Legendary lyricist-poet Gulzar, who has revealed a new side of him with his charcoal sketches published for the first time, says he doesn’t consider himself as an artist.
“These sketches are like scribblings that we do while writing. I am not conscious about it. I like the feel of charcoal. It is just my hobby. I am not an artist. I am not a painter,” Gulzar told PTI in an interview.
Published by Harper Collins, “Pluto” is a collection of short poems. Charcoal sketches by the 80-year-old Academy Award-winning lyricist has been published for the first time in the book.
Away from the eyes of the world, Gulzar says he has been making such sketches for a long time. Hundreds of them are tucked into his cupboard.
“I tear off many and keep some of them. I didn’t have the courage to publish it, but this time I did because the editor of my book liked them,” Gulzar said.
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“I don’t know since when I am making sketches. I have lots of them. I may publish more,” he added.
The first such sketch in the book shows the rotation of a planet beautifully within the letter “P” which stands for the title of the book.
When told Rabindranath Tagore too used to scribble while writing poems and had turned it into an art in its own right, he humbly said, “Do not compare me with that genius.”
Gulzar’s interest in the solar system is evident in the title of his new book. His interest in Pluto, which was once considered a planet, was evoked after it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
The poet’s favourite website is that of NASA. “What is happening in the cosmos fascinates me and so I go to the NASA site to see what is happening on Mars,” he said.
However, he is not into sky gazing. “I don’t understand that but my grandson does it. He has learnt it from his father,” he said.
Born in 1934, Gulzar has penned thousands of poems all these decades.
Does he revisit some of the unpublished ones to give them a new life? “While seeing them (poems) casually some of them are rejected, others get dry with time. In some cases I find that something which I wanted to say I have not been able to express and that is why the poem is lying. Today with my age, I know that if I cut maybe two lines it would be ready to be put in the book,” he said.
Besides an endless number of Bollywood songs, he has also written books like “Dhuan”, “Half a Rupee Stories”, “Kharaashein”, “Autumn Moon” and “Kuchh Aur Nazmein”.