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Gulzar's debut as a lyricist - Part III

August 22, 2013 04:14:01 PM IST
By Mansoor Khan, Glamsham Editorial
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Yesterday you read how Gulzar learnt the art of poetry, today let's read how Gulzar got his first break as a lyricist and which was his first song that he penned for a Bollywood movie.


After landing Mumbai, Gulzar had a tough time to survive hence for survival he even worked as a car mechanic in a garage at Worli in Mumbai. However his heart lay in writing hence he became a member of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) where he made many friends like Basu Bhattacharya, Salil Chowdhury, Shailendra etc.

His association with these writers yielded him rich dividends as they promoted him to filmmakers but somehow Gulzar could not get an opportunity as the industry was packed with many stalwart poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni, Shailendra etc. Nevertheless Gulzar kept struggling and fortunately he got the opportunity to be an assistant to filmmaker Bimal Roy, who was then making BANDINI.

Recalling his meeting with Bimal Roy, Gulzar remembers, ''Bimal da was a great 'film maker' for him every minute detail mattered. He could grasp a personality in a second. A look at me and he gave me his nod to work as his assistant. He also told me to write one 'song' for BANDINI, after listening to some of my poetries. While narrating the situation for the song, his only demand was that the song should have the fragrance of the soil. After spending couple of sleepless nights and scribbling umpteen number of papers I finally came up with - 'Mora gora ang lai le...' when I approached Bimal da for approval, to my surprise, he was highly impressed and approved it on the spot!''

Though 'Mora gora ang lai le...' was Gulzar's First Major Hit song that went on to establish Gulzar as a poet of distinction, yet it was not the first song that Gulzar had penned for a Bollywood movie. In an interview, Gulzar confessed, ''My song 'Mora gora ang lai le...' made me popular but my first song as a lyricist that I wrote was 'Ganga aaye kahan se, Ganga Jaye Khaha re....' from the movie KABULIWALA (1961) which was offered to me thanks to my friend Salil Chowdhury, who had composed the music of the film.'' 

Also read
Gulzar's foray into film-making and making of his First film MERE APNE.


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