Book lovers all over do create a bond with their books. The books become a part of them, their lives, their being. And only true book lovers can feel the ache of not being able to enjoy their treasures. I look at the book case in my living room every day and sigh at the number of books still untouched, waiting to be read. And sometimes I do feel like they stare back at me accusingly. I randomly remember the titles which I had decided to read long ago but couldn’t finish just because I had more important things to do. And so I agree – my books get restless. It is all true really. And yet its surreal.
Gulzar – or Sampooran Singh Kalra was born in Dina in Jhelum district in British India now in Pakistan. His family migrated to Delhi during partition when he was just 13 years old. And like countless others, he too experienced the agony and grief of abruptly getting uprooted from his origins. His life in his young age was not a happy one at all – when he had to stop his studies, when he had to work in a garage and support his family. His father was against his becoming a writer and he had to go through phases of conflicts, silences and struggles to come into his own. Guess he overcame some of his earlier sorrows. However, the pain of separation from his birthplace – the place where he spent his childhood kept on lurking through his poems often. He has written extensively about the partition – about the hatred, the deaths, the loss, the emotional turmoil and the vanity of it all. In one of his interviews he had also said that he would not like to visit Dina because he “loves the images of his hometown and doesn’t want those images to be changed by the current reality”.