Before I start with this post, I would like to tell you that I am not a poetry person and the reason behind this is that I have very poor vocabulary. Also, trust me, that this post is straight coming from my heart. Here it goes,
A couple of days back while I was on my way to work, I saw my twitter friend tweeting about Penguin India’s Spring Fever 2013 which is a mini literary fest in itself with some amazing lineup of great authors and words-man.
Today, it was Gulzar Sahab’s session at the fest and I was looking forward to it since the time I registered myself for this session. People of all age groups have grown up listening to his songs, reading his poetry and watching his films. The list of his works is endless and at times you can’t even recollect that the piece of work that you are reading, watching or listening to is penned down by Gulzar Sahab himself.
Also, I would like to tell here that some people on Twitter are extremely fond of Gulzar Sahab and the #Shair community there keeps tweeting lines penned down by him. I try and understand most of the tweets dedicated to the hashtag #Shair & #Gulzar but as I have confessed in the beginning of this post that my vocabulary is extremely bad and most of the the times I just don’t get the idea behind the lines and meanings of words that people tweet.
The session was supposed to start at India Habitat Centre at 7:00 P.M and it started bang on time. Gulzar Sahab was in conversation with Sunjoy Shekhar, who has translated most of his works in English. The name of the session was “Mera Kuch Samaan…..”, a song which is very close to my heart.
The session started with Udayan Mitra introducing the legend himself and Sunjoy Ghosh and then Gulzar Sahab took over the stage. He spoke about his works and his latest collection of short stories under the title “Half A Rupee”. The baritone, the enthusiasm, the wit and the candidness of his voice touched my heart instantly. My heart and my mind was trying to soak in every word that he was saying.
Sunjoy Shekhar didn’t say much and then came in the first treat of the evening. Both Sunjoy and Gulzar Sahab read two-two short stories each from the book. While I didn’t quite enjoy Sunjoy’s reading, I was awestruck with the way Gulzar Sahab read the original stories in Urdu. Each and every word that he was saying carried the emotion that was required to narrate those stories. Perfect is definitely an understatement and trust me I am not exaggerating here.
Then came in the real treat for the evening, Udayan Mitra requested Gulzar sahab to read a couple of lines from the notebook that he carries with him and he agreed to do it in no time. Those were a part of his unpublished work which will be published later this year under the name “Pluto Poems”.
While he was reading those lines, I focussed on each and every word carefully that he said and that’s when those words struck my heart. I was shaken beyond belief and choked when he read the lines which said, humans have turned into stones, which I completely agree with. That’s when I understood the power of poetry and that’s when I understood why people love Gulzar Sahab so much. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I can’t even put them down in words here.
Post this, a Q&A round happened where Gulzar Sahab was at his candid and wittiest best. There was a guy who asked his question in hardcore Punjabi and Gulzar Sahab answered him in Punjabi only leaving everyone in splits. A few more questions, a few more anecdotes and some more poetry and that’s when the evening ended but the icing on the cake was still left and I will let this picture speak about it,
Yes, the man who has penned down so many memorable and epic lines himself wrote my name. What more could a mere mortal like me have asked for. This book is among one of the diamonds that I have in my little collection of books it will always be close to my heart because this evening has opened a whole new world for me, the world of poetry.
I am sure that I would be paying much more attention to the hidden meaning behind words that I read or listen to from today onwards. Thank you Gulzar Sahab for this positive transformation in me. Thank you so very much!