Kathakar fest: Delhi's date with tales by Gulzar, Prem Chopra & Mohit Chauhan - Hindustan Times
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Kathakar fest: Delhi's date with tales by Gulzar, Prem Chopra & Mohit Chauhan

ByKriti Kambiri
Mar 19, 2024 01:16 PM IST

Indulging in the magic of storytelling, these iconic Bollywood personalities regaled everyone at Kathakar Intn'l Storytellers Festival, at Bharat Mandapam.

It was a night of immersing oneself into the fascinating world of stories, as lyricist Gulzar and actor Prem Chopra took the stage at the 17th Kathakar International Storytellers Festival at Delhi’s Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, on March 17. The esteemed artistes delighted audiences with lesser-known titbits from their journeys, in their respective conversations with singer Mohit Chauhan and his wife Prarthna Gehlot, who was the co-organiser of the festival.

Veterans Gulzar and Prem Chopra recounted many a stories from their journey in the cinema industry, at Kathakar International Storytellers Festival held recently in Delhi.(Photos: Manoj Verma/HT)
Veterans Gulzar and Prem Chopra recounted many a stories from their journey in the cinema industry, at Kathakar International Storytellers Festival held recently in Delhi.(Photos: Manoj Verma/HT)

Sharing how he “didn’t want to write for films”, Gulzar confessed, “Mujhe toh bas literature ka chatkara tha, lekin main Sachin da (SD Burman) ki daant sun kar chala aaya.”(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Sharing how he “didn’t want to write for films”, Gulzar confessed, “Mujhe toh bas literature ka chatkara tha, lekin main Sachin da (SD Burman) ki daant sun kar chala aaya.”(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Gulzar’s ‘badmashiyan’ with Pancham, Deedam

After narrating folk tales for both adults and children, Gulzar went on to share what went behind some of his most popular songs, as Chauhan performed them live. Recalling how RD Burman (late composer) was hesitant about the word “badmashiyan” in the song Aap Ki Ankhon Mein Kuch (Ghar, 1978) — as Lata Mangeshkar (late singer) might have an objection to it — Gulzar said, “Maine Pancham (Burman) ko kaha ki yeh koi bure lafz nahin hain, agar woh kuch kahengi toh main badal dunga. Jab woh lafz aya, unhone bahut aaram se gaa diya. Maine unhe kaha, ‘Deedam (Mangeshkar), unhe bada aitraaz tha ki aap yeh nahin gaa payengi’. Toh woh hans padi, kehti ‘Yahi toh ek naya lafz mila hai gaane ke liye!’”

Singer Mohit Chauhan recalled, while singing Gulzar's songs, "Main kandhe par guitar taang kar har jagah Gulzar sa’ab ke gaane gungunaya karta tha.” (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Singer Mohit Chauhan recalled, while singing Gulzar's songs, "Main kandhe par guitar taang kar har jagah Gulzar sa’ab ke gaane gungunaya karta tha.” (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Two late-night musafirs

As Chauhan hummed the tune of Musafir Hoon Yaron (Parichay, 1972), Gulzar went down memory lane and reminisced about the start of his working relationship with the composer: “I was asleep in my room when there was a knock on the door at 11 or 12 in the night. It was Pancham, who said, ‘Chal neeche gaadi mein’, and we went for a drive. Unhone mujhe dhun sunayi and he said, ‘Tu aage ki line bata de taaki main antara mehfooz kar lun, nahin toh ghum ho jayegi.’ I roughly thought of something and wrote it down... Raat 4 baje tak mujhe lekar woh ghumta raha, maine uske antare likhe aur subah tak woh gaana pura taiyar ho gaya.”

From Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, Prem Chopra shared how he’s worked with almost the entire Kapoor clan, across generations.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
From Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, Prem Chopra shared how he’s worked with almost the entire Kapoor clan, across generations.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Making of an iconic line

Chopra started off his session by confessing his love for the city: “Main Dilli mein bahut saal raha hun, aata jaata rehta tha. Yahi se maine kaafi kuch seekha.” Upon requests from the audience, he recited one of his most iconic dialogues, “Prem... Prem naam hai mera! Prem Chopra!” from Bobby (1973) and went on to recount the story behind it. “Log taraste thay Raj Kapoor (late filmmaker-actor) ke saath kaam karne ke liye... Jab unhone bataya ki mera sirf ek hi dialogue hai toh main andar gaya, jahan Prem Nath (late actor) baithe hue thay. Unhone kaha, ‘Tum samajhte nahin ho, agar yeh picture hit hui toh sabse zyada publicity tumhare naam ki hogi.’ Aur sach mein yahi hua.”

For more, follow @htcity.delhijunction

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