Gulzar continues fun streak with 'Guru'

Nov 13, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 14 (IANS) Ever since he connected with younger listeners with "Kajra re", Gulzar has been really letting his hair down.

"For me, it's time to freak out," Gulzar laughed. The youthful progression continues with the song "Ek lo ek muft" in Mani Ratnam's "Guru".

It is a fun song composed by A.R. Rahman, sung by Bappi Lahiri and filmed on a bhang-soaked Abhishek Bachchan dancing with twins in his hands.

The situation? Aishwarya Rai, who plays Abhishek's wife in the film, has given birth to twins.

"Hence the lines Ek lo ek muft. You know the catch-phrase in every supermarket - 'Buy one get one free'," chuckled Gulzar.

The poet is proud of his rapport with Ratnam.

"We worked really well together in 'Dil Se'. 'Chaiyya chaiyya', though poetically worded, connected with the young. Then in 'Yuva' Ratnam worked with another lyricist. Now we're together again in 'Guru' and Ratnam's next 'Lajjo', which will be a welcome challenge. It will take me back to Punjab and the pre-partition era - two of my favourite themes for writing," Gulzar told IANS.

Gulzar seems to have discovered the tongue-in-cheek side to himself and he's enjoying every bit of it.

"A lot of people are shocked by my 'Beedi' song in 'Omkara'. They can't believe I can write something so aggressive. But what's there to be shocked about? It's the situation that demands a song, and not the other way around.

"For too long, we've had characters singing poetry that doesn't suit them. It's time for lyrics to reflect the way the characters speak in the rest of the film," said Gulzar, explaining the profusion of English words in the lyrics of "Jaan-e-Mann".

"But that's the way young people speak! So why should we be shy of expressing what the characters express? As a lyricist it's my job to sublimate my poetry into the requirement of the characters and the plot. Hence the urban conversational lyrics in 'Jaan-e-Mann'."

Though he has faced flak for his "Beedi" song, Gulzar got a pleasant surprise when Hindi litterateur Kamleshwar called up to say he watched "Omkara" with his grandchild.

Reaching across three generations is indeed no mean achievement.

"'Kajra re' and 'Beedi' are known as item songs. But I've kept them completely free of suggestive words. I'm happy about that," said Gulzar.

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