Read In the Company of a Poet: Gulzar in Conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir by Nasreen Munni Kabir Online


In this richly entertaining book, Gulzar shares his life and passions with inimitable charm and candour.Poet, storyteller, director, scriptwriter and lyricist, Gulzar is a towering figure of contemporary Indian literature and cinema. Ever since he wrote his first song the unforgettable Mora gora ang lai le for Bimal Roys Bandini (1963) he has won countless admirers with hiIn this richly entertaining book, Gulzar shares his life and passions with inimitable charm and candour.Poet, storyteller, director, scriptwriter and lyricist, Gulzar is a towering figure of contemporary Indian literature and cinema. Ever since he wrote his first song the unforgettable Mora gora ang lai le for Bimal Roys Bandini (1963) he has won countless admirers with his nuanced, sensitive and quietly innovative work. From the endearing Lakdi ki kaathi, that a generation grew up singing, to the Oscar-winning Jai ho his songs have enthralled millions. His unique and much acclaimed contribution to the world of poetry continues to reflect our changing times, with fresh idiom and delicate turn of phrase.In this book of conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir, Gulzar speaks with insight, candour and gentle humour about his life and work: his school days in Old Delhi, where he wrote his early poems; working in a garage in Mumbai before entering films; his association with legends such as Bimal Roy, Balraj Sahni, Sahir Ludhianvi, Meena Kumari, Shailendra, S. D. Burman, Hemant Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Lata Mangeshkar and R. D. Burman among others; his love of tennis; and his deep connection with his wife, the legendary Raakhee, his daughter Meghna and his grandson Samay....

Title : In the Company of a Poet: Gulzar in Conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788129120830
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In the Company of a Poet: Gulzar in Conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir Reviews

  • Pallavi Kamat
    2019-05-02 20:56

    I bought this book at The Times Literary Carnival 2012 where Gulzar was in conversation with the author about this book in particular and other general topics. He came across as a humble and easy-going person despite his stellar achievements. He was patiently signing autographs for all those who pushed forward their books at him. I, too, managed to obtain it.The book’s blurb reads: “In this book of conversations, Gulzar speaks with insight, candour and gentle humour about his life and work: his school days in Old Delhi, where he wrote his early poems; working in a garage in Mumbai before entering films; his association with legends such as Bimal Roy, Balraj Sahni, Sahir Ludhianvi, Meena Kumari, Shailendra, S. D. Burman, Hemant Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Lata Mangeshkar and R. D. Burman, among others; his love of tennis; and his deep connection with his wife, the legendary actor Rakhee, his daughter Meghna and his grandson Samay.”The book is written in the form of conversations between Nasreen Munni Kabir (NMK) and Gulzar where the author also lets us know if, during their conversation, Gulzar has laughed or smiled at a particular sentence or if something has irritated him. I found this quite unique compared to the other biographies which are more of a monologue by the author.The book, interviews for which were done mostly by Skype as NMK is based out of London, tells us, in Gulzar’s words, his birth at a place called Dina in current Pakistan, his coming to Delhi and subsequently Mumbai, how he used to read books by a lantern rented from a second-hand bookseller, his association with Bimal Roy as an assistant, his gradual movement to lyrics, screenplay writing and eventually direction. Since the book is in a conversational style, it does not follow any particular format or chronology. One can peruse just about any page of the book at will without having to read it from start to finish in one go. However, I managed to complete it within a day; such is its allure - I kept on turning the pages wishing to unearth some more gems :)Though most of the information mentioned in the book is publicly available, what makes it interesting and eminently readable is the tidbits that Gulzar adds to it. For instance, we learn that Lata Mangeshkar found the line “Aap ki badmaashiyon ke ye naye andaaz hain” from the film Ghar most interesting. As a result, we can hear her laugh when she sings this line in the song. We also learn the origin of his daughter's name as Bosky and why he took on a pen-name Gulzar (his real name is Sampooran Singh Kalra).Gulzar shared a wonderful relationship with Meena Kumari. She would make him sit by her side and ask him to read the scene to her while they were making Mere Apne. In fact, Gulzar started fasting during Ramzan for the full thirty days as Meena Kumari was very unwell and unable to fast. Gulzar told her he would fast on her behalf and they would share the blessings. Gulzar considered Bimal Roy as his mentor and learnt a great deal from him. It was because of him that he dared to venture into direction. He also fondly remembers his associations with RDB and Asha Bhosle, his tennis friends whom he meets every morning and his other online friends who maintain a website on his behalf.Interspersed through the book are examples of his poetry such as: “Roz akeli aaye roz akeli jaaye, Chaand katora liye bhikhaaran raat, Roz akeli aaye roz akeli jaaye”, “Lagta hai kamzor sa peela chaand bhi shayad, Peepal ke sukhe patte sa, Lehraata lehraata mere lawn main aa kar utrega” and “Aankhon ko visa nahin lagta, Sapnon ki sarhad hoti nahin, Bandh aankhon se roz chala jaata hoon, Sarhad paar main milne Mehdi Hassan se”.The book also brings forth the involvement Gulzar has as a lyricist in the making of a film including giving suggestions where he feels a song’s placement is not suitable. There’s also quite a bit of philosophy in the book which is quite natural considering it is Gulzar who is talking. For instance, he says, “Mood and temperament are different things. Temperament is a combination of personality and attitude, and moods are lived moments.”Gulzar comes across as an extremely well-read person with an immense interest in literature and theatre which continues to be his first love. He often liberally quotes other authors and poets throughout the book including Rabindranath Tagore, Ahmad Faraz, Mirza Ghalib, etc.Gulzar holds the record of having received the greatest number of Filmfare Awards for a combination of Screenplay, Dialogue, Direction and Lyrics. Talk about multi-tasking!!!I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I learnt quite a lot about the lyricist with whom I have been fascinated for a long time. But more than the information, what stands out vividly is the humility of this great individual – his easy approachability, his gratefulness for the friends he has and his love for literature. He started writing lyrics in the early 1960s and continues to this day; it is to his credit that he has evolved and changed to suit the modern times and has made himself relevant even today. Though most of his fans, including yours truly, remember his earlier compositions with fond nostalgia (Read about my top five favourite songs here: the book now makes me want to listen to every song ever penned down by him, watch every movie for which he has written the screenplay and/or dialogues and also the movies which he has directed. It also makes me want to read all the poetry books he has written including his translations of other poets such as Tagore. So much to do, so little time! Sigh.I leave you with this explanation of Gulzar of why he wakes up at five: "I wake up at five when it is still dark. I want the sun to look for me instead of my looking for the sun. Just as the first serve in tennis can be advantageous., so the first serve must be mine. The second goes to the sun."This review first appeared on my blog

