Gulzar famous Indian Lyricist, Writer Film Producer & Director

Gulzar born on 18 August 1934 in British India. His real name is Sampooran Singh Kalra but he is worldwide popularly known as Gulzar. He is an Indian lyricist, writer, writer, screenwriter, film producer and film director.

Early Life

Makhan Singh Kalra and Sujan Kaur, a Sikh coule brought Gulzar on earth. Gulzar was born in a small village in Jhelum District, British India. Earlier Dina was part of Pakistan before partition.

During partition of India-Pakistan, he migrated from Pakistan and shifted to Delhi at the age of 13 years only.  He has to stop his studies due to shifting from Pakistan to Delhi. After some time he shifted to Bombai  (now Mumbai) to support his family.

Sampooran was fond of Ravindranath Tagore. He started reading great work of Tagore. After Gulzar became successful, he recounted that reading Tagore was one of the turning points of his life.

He started doing undersized job and even worked as a damaged car painter at Vichare motors on Bellasis road (Mumbai).There he used to pint damaged cars.

While giving an interview Gulzar confessed that he used to enjoy his work as a painter as it allowed him a lot of time to simultaneously read, write and to keep involve him with the PWA (Progressive Writers Association).

Career prospects


Gulzar used to interact with PWA people and there he met with famous lyricist Shailendra and legendary film producer and director Bimal who Roy encouraged him to join films. He joined Bimal Roy Productions in 1961 and got his first break as a lyricist writing for Bimal Roy’s Bandini (1963) with the renowned music director S.D. Burman.

Actually, famous lyricist Shailendra penned songs for Bandini (1963). It was Shailendra who asked Gulzar for writing a song for Bandini. And Gulzar created the mesmerizing Song “Mora Gora Ang Layle”, sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Bandini got unbelievable success and so as the songs including the one written by Gulzar.

The success of ?Mora Gora Ang Le Le? made Gulzar full-time assistant of Bimal Roy. While working as assistant to Bimal Roy, Gulzar found some opportunities to write for acclaimed directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Asit Sen.

Later Gulzar wrote remarkable films like Do Dooni Char (1968), Khamoshi (1970) and Safar (1970) for Asi Sen. Gulzar also wrote unforgettable films like Anand (1971) ), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972) and Traitor (1973) for Hrikesh Mukherjee.


 Though the song Mora Gora Ang Le Le got a tremendous hit yet Gulzar did not receive the requisite attention. Gulzar wrote lyrics and dialogues for Hrishikesh Mukherjee?s film Aashirwad (1968). The dialogues of the film were highly acclaimed. Ashok Kumar received the Best Actor at the 17th Filmfare Awards 197. Ashok Kumar also won the National Film Awards for his role in Aashirwad.

Gulzar?s  lyrics finally got attention in 1969 for the film Khamoshi. The song “Ham Ne Dekhi Hai Un Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo” from Khamoshi became well-liked by people.  Gulzar penned songs for Guddi (1971) out of which Ham Ko Man Ki Shakti Dena”, a prayer, is still very popular and even sung in many educational institutes in India.

Gulzar and R.D. Burman association

Gulzar worked with almost every famous music directors of Bollywood. He started with Sachin Dev Burman in Bandini. Thereafter, he worked with musical duo, Shankar Jaikishan; legendary Hemant Kumar; renowned Laxmikant-Pyarelal; melodious Madan Mohan in Mausam (1975). He also worked with Annu Malik and Rajesh Roshan.

However, Gulzar?s close association with R.D. Burman initiated in early 70s and they did several projects in the decade. Most of their work was critically acclaimed. Both  R.D. Burman and Gulzar worked with Madan Mohan before joining hands together.

The duo started with Parichay and the Song ?Beeti Na Betai Raina? brought National Award for the singer Lata Mangeshkar. Years later, they produced another song for Ijaazat (1987) ?Mera Kuchh Samaan? that fetched National Awards for Best Female Singer for Asha Bhosle. Gulzar also won Filmfare Award and National Award for best Lyrics for this song.

R.D. Burman and Gulzar worked together in many films and composed memorable songs.

