When Gulzar refused to bow to Shah Rukh's lyrical pressure

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Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Shah Rukh Khan is known to take interest in the music of his films and that's how he came up with the words "Love mera hit hit" for a song in his just released "Billu". But when the superstar approached noted lyricist Gulzar with his words to write the full number, the poet declined to use them.

Before Shah Rukh, composer Pritam Chakraborty had approached him with the same words.

"Pritam protested that the words were given to him by Shah Rukh and had to be used. When I refused, Shah Rukh came home a number of times to convince me. I reluctantly turned him down," Gulzar, who has written three songs for the film including the controversial "Marjani", told IANS.

"He (Shah Rukh) even suggested that I write whatever I wanted and his words 'Love mera hit hit' would be fitted into my lyrics. But that's not the way I work. I never will. So I wrote just three of the songs in 'Billu' and left the project," he said.

Shah Rukh and Gulzar go back a long way.

Recalling his earlier Shah Rukh song, Gulzar said: "In 'Chaiyyan chaiyyan' for 'Dil Se' some people objected to the use of the word 'tabeez'. Now in 'Marjani' they objected to the word 'hazur' I believe.

"All I can say in my defence is that the word hazur in 'Marjani' isn't referring to the Prophet. It means 'presence'. I'm sorry if I've hurt anyone's sentiments. I'm sorry if some people have misunderstood what I've written. I'm very very careful about the words that I use. In fact, I left 'Billu' midway for this reason," Gulzar said.

The poet doesn't allow even a word of his lyrics to be tampered with.

"There have been a number of occasions when I've opted out because I wasn't comfortable with the words that I was supposed to write," he said.

Gulzar opted out of Sanjay Chel's "Khubsoorat" when the director wanted a word to be substituted by another.

"But the funniest incident occurred when I wrote the children's song 'Chaddhi pehan ke phool khila hai' for 'Jungle Book'. Someone said the word chaddhi (underwear) was vulgar. Could I change it to lungi? I stuck to my chaddhi," he said.

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