  • Vivek Tejuja
    2019-05-18 21:04

    There is perhaps only one Bollywood lyricist I adore and that has to be Gulzar. Not only as a lyricist but also as a poet, a director, a writer and everything rolled into one. There is something about what Gulzar Sahib does, that makes it all alright. Everything is relatable to life and what it has to give or take. Just about everything. So when there is nothing that he writes or anything that is written on him or with him, one just cannot resist but read it. Nasreen Munni Kabir has done Gulzar fans a huge favour by collaborating with him and producing a book of her conversations with him.“In the Company of a Poet” is all about Gulzar – the man, the child of his parents, the brother, the father, the grandfather and the poet. It is everything that you wanted to know about the genius (I am taking the liberty to call him that, because to me he is exactly that), and nothing better than intimate conversations, through Skype and through meetings. Nasreen Munni Kabir has given us a treat in the form of these conversations.I started reading the book on a rainy day and it was perhaps the only time for it. It took me a long time to finish it because I was in-between reads, however when I went back to it, I could not stop reading it. “In the Company of a Poet” is enthralling in the sense that it gives perspective after perspective and one doesn’t tire of them as a reader – Gulzar Saab’s view of things, people, the film industry, poetry and the world is just superlative. There is a sense of humour in what he says. There is nostalgia (even on this aspect, he has a wonderful way of looking at it). There is a sense of how things were and how they are. At the same time, he also is of the belief that one must learn the new and embrace it – as in his case, he learnt how to use Skype.Gulzar Saab’s love for poetry is so evident, that one just wants to read more of it – his and other poets’ works as well. He speaks of how he got into movies, his experiences with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Bimal Roy and R.D. Burman and many more legends. He talks of how he has to play tennis every morning without fail and about his relationship with his daughter and grandson. For me reading this book, was not just knowing about Gulzarji but also about the people connected to him and that felt just too good. He speaks of partition and his nightmares and that brought tears to my eyes. There are a lot of poems as well in the book, which only lend another voice.“In the Company of a Poet” is an insightful read. Nasreen Munni Kabir’s questions and observations are well-thought of and planned. Her research is meticulous and she gives more than enough room to the poet and writer to speak and talk about his experiences. She is intuitive and has chalked down every bit of the conversation to detail. For every lover of Gulzar and his works, this is a must read.

