A dear friend of mine, who's currently back packing in Sri Lanka, is a pioneer of Gulzar Bhakti Movement, just like yours truly. Yesterday, was his birthday. On his birthday, I saw this tweet by Lata Mangeshkar:
A tweet that announced Gulzar Saab's Dada Saheb Phalke Award honor to the whole world. My initial reaction was obviously favorting & RTing that tweet, then changing my whatsapp status in his honor, then personally sharing this news with all the Gulzar, and then it hit me that my Gulzar Saab was bestowed this honor on my friend's birthday & not on mine :(
So, after sulking whole day, this morning I took the higher road & whatsapped him the news, assuming that being in Sri Lanka he might have missed it. Guess what his reaction was?
He: Frankly, I don't know why this is a big deal. For me Oscar> Filmfare> National Award & then come all the others :P
Me: But, Gulzar Saab in an interview explains that Oscar, Grammy et. al were for his particular work but this award honors his entire body of work, so it means more to me.
He: Meh *brooding face smiley*
He: No, just Meh :P
It was hard to argue with that. So, I let it go.
However, think of it, while some may arguably believe that Oscar's Gulzar Saab's greatest achievement so far, it wasn't for his best work. By Gulzar Saab's standard of work, 'Jai Ho' falls in the category of average. So, when Dada Saheb Phalke Award honors everything that he has done so far: the lyrics & the poems that he has written, the movies that he has directed, the culture that he curated in numerous ways, it surely trumps the Oscar.
This award not just acknowledges & celebrates his journey from a car mechanic to as Lata Mangeshkar puts it, 'sirf cinema ke hi nahin iss waqt ke behtareen kavi'. It also validates his work as a filmmaker. Despite, sketching beautiful movies like Koshish, Parichay, Aandhi & Maachis, Gulzar Saab remains the most underrated director of our times.
So, yes I don't think it's 'Meh'.
Also, I think this is the apt time to plug in my first post of this blog, which was dedicated to Gulzar Saab on his Birthday. Yup, this blog was born on Gulzar Saab's birthday :)