Kajra re not devoid of poetry: Gulzar | india | Hindustan Times
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Kajra re not devoid of poetry: Gulzar

"Poetry with a serious thought doesn't has to be serious in mood," he says. He is now writing songs for Shirish Kunder's Jaan-E-Man.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 19:27 IST

Well-known lyricist Gulzar says his award wining song Kajra re from BuntyAur Babli is not devoid of poetry.

"I don't think the words Teri baaton mein kimaam ki khushboo hai, tera aana bhi to garmiyon ki loo hai are frivolous. Poetry with a serious thought doesn't mean it has to be serious in mood," Gulzar saidin an interview.

He is now writing songs for editor Shirish Kunder's directorial debut Jaan-E-Man and wants to learn the language of mainstream cinema.

"I don't know how successful I will be, but I want to learn this mainstream language of cinema. I want to walk with Shirish to learn a new way of expressing myself."

Excerpts:

You seem to be on a quest for new peaks to conquer.
Recently I returned from Chennai after a music sitting with Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman. We are working together again after Dil Se for Mani's Guru. Again we'll try to attempt a different sound. Guru has a serious layer below the surface, which I'll tap as a poet. Mani Ratnam is the only director who asks for abstract images. It's lovely to share my poetry with him. His Hindi is getting better. But I'm lagging behind. My Tamil should improve soon.

As a lyricist, I'd say my first turning point as an abstract lyricist was Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo in Khamoshi. Another turning point was Mani Ratnam's Dil Se where with Chaiyyan chaiyyan my sufiyana phase started. Now let's see...perhaps with Guru there will be another turning point. It's wonderful to work with a director who expresses scenes musically.

Gulzar is pepped up with the idea of working with Mani Ratnam again. Gulzar is penning the lyrics for Guru.

Guru will star a big fan of yours, Vidya Balan?


She is a simple, sweet, innocent girl. She says whatever comes to her heart.

How was it working with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in Bunty Aur Babli?
You know I have just written a song for the Commonwealth Games, which they have composed. I feel they have achieved a sensible synthesis of popularity and class in their music. This is the fourth time I have written a sports anthem.

Many years ago I had written a song for a sports event that Anand Shankar had composed. Then for national sports in Pune, I wrote a song that Hridaynath Mangeshkar had composed and Lataji had sung.

Then I had collaborated with L Subramaniam for a song celebrating the Olympian flame.

Now, this fourth one with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, which goes Dilli chalen chalna hai chal chal dilli chalen. It could be used by any political party.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's Kajra re has become very popular.
Just because it is popular it doesn't mean it's devoid of poetry. I don't think the words Teri baaton mein kimaam ki khushboo hai, tera aana bhi to garmiyon ki loo ha", is frivolous. Poetry with a serious thought doesn't mean it has to be serious in mood.

My Goli maar bheje mein in Satya had a serious thought expressed in the gangster's language. The lyrics have to express the language of the characters.

In Paheli you worked for the first time with MM Kreem.
He's very good. He should have been nominated for his music in Paheli. Even a nomination is a gesture of victory. He hasn't been given enough to do in Hindi cinema, though he's very popular in the south.

I liked the idea of getting the Screen Award for Dheere jalna instead of Kajra re. I thought the more popular song always wins. Unfortunately, I was unwell and I couldn't attend the function. I regret that.

Dheere jalna is a very difficult situation. I had to bring in the image of a burning candle to express the couple's anguish of having just limited time together. For this image I had to go back to the master, Mirza Ghalib, who said, Shama har rang mein jalti hai sehar hone tak.

Tell usmore about your forthcoming work.
I am very excited about working with Pritam Chakraborty in my daughter Meghna's Honeymoon and with Vishal Bhardwaj again in Othello. This again gives me a chance to do a very different kind of music. It's our third under-world story (after Satya and Maqbool). This time the location is around Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

I've used the dialect in my lyrics. Maqbool never looked like Macbeth to me. I feel Vishal's "Othello" would be unrecognisable to Shakespeare. To me, it's an original underworld story. You will be shocked by the images.

It's very strange to see you working with Sajid Nadiadwala in Jaan-E-Man.
For me too. I don't know how successful I will be, but I want to learn this mainstream language of cinema. The images here are totally different from what I generally write. In real life, the director, Shirish Kunder, is a combination of an editor and director. The same is true of his vision in Jaan-E-Man. The shots will surprise you. For a reaction shot, directors generally go for a close-up. He only changes the light. I want to walk with Shirish to learn a new way of expressing myself.