Gulzar,the poet-filmmaker in an interview with Gurmukh Singh
of Times of India.
Chatting with a Pakistani poet at Delhi's India International Centre, Gulzar expresses himself as only he can - through poetry:
Haath chhute bhee toh rishte naahi chhoda karte,
Vaqt ki shaakh se lamhe naahi toda karte.
(Even the hand
you held has slipped away, you don't break the bonds, you don't sever a moment from the branch of Time).
After a pause,
the poet, film director and screen-play writer continues to his Pakistani friend: Phir yeh toh woh dukh hain joh bhulaye naahi
ja sakte. (The pain of partition is too deep-seated to be forgotten). One of his many poetic reactions to the partition trauma.
``A part of me was left behind in Pakistan. My trauma is associated with that place. My trauma is the trauma of that place.
I am searching for that lost half. Woh watan thaa, yeh desh hai.
And to re-establish that link with his past, Gulzar
has decided that his next collection of poems titled Chand Pukhraj, Rat Pashmine will be published by Baba Ahmed Nadeem Qasim
in Pakistan. ``The Baba is already giving the finishing touches to the collection.''
In fact, poetry will be the focus
of his artistic efforts now. ``You know, after Maachis and Hu Tu Tu, I have thought that I will not take up film direction
for some time. Maybe later I will do some comedies on serious issues like corruption and political degeneration. Right now,
I want to be where I started - writing poetry. Poetry has always been my ruling passion even in the midst of writing lyrics,
short stories and dialogue and directing films.''
It is about poetry more than films he loves to talk. ``Poetry is like
a relay race for me. You pick up some old poems, add some new.'' It is the most satisfying form of expression. ``It is not
something which happened to you. It is something to which you reacted as it happened to others. You internalise their experiences.
If your antennas are up and you can give a wing (expression) to these observations, it becomes very elevating. Poetry is true
history because there can be no manipulation in art. Poetry has a form, yet it is abstract. It is silent, yet it speaks loudly.''
Gulzar the poet has embarked on another odyssey - journey into the dark recesses of the cosmos. ``I have no fear of the unknown.
Bus aise hee cosmos main awaragardi pai nikkal jata hoon (Just like that, I go out on a stroll in the cosmos). America's NASA
(National Aeronautical and Space Agency) gives me a lot of information on the cosmos. So I write poems on this imagery - looking
for life somewhere. Sochta hoon ke koyee avara faltu mere jaise planet mujhe bulaye aur kahe ke ayo ek saath baten karen aur
raat bitanyen (I wish some aimless planet like me beckons me and says let us talk and spend the night together)..
© text : times of india