Gulzar 84th Birthday: Lesser Known Facts About the Lyricist, Filmmaker and Composer
Lyricist, Composer and Filmmaker Gulzar Celebrates his 84th Birthday Today | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Mumbai, August 17: All lyricists are not poets. Though both the crafts involve the same tools: words. But if one were to name an artists who has written songs that can give any poet a run for his/her money, it would be the Indian songwriter, poet, director and composer Gulzar, or Gulzar saab as he is known.

The National award winner and Oscar-winning lyricist have written lyrics for more than four decades now and such is his style and versatility that his songs, no matter who is singing them, can move even the hardest person to tears and bring a smile to the face of even the saddest person alive. Meghna Gulzar to Direct Series Based on Cases and Life of Top Cop Rakesh Maria. 

Here are a few lesser known facts about Gulzar that will amaze you just like his songs.

1. Gulzar's real name is Sampooran Singh  Kalra.

2. He worked as a touch-up guy, or as a mechanic in a garage before he got his first break to write a song.

3. According to a biography, Gulzar initially used the pen name Gulzar Deenvi to hide from his father and brother that he was writing.

4. The famous prayer song "Humko Mann ki Shakti Dena" was penned by Gulzar for the film Guddi. 

5. Gulzar has translated the poems of legendary Bengali writer and cultural icon Rabindranath Tagore.

6. Gulzar is an avid reader of NASA website and has also written a poetry collection titled 'Pluto'.

7. Gulzar directed the famous TV serial based on the life of one of the greatest poets of all time, Mirza Ghalib. The serial starred actor Naseeruddin Shah in the lead role and is remembered till date for bringing Ghalib to the homes of the people. Watch Naseeruddin Shah himself talking about the famous serial:

8. Gulzar directed a famous TV series named Kirdaar, based on short stories of different writers. One such episode featured the legendary Om Puri and a relatively unknown actor then called Irrfan Khan, who is today one of the best known actors working in India as well as Hollywood. Watch the episode below:

9. His famous song from the 1998 film Dil Se, Chal Chhaiya Chhaiya was inspired by the Sufi mystic poet Bulleh Shah's poem Thaiyaa Thaiyaa.

10. Gulzar wrote the famous title song- ‘chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai’ of the Jungle Book serial which used to be broadcast on DD Doordarshan, known famously as Mowgli. Watch the video below:

There are many more facets to Gulzar's life. He is a complete artist, someone who can not just create magic with his words but also with moving images: Cinema. His greatest quality is that he can not only write songs, but bring emotions alive on a piece of paper. Happy birthday to the man who makes the pen proud every time he holds it to write yet another gem.