On the 25th of August, Delhi Poetry Festival in association with the Oxford Bookstore, presented a musing evening brooding over the doyen of Urdu Poetry — Gulzar at The Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, New Delhi. The jam-packed audience came together to witness an interactive session with author, critic, translator & an acclaimed aficionado of Gulzar’s poetry Dr. Saba Mahmood Bashir on ‘Gulzar – The Man, The Poet’. As Dolly Singh hosted the author of ‘I Swallowed the Moon: The Poetry of Gulzar‘ Dr. Bashir, they talked about the man and his artistic sensibilities which are finely crafted in his enthralling Poetry. His sprawling career sustaining as one of the leading ‘film-poets‘, as she likes to refer it needs no introduction, but it was his non-film poetry that was talked with greater emphasis especially his three line ‘Trivenis’, that are said to be inspired from the Sangam of Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati. As Dr. Bashir reads few of his works she even discusses the imagery and poetic devices that he uses extensively with his imaginative brilliance and the high regard for moon in most of his poems. She also talks about the inspiration for his poems & hails Tagore and Ghalib as few of Gulzar Sasaan icons, his directorial venture the television series ‘Mirza Ghalib’ is referred as his tribute to the great poet. According to her,
“He is inspired by anything & everything.”
As she based her judgement of the man as simple & humble, she recalls him as a man of wisdom who works like a government clerk, reading and writing religiously.
The man who has numerous poems, films & songs to his canon, Gulzar has directed many critically acclaimed movies like Maachis, Ijazat, Angoor & Aandhi. With Aandhi being reviewed in detail in Dr. Bashir’s latest release ‘Gulzar’s Aandhi‘, it is an insight on Gulzar’s’is cinematic marvel, the powerful political drama was a huge success and it’s melodious music album penned by Gulzar is another major attraction of the movie. With ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se‘ from the movie itself moved the entire audience in retrospection. Other songs like ‘Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi‘ from ‘Masoom‘ and ‘Ek Akela is Shaher Mein‘ from ‘Gharaonda‘ and ‘Saathiya’s‘ title track moved the evening in a different vibrance.
With an engaging question answer session from the audience marked the poets popularity among ages, it was certainly their love for Gulzar Saab that kept the evening going and was brought to end with the melodious rendition of ‘Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le‘ from ‘Sadma‘. It was indeed an enlightening session on Gulzar saab cherished by everyone with equal love & devotion as his songs & poems.
Md. Faizan Salik
B.A Hons. English, Jamia Millia Islamia.