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Gulzar enthrals the Japanese with Urdu

The poet returns from a 12-day sojourn in Japan where he recited his poems on Iraq and Afghanistan, which were translated into Japanese.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2007 12:04 IST
Subhash K Jha
Subhash K Jha
Gulzar,Japanese lyrics,music

Gulzar, the poet-extraordinaire, has just returned from a 12-day tour of Japan and says he recited his poems on Iraq and Afghanistan there that were specially translated into Japanese.

Sharing the experience, he said, "Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima... I hadn't visited that side of the world. But I was keen. So I took off on a visit with some other members of the Sahitya Akademi.

"I addressed students in universities there. But the turning point was when I visited the museum in Hiroshima. The wounds of World War II are still so fresh. It depressed me so much.

"I recited my poems on Iraq and Afghanistan. What happened in these unfortunate countries recently were splinters of Hiroshima."

His poems were translated in Japanese for the convenience of the audience. From Urdu to Japanese is quite a long journey. "But that isn't the only unusual journey I've made," said Gulzar. "I'm also writing all the lyrics for a Pakistani film called Tere Liye directed by Farzan Rafiq."

This would perhaps be the first instance of an Indian poet contributing the lyrics to an entire score of a Pakistani film.

Back home, Gulzar's lyrics in director Shaad Ali's Jhoom Barabar Jhoom are threatening to attain the same popularity as his wacky wordplay in Ali's earlier film Bunty Aur Babli.

Last year, his Bidi song for Vishal Bharadwaj's Omkara became a rage and bagged many popular awards for best lyrics. Before that he created magic with his award winning song Kajra re, which was again a chartbuster.

"Shaad and I have forged a unique bond, just like Shaad's mentor Mani Ratnam and I. People are constantly calling up to know what I mean by ose (dewdrop) mein gholi mint ki goli. They want to know, why mint? I've no answer."

And there's more to the vibrant activities of the ageless writer.

"I'm doing the lyrics for Amol Palekar's children film. It's always a pleasure to write songs for children. Whether it's Lakdi ki kathi or Chaddhi pehen ke phool khila hai and now Amol's songs. All my children's songs are dedicated to my daughter Meghna."

Speaking of Meghna, proud papa Gulzar is delighted that she's directing her next film for Sanjay Gupta's production house. "She's directing a film based on a short story by Kartar Singh Duggal."

His own cinematic literary endeavour, the lyrics of Ratnam's Lajjo have come to a grinding halt. "I think they've a problem with acquiring the copyright of the story. We never got down to recording any of the songs."

First Published: Jun 11, 2007 10:03 IST