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Sahir Ludhianvi through the lens of time.

Yashdeep Bajpai

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Born Abdul Hayee

The People’s Poet, the most prolific lyricist and poet India had ever seen — Sahir Ludhianvi stole every heart. Be it Main Zindagi Ka Saath or Saathi haath badhana, or his Aye Meri Zoharjabin , every Bollywood fan knows him, adores him.

sahir-wordhazard

Born on 8th March 1921 in Karimpura, Sahir had quite a troubled childhood, his mother separated herself from his father and they suffered financial deprivation.Later on as a college student, Sahir was popular for his ghazals, nazms and passionate speeches.

Sahir in Partition

In 1943, Sahir settled in Lahore.He completed his first published work in Urdu Talkhiyaan. Some time later he got mixed up in a controversy resulting in a warrant issued in his name.

In 1949 he fled Pakistan to live in Delhi.After 8 weeks he moved to Bombay started living in Andheri with Gulzar and Krishan Chander as his neighbours.
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Later on he built a bungalow named Parchaiyaan after one of his works and lived here till his death.

The unfulfilled Love of Sahir and Amrita

In 1944, Sahir met Amritaji at a mushaira in the village of Preet Nagar. He was all idealistic and intense. She looked striking in her beauty and words.

sahir-with-amrita-wordhazard
It all started as the cliché Bollywood romance story, their eyes met in that dimly lit room, but what followed was anything but conventional.
She was married to Pritam Singh, though the marriage was unhappy.

Their relationship began with courtship of words in letters, she called him “Mera Shayar”,”Mera Mehboob”,”Mera Devta”.
In his book A People’s Poet , Akshay Manwani discloses that Pritamji convinced Sahir to lose his single status, he even once told his mother it was Amrita Pritam that could have been her Bahu.

But Sahir never did really commit himself to her. It was a relationship that had letters, secret meetings and courtships.
Pritamji had fallen headlong into love with Ludhianvi. She even went to the extent of smoking the stubs left after his chain smoking spree to feel the feel of his parted mouth.

In her own Autobiography Rasidi Ticket, she makes no attempts to hide her love for Sahir. He shimmers through and through across her poetry.

But he was not so sure about their love, nonetheless he wrote some striking works where Amrita resonated. Romance was secondary in his life but he always did have a compelling attraction towards her.

He wrote one song “Mehfil se uth jaane waalo” inspired by their unfulfilled love.
Actually this was inspired or brutally brought out of him when he saw Pritam ji with another man Imroz, this artist and poet was a long standing partner of Amrita Pritam and when they visited Sahir in Mumbai in 1964, this utterance poured forth

“Mehfil se uth jaane walo,
Tum logo par kya ilzam
Tum aabad gharo ke vasi
Main awaara aur badnaam.”
amrita-wordhazard
The final yet unfinished fallout with Amrita ji occurred when he was captivated by the singer Sudha Malhotra in 1960.
Though he lovedthe idea of falling in love with woman, his reluctance to be openly in love with them was attributed to his childhood with a very dominant forc. His mother who suffered a lot to protect him led him to his obsession with his mother.

The love and regard he had for his mother was boundless. He unable to transfer such affection to any other woman except Amrita.

It was apparent to media outside that they had moved on but an excerpt from his biography says otherwise. A Punjabi composer Jaidev visit Ludhianvi in the 1970s, he saw a really dirty tea cup and asked him to clean it, to which Sahir replied, “Don’t you dare touch it, Amrita drank tea out of it the last time she was here.”
Such was their complicated yet endearing relationship.

It wasn’t a normal happy ending kind of love story, it was taboo considering those times, but it had it’s chastity. Their innocent pure love in it’s silence and letters, despite the unfulfillment of it, and the secrecy which it was wrapped in, still lives on in our minds.

The Last Call

He died on October 25,1980.
He described his legacy as

“Kal aur aayenge nagmon ki
Khilti kaliyan chun-ne wale
Mujhse behtar kehne wale
Tumse behtar sun-ne wale
Kal koi mujhko yaad kare
Kyun koi mujhko yaad kare
Masroof zamana mere liye
Kyun waqt apna barbad kare”

” He who knows the fire that is within himself shall ascend unto the eternal fire and dwell in it eternal. ” -The Emerald Tablets A normal, unassuming college going ephebe who has a flair for searching bliss in Antiquity, generally in written form. Mythology, History, Indology, Cultural Anthropology, Architecture, Thoth in flesh and bones, a trivia buff always ready to learn and grow, firmly believes in -- if you want to change the masses for good, educe them instead of inducing them.

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Lata ji : Unforgettable moments from her journey

Yashdeep Bajpai

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‘On the first day in school, she started teaching songs to other children. When the teacher stopped her, she was so angry that she stopped going to the school.’

Queen of melody, voice of the nation, Nightingale of India and the Voice of Millennium, there is just a dearth of good epithets for the singing Virtuoso, Lata Mangeshkar.

Lata-The Naming of the legend

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Lata ji was named Hema at her birth. Her parents later renamed her Lata after a female character, Latika, in one of her father’s plays, Bhav Bandhan. She is the eldest daughter of her parents.

The family’s last name used to be Hardikar. Her father changed it to Mangeshkar in order to identify his family with his home town Mangeshi.

How Lata ji developed her own style

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She is said to have imitated the famous singer Noor Jahan, but later she developed her own style of singing. Actor Dilip Kumar once made a mildly disapproving remark about her Maharashtrian accent while singing Hindi/Urdu songs so for a period of time. Hereby, Lata took lessons in Urdu from an Urdu teacher named Shafi.

Owing to her mellifluous voice, Lata ji developed her own unique style which we know to be the voice that is heard in over 40,000+ songs.

