Thursday, 15 January 2009
Sampooran Singh Kalra, born 18 August 1936, is popularly known by his pen name Gulzar he is a noted Indian poet, lyricist, director, and playwright, who works primarily in the Hindi and Urdu languages. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, which is the 3rd highest civilian honour in India presented by the president and the Sahitya Akademi Award, the second highest literary honour given by the government of India. Gulzar has written in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and dialects of Hindi like Marwari (Rajasthani) and Bhojpuri. As a lyricist, he is best known for his association with the music director Rahul Dev Burman, and has also worked with other leading Hindi movie music directors including Sachin Dev Burman, Salil Chowdhury, and Madan Mohan. Gulzar was born to Makhan Singh Kalra and Sujan Kaur in Dina, Jhelum District, British India, located in the present day West Punjab, Pakistan. Before becoming an established writer, Gulzar worked as a car mechanic in a garage. Gulzar began his career as a songwriter with Sachin Dev Burman, one of the most famous music composers of Hindi cinema for the movie "Bandini" (1963). The song was "Mora gora ang layle". His most famous songs have been with Rahul Dev Burman, Sachin Dev's son, writing songs sung by play back singers such as Lata Mangeshkar and her sister Asha Bhosle. He has won awards for his associations with Salil Chowdhary for the movie Anand (1970), with the music director Madan Mohan for film Mausam (1975), and more recently with Vishal Bharadwaj Maachis (1996), A.R.Rehman Dil Se (1998), Guru (2007) and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Bunty aur Babli (2005). Gulzar has leans to the left in Indian politics, this can be seen in the early films he directed such as Aandhi(1975), which criticised Indian policy and was banned for a time as it was seen as a criticism of Indira Gandhi. He has directed over 20 films, starting with Mere Apne in 1975. Gulzar is married to the actress Raakhee, they have one daugter, Meghna Gulzar who has also turned to directing and she has written a biography of her father called "Because he is...". He has won an impressive 17 Filmfare Awards, the oldest and most prominent film awards in Hindi Cinema.