  • Samir
    2019-04-29 21:54

    Once while listening to recitatons of Gulzar's poems, I happened to express my awe for Gulzar by telling a friend, "Gulzar is God of Poetry". Today, years later, when I completed reading this book "In company of a Poet" which is actually Gulzar's biography written in format of an interview, that statement came to visit me all over again. When a man breathes poetry in every moment that he lives in; In what other words do I describe such a man? God of Poetry, ofcourse.Nasreen Munni Kabir does a noteworthy job of capturing the spirit of a living legend. A must read for all Gulzar fans.

  • dunkdaft
    2019-05-14 01:02

    Can't be a better way to kick off new year, New reading challenge. Wonderfully written that feels like watching the conversation. Many places Gulzarsaab makes us smile with his own speciality : words.

  • Datta
    2019-05-19 02:19

    Always just a pleasant experience to hear/read Gulzaar saab speak. Since the book is a collection of conversation and mostly personal life and his views of his and other's work so its a lot more interesting to know.

  • Shreyas
    2019-05-11 23:05

    Amazing book for Guzar Saab lovers. Gulzar saab in his unique style has been very open in sharing everything about his life from childhood to current activities.

  • Altaf
    2019-05-08 18:51

    This book is written as a conversation between Nasreen and Gulzar. Nasreen is a historian on Hindi films and has many books to her credit. Interviews were setup over Skype as Nasreen is based in London. Throughout the book she lets us know if a particular question or answer made Gulzar smile, laugh, irritated etc. These notes makes you feel like and audience and not just a reader. Throughout the book you will be meeting and knowing about the pioneers of film industry like Bimal Roy, Meena Kumari, R D Burman, Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar etc. You would come to know why Gulzar’s preferred style of writing is blank verse and how that brings out the genius of composers like RD Burman and AR Rehman. Gulzar comes across as very pragmatic and well-read person. This reflects in his ease of adaptability to write for today’s music taste. The book contains many insights on his personal life and day to day activities. His views on music, singers and directing is very refreshing. Many books have been written about Gulzar and this one is a good start to start knowing about him. I enjoyed reading this book for its ease of style and areas it covered. I was left wanting though on creation and making of TV series Ghalib, which to this date is perhaps the best association in poetry, acting, music and direction. Other than that it’s an interesting read. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to know about the making of Gulzar, his poetry and any Hindi film aficionado. I’ll leave you with my favorite line of Gulzar “Mukhtasar si baat hai, tumse pyar hai, tumhara intezaar hai” Read what Gulzar has to say about Hemant Kumar’s voice which makes these words unforgettable.

  • Ankita Chauhan
    2019-05-18 02:14

    I feel blessed sometimes that I’ve been breathing in the era of Gulzar Saab, literally it is hard to imagine the Indian music and poetry world without him. The way he expressed every emotion, the charm he weaved while directing movies, the magic he sprinkled while writing lyrics, speechless is the only word I’m left with. I have already read “Conversation with Waheeda rahman by Naseen Munni Kabir” and I was in awe how she indulged with the artist while conversing them.. Sometimes It felt like we were in front of the respective person and trying to know their lives. “In the Company of Poet” covers the most of the life events of Gulzar Saab in his own words. NMK doesn’t exaggerate things. She portrayed the person as he/she are. And that’s the beauty of NMK’s books! This Book reveals the highs and lows of the life of Gulzar Saab, in an expressive manner. As The India-Pak Partition time, when his family had left the Dina(Pakistan) and come to Delhi. How he suffered in initial days... How he fell in love with books, how he started working with Bimal Da, How he got his first song as lyricist and so on… The success story, the relation between many characters related to Classical Indian Cinema. Full Review :

  • Surajit
    2019-05-07 19:00

    This is a small book about Gulzar-saab, the much-admired poet, lyricist and director. It is in the form of an interview. It can be read as a part-biography, part opionion. It is very readable anyway!Gulzar is very simple and down-to-earth with his responses to the questions about his early life. This makes the book even more endearing. He touches upon his early days with stalwarts of that era, of how he came to be a film lyricist, how he learnt his film craft from the great Bimal Roy...He gave up directing movies in the nineties. The reason for this is not clearly explained. Also, he touches upon the great music directors of the time, including RD Burman, with whom he had a great professional relationship. Unfortunately, not much is mentioned about RD - I wish he had given more details about the type of man RD was and their jelling together... But anyway, this is a book about Gulzar, not RD!All in all, a great read, a must read for Hindi film music and Gulzar fans!

