FOR his “outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema”, veteran film lyricist, director, screen writer, producer and poet Gulzar was on Saturday conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2013. He is the 45th Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner.
The award consists of a Golden Lotus, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl. The award is given on recommendations of a committee of eminent persons set up by the government for this purpose.
This year, a seven-member jury of eminent artistes, after due deliberations, unanimously recommended Gulzar for the prestigious award.
Born in 1934 in Punjab in pre-independence India, Gulzar started his career in 1956. As a lyricist, he got his first break in Bimal Roy’s Bandini.
He has worked with leading music directors including Sachin Dev Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Shankar Jaikishan, Hemant Kumar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Madan Mohan, Rajesh Roshan, Anu Malik, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. He has had outstanding partnerships with R D Burman, A R Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj. Along with lyrics, he has also contributed to several films as script, story and dialogue writer.
Films directed by Gulzar have won numerous awards and critical acclaim.
Among them are Mere Apne, Koshish, Áandhi, Kinara, Khushboo, Ángoor, Libaas , Meera, Lekin and Maachis. He has worked on the small screen as well; having created outstanding series like Mirza Ghalib and Tahreer Munshi Premchand ki. He wrote lyrics for several Doordarshan serials including Hello Zindagi, Potli Baba ki and Jungle Book.
Gulzar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002, and Padma Bhushan in 2004 . He has won a number of National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards. At the 81st Oscars in 2009, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Jai Ho (with A R Rahman), for Slumdog Millionaire. In 2010, the same song won him a Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media’.
Gulzar’s poetry has been published in three compilations: Chand Pukhraaj Ka, Raat Pashminey Ki and Pandrah Paanch Pachattar (15-05-75). His short stories are published in Raavi Paar (also known as Dustkhat in Pakistan) and Dhuan (smoke). He is also credited with having created a new type of stanza in Urdu poetry named Triveni (stanza of 3 lines ). Gulzar’s contribution to mainstream cinema is well recognized, assuring him a place in the annals of Indian cinema.