzar adapted because one of the seven husbands is a Russian. It’s meant to be a celebratory song, full of fun and zest, sung at the wedding. The verses, with their fine blend of English and Urdu, make for a delightful combination.
From dialogues that would stay forever in our minds, films that set a benchmark in direction and screenplay, to songs whose lyrics bagged Grammy awards for India, this man is truly the jack of all trades who raced far ahead of his times.