Do you know how Gulzar developed his passion for Poems? - Part II
August 21, 2013 05:45:39 PM IST By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
Yesterday you read about Gulzar's concern for Urdu language, today read how Gulzar developed his passion for Poems.
Always spotted in his distinctive white Kurta and Churidaar, Gulzar is usually mistaken to be a 'Muslim'. In addition the chaste' Urdu that he speaks and writes puzzles many about his religion but the fact is Gulzar is a Sikh belonging to the Arora Sikh community. He hails from Deena, Jhelum district, (now in Pakistan). His father's name is Makhan Singh Kalra and mother's name Sujan Kaur. Gulzar's real Name is a Sampooran Singh, but when he began his tryst with writing he kept his pen name as Gulzar.
How Gulzar developed his passion with poetry is an interesting tale that dates back to his school days when he used to study at 'Madarssa' in his village. Readers would wonder what is a 'Madarssa'?
Well, in the pre-independence era Urdu was the language of communication both in society as well as in government offices. All government official work was maintained in Urdu language. Madarssa was a small teaching school where children were taught in Urdu medium. There is a misconception that Madarssas are related only to the teaching of Arabic and Quran. In the past many great poets like Gulzar, Shailendra, Majrooh Sultanpuri etc. have studied at Madarssas. Even today there are many Madarssas in several tiny villages of India, though the number has drastically frozen.
If readers could recollect Gulzar has used the term 'Madarssa' in his movie MERE APNE, where Meena Kumar, on seeing a boy wandering on street, laments, ''Kaise maa baap hai re tere, madarsse nahin bhejte padhne ko..''
Coming back to Gulzar and how he got attracted to poetries, Gulzar once said, ''In my Madarssa, our Moulvi (teacher in Urdu) was very strict particularly in Urdu language. Hence to make the language fun he had invented a unique style. Like the modern day 'Antakshri Game', based on film songs, our Moulvi, asked us to recite a 'poem' written exclusive by us and beginning with the last alphabet of our Moulvi's poem. Thus the students before attending class had to learn a lot of poetries to face the Moulvi's challenge and who ever won was treated with sweets. Thus what began as a game turned into a love and gradually into a profession?