Arey chaddi pehan ke phool khila hai…

Happy Birthday Gulzar Saab!!

Today is the birth day of our beloved and one of the most respected bollywood personalities Shri.Gulzaar Saab!
An image of ‘deep river, flowing silently, its water touching to the highest levels of its banks’ comes to mind whenever I think about him.
His poetry when I read it, and try to understand it and as I keep revisiting to those beautiful lyrics penned by him I think he is an ‘Ocean – full of emotions’.
He has over the years been there like this and that is what I feel as my relationship with him has grown over the years.
Normally we say that the relationship grows ‘older’ but here in this case ‘it has grown younger and ‘younger ‘as the years have passed by.

Recollecting all these memories here, I am noting the thoughts as they emerge in my mind now and the names of the movies and various albums that I referred to may not be in a chronological order.

Writing this post brings many things to my mind about Gulzar Saab; right from the days when I was in my pre-teens, there were songs from the film Aandhi, Kinara that I liked the most.
Those are the very first memories of him that comes to my mind then the film ‘Mere Apne’, ‘Anand’ then Mausam, Golmaal, Gharonda, Angoor,Masoom , Lekin.
Then as i grow up more to understand the meaning of his lyrics, learning about him reading the news associated with him, his getting awards at many Film fare awards functions, his various felicitations time to time comes to my mind.
I got to listen to his soft and mesmerizing voice first in the HMV’s album ‘Fursat ke raat din’.
This is my all time favorite collections.

I very much identify with him when he in his own way takes a dig at the state of affairs or politics in ‘haal chaal thhik thhak hai’ or ‘ghaplaa hai bhai ghaplaa’. It speaks of his agony.

Moving forward to the unforgettable TV serial ‘Mirza Ghalib’ and his various non filmy albums with Jagjit Singh.
His commentary while introducing Bhupen Da’s Hindi songs and also his doing the translation of them from the original Assamese songs, in the album ‘Main Aur Mera Saaya’, I can keep it listening again and again.

All this have become a part of my life.

And I am not going to list all of them, and instead I will directly come to the only point that is very close to my heart and that I have purposely selected for the day today.

His contribution for children films and various animated films!
The many beautiful lyrics he has penned for and that we call as ‘children songs’!
The work he has done for children more important too and this is one thing about him that I like the most and that I love him, and I am most fascinated with, other than his poetic excellence.

That is why I had said above that the relationship has grown younger and younger as the years passed by.
It is often heard that ‘everybody has a child in them’, but to keep him alive till the end is very difficult and very less people are able achieve this.
I can say that the child in me is very much alive and Gulzar Saab’s songs play a very very important role in this.

Just go through this simple and innocent lines ‘‘jungle jungle baat chali hai, pataa chalaa hai, arey chaddi pahan ke phool khila hai’
This is one of my favorite songs. Though I was already a grown up person and had got an employment when this serial was aired on Doordarshan. Still every Sunday I watched it for this beautiful title song.

He has given us many many special ‘children’ songs or i would put them as the evergreen songs for ever. i personally like children movies and their songs that are particularly penned by Gulzar saab.
Just go through these lyrics;
Bandar Bindaas Bandar
Shararatein hamaakatein
Hamaari aadatein
Ye khatti mithi uljhane hai
Aur aafate
Na koi gham hame
Na koi darr
Bandar bindaas Bandar
Bandar bindaas Bandar

Jeene ka tarika hai
Na koi kaaydaa hai
Waada hai iraada hai
Na koi faaydaa hai
Ha ha ha ha
Gend ki tarah uchhalke ham
Zindagi se khelte hain
Ha ha ha ha

(From my other all time favorite album ‘‘KARADI KATHA’
– 2000. All songs for this album are penned by Gulzar Saab.)

If you have still not gone through this, please immediately get it today and enjoy the pure heavenly innocence that flowed from the maestro’s words.

Thanks, Gulzar Saab, thank you very much, for keeping active the child in me, motivate the child in me, and for keeping alive the innocence in me.

Gulzar Saab loves children very much. He sincerely and seriously cares for them.
‘I am good mother, though I have not gone through the labor pains, I feel it very well‘
Said he, while speaking on the release of the’ third edition’ of his book Dyodhi at Pune in March this year.
‘We do not respect children!’
‘If a child is crossing a road the whole traffic should be stopped and let the child is allowed to cross the road safely and it would be better if one can help him in doing so’

Does he miss the innocence in our society?
And that’s why he tries to find them in children’s movies;

‘To an extent, yes’

Finally I would definitely wish to write about when I got the chance to see him, to talk him and to touch him.

During my stay at Kota-Rajasthan, in the winters of 1996 the whole crew of Maachis including Gulzar Saab was there at Kota.
They were staying at different hotels/guest houses in the city.
One of the Hotels where Om Puri, Kanwal Jeet Singh,Raj Zutshi and other members were staying was nearer to my place of residence and the hotel manager was my good friend.
So I was informed to grab this chance to see these bollywood personalities or meet them, and it can be either in early morning or late evening only.
I was interested to meet Om Puri and Kanwal Jeet Singh mainly. Because Tabbu and other lead actors were staying at different place far away from my place.
However I fail to match with the timings and could not see any one.
The next day morning, I was ready for the office and before that, I took my elder daughter who was then 7/8 months old for a morning walks (as usual then).
Walking on I came around this Hotel. And there was a pleasant surprise for me.
It was a cold morning so I was wearing a full sweater and my daughter also having all those cold preventing clothes.
And in front of the Hotel (this Hotel is on the main road of the city which is called as Kota-Jhalawar road) wearing a white starched ‘kurta pyjama’ and taking the sun bath was Gulzar Saab it was around between 08.00-08.30 in the morning. He was standing there alone and nobody could notice this. (The taste of the city is slightly different, people there could have thronged if there was Dharmendra or Raj Kumar standing like this).
I walked towards him, greet him with Namaskar.
‘Kaise hain Sir Aap’
‘Ji thhik hoon!’

You can judge my situation then, I was not expecting to meet Gulzar Saab, and so I could not understand what to do?
I could not believe what was happening then!
I was between the transition zone of dream and reality.

So taking a via route and looking at my daughter I said, beta , Sampooran Singh ji se puchho ‘kaise hain aap?’,
(I had read about and know by then that his real name is Sampooran Singh)
He smiled and caresses my daughter and gives his ‘aashirwad’ to her!
This lovely moment i always remember and whenever he is there in news or on TV and my daughter is with me, I remind her that you have been very fortunate to have got his ‘aashirward’!

That day! That lovely morning!
I will cherish it forever as long as I live.