Best of R.D. Burman and Gulzar

1. Beeti Na Bitai Raina from Parichay (1972) | Singer ? Lata Mangeshkar Bhupinder

2. Musafir Hoon Yaaron from Parichay (1972) | Singer ? Kishore Kumar

3. O Majhi Re Apna Kinara from khusboo (1975) | Singer ? Kishore Kumar

4. Tere Bina Zindgi Se Koi from Aandhi (1975) | Singer ? Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

5. Tum Aa Gaye Ho from Aandhi (1975) | Singer ? Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

6. Naam Gum Jayega from Kinara (1977) | Singer ? Lata Mangeshkar

7. Tere Bina Jiye Jaaye Na from Ghar (1978) | Singer ? Lata Mangeshkar

8. Aanewaa Pal from Gol Maal (1979) | Singer ? Kishore Kumar

9. Tujhse Naraz Nahin Zindgi from Masoom (1983) | Singer – Lata Mangeshkar and Anup Ghoshal

10. Roz Roz Aankhon Tale from Jeeva (1986) | Singer ? Amit Kumar and Asha Bhosle

11. Sili Hawa Chho Gayee from Libaas (1988) | Singer ? Lata Mangeshkar

12. Katra Katra from Izzajat (1988) | Singer ? Asha Bhosle

Some remarkable work

Gulzar, as stated earlier, worked with almost every Bollywood music director. He joined Salil Chowdhury for the films like Mere Apne and Anand (1971) and Mere Apne (1971). Song of Anand created sensation during 70s. Gulzar?s association with Vishal Bhardwaj in films like Maachis (1996), Omkara (2006) and Kaminey (2009) brought a new side of Gulzar. He wrote songs keeping in mind the Indian youth. Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale from Machis, Dhan Te Naan from Kaminey and Beedi Jailai Le from Omkara made Gulzar a favourite choice for the youngster too.

Gulzar also worked with musical maestro A. R. Rahman in films like Dil Se. (1998), Guru (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Raavan (2010). He worked in Bunty Aur Babli (2005) with musical Trio Shankar?Ehsaan?Loy.

Personal life

Gulzar married to Raakhee a famous Indian actress who made her bollywood debut in 1970 with the film Jeevan Mrityu with Dharmendra. However, Raakhee earlier married to a Bengali journalist-cum-film director Ajay Biswas in 1963 when Gulzar made his debut as a lyricist with Bandini. 

However, marriage of Raakhee could not stay long and she made her separated with her husband in the year 1965 only after two years of her marriage. Gulzar used to admire Raakhee as an actor and soon his admiration turned into love. Raakhee also reciprocated in positive and they become life partners in the year 1973.

 They were blessed with a daughter named Meghna Gulzar.  Meghna completed filmmaking course in New York University. After returning India, she made her bollywood debut as screenplay writer with the movie Hu Tu Tu (1999) directed by his father Gulzar.

directorial debut with the film Filhaal. Thereafter, she directed films like  Just Married, Dus Kahaniyaan, Talvar, Raazi, and Chhapaak (2020) for which lyrics were penned by her father Gulzar.


Gulzar also tried his hands in film direction. He made his bollywood directorial debut with Mere Apne (1971) which are a remake of Bengali Film Apanjan (1969). Thereafter, he directed Parichay (1972) based on  another Bengali movie Rangeen Uttarain. He made another good movie Koshish (1972). Thereafter, he directed a number of films like Namkeen (1982), Angoor (1982), Izaajat (1987), Libaas (1988), Lekin (1990),  Machis (1996) and Hu Tu Tu (1999).

He composed the account of Koshish dependent on the battle looked by a hard of hearing imbecilic couple wherein Sanjeev Kumar won National Film Award for Best Actor. Thereafter, he helmed Achanak (1973), roused by the 1958-homicide case KM Nanavati v State of Maharashtra, and the story essayist Khwaja Ahmad Abbas earned a Filmfare selection for Best Story.

Directorial expansion

Later he rudderd Aandhi, in light of the Hindi story “Kaali Aandhi” by Kamleshwar. Alongside different successes and selections, the film additionally won Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie. Despite the fact that the film was based on the life of previous Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the film depended on life of Tarkeshwari Sinha. In the 1975’s crisis, the film was restricted from theatres.

His next film Khushboo depended on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Pandit Mashay. Gulzaar directed  Mausam in 1975 that won the National Award for second Best Feature Film and also won Filmfare Best Film & Filmfare Best Director Awards in addition to other six Filmfare nominations.

Two Double Roles

His 1982 film Angoor depended on Shakespeare’s play The Comedy of Errors. Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma played double role in the hilarious movie.

Gulzar further directed Mausam (1975) envisioned an account of a dad who attempts to improve the life of his whore girl. In 1996, Gulzar directed Maachis, story of a youthful Punjabi kid who takes part in psychological oppression to battle an awful circumstance just to understand its impermanent nature.

Awards and Nominations  

As on 2020, Gulzar has more than 35 National and International Awards. These awards include five National Film Awards, twenty-one Filmfare Awards, one Academy Award for Best Original Song (2008). Moreover, he also won Grammy Award in 2010.

 Gulzar received Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu in the year 2020. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in  2004 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2013.


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