An ode to Gulzar: Songs for every occasion

Like most of the products of late eighties and early nineties, my first encounter with Gulzar dates back to early nineties when I used to watch Jungle book on doordarshan as a kid. The theme song of jungle book was penned by Gulzar and the music was given by Vishal Bharadwaj. This partnership recently gave us a number of soulful songs in the era of Himesh Reshamiya bullshit. Gulzar has done his best work in collaboration with RD Burman, Vishal Bharadwaj and AR Rahman.

An ode to Gulzar:  Wishing him a very Happy Birthday!

Timtimate taro se lukachhupi karta Chand muskura raha tha raat mein 
Patte jo sookh gaye the, naach rahe the barsaat mein
Kalam ruk hi nahi rahi thi, jab pata chala aaj unka janmdin hai..
Nikal hi aayi zubaan par, chhupa rakhi thi jo keemti nazmein, Dil-e-Gulzar mein…

Gulzar Songs for every occasion. 

1. Childhood Nostalgia

Jungle Jungle pata chala hai

Lakdi ki Kaathi from Masoom

2. Anthem for the first love: “Pehli Baar Mohobbat Ki Hai”

Khawab ke bhoj se, kapkapati hui,
Halki palkein teri yaad aata hai sab,
Tujhe gudgudana… satana yuhi sote hue,
Gaal pe teepna… meechna bewajah besabab.

Yaad hai peepal ke jiske ghane saaye the,
Hum ne gilehri jhoothe matter khaaye the,
Yeh barqat unn hazrat ki hai.

Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai…

3. Anthem for the Broken Hearts: “Mera Kuchh Samaan” from Ijazat. 

मेरा कुछ सामान, तुम्हारे पास पड़ा है
सावन के कुछ भीगे-भीगे दिन रखे हैं
और मेरे एक ख़त में लिपटी रात पड़ी है
वो रात बुझा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो
[[Some of my things are still lying with you –
Some drenched monsoon days,
And a night wrapped in my one of my letters
Extinguish that night, and send these things back to me]]
पतझड़ है कुछ, है ना?
पतझड़ में कुछ पत्तों के गिरने की आहट
कानों में एक बार पहन के लौटाई थी
पतझड़ की वोह शाख अभी तक काँप रही है
वो शाख गिरा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो
[[Remember, it was autumn….
In autumn, I gave you the sound of falling leaves,
After trying it on as earrings.
That branch from autumn is still trembling in winds
Make that branch fall, and send these things back to me]]
एक अकेली छतरी में जब आधे-आधे भीग रहे थे
आधे सूखे, आधे गीले, सूखा तो मैं ले आई थी
गीला मन शायद बिस्तर के पास पड़ा हो
वो भिजवा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो
[[Remember, once when we were both getting drenched, since we were sharing one umbrella…
Half the things were drenched. The things that were still dry, I brought with me
But I think I left behind my rain-soaked heart beside the bed
Send that, along with the other things I’ve left behind]]
एक सौ सोलह चाँद की रातें, एक तुम्हारे काँधे का तिल
गीली मेहँदी की खुशबू, झूठ-मूठ के शिकवे कुछ
झूठ-मूठ के वादे भी सब याद करा दूं
सब भिजवा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो
[[One hundred and sixteen nights of the moon, and that one mole on your shoulder
The scent of undried henna, and those moments of mock tantrums
Let me also remind you about all those false promises
Return everything that’s mine, but still lying with you]]
एक इजाज़त दे दो बस, जब इनको दफ़नाऊगी
मैं भी वहीँ सो जाऊंगी,
मैं भी वहीँ सो जाऊंगी
[[Just grant me this one wish, that when I bury these things,
I will also breathe my last]]

4. Old World Romance

Dil to bachcha hai ji

5. Adolescent Dreams

Aasman ke paar shayad

6. Defining Love

Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehakti khushboo
Haath se chhoo ke ise rishton ka ilzaam na do
Sirf ehsaas hai ye rooh se mehsoos karo
Pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do 
Koi naam na do

7. Depiction of divine beauty: Bekaraan from 7 khoon maaf

Bekaraan hain bekaraan,
Aankhein band keeje na
Doobne lage hain hum,
Saans lene deeje na
Ek zara chehra udhar keeje, inaayat hogi
Aapko dekh ke, badi der se, meri saans ruki hai

8. Reunion after long separation

Tere bina zindagi se koi, shikwa nahin (shikwa nahin, shikwa nahin)
Tere bina zindagi bhi lekin zindagi to nahin (zindagi nahin, zindagi nahin)
[[There is not much to complain about, in a life without you.
But then, a life without you is hardly a life]]

9. Baraat/Item Song: Kajrare

Surame se likhe tere waade, aankhon ki zabaani aate hain
Mere roomaalon pe lab tere, baandh ke nishaani jaate hain

Keeping Kajrare and Sheela ki Jawani, Munni Badnam et al into same genre of  item songs is an insult to this amazing piece of art. But still if we include it here, it’s the best item song ever written.

10.  Disco song: Dhan te Dan from kaminey

11. A song for the bhais and dadas: Goli Maar bheje mein, ye bheja shor karta hai from satya

12.  A song on separation and distances: “Yeh Faasle” Ghazal sung by Jagjeet Singh

13. Patriotism

Aye mere pyare watan, aye mere bichhade chaman tujhpe dil kubran
Too hee meree aarazu, too hee meree aabaru, too hee meree jan

14. No Smoking Anthem:

A highly underrated song…and one of Gulzar’s own favourite..from Anurag Kashyap’s Masterpiece “No Smoking”

bahut se aadhe bujhe hue
din pade hain is mein
bahut si aadhi jali hui
raatein gir padi hain

ye ash tray
bharti ja rahi hai
ye ash tray
bharti ja rahi hai

ke surkh tukde hain
kuchh talab ke
sulag rahe hain
sulag rahe hain
ye ash tray bharti ja rahi hai

dhuaan lipatata hai dhuaan
dhuaan dhuaan
dhuaan dhuaan
dhuaan dhuaan
dhuaan lipatata hai baazigar ki tarah hawa se

wo pal pe bal khaake uth raha hai
uth raha hai
uth raha hai
tamaam kartab dikha raha hai
dikha raha hai
dikha raha hai
ye ash tray bharti ja rahi hai..

Gulzar is not just India’s finest lyricist, but an extraordinary poet with a unique style of his own. His collection of short stories are equally amazing. He is also one of the greatest directors in India who introduced an element of sublimity and humanity in the story line. He’s best known for his portrayal of complex human relationships in day-to-day situations. I have watched only four movies directed by Gulzar till now..Aandhi, Ijazat, Angoor and Maachis…each one of them with a style of its own and a masterpiece in its own genre..But it’s Ijazat which is my favourite. A movie which is a poetry in itself.

For all the Gulzar Fans: Here’s a very nice blog on interpretation and translation of songs penned by gulzar….


  1. sir. i am so sorry to ask you this question,i know the same question by everyone irritates you all but i want to study bio @ ur fingertips….and…..flipkart showing ‘discontinued’… ‘not available now’ ……..dial-a-book ‘not found……where now…..i CAN wait…n ya plz reply me with the link if possible….i’ll be thankful to you…..


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