    2019-05-14 01:09

    Gulzar is such a sweet-heart. Such a straight-forward and down-to-earth person and yet doesn’t come across as somebody who would be rude or harsh even while being straight-forward.His lyrics would always be fresh like dew-drops, never get old or weary on this (referring to myself) unassuming, benign and incognizant mindI already loved him for his various hues of work specially his songs and now I feel that I should go read every poem, song, story, play or translation that he has worked on. Wish I could learn the language that he always writes in. Would definitely try and get his books on poems and short stories that are in Hindi or English. Wish I could understand all that he writes Now my love for this amazing person has grown to a greater extent. And kudos to Nasreen Munni Kabir for getting Gulzar saab speak so much about his life and work. It was as if he was speaking directly to the readers

  • Rajesh Chakravarty
    2019-04-23 21:51

    Author of the book was way off the topic. People want to know about Gulzar Sahab, what Gulzar Sahab is from inside. What is his thought process,way of thinking. The book is like question and answers. But most of the questions asked to Gulzar Sahab were about his work experiences with other renowned personalities of bollywood. Sorry to say but focus was not on Gulzar Sahab in most of the book. Also book is written in very dry manner and hardly invokes any interest among readers.

  • Harshit Gupta
    2019-05-08 02:01

    This was the first book of Nasreen Munni Kabir that I read, and I was a little surprised by her ignorance of certain things related to Gulzar, as they would be considered part of her homework before interviewing him. At the same time, there is an honesty in her book where she doesn't hide her shortcomings. The conversations are a bit formal in the beginning, but looks like as Gulzar opened up, things flowed with more ease, and the book gets better in the second half. There are a lot of things repeated if you have seen some of his interviews, but still, a good read if you are interested in his life.

  • Kasturi
    2019-05-01 02:10

    Discovered gems and nuggets. Carefully underlined quotes; wrote down names, songs and lyrics at the back of the book. To look up and listen. Realised that most of my favourite songs have been written by him. Including the song closest to my heart, 'Tum pukar lo'. I regret discovering him so late. I love him for adopting blank and free verse, and can completely relate to his use of mixed metaphors and his fixation with the moon. In a sense, I can also relate to the equation he has with his wife in his personal life. Separate spaces but still in each others life. Without enroaching on the other. Thank you A, for the gift of this book. This one is un-lendable.

  • Dhruv Joshi
    2019-05-20 01:18

    Nice read. It not only focuses on Gulzar as a lyricist, but also as a screenplay writer, a poet, a director. The book is in a Q&A format which makes it more palatable. It begins with his background, his place of birth (Dina, now Pakistan) to Delhi and to Mumbai where he started to interact with other legendary bollywood personalities at PWA (Progressive Writers Assoc). It describes his association with Bimal Roy, Hemant Kumar to Vishal Bharadwaj and AR Rahman of today's generation. An excellent way to look at his life in about 200 pages!

  • Sayantan Ghosh
    2019-04-23 00:03

    A journey into the mind of an acclaimed poet, a loving father, a dutiful son, a spirited companion and most importantly a social misfit. Sahir Ludhianvi sahab's couplet can perhaps best describe the very private life of this prolific artist: "Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon, pal do pal meri kahaani hain..."Beautiful, calming book!

  • Anand Ganapathy
    2019-05-01 18:52

    A biography ( or should I say autobiography since it is a set of conversations ) on Gulzar Saab, one of the multifaceted personalities of Indian cinema. He has been a song, script and dialog writer, director with many brilliant movies to his credit besides being a poet and short story writer. Interesting conversations on his life and works ( with some beautiful poems interspersed )

  • Naresh Joshi
    2019-04-21 19:56

    The conversations are free & interesting. Those who want to know about the great poet, his journey & his views on life must read it.Although, at many times, Nasreen Munni Kabir seems a journalist. However the book has rich details of golden years & memories from life of the living legend!

  • Ananta Pathak
    2019-04-25 02:17

    a good read.its a journey into the wonderful mind and heart of one of india's best lyricist. he speaks straight from heart and after reading this book I just wish how wonderful it would be to meet him.

  • Richa Awasthy
    2019-05-08 00:01

    This was a really interesting read. Gulzar ji has been very candid and gives evidence of a strong memory. The way he gives minute details is fascinating. You can definitely finish it in one sitting... and would love it if you want to know a little more about Gulzar ji's life.

  • Ankur Sharma
    2019-04-20 21:15

    There could have been no better way to peek into the mind of a genius like Gulzar than to engage him in an intimate conversation. and that's what Nasreen Munni Kabeer has been able to do. The book format and hence the info flowing from it is simply outstanding.

  • Rocky Dahiya
    2019-04-25 02:09

    Brilliant insight into the mind of a legend.