I don’t know if I’m good enough to write something about Gulzar. But I love him, and somehow feel that it’s something that makes me fit to write. And hence, I write.
The thought probably came when I was listening to 7 Khoon Maaf, more precisely when I was listening to O mama, and then Aawara. I don’t exactly know what the thought was, but I will try to put it into words anyway. The thought was of Gulzar, his age, his words, and more thoughts that I do not remember or may not want to talk about.
Well, first thing was, who ever thought Gulzar will be writing Rock songs? Listening to O mama, while I was mesmerized by Vishal’s music and KK’s singing, Gulzar’s words fit in there as if water in a jug. I was thinking that the person who wrote ‘Mora Gora Ang Lai Le’ almost fifty years ago, and then ‘mera kuch saamaan’ two decades after that, is writing O mama today, and with his words alone, is as much a part of today’s generation as a someone born after his fifth filmfare award.
I remember his words from the filmfare awards this year about Vishal Bhardwaj as he said, ‘Ek naujawan ka shukriya ada karna bahot zaroori hai.. isne mere lafzon ko jawan rakha hai’ (It’s necessary to thank a youngster.. he has kept my words young), and I do agree with him. But what is most wonderful is how Gulzar has been able to write those young words while maintaining the same quality that he was known for, say, three-four decades ago. Yes, he still writes lines like ‘Dushman jiye mera, wo bhi gair to nahi,’ in that rock song itself.
And then, there is that thing I yearn for, the way he can use the language. He was the one who came up with things like humne dekhi hai in aankhon ki mehekti khushboo and surili ankhiyon wale, and even though today’s lyricist try to come up with such things sometimes and to some extent, are successful too, Gulzar has that command on language that is still missing with them all. I have loved the lyrics of Prasoon Joshi and Amitabh Bhattacharya innumerous times, but I do not know someone who can write ‘saara din sadkon pe khali rikshe sa, peechhe peechhe chalta hai’ and ‘chhod aaye hum wo galiyaan’ with equal ease, or someone who can even imagine the lines ‘aankhen tez tatayya dono jeebh saanp ka phunkara’ or ‘chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai’ or even a simple sounding ‘dil to bachcha hai ji.’
No, I don’t know anyone who can write ‘ek hi lat suljhane mein saari raat guzari hai.’
That is what I fear. For a life when I will not be able to listen to Gulzar’s songs, because it’s almost sure that during my lifetime a day will come when that pen will no more be writing.
And so, I wish he lives past hundred in all health. And that pen keeps going, on and on, forever.
And here I’ll finish for now the unending topic, with something that I wrote with him in my mind:
bharte hain Roz hawaon mein Udaan,
phir bhi kabze mein unke rehte hain,
unke alfaz kya, parinde hain..