Everything he touches turns into poetry– and this is evident in his brush strokes as well. Says Padma Bhushan poet and lyricist Gulzar modestly, “I do scribbling, it’s just that much. It’s interesting to indulge in colours, soil your fingers, your hands, your kurta. Sometimes ek jagah lage to usko paunchne me dus jagah lagta hai phir. Ek jagah lag jaye to phir dus jagah jaake phalta hai – anariyon ka yeh hota hai. I’m an anari (amateur) painter.”
Gulzar who was in the city to attend the exhibition Shakhein recently, explains that the imagery in his poems is all art and colours. “The imagery in it (lyrics, poetry) vo sari ki sari painting hain. For example, sunset pe maine bahut sari poems likhi hain. Usmein sirf ye hai ki phael ta nahi lekin meri ungliyon mein sirf siyahi lagti hai, mujhe lagta hai padne walon ke kapde rangge jaate hain. Aur agar kabhi kapde bach gaye to rukhsar rangge jaate hain, laal ho jaate hain – ye kya likh diya. To rang kai tarah se istemaal hote hain (I have written a lot of poems on sunset. These don’t spill but just that my fingers get soiled in ink, I feel even the clothes of those who read the poems get coloured. And if the clothes remain clean, it’s the faces that get coloured and become red - what is it that’s written),” says the National awardee.
How he dabbles in writing and painting together? “Once it is your profession, whether it is a plumber’s job or a poet’s job, you become an expert in it. To mushkil phir koi nahi rehta. Mai agar plumber hota tab bhi itni mushkil na hoti…aur poet hun to bhi itni mushkil nahi hai because that is what is your riyaz. Likhte hue mushkil hoti hai? To phir aur riyaaz kar lo asaan ho jayega. Jitna riyaz karoge utna asaan hoga (If I would have been a plumber, even then it wouldn’t have been difficult for me... and since I’m a poet, it isn’t difficult for me either because it’s all a matter of practice. Do you face trouble in writing? The more you practice, the easier it will get).”