Tag Archives: Gulzar

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

In the Company of a Poet - Gulzar in Conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir Title: In the Company of a Poet – Gulzar in Conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir
Author: Nasreen Munni Kabir
Publisher: Rainlight Rupa
ISBN: 9788129120830
Genre: Non-Fiction, Bollywood, Poetry
Pages: 208
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

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.

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Book Review: Lovers like you and I by Minakshi Thakur

Lóvers like You and I by Minakshi Thakur Title: Lovers like You and I
Author: Minakshi Thakur
Publisher: Harper Collins India
ISBN: 9789351160298
Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction
Pages: 224
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

“Lovers like you and I” by Minakshi Thakur was just another book that I came across at the book store at the Jaipur Literature Festival. I looked at it and the cover did not impress me at all. At that time for sure I was judging the book by its cover; however I realized that the proverb was just proved right in this case. The book was more and beyond the cover. It was a treat to read.

The book is set in Delhi, in the nineties – a different world. A world of possibilities of life and the chance that love would come true. The book explores various aspects of love through the eyes of young Nayan.

Nayan’s journey from that of a girl to a woman is full of questions, emotions, strange answers, life, its longing, despair and interspersed in all of this, are her men and relationships. Salil is the one who is constantly walking in and out of her life – with poetry and backpacking. The one who cannot stay. The one who cannot be held down.

Salil and Nayan’s relationship reminded me of innocence. It reminded me of how it is to love without expecting and yet there is this window open for it to seep through, unexpectedly. For me, “Lovers like you and I” was so much more than just a love story. I am sure the writer also wanted it to be a lot more than just that and that reflects throughout the writing.

“Lovers like you and I” is an ode to time gone by, to love and its ways of the past, to how it was meant to be with poetry mingled, with unrequited love just hanging there, in between and life just passing by, intermingling with space and ennui.

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