Like father

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PRIYANKA CHANDANI
Published Sep 5, 2018, 7:25 am IST
Updated Sep 5, 2018, 7:25 am IST
In a freewheeling chat, the father-daughter duo talk about their equation, childhood memories and collaborating professionally.
Veteran lyricist and director Gulzar with her daughter Meghna Gulzar
 Veteran lyricist and director Gulzar with her daughter Meghna Gulzar

Recalling an incident years ago, veteran lyricist and director Gulzar shares how his then school-going daughter once asked him for money. “I didn’t want to refuse, so I walked away. Later, I found a note signed by her on the table saying – ‘my father is cunning, I ask for money and he is running’. I think we share that kind of honesty between us,” he smiles, adding that his daughter always knew how to put things forward. “If she can get money out of me, words won’t be difficult,” he says of Because he is, the book that Meghna Gulzar has penned on him. First released in 2004, the updated version focuses on the last 15 years and her relationship with her father. “It summarises what I feel for him and what I actually felt after putting this manuscript together – 14 years ago,” says Meghna at the launch of her book.

The book documents the noted filmmaker’s life, revealing the man behind the legend. In every way, Gulzar was a hands-on father, who prepared her for school without fail every day, braiding her hair and tying her shoelaces, and always made it a point to end his workday at 4 p.m. because her school ended at that time. “I was doing everything to bring up my family and child, so that is important. It’s a way of looking at it. You work to live, not live to work,” he says. The 84-year-old always wrote a book for her birthday every year until she was thirteen and the Raazi director has inherited her passion for reading from him. Sharing one such example, Gulzar shares, ‘I remember taking her to a bookstore when she was seven and she used ask for books with their authors’ names. I made her find her own books. She has grown up in that way very independently and that’s why she is what she is.’

 

Talking about her childhood, Meghna reveals that she was introduced to every kind of art, from painting, piano to ballet dancing. While she was trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, Meghna knew that Gulzar wanted her to write and got her first poem published when she was 11. “He was so proud, it was a completely different matter that the poem was crappy,” she laughs. “That’s true” Gulzar interrupts. But the daughter believes that writing poetry is a private exercise where she gets to expose herself while films and scripts get her to connect with people. “I write when I want to expose my soul and I can’t put it up for publication. The exposure he has given me for the creative pursuits has made me what I am,” says the author proudly. To which Gulzar says, “I was satisfied with her writing because that’s what I know and I was happy to know that she has her own expression. She has no pressure, about anything.”

 

HT09

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