01/7Short stories by Gulzar, lovers of literature should not miss
Gulzar is the pen name of Sampooran Singh Kalra and he is famous for his work across many creative fields. From music to movies to books, he’s known for his excellent writing and storytelling. Though in the literary field he’s best known for his poetry, he’s also a short story writer and a novelist.
He writes in Hindustani, mixing Hindi, Urdu, and other Indian languages to weave beautiful tales. Here are some short stories he’s written that have been translated into English:
This short story has a whole compilation book named after it. We follow a man Raavi who lived through India’s Independence, but as the country gained freedom, partition caused him to lose an old life and home. The simplicity of the tale will in no way prepare the reader for the emotions it contains.
This story explores the dangers of being friends with a writer. From a young age, the protagonist is always impressed by his friend who wants to be a writer and his storytelling abilty and we see both the sweet and bitter nuances of the friendship in the tale.
04/7Sahir and Jaadu
This story is about Javed Akhtar and Sahir Ludhianvi. Based on reality we see the bond between a boy and the one he has adopted as a surrogate parent of sorts. Javed ‘Jaadu’ often goes to visit Sahir to complain about his own father and the interactions between the two are heartwarming.
With a grand title and a protagonist with a godly name, Maruti, we find the story seems the opposite of the what was promised as we see Maruti work as a cleaner on a ferry in Mumbai. Still as his shift ends and he goes home to where he finds joy, the beauty of the tale is revealed.
For those who want a romantic short story, this one feels like it’s out of a Bollwood movie from the 80’s. In the exchanges between a middle-aged couple we hear lines like those he would write for a movie.
This tale highlights human greed and it’s dangers. By simply showing how the growing needs of some humans had such a disasterous effect on an ecosystem many creatures survived in, we see how the greed of humans is what leads to so many divisions.