This rejoinder is in response to a friend’s request that the earlier Gulzar piece made too long a leap from Ijaazat to Buty Aur Bubli. And also, in deference to Mad Momma who is currently heading the Association of World Cup Widows!
So here goes…
Gulzar’s last twenty years seem to throw up a whole lot of modern idiom in his work, his versatility bowing to the changing speech patterns. Not compromising on the poetry but still managing to put in a friendly nod to the Gen Next!
While lesser mortals still grappled with archaic notions of boy-chasing-girl, Gulzar exemplified the persistence of the lover through “Sara din raste mein khali rickshey sa, peechhe peechhe ghoomta hain…”
He brought in Hinglish through the voice of Vimmi Saluja of Pankhi Nagar when she screamed out loud “Chand ka teeka matthey lagake / Raat din taaron mein jeena veena easy nahin”… and while at it, don’t miss the Punjabi trait of saying roti-shoti, kukkar-shukkar, jeena-veena!
Aks had a ‘remix’ of the traditional Ramleela ditty… in which Seeta asked Hanuman to e-mail Ram since Ravana had cut off all the phone lines! (I recall a letter to the ‘Readers Don’t Digest’ column in Filmfare pompously pointing out that there was no phone-email during the Ramayana times… sigh!)
But this new trend in his poetry has had no impact on his string of mixing metaphors and providing refreshingly new points of reference.
* Shaam ki khidki se, chori chori nange paon, chaand aayega… Saathiya
The moon makes a quiet entry, tip-toeing through the window left open by the evening.
* Udaasi ki haldi hatake tamanna ki laali pakne to do… Khubsoorat
Let the jaundice of grief be replaced by a scarlet desire.
* Itna lamba kash lo yaaro, dum nikal jaaye / zindagi sulgao yaaro, gam nikal jaaye / Dil phnooko aur itna phnooko, dard nikal jaaye… Hu Tu Tu
Take such a long puff that your breath gets taken away. Burn your life down to smoke out the grief.
* Sannate ki sij pe soye yeh saap si sarakti raat, yeh kaali zehrili raat… Aks
Asleep in a burrow of silence is the slithering night, a black venomous night.
In 1993, he also penned lyrics for Maya Memsaab, which did not do anything for either Deepa Sahi or Shahrukh Khan's careers but had enough delicacies to elevate the music. The most obvious one being the title song which was a lovely play on the word Maya... Ek haseen nigah ka dil pe saaya hain / Jadu hain, junoon hain, kaisi maya hain. A bewitching vision has eclipsed my heart... A magic, obsession or illusion?
However, my personal favourite of this period is also one of the most popular non-film songs ever, one that has remained in everyday memory & lingo despite never being part of any album… the title song of Jungle Book!
Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai
Chaddi pahan ke phool khila hai phool khila hai..
Ek parinda hua sharminda, tha wo nangaa
Isse pahle ande ke andar tha wo changaa
Soch raha hai baahar aakhir kyun nikala hai
Arre chaddi pahan ke phool khila hai phool khila hai..
Also, an interesting point to note here is an increasing use of onomatopoeia in his antaras.
* Chhaiyya chhaiyya – Dil Se
* Chhalka chhalka – Saathiya
* Chhai chhapa chhai – Hu Tu Tu
* Chappa chappa charkha chaley – Maachis
* Dhadak Dhadak dhuan udaye re – Bunty Aur Bubli
What about this? Or am I reading too much into four/five songs that came to mind simultaneously?