When Gulzar said Kajra Re, Aishwarya Rai's dance song for Bunty Aur Babli, was inspired by lines written behind trucks

Published on Aug 18, 2022 12:29 PM IST

Gulzar turns 88 on Thursday. We revisit the time when he wrote the popular dance number, Kajra Re, and talked about the source of inspiration for the Bunty Aur Babli song picturised on Aishwarya Rai.

When Gulzar revealed that lines written behind trucks inspired him to write Kajre Re.
When Gulzar revealed that lines written behind trucks inspired him to write Kajre Re.

Veteran lyricist-poet, writer and director Gulzar turns 88 on Thursday. In his career spanning over six decades, he has explored a variety of songs and given words to a plethora of human emotions. Gulzar scored a surprise item number when he wrote Aishwarya Rai's dance song for the film Bunty Aur Babli. (Also read: Gulzar on working with KK for Sherdil song)

Directed by Shaad Ali, Kajra Re featured Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and the latter's wife Aishwarya dancing together. The film released in 2005.

Speaking about the lyrics of the song, Gulzar had told Hindustan Times in 2006, “Serious poetry would have been out of place here. The song is inspired primarily by the lines that one sees written on trucks speeding up and down the highways in north India. Remember that the female protagonist is from a Punjabi family. She throws around a smattering of English because her ambition is to be a beauty pageant contestant. The boy, too, is a small town guy in a hurry to get ahead in life.”

Born Sampoorna Singh Kalra, the multi-hyphenated artiste, Gulzar, has given the nation a new vocabulary to love and live with. He began his journey with Mera Gora Rang Lei Le (Bandini, 1963). He is a Padma Bhushan awardee and has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Sahitya Akademi Award. Apart from winning a Grammy Award as well as an Oscar for his song, Jai Ho for Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Gulzar also has five National Film Awards and 21 Filmfare Awards to his credit.

Gulzar has written lyrics for many popular films such as Hu Tu Tu, Asoka, Fiza, Aks, Leela, Filhaal, Saathiya, Maqbool, Pinjar, Raincoat, Paheli, Guru, Omkara, Yuvraaj, Firaaq, Kaminey, Ishqiya, Veer, Haider, Drishyam and Kill Dill.

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