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An era in lyrics: Gulzar blended past and present for Rangoon’s songs

Lyricist-poet Gulzar says that nine songs of Kangana Ranaut-Shahid Kapoor-Saif Ali Khan-starrer Rangoon are about the journey of lyric writing from the ’40s to the present.

bollywood Updated: Apr 12, 2017 17:08 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Gulzar has directed films such as Mere Apne, Achanak and National Award-winning Maachis. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

Lyricist-poet Gulzar weaves magic with almost every verse. He proved it yet again with his lyrics for songs in the film, Rangoon, starring Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor. Despite the film’s failure at the box-office, the audience praised his lyrics, which were quite different from his usual sombre writing-style. “Jab film alag hogi, film ka period alag hoga, to gaane kaise aaj ke honge. If you look at Rangoon, it’s a journey of lyric writing. Nine songs starting from Bloody Hell to Chori Chori to Alvida upto Yeh Ishq Hai — it’s a journey from ’40s upto the Sufiana of today,” says the lyricist whose song Beedi Jalaile in Omkara (2006) underwent scrutiny for its explicitly bold lyrics.

“A film has all the arts in it,” says Gulzar. Elucidating the art of filmmaking, he adds: “A film carries six fine arts — it consists of architecture, painting, music, writing or literature, photography and performance. It’s a conjecture of all these things and yet based on literature. There is a story and situation behind it. That is why a film is so vast — you have to master each one separately. Otherwise it’s difficult to make a collage out of it, and keep the audience engaged,” says the writer.

Meghna (Gulzar’s daughter) is getting ready with her scripts. She is already writing, working on two scripts – one of them is ready and it may take off any time this year

When it comes to filmmaking, Gulzar doesn’t feel his daughter, filmmaker Meghna Gulzar needs to follow his footsteps. “She’s getting ready with her scripts. She is already working on two scripts — one of them is ready and it may take off any time this year,” says Gulzar, who has directed films such as Mere Apne (1971), Achanak (1973) and National Award Winning Maachis (1996).

The wordsmith describes the life trajectory of his daughter and him through allusions from nature. “Meri journey jad ki tarah hai, matti ki taraf. Meghna, unki journey upar ki taraf hai,” says Gulzar referring to himself as a root and his daughter Meghna as a branch that grows upwards.

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First Published: Apr 12, 2017 17:07 IST

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