New Delhi: Lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar, best known for penning memorable hits like 'Tujhse Naaraaz Nahi' and 'Tere Bina Zindagi Se' besides directing critically acclaimed films like 'Aandhi' and 'Mausam', was today chosen for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award, the highest official recognition for film personalities in India.
The 79-year-old writer, whose huge body of work includes 'Mere Apne', 'Koshish', 'Khushboo', 'Angoor', 'Libaas' and 'Maachis' will be the 45th recipient of the award.
The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs and a shawl.
Gulzar said he felt "fulfilled" to get recognised for his work.
"I am happy and honored. It is national honor. It is a feeling of fulfillment of not one song, screenplay, but the total work one does. I feel blessed to get this honor," he said.
"I am thankful to everyone for their love and support. I am thankful to the jury members. It is a way of respect which says your work is loved and you are on the right path," Gulzar told PTI.
A seven member jury consisting of eminent artists, after due deliberations, unanimously recommended Gulzar for the award, a statement released by the I&B ministry said here.
Born as Sampooran Singh Kalra in 1934 in Pakistan's Punjab in pre-independence India, Gulzar and his family were among the many victims of Partition.
The family moved to Amritsar but Gulzar came to Bombay and began to work as a garage mechanic while writing poetry in his spare time.
Gulzar started his career in 1956 and as a lyricist and got his first break in Bimal Roy's 'Bandini' and the song 'Mora Gora Ang Lai Le..'., filmed on Nutan, became an instant hit.
He has worked with leading music directors like Sachin Dev Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Shankar Jaikishan, Hemant Kumar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Madan Mohan, Rajesh Roshan, Anu Malik, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Gulzar developed outstanding creative partnerships with Rahul Dev Burman, A R Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj. Apart from lyrics, he has contributed to several films as script, story and dialogue writer.
He is widely known for his outstanding work on the small screen where he directed TV series like 'Mirza Ghalib' and 'Tahreer Munshi Premchand Ki'.
He wrote lyrics for several Doordarshan serials including 'Hello Zindagi', 'Potli Baba Ki' and 'Jungle Book' which became very popular.
Gulzar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002, the Padma Bhushan in 2004. He has won a number of National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards.
He won the Academy Award for best original song for 'Jai Ho' with AR Rahman for 'Slumdog Millionaire' in 2009.
In 2010, Gulzar also won the Grammy award for 'Jai Ho'. His poetry has been published in three compilations: 'Chand Pukhraaj Ka', 'Raat Pashminey Ki' and 'Pandrah Paanch Pachattar' (15-05-75). His short stories are published in 'Raavi-Paar' (also known as 'Dustkhat' in Pakistan) and 'Dhuan'(smoke).
He is also credited with having created a new type of stanza in Urdu poetry named 'Triveni' (stanza of 3 lines).
Gulzar is married to actress Raakhee. The couple have a daughter, Meghna. When their daughter was only one-year-old, they separated but never divorced.
Meghna grew up with her father and, after completing her graduation in films from New York University, went on to direct films like 'Filhaal' and 'Just Married'. She also authored the biography of her father in 2004.
With 'Mere Apne' in 1971, Gulzar turned to direction. He went on to make 'Parichay' (1972) and 'Koshish' (1972), a sensitive look at the travails of a deaf and mute couple superbly played by Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri.
The Gulzar-Sanjeev Kumar partnership resulted in films like 'Aandhi' (1975), 'Mausam' (1975), 'Angoor' (1981) and 'Namkeen' (1982) and took Sanjeev Kumar to greater heights in the industry.
With his sensitive yet successful movies, stars like Jeetendra 'Parichay', 'Khushboo' (1975), 'Kinara' (1977), Vinod Khanna: 'Achanak' (1973), 'Meera' (1979) and 'Lekin' (1990) and Hema Malini: 'Khushboo', 'Kinara', 'Meera' worked with Gulzar to gain respectability as artists.
His last directorial outing was Tabu starrer 'Hu Tu Tu' but left film direction to focus on his writing work.
One of the most versatile lyricists, Gulzar continues to be in great demand with modern filmmakers thanks to his adaptability. His most recent hits are 'Bidi jalaile', 'Kajrare', 'Dhan Te Nan', 'Raat Ke Dhai Baje' 'Darling' and 'Hamari Atariya Pe' among many others.
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Updated Date: Apr 12, 2014 21:52:06 IST