Lyricists have been one of the most important people in the Hindi Film Industry from Day 1. Be it RD Burman’s Masoom or Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiya, their songs would not have enjoyed cult status had it not been for Gulzar saab’s pen, out of which words flowed like water from a fountain.
The insight and creativity of such lyricists and poets is worth applauding. Irshad Kamil’s ‘Aj Din Chadheya’ from Love Aj Kal, which incorporated beautiful lines like ‘Manga jo mera hai, jata kya tera hai, maine kaunsi tujhse jannat mang li, Kaisa khuda hai tu, kis kam ka hai tu, rabba jo teri itni si bhi na chali’ expressed the helplessness of the lover in taking his love story forward and at the same time his ecstasy of being in love.
There is hardly any topic that can be thought of, which doesn’t have a song to its name. Shantanu Moitra’s Aal Izz Well from 3 Idiots, stressed on the sheer unpredictability of the future with lines like ‘Bakra kya jane uski jaan ka kya hoga, seekh ghusegi ya saala keema hoga’ while Javed Akhtar’s Kal Ho Na Ho explored a similar philosophy of living in the moment in contrast to worrying for the next day.
Gulzar’s Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se, with lines like Main uske roop ka shedai wo dhoop chhao sa harjai, wo shokh hai rang badalta hai, main rang roop ka saudai, remains one of the most popular songs of the Hindi film industry.
Sometimes, ordinary love songs are made extraordinary just because of the beauty of the words. Songs like Hum Tum’s title track or even Falak Tak from Tashan can be counted as examples.
Now, many people have their choice of writers but Gulzar saab remains my personal favorite. The guy can write Lakdi Ki Kathi, he can give you Is Mod Se Jate Hai Kuch Sust Kadam Raste, Naam Gum Jayega and also has songs like Dhan Te Nan to his name. The sheer variety is breathtaking for an amateur songwriter like me. Hats Off.