GULZAR (India)

Gulzar is a poet, short story writer and film director of immaculate repute. A multi-dimensional, luminous intellectual with a lyrical heart of pure lucidity, he is loved and admired all over the sub-continent, especially for his sensitive lyrics many of which have been used in Hindi films. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards and honours, including the Sahitya Akademi Award. Recently he has won the famous Oscar Award for his lyric ‘Jai Ho’ in the film Slumdog Millionaire. Gulzar has been almost regularly lending his gracious presence to the SAARC Literary Conferences and Festivals of FOSWAL


We have abandoned those lanes
Where lotuses blossomed on your footfalls
Where laughter whirlpooled on your waist
Where the crops ripened with the sprinkle of your laughter

We have abandoned those lanes
Where sunshine fluttered around your ankles
On those doorways, I have heard
Only dusk hangs these days
A night would take refuge in your dark tresses
Sometimes, I meet those nights
On my pillow

The heart’s silver of pain
Just a chunk of stone
An abyss, a bottomless pit, or just a blind alley
A mere fragmented moment that’s never over
Often I have tried to burn it
But it refuses to turn to ashes

The Knock

It was early morning when I opened the door
to the knocking of a dream.
I found familiar faces.
Some guests had come
from across the border.
I welcomed them
and seated them
in the courtyard.
I baked makai-ki-roti
on the tandoor
to serve them,
with the gur they had
brought with them.
When I opened my eyes,
there was no one
in the house.