Saampooran Singh Kalra, better known by the pen name of Gulzar, is a poet above all things. His style marks a sensitivity that is best reflected through his writing and treatment of films. He is one of those sensitive people whose work is laced with the lyrical but psychologically adept examination of human sensibilities.

Gulzar was born on August 18, 1936 in a small town of Deena (now in Pakistan). An eager participant in antakshari and keen learner of shairis, he was inclined towards literature and poetry right from his school days. Gulzar also used to listen to a lot of Hindustani music, especially stringed instruments, which would be practised in his neighbours' homes. He became even deeply engrossed in music when he started going to college, and would regularly attend concerts of artists like Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan.

Gulzar and his family were one of the many to have suffered the pangs of partition. The family moved to Amritsar in Indian Punjab but Gulzar, having dreams of being famous, came to Bombay to earn a living. In order to earn his daily bread, Gulzar started to work as a garage mechanic in Worli while writing poetry in his spare time. Gulzar, as any other dreamer who comes to Bombay for the first time, was bitten by the film bug. Making a modest beginning as an assistant to Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Hemant Kumar, he wrote his first song 'Mora Gora Ang Lai Le..' for Bimal Roy’s film Bandini. Bimal Roy, always one to encourage young talent gave him the opportunity to write songs. He became Bimalda's full-time assistant. He then began writing for films for directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Asit Sen. Some of the films that Gulzar has written include Anand (1970), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972) and Namak Haram (1973) for Hrishida and Do Dooni Char (1968), Khamoshi (1969) and Safar (1970) for Asit Sen.

Gulzar went on to make Parichay, 1972 and Koshish, 1972, a sensitive look at the travails of a deaf - dumb couple superbly played by Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri. With these films also began a mutually beneficial partnership with Sanjeev Kumar. The Gulzar - Sanjeev Kumar partnership resulted in such fine films as Aandhi, 1975, Mausam, 1975, Angoor, 1981 and Namkeen, 1982 and represent Sanjeev Kumar`s finest work as an actor. Aandhi ran into controversy due to Suchitra Sen`s role which was based on Indira Gandhi and was even banned for a while.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a decline in Gulzar the filmmaker even though films like Ijaazat, 1987, Lekin, 1990 and Maachis, 1996 had their moments. His last film to date Hu Tu Tu 1999 was a total misfire. However, Mirza Ghalib 1988 a TV serial made on the great poet`s life and starring Naseeruddin Shah as Ghalib was a landmark in the history of Indian Television. He has also contributed to the popular TV serials Jungle Book and Potli Baba Ki, with songs, narration and some typical Gulzar magic.

He has continued to write screenplays, dialogues and lyrics for other films among them Masoom, 1982 and Rudaali 1992. He has also been the lyricist of films like Thodi si Bewafaai, 1980, Basera, 1981, Sadma, 1983, Ghulami, 1985, Maya Memsaab, 1992, Dil Se, 1998 and Satya, 1998.

Gulzar has been honoured time and again for his work. This includes winning the National Award thrice - Best Screenplay for Koshish, Best Director for Mausam and Best Lyricist for Ijaazat. He has also won the Filmfare Award 14 times - including 7 times for Best Lyricist and The Best Director Award for Mausam.

Gulzar makes a comeback to the film industry with Rakesh Mehta`s Aks, where he has penned superior lyrics to recreate the dark and sinister mood of the film. Gulzar will always continue to remain the poet laureate of Hindi cinema.

Gulzar’s famous television serial Mirza Ghalib displayed his finesse as a writer and director through a superb depiction of the life of the legendary poet. He had even waived his own fees to try and maintain the budget for this serial. The period 1971 to 1986 found him relatively prolific, and it was only toward the close of the 1980s that he stepped back a little and kept largely out of the limelight. In 1996, the hit Maachis brought him right back in our midst, and he has followed this success up with his latest venture Hu Tu Tu, which is garnering its share of critical acclaim. Gulzar has also involved himself in many projects that cater to a younger audience - his latest in this realm is the new album Kardi Katha, released by Skymusic. The tracks are narrated by him. On the small screen, he has contributed to the popular TV serials Jungle Book and Potli Baba Ki, with songs, narration and some typical Gulzar magic.

