Gulzar’s name is synonymous with Urdu poetry and prose in India and hence at Mehfil@Prithvi, we decided to have an entire evening dedicated to Gulzar. August also happens to be his birth month so it would be a perfect homage to our laureate.
As the evening approached, people started queuing up, to listen to the untold stories of their beloved Urdu poet. Everyone was in high spirits as they waited patiently for the evening to begin.
There is so much written and spoken about Gulzar’s film work that we decided to give our audience a whole new dimension of his work. Our panel consisted of Javed Siddiqui (Saab), Salim Arif, Lubna Salim, Avinash, Alok, Bhanwat, and Madhuri.
We commenced the evening with a documentary film on the life of Gulzar, which gave the audience a brief background; this was followed by a stimulating introduction by Javed Saab. He narrated some insightful anecdotes about his relationship with Gulzar, and among other things, Javed Saab mentioned that every time a film script is written by him or Gulzar, they share it with each other for their valuable inputs.
Salim Saab who has worked with Gulzar continued the conversation introducing the audience to a whole new spectrum of Gulzar’s work. He mentioned that Gulzar has written a series of Urdu poems on the Environment. This was read by Lubna Salim.
We looked at Gulzar- The Playwright, and we discussed his work done on children’s literature. We also discussed his new collection of poems written as three liners, which are called ‘Triveni.’ These were read by actors Avinash, Alok, Bhanwat, and Madhuri.
The evening was interspersed with many of Gulzar’s personal poem recitations and film songs that he has written over the years for mainstream feature films.
The clock was ticking and we were rearing to continue but it is impossible to cover Gulzar’s work in two and half hours. Even a lifetime is not enough. But as the evening drew closer, people were happy to have a different perspective into the life and work of this living legend.