New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) As Sampooran Singh Kalra - famous as Gulzar the lyricist, director and scriptwriter - turns 73 Tuesday, his daughter Meghna says he has "unconditional love for everyone" even though he is a "silent individual and an introvert".
"One thing I love and adore in my father is his unconditional love for everyone who is associated with him. Friends, family...his adulation for all of us is so heart-warming," Meghna told IANS over phone from Mumbai about her director-poet father.
"He may be a very deep, silent and introvert individual, but he is very emotional. I really respect that thing in him."
"As a father, he has always gone by the principle that he is as old as me! When I was one-year-old, he considered himself to be a one-year-old father. He has always raised me in a way that I have my own independent thinking and make my own decisions, yet he was always there for me when I stumbled or when I made an error," said Meghna, the maker of films like "Filhaal" (2002) and "Just Married" (2007).
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who worked with the veteran lyricist in his film "Yuvvraaj", also describes him as "affection personified".
"He is a very affectionate and humble person. I was really touched when after watching the songs of 'Yuvvraaj' on screen before release, he sent a message saying 'magnificently picturised by Subhash'. That was a big award for me," he said.
"I wish him a long and healthy life with the smile that he always carries with himself," Ghai added.
Gulzar, who recently won an Oscar for his song "Jai ho" in the film "Slumdog Millionaire", penned his first song for filmmaker Bimal Roy?s 1963 film "Bandini". Titled "Mora gora ang lai le", it was a chartbuster and music lovers hum it till date.
Some of his most popular songs have been associated with legendary composer R.D. Burman in movies such as "Parichay" ("Musafir hoon yaron"), "Aandhi" ("Tera bina zindagi se koi"), "Ijaazat" ("Mera kuch saaman") and "Masoom" ("Tujhse naraz nahi zindagi") to name a few.
He has also had award-winning associations with composers like Salil Chowdhury for "Anand" and Madan Mohan for "Mausam". In recent times he teamed up with young composers like Vishal Bharadwaj for "Maachis", A.R. Rahman for "Dil Se" and "Guru" and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for "Bunty aur Babli".
"There is a childlike quality in him (Gulzar). He sees every move of mine and I too simply love working with a genius like him. I am so glad that I am working again with him on Mani Ratnam's new film," said Rahman.
The multifaceted Gulzar donned the hat of a director with "Mere Apne" in 1971. He then went on to make films like "Parichay", "Koshish" (1972), "Aandhi" (1975), "Mausam" (1975), "Ijaazat" (1987) and "Maachis" (1996) among others.
For his contributions to Indian cinema, Gulzar was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2004. His movies have won numerous National Awards too -- he bagged the best director honour for "Mausam" and best lyricist honour for the songs "Mera kuch saman" and "Yaar sili sili".
Gulzar likes to celebrate his birthday with his family, away from the city, and this year will be no different, says daughter Meghna.
"My father likes to run away from the city on his birthday. We normally go to a place that has some historic significance. Like once we went to Hampi and some other time to Ajanta. We spent around four-five days together. That's how he likes it," said Meghna.
Meghna, however, refused to reveal this year's vacation spot.