Internationally-renowned lyricist, poet and film director Gulzar will be in Singapore on July 26, when he will spend an evening in a heart-to-heart conversation with Salim Arif, a wellknown name in the field of Indian theatre and films, and reciting selected poems.
This is the second time that he will be coming to Singapore. He was previously here for a poetry recitation in 2011, where he performed at the Esplanade's annual Kalaa Utsavam.
Gulzar is the recipient of India's prestigious Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke awards. He also received international acclaim for Jai Ho, the song which has become synonymous with director Danny Boyle's 2009 film Slumdog Millionaire. Gulzar received the Oscar and Grammy Award for the song.
It is not just songs that move him - he has penned numerous books of poetry, written in Urdu, as well. His poems have also been translated into English, the most recent being Pluto, an anthology of short poems on diverse issues like the loss of Pluto's planetary status, romance, farmer suicides and the Partition.
When tabla! asked him whether he preferred writing lyrics, poems or scripts, Gulzar said that he enjoys them all. "It is all a part of me," he said, adding that if he did not like it, he would not be doing it.
The 80-year-old does not think that staying relevant to the current generation is an issue. "I am living in your generation. Am I not a part of your generation?" he asked. "Why do you want to count me out?"
His belief is apparent in his work. He has written lyrics for songs ranging from ballads to item numbers, and has also written for artistes like rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, who sang with Sukhwinder Singh on Horn OK Please from the 2014 film Dedh Ishqiya.
His diverse portfolio just goes to show that he is in tune with musical trends, even as they have changed from the time he first started writing.
Although he has a vast body of work, Gulzar says that, sometimes, the hardest part of writing is finishing something he starts. "You are never sure if your words will do exactly what you want them to," he said.
Does he have a piece of work that has become his favourite? He brushed the question off, saying: "That's for my audience to tell me."
Spend an evening with Gulzar in conversation with Salim Arif at 7pm on July 26 at the Singapore Conference Hall. For ticketing details, log on to www.charkula.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8298-7213.
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