Celebrating the living Legend: Gear up for ‘Guftagu with Gulzar Saab’

From a car mechanic to a Poet, Lyricist, Film Director, Novelist and still going strong, at 83 Gulzar Saab is an institution in itself. Considered as ‘The God of words’ by many, the legendary personality of this century is coming to Australia and New Zealand where he will present glimpses of his life in ‘Guftagu’ also called Conversation with ‘Gulzar Saab’. Indus Age spoke to Arun Nanda, of Heart and Soul Productions, where he elaborated on this most sought after shows of 2018- in an exclusive interview with Nidhi Kumari of Indus Age.

‘Guftagu with Gulzar Saab’ in Sydney, sounds a unique and interesting event to look forward to in 2018. Tell us more about the event.

“Guftagu (conversation) with Gulzar Saab” is definitely going to be a very interesting and unique event in Australia and New Zealand, this year. It’s not just a talk show. There’s much more… It’s actually a celebration of over 55 years of illustrious career of Gulzar Saab in poetry, lyrics, films… Gulzar Saab is an institution in himself. Not many writers command so much respect and reverence, to the extent that Gulzar Saab does. A vital literary pillar of India, for several generations, he is unarguably the most loved and admired writer/ poet of India. Therefore, we decided to add a glimpse of little bit of everything that he has been involved with. So, this event includes a few other segments also, in addition to the main Guftagu talk show.

As we all have grown up listening to songs written by him since 1963’s “mora gora angg layi le…” to the very recent ones like “chup chup ke chup chup ke chori se gori…”, and his lyrics have a wide range of emotional expressions in them, our first segment is related to his lyrics. Heart and Soul Productions, in association with the prestigious Natraj Academy, Sydney, launched a unique music talent hunt, MUSICFARE Awards, for which the auditions were held at  Studios on 16th December 2017 and 6th January 2018.

Currently, public voting is on at https://poll.fbapp.io/musicfare. The finalists from this talent hunt will showcase their talent, dedicated to Gulzar Saab’s unparalleled contribution to the Indian film lyrics, singing Gulzar Saab’s songs during their performances in the MUSICFARE Awards Grand Finale, which will be held on 20th January 2018, at The Zenith Theatre, Chatswood NSW and Sydney will witness an unprecedented musical evening. The Winner of this Grand Finale will be announced and presented with the coveted MUSICFARE Awards 2017 trophy, by none other than Gulzar Saab himself, during the final talk show on 27th January.

His contribution to the Indian cinema and literature is so huge, that it is very difficult to squeeze everything and present all together. But we wanted to celebrate a little bit of everything that he has contributed to. So, in the sweet anticipation of arrival of the legendary wordsmith here, to take us on a pilgrimage to the beautiful world of words, there will be a One-Day Festival, “Pritam Aan Milo” on 20th January 2018. This festival will have three parts. The first part, “Ek Sau Solah Chaand Ki raatein” will showcase some of his finest works, adorned by his own reflections and anecdotes, giving a glimpse of the illustrious career of this most admired and acclaimed writer of all times, depicting a cross section of the wide spectrum of literature, cinema, theatre and other arts, that he has contributed to. Not to forget, Gulzar Saab has also given us some classic Hindi Films, so, the second part of this festival will be a Movie Show. One of his timeless classics will be shown. And the third part will be the MUSICFARE Awards Grand Finale, which I just described earlier. Of course, food and drinks will be available for purchase at a very reasonable cost.

The final segment is the main Gufatgu, the talk show, in conversation with him on stage live. Guftagu with Gulzar Saab – Live in Sydney! on 27th January 2018, at Sir John Clancy Auditorium in Kensington NSW. This journey will begin at 5:30 pm, with the audience gathering and mingling with each other, where food and drinks will be available for purchase at a reasonable cost. After meeting and greeting over sips’n’nibbles, the audience will be guided to settle down in their seats. The show will commence with a welcome address and the Curtain-Raiser will be a Special Musical Tribute to Gulzar Saab and Jagjit Singh by Avijit Sarkar and Srijani Dan.

