Gulzar Sahab - The Writer

Gulzar Sahab

Gulzar - The Writer Director and Poet

When someone is told that Dialogues of two of the top Hrishikesh Mukherjee films Anand and Namakharaam were credited to Gulzar Sahab, one is really making an understatement on hi genius.. Gulzar Sahab is known for some of the top songs besides dialogues for Anand for example.. Gulzar Sahab has directed some notably well made films like Mere Apne and Andhi to just name two of them..

He is one man who is known for some of his great poetic compositions.. for me most notably the one about strengthening the relations between India and Pakistan.. the one man who directed epic like Mirza Ghalib and the one man who created Mowgli.. chaddi pahan ke phool khila hai phool khila hai..

My intentions or a desire to meet Gulzar Sahab is two folded.. first I had missed a mention of him in the blog post on Alok Da.. he was clearly one of his major favorites from the industry.. I believe he was in great awe for films like Aandhi and Mausam rather than the Mere Apne or Koshish.. he was in no small measures appreciative of his pen.. Yaraa Seeli Seeli.. Tum aa gaye ho noor Aa Gaya Hai.. Woh Shaam Kuchh Ajeeb Thee.. 

Well, the second intention to meet Gulzar Sahab is derived from the fact that he was indeed close to one of my all time favorite actor - The Great Meena Kumari.. I did read the book Meena Kumari By Vinod Mehta yet I did not attempt to write a review of his book.. I did not find him liking her so much as to coin the term My Heroine and yet I found he was not really doing equal justice to her.. to me it appeared Mr Mehta was being a little biased about her.. biased about her relationships with her husband Kamal Amrohi. At more than one point it appears that he was highlighting facts so as to belittle her and in someways protect him.. for example - giving her not enough credit for the huge success of Baiju Bawra.. for bringing to our notice that she fared poor eighth in a beauty contest.. indeed his love for her is merely attributable to her success and glory and nothing beyond.. maybe he does say that she was ahead of her contemporaries but through the reasons and logic of her ability to write poetry rather than her acting professionalism.. Mr Mehta is not emphatic about what kind of image or what kind of passionate love Meena Kumari generated among Indians from all walks of life on silver screen.. yet what he is able to tell people that one Kushwant Singh is probably not able to recognise her even as she was seated next to him​.. you ask me.. she is in no small measures a bit ahead of both Dilip Sahab and brother Amitabh Bachchan.. 

I wish to meet Gulzar sahab not with any secret r hidden agenda.. I wanted to meet him as he had very passionately presented her in Mere Apne his first feature film as a director.. to be able to send such a great message through the medium on relations through his film.. the  song which for some reasons he did not include in his film.. was it at her request that it was not included in the film.. I believe being a writer and a poet Gulzar Sahab knew The Great Meena Kumari more than a Kamal Amrohi or an upcoming Dharmendra.. and definitley way beyond the presentation of Vinod Mehta in what is considered a great book on her.. 'Meena Kumari - The Classic Biography'..

No doubt Mehta's book did present many an unknown facts of her personal life and a little bit of her professional life.. yet I am yearning to know much more about Meena Kumari than the book actually reveals.. I would love to get to know of her from the likes of Gulzar Shab and maybe even Dharam Paaji.. if they both agree to divulge.. If I were to pick one director to direct the biopic on 'The Great Meena Kumari', I believe Gulzar Sahab , if he could be persuaded to be a part of it would be a great asset to introduce the real Meena Kumari to the world through her films and beyond..

If Dharam Paaji could be obliged to be transparent on his personal and professional relations with her.. I believe he too knew her well and learned a few lessons from her on being successful in Hindi Cinema.. I would also love to know as to why medical help for her alcohol dependency was not addressed much earlier.. I can understand Amrohi sahab had no reasons to bother whether she was into alcohol or out of it.. for it was very obvious for even a layman to derive the fact that the love affair of Chandan and Manju did not proceed well for too long a period after their early possibly infatuated marriage.. One is still willing to give enough credits to Kamal Amrohi to complete Pakeezah.. yet in my personal opinion.. Pakeezah was shouldered entirely by her great performance and the melodious music.. I have a feeling that Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar had a second peak of her career with Pakeezah.. if one agrees that she had first epitomised playback singing with Mughal-e-Azam.. The great sets of the film were expansive enough and possibly much of its  cost was borne from the earnings of the great Meena Kumari..

It is however quite tragic to see someone calling someone my heroine and yet doing so little justice to give due credits to her in his book.. The debonair has an outlook which is good in parts and maybe not far from the truth of her personal life.. it is too short and abridged on her professional realm.. 

Abhaya Sharma, Mumbai April 03 2017

Post Script : Someday I would love to speak my mind on who among the present day actors could be considered to play 'The Great Meena Kumari' and maybe I shall really love to lay my hands on Sohrab Mody Sahab's 'Meena Kumari Ki Amar Kahani'.. that alone could be the background for such a biopic rather than a biased writer's mind of a highly acknowledged biography on her.. Her story can not truly be captured in some good informative episodes on Rajya Sabha TV and the Classic Legend on Television alone.. One has to compare her with herself in her own movies one of which could be Mere Apne and the other could be one of her many highly successful ones including Pakeezah and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.. I have a feeling that she did play quite an epic role in atleast Mere Apne and Pakeezah if not also in Dil Ek Mandir and Bahu Begum or Phool Aur Patthar and Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai.. to me no one presented Meena Kumari as well as Gulzar Sahab did in his first directorial venture.. he alone would be my first choice for directing the biopic 'The Great Meena Kumari'.

Some of my top Gulzar films and serials are included here :

1. Mere Apne

2. Aandhi

3. Mausam and 

Mirza Ghalib

Abhaya Sharma, Mumbai.