Happy Birthday Gulzar: After graduation and during her labour, Meghna Gulzar stayed afloat on these letters by the famous poet-lyricist

Hindustan Times, Delhi | ByZarafshan Shiraz
Aug 18, 2020 03:28 PM IST

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the moving letters by famous poet Gulzar to his filmmaker-daughter Meghna Gulzar when she graduated and when she was in labour.

A word or gesture of pride from our parents is all we need to break the rest of the glass ceiling as we take on the world and Chhapaak director Meghna Gulzar received just that in the form of heartwarming letters from her legendary poet-father Gulzar. As the famous lyricist celebrates his 86th birthday on Tuesday, here’s taking a sneak peek into some of the letters that he penned to his daughter after she completed her graduation or when she was in labour.

Gulzar with daughter Meghna Gulzar.(Twitter/@nirupamakotru)
Gulzar with daughter Meghna Gulzar.(Twitter/@nirupamakotru)

When her graduation results from St Xavier’s College came out, Meghna was on a holiday in New York. The year was 1994 when Gulzar collected Meghna’s marksheet and sent it to her through her mother who was flying out. The letter read:

My Graduate Girl,

You have already broken the record of your father’s qualification. Congratulations! You are on a plateau now. You can look at all the horizons and beyond them, from here. It needs one more jump to climb onto your own personality. You have to choose the direction. Just two/three years more of education, the academic part is over. Whatever you do now will be of your own interest and choice. But without effort, one doesn’t find even oneself. Make one more effort to find yourself. You are capable of great achievements, that I know.

You have only to decide it and you’ll do it!

Your Ma is leaving on the 29th. She misses you very much. You do love her, I know, but don’t fight with her to express your love. She is a disciplined person and (has) a very generous heart —and (is) a great teaser too!

What should I sign at the end, Dad, Papa or — Gulzar

July 1994

If this was not enough to leave our hearts melting, we came across another letter translated by bureaucrat and writer Pavan K. Varma, that Gulzar had written when Meghna was in labour. The verses were published by Penguin as a part of the compilation called Neglected Poems. They read:

The ocean was watching

From the ocean my pot of nectar was to come

Every time the ocean turned the waters would quiver

Throbbing pain would pass through

The fragile womb of my daughter

I would be afraid at that moment

To ask for my pot of nectar

Whenever she would shudder, I would tremble

She was thirsty…

But water was not allowed

Cubes of ice were passed over her parched lips

The ocean was going to convulse in its own waters

Slash the ocean and take out the pot

If you don’t the mother will die!

Now, when she plays with my ‘pot of nectar’ on her lap

The male within me says:’You never had the divine power

To bear this agony

And shoulder the pain of creating a human being’

We are not sure how you feel but we legit feel like crying as we read these compositions celebrating the power and resilience of a woman at childbirth!

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