Then the most awaited Guftagu (conversation) will begin with Gulzar Saab on stage for ~ 2 hours, during which he will talk about his life’s journey, from a car mechanic to a Poet/ Lyricist/ Film Director/ Novelist… and not retired yet .

He will recite some of his rare and newly specially composed Poems/ Nazms, which will be a unique mesmerizing experience of a holy dip in the sea of poetry, romance, literature and more, for the audience.

This Guftagu (conversation) will be curated by Salim Arif. At the end of the Guftagu, there will be an Interactive Question/ Answer session, during which Gulzar Saab will answer the audiences’ questions. Undoubtedly, Gulzar Saab is a voracious writer, and has contributed beyond our words can express, to the treasure of Poetry/ Nazms/ Literature, for the generations to come.

We hope that these exceptional musical, cinematic and poetic segments of Celebrating Gulzar Saab will leave the audience yearning for more… and will definitely take back with them, a treasure of rare and memorable experience to cherish forever. 

How did the idea of having a ‘Guftagu’ with the one and only legendary persona of this century, ‘Gulzar Saab’come?

This idea came during my discussions with Rushi Dave, my friend, my partner in Heart and Soul. We were discussing about our plans for 2018, and our Mission at Heart and Soul is “to provide a platform to showcase the upcoming new talent as well as celebrate the world famous artists’, in various fields of performing arts, like, but not limited to, music, dance, theatre, poetry, stand-up comedy, etc.” And this name came to our mind, as Gulzar Saab is one legendary versatile personality, who has excelled and earned so much fame in music to poetry to films to novels now… and fortunately, when we contacted him, he agreed, although, he does not give many public appearances like this. In fact, we were so glad that he was as excited as us, as it’s going to be his first ever show to Australia and New Zealand, for him also.

This Guftagu will be curated by designer and director SalimArif. Tell us about that?

Yes, this Guftagu will be curated by Salim Arif, who is a very well known name in the field of Indian Theatre and Films, an illustrious alumnus of National School of Drama, New Delhi. He is a close friend of Gulzar Saab, and has worked with him, in theatre and films. “Maachis” is one of their most popular works together. Before our event announcement, in July 2017, when I met Gulzar Saab in Mumbai, I met Salim Arif also at Gulzar Saab’s place. And it was a spontaneous decision to have this Guftagu curated by none other than Salim Arif.

How is the preparation for the event going on? And what all is in store for the audience?

Preparations are on, in full swing. Team Heart and Soul and our partners in Melbourne and Auckland are working very hard and putting in every effort to celebrate the eminent personality that Gulzar Saab is, in such a way that it creates an extra-ordinary experience not only for the audience, but the memories of which can also be cherished by Gulzar Saab himself forever.

The news of this event has already created quite a buzz. How far do you agree?

We believe so… We are getting very good feedback through calls and messages that people are very eagerly waiting for Gulzar Saab here. In fact, many consider him almost like a God in the field of poetry and literature.

Any words of Gulzar Saab that is close to your heart?

“Ho Sake To Isme Zindagi Bita Do, Pal Jo Yeh Jaane Wala Hai….”

Anything else that you want to say:

Well! This is definitely a “once in a lifetime” kind of opportunity for the fans of poetry, literature, music, and of course, the fans of Gulzar Saab, to get face-to-face with the legendary wordsmith of the century. So, we, at Heart and Soul, would like to encourage everyone here to get their seats booked, in time, and not miss this rare chance. We hope to see you all there!

Summary of the event:

What: Guftagu with Gulzar Saab – Live in Sydney!

Where: Sir John Clancy Auditorium in Kensington, NSW

When: 27th January, 2018, 5:30 pm onwards

Book your tickets now!

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