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Mere Desh Ki Dharti lyricist passes away

music Updated: Aug 07, 2009 15:45 IST

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Noted film lyricist Gulshan Bawra, who penned memorable songs like Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Yaari hai imaan mera, Agar tum na hote, Kasme Vaade Nibhayenge Hum, died today following a heart attack.
Gulshan Bawra
Noted lyricist Gulshan Bawra passed away at 72

He was 72 and is survived by his wife.

"Bawra, who was ailing for last several months, suffered a heart attack at his suburban Bandra residence early today," his neighbour Monica Khanna told PTI.

"Bawra's family members in Delhi have been informed and they are on their way to Mumbai," Khanna said.

However, there would be no cremation as Bawra had expressed desire to donate his body, she said, adding that the body would be taken to government J J Hospital here.

Born in present Pakistan, the lyricist moved to India after partition.

Bawra's original name was Gulshan Kumar Mehta. There is an interesting story behind his famous name.

It was during the making of Satta Bazar that the film’s distributor Shantibhai Patel christened him ‘Bawra’. He was very impressed by his lyrics but could not reconcile their excellence to the typical young man in his twenties who wore a rather colourful shirt. He said, 'Main iska naam Gulshan Bawra rakhoonga. He looks like a 'bawra' (madman).' When the film was released in Mumbai, the posters carried just three names, those of director Ravindra Dave, composers Kalyanji Anandji, and Gulshan Bawra, though the roster of lyricists included the topmost names of that time, Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra. 'I left my job in 1961 and things were pretty smooth,' says Bawra.

To date, Gulshan Bawra has written only 240 songs in a 42-year career, which is less than the number of films so many top names have done! But he claims to have the highest average among lyricists. 'I never believed in working too much or being aggressive, one of the main reasons for which was that I had no children. In my time, I have charged Rs 90,000 for a film at a time when one could purchase a big flat for Rs 65,000! I have not compromised on my price - because I have never compromised on my work.'

Gulshan Bawra believes in sensible lyrics and avoids lyrics that are conceptually defective, or have grammatical mistakes. 'Even Shailendra,' he says, 'wrote meaningless stuff like ‘Awara hoon, awara hoon, ya gardish mein hoon aasmaan ka taara hoon ‘, which should actually be ‘Awara hoon, awara hoon, main gardish mein bhi aasmaan ka taara hoon’. Gardish refers to struggle or turbulence and stars are never in this condition. Natural or universal truths should not be tampered with in the name of poetic license or to fit in to a given metre', he says.

With Inputs from