Eminent poet and filmmaker Gulzar, who has earlier filmed Premchand's writings, is now busy filming Rabindranath Tagore's works and says this would attract more readers to the works of literary greats.
"I am trying to complete 15 hours of filming of Tagore's works. He is a great author and with him there is another advantage of poems that is very rare. The initiative would expose their different aspects to viewers and readers outside Bengal," Gulzar told IANS in an interview.
The writer was recently in the capital to launch his book Two Tales Of My Times. The book, published by Rupa & Co., has two stories - "New Delhi Times" and "Maachis" - both of which have already been made into feature films. So why a book now?
"You can't see a picture again and again. But one can revisit a book any time. And to prevent it from becoming a film album I have deliberately refrained from using pictures in the book. I want to keep its seriousness intact," he said.
Asked if Internet and cable television had affected the reading habits of youngsters, the author said: "Today there are a number of channels, Internet and what not. The youth can't be forcibly fed but there is readership.
"The medium of study has changed and we have to provide what youngsters want to read. That is why I had done 15 hours of filming of Munshi Premchand's two very famous works - Godan and Nirmala. It was aimed at attracting readers to their works, after they watch the film.
And where does he get unique metaphors for his poetry?
"Sensibility can't be bought from a medical store! With time one has to sharpen it on one's own," Gulzar quipped.
"I haven't sat down and coined the terms. People react differently to varied incidences; the way I write is exactly how I react to a particular situation.
"For instance, to describe a sunset if one borrows expressions from some books, it becomes clich? If you express it yourself genuinely without verifying it from somewhere else you will find it original," he explained.
Commenting on the commercialisation of lyrics in Bollywood songs, he said: "Well, if it is for a commercial medium it has to be commercial. However, one must write without making the songs' aesthetics cheap. And it depends on an individual ... after all, one person is different from another".
The poet is also writing lyrics for director Subhash Ghai's Main Yuvraj.
"There were two reasons for picking up the film - A.R. Rahman and Subhash Ghai. You can say I have to live up to their expectations."