A new set of books tells us about the poet-director’s inimitable ability to adapt novels
The books cover three of his films: ‘Aandhi’, ‘Angoor’ and ‘Ijaazat’
It’s never a bad time to write about Gulzar. He is eternally contemporary, without ever following or solidifying a trend. Some of that currency comes from the fact that, at 84, he is the only versatile man in Bollywood—poet, lyricist, screenwriter, author, director, known to engage with the politics of our time. In 2015, Gulzar criticized religious intolerance in India and expressed support for writers who had returned their government awards in protest, which led to considerable public ire against him. He has a signature style, a man whose speech, diction, gait and crisp white kurtas are iconic of an era of Hindustani that flourished in a newly independent India—progressive, but steeped in a multicultural Indianness. Lesser known for his alacrity on the tennis court, he is an artist who bridged, for more than 60 years, the gap between Urdu and regional literature on the one hand, and popular cinema on the other.