Lata ji’s Godfather

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In 1948, Music Director Ghulam Haider mentored her as a singer. He introduced Mangeshkar to producer Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was then worked on the movie Shaheed, but Mukherjee dismissed Mangeshkar’s voice as “too thin”. An annoyed Haider responded that in coming years producers and directors would “fall at Lata’s feet” and “beg her” to sing in their movies. Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song “Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora” in the movie Majboor , which became her first big breakthrough film hit.

In an interview on her 84th birthday, in September 2013, Lata herself declared,

“Ghulam Haider is truly my Godfather. He was the first music director who showed complete faith in my talent.”

 PM Nehru cried because Lata ji’s was a voice that could move anyone to tears

Lata-Mangeshkar-with-Jawahar-Lal-Nehru-wh

On 27 January 1963, against the backdrop of the Sino-Indian War, Lata ji sang the patriotic song “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon” in presence of Jawaharlal Nehru, then the Prime Minister of India. The pain in the voice and the great sacrifice by the brave soldiers moved the Prime Minister so much that he was in tears.

Lata – An Inspiration to a Magnum Opus

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Raj Kapoor directed Satyam Shivam Sundaram in 1978. Lata Mangeshkar gave her voice to the main theme song “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”. It was among the top blockbuster songs of that year. The story of getting inspiration from Lata Mangeshkar is revealed by Raj Kapoor’s daughter Ritu Nanda in her latest book.
“I visualized the story of a man falling for a woman with an ordinary countenance but a golden voice and wanted to cast Lata Mangeshkar in the role.”

 

Hindi cinema’s greatest melodious voice will sing till eternity and beyond and in Martin Luther King Junior’s words,

“As long as we live, there is never enough singing.”
-Martin Luther

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Neerja Bhanot: Remembering the queen of hearts on her 32nd birthday

Aishwarya Bhat

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Neerja-wordhazard

Neerja Bhanot, majorly known as the HIJACK HEROINE was a decent, affectionate, beautiful, courageous and selfless lady who sacrificed her life to save hundreds of passengers on board!

She was the miracle baby for her parents, and they often called her their Laado! Who knew that soon their 23 year old Laado would become a source of inspiration for million! Let’s get to know about some of her major life events.

Neerja was a ‘no problem’ child.

Neerja-children

A child without any tantrums, she followed whatever her father said, without even questioning. She was mature from very young age. Neerja always wanted to make her parents proud which she wrote in a letter to her mother, right an year before she was killed by the terrorists.

A very successful model!

Neerja-model

After graduating from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Neerja was approached by a photographer. This took her career to great heights and she was consequently approached for modeling in famous ads of various companies.

Neerja got married at the age of 22

Neerja-marriage

Neerja’s early marriage was a decision by her father, and proved to be an ill-fated one.

She was constantly subjected to physical abuse, mental torture on the pretext of not providing with dowry. However the marriage ended in just 2 months.

Brave? She truely defines what bravery is!

neerja-hijack

Neerja showed exceptional amount of dare while dealing with the terrorists.

She was alert enough to understand the situation and immediately inform the pilots to abandon the plane, so that the plane couldn’t take off in an hijacked situation.

Her bravery saved the lives of about 300 passengers. She was shot dead while trying to save a 7 year old. She had an option to escape, but her conscience couldn’t allow her to leave the kid with the terrorists.That same kid is now a pilot and considers Neerja as his role model!

She was a workaholic

Neerja-work

It is known that on the night of the flight, her mom tried to convince her to call the PAN AM and ask for a leave, since she had been working on a modeling project the whole day. But, her committed self didn’t allow her to skip.

Remembering who Neerja Bhanot was, can definitelty not be summed up within these lines. If one really wants to pay tribute to her, then it is by being more selfless, brave and compassionate, whatever the situation be.

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Gulzar : The art of weaving magic with words.

Shatakshi Saxena

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“Ek taslim ko har baar meri aankh jhuki hai, aapko dekh ke badi der se meri saans ruki hai.”

This is how we feel when we read or listen to the eternal lines penned by the living legend, Gulzar Saab. His words are so intricately written, they never fail to make our heart skip a beat. Born as Sampooran Singh Kalra, he adopted Gulzar as his pen name. For so many years now he has excelled the art of Urdu and Hindi poetry.
He has always believed that nostalgia is the most important aspect for a writer. Even though nostalgia is distracting, he feels it and brings out the deepest thoughts to paper. If we talk about his genre, it is something uncountable. He has written for almost everything we usually wonder about. From “Aey zindagi gale laga le” to the patriotic “Aey watan, watan mere abaad rahe tu”, he has written about everything. Generations have loved to listen to his lines, for they are so full of realism and life.
Patriotism, love, heartbreak, life, relationships and even some item numbers: Gulzar saab has made them all feel so powerful. His love for words and expressions reflect in his work. His exquisite quotes have inspired many and still continue to remain the best. Here are some of his glorious works:

1a-Gulzar

1b-Gulzar

1c-Gulzar

1d-Gulzar

1e-Gulzar

1f-Gulzar

1g-Gulzar

1h-Gulzar

1i-Gulzar

1j-Gulzar

The man whose charisma reflects in his work has ruled Bollywood for ages. His personality in itself portrays a poet who has the honor of weaving most beautiful thoughts into words. There never was and can never be another Gulzar. He has given the industry the gift of unmatched literature.
When his words are given the beats of music, they become the most echoed songs of Bollywood. His poetry creates the magic that is absolutely soulful. Every soul feels the words written by Gulzar saab. His greatest possession as a poet has been the respect and connectivity people feel with him.
On his birthday today, Wordhazard pays tribute to the only unique man with an extraordinary art: Gulzar Saab.

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