Best of Gulzar

Song & Movie

Saathiya Saathiya -- Saathiya

Humdum -- Saathiya

Dil Hoom Hoom Kare -- Rudaali

Pani Pani Re -- Maachis

Oh Re Kanchi -- Asoka

Jiya jale -- Dil Se

Aaja maahi -- Fiza

Sili Hawa Chhoo Gayi -- Libaas

Ek Hasin Nigah Ka -- Maya Memsaab


* Filmfare - 1976 for Best Director - Mausam

* Filmfare - 1977 for Best Lyricist - 'Do diwane shahar mein' - Gharonda

* Filmfare - 1979 for Best Lyricist - 'Aanewala pal jaane wala hai' - Golmaal

* Filmfare - 1980 for Best Lyricist - 'Hazar rahen mud ke dekhi' - Thodi si bewafai

* Filmfare - 1983 for Best Lyricist - 'Tujhse naraaz nahin zindagi' - Masoom

* Filmfare - 1988 for Best Lyricist - 'Mera kuchh saamaan' - Ijaazat

* Filmfare - 1991 for Best Lyricist - 'Yaara sili sili virah ki raat' - Lekin

* Filmfare - 1998 for Best Lyricist - 'Chal Chhaiyya Chhaiyya Chhaiyya' - Dil Se

* National Award for Best Lyricist - 'Mera Kuchh Saaman' - Ijaazat

* Filmfare - 1971 for Best Dialouges - Anand

* Filmfare - 1973 for Best Dialouges - Namak Haram

* Filmfare - 1996 for Best Dialouges - Maachis

* Filmfare - 1996 for Best Storywriter - Maachis

* Filmfare - 1975 for Best Feature Film - Aandhi (Critics)

* Filmfare - 1990 for Best Documentary - Amzad Ali Khan

Filmography as Producer, Director, Artiste, Lyricist, Story Writer, Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer

As Artiste

Griha Pravesh (1980)

Actor (1951)

Maya Machhindra (1951)

Lal Dupatta (1948)

Shahnawaz (1948)

Extra Girl (1947)

Yadgar (1947)

Amanat (1943)

Mera Khwab (1943)

Jawani (1942)

Nirdosh (1941)

Civil Marriage (1940)

Nirali Duniya (1940)

Prem Nagar (1940)

Sanskar (1940)

Imperial Mail (1939)

Uski Tamanna (1939)

Zambo Ka Beta (1939)

Three Hundred Days & After (1938)

Gramophone Singer (1938)

Kulvadhu (1937)

Mahageet (1937)

Atma Tarang (1937)

Jeewan Jyoti (1937)

Deccan Queen (1936)

Saed E Havas (1936)

Sagar Ki Kanya (1936)

Raj Tarang (1935)

Nirdoshi Abla (1935)

Mard-E-Maidan (1935)

Maut Ka Toofan (1935)

Shaher Ka Jadoo (1934)

Alladin And His Wonderful Lamp (1933)

Chandrahasa (1933)

Bhedi Khanjar (1932)

God Of War (1932)

Golden Dagger (1931)

Safdar Jung (1930)

Shepherd (1930)

Brave Hearts (1930)

As Dialogue Writer

Chachi 420 (1997)

Angoor (1982)

Meera (1979)

Chupke Chupke (1975)

Mausam (1975)

Anand (1970)

As Director

Hu Tu Tu (1999)

Maachis (1996)

Lekin (1991)

Ijaazat (1988)

Angoor (1982)

Namkeen (1982)

Chatran (1980)

Sahira (1980)

Meera (1979)

Kinara (1977)

Kitaab (1977)

Aandhi (1975)

Khushboo (1975)

Mausam (1975)

Achanak (1973)

Koshish (1972)

Parichay (1972)

Mere Apne (1971)

As Lyricist

No Smoking (2007)

Bombay High (2007)

Yuvraaj (2007)

Dumkata (2007)

Blue Umbrella (2007)

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)

Just Married (2007)

Guru (2007)

Hum Panchi Ek Daal Ke (2006)

Jaan-E-Mann (2006)

Omkara (2006)

Yahaan (2005)

Paheli (2005)

Bunty Aur Babli (2005)

Maqbool (2004)

Pinjar (2003)

Chupke Se (2003)

Makdee (2002)

Lal Salaam (2002)

Saathiya (2002)

Leela (2002)

Filhaal (2002)

Asoka (2001)

Aks (2001)

Fiza (2000)

Khoobsurat (1999)

Hu Tu Tu (1999)

Jahan Tum Le Chalo (1999)

Dil Se (1998)

Satya (1998)

Dayra (1997)

Aastha (1997)

Chachi 420 (1997)

Gol Maal (1979)

Mausam (1975)

Anand (1970)

Bandini (1963)

As Producer

Kinara (1977)

Kitaab (1977)

As Screenplay Writer

Hu Tu Tu (1999)

Angoor (1982)

Meera (1979)

Chupke Chupke (1975)

Mausam (1975)

Anand (1970)

As Story Writer

Dus Kahaniyaan (2007)

Hu Tu Tu (1999)

Angoor (1982)

Mausam (1975)