L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

The neglected triumvirate in music

I read A Life in Music (Spectrum, March 15). Perhaps the least acknowledged of the composer-singer-lyricist triumvirate in the music industry is the lyricist. Sahir, Majrooh, Shakeel, Shailendra and Hasrat gave their best to Indian film music but were never accorded the acclaim they richly deserved. But lyricist-director Gulzar has scored a march over all of them with his soul-stirring Jai Ho... in Slumdog Millionaire.

I am reminded of an old controversy during the making of Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa (1957). Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics shone whenever he wrote about dejection. Often, S.D. Burman’s tunes would give them a brighter feel than what the lyricist intended.

Pyaasa was the movie in which Sahir brought out the leftist in him strongly, articulating the disillusionment of India’s poor with Nehruvian socialism in Jinhe naaz hai Hind per woh kahaan hain… besides castigating the crass materialism prevalent in society with Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai…

Sadly, Sahir’s partnership with S.D. Burman ended with Pyaasa. Sahir’s claim that his lyrics contributed more to the success of the film than Burman’s music and Rafi’s vocals made Burman banish him from his team. But in the case of Slumdog Millionaire both Gulzar and A.R. Rehman have been awarded Oscars separately.

However, one cannot but feel sorry for the singer — Sukhwinder Singh. He should also have been awarded, as it is the voice that makes a song come alive.


Time to wake up

I read Krishna Kumar’s write-up Fatal attraction” (Saturday Extra, March 7). Drug addiction in Punjab is increasing at an alarming rate. Apparently, there is a nexus between the drug mafia, some unscrupulous politicians and corrupt policemen.

Drugs have ruined many families. It is time the Punjab Government took strong measures to deal effectively with the menace and earned the goodwill of the parents whose children are becoming drug addicts.

Allama Iqbal said:

Nasha pila ke giraana to sab ko aata hai,

Maza to jab hai ke girton ko thaam lay saqi.


Love and lust

I read Khushwant Singh’s write-up (Saturday Extra, Feb 14) followed by comments of Lajpat Rai Garg (March 1) on “What is love”. I would like to add that lust and love are inseparable emotions.

The temporal and the spiritual go hand in hand. Mother symbolises both in the true sense. Maternity is both her privilege and pride. Often, she is a martyr at the altar. She stands for purity and eternity. The present embarrassing controversy is the bi-product of an unethical competition rather than an ethical cooperation between the two natural instincts.


Gulzar’s TV serial a flop

Harihar Swarup’s profile on Gulzar is rather fragile. It is a textbook article on an artist on whom there are always two opinions.

The article begins with a bang on Jai Ho and ends with a whimper on Gulzar’s TV serial on Mirza Ghalib. The TV serial in Urdu is known as Manzar Nama with the 70-year old Mirza Ghalib telling a youth of Gali Qasim Khan rather angrily, who is holding a live pigeon in his one hand: “Look Mian do not complain to me, make a complaint with yourself. Nations are made not by kings but by common people. And if you were not flying this pigeon today the country would have been different, nation would have been different. Go, young man, fly the pigeon”.

On a critical examination, the great poet cannot be accused of any nation-building ambitions. The TV serial was a flop even with Naseeruddin Shah in the lead role. Gulzar Sahib should have shown his script to some competent historian before releasing it.

Since the script was in Urdu, a word about Gulzar’s proficiency in the language. It is, according to him, nothing worth talking home about. The result is that his scripts are hollow, full of mistakes of diction and description. Every language has its own flavour, but Gulzar’s Urdu is bland.

K.K. KHULLAR, New Delhi



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |