Gulshan Bawra


Popular As: Gulshan Bawra
Birth: 13th April 1938
Death: 7th August 2009
First Film: Chandrasena
Last Film: -
Work Span: 1957-2000

Gulshan Bawra was a writer who worked for over forty years in the film industry and wrote only few hundreds songs. But that doesn't mean that he has not done the quality work. He wrote some of the best songs, like, "Hamen Aur Jeene Ki Chahat Na Hoti..Agar Tum Na Hote...', Yaari Hai Imaan Mera Yaar Meri Zindagi...', ' Kasmen Vaade nibhayenge Hum...', ' Ek Main Aur Ek Too.." Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle..' etc. Most of his good work came in the late '70s and '80s. His work with maestro R D Burman was appreciated by the masses. And there was a time when producers use to sign him as soon as they pick R D Burman as their music director. Together they did a wonderful work for a number of films like: Satte Pe Satta, Agar Tum Na Hote, Sanam Teri Kasam, Pukar, Kasme Vaade, Ye Vaada Raha, Jaane Jaan, Khel Khel Mein, Khalifa etc. Almost half of the songs written by him were composed by R D Burman.

Gulshan Bawara was born in a small town in Lahore on 13th April, 1938. When he was nine years old the country was divided and his parents decided to migrate to India. But while doing so they got killed during the riots infront of the nine years old Gulshan's eyes. Gulshan managed to escape alongwith his elder brother. They came to Jaipur where their elder sister used to stay. He joined the school at Jaipur and completed his studies. His elder brother got a job in Delhi so Gulshan came to Delhi with him. In Delhi he joined S N Dasgupta college. He used to write sher-o-shairi to impress girls. People applauded him and he went on to write. He applied for a Railway job and cleared the exams. Gulshan wanted to be an Assistant Railway Manager but the officers at Railways took a good look at him and said 'you'll ruin your life at small railway stations. Your style is like Dev Anands'." So finally Gulshan obtained a posting in Delhi as a goods clerk. In the year 1955 he got transferred to Bombay. This was a begining of a new chapter for Gulshan's life. He was very good at writing poetry. So after trying his luck for three years he finally got a chance to write a song for the film 'Bedard Zamana Kya Jaane'. The song was 'Qaid mein hai bulbul...' but due to some reasons the song credit went to Bharat Vyas. After this, he got a chance to write for 'Chandrasena'. He wrote 'Main Kya Jaanoo...' rendered by Lata Mangeshkar.

After Chandrasena, he got Satta Bazaar, he wrote 'Aankde Ka Dhandha Ek Din Tezi Ek Din Manda...' and 'Tumhen Yaad Hoga Kabhi Hum Mile The..'. It was during the making 'Satta Bazaar' that the film’s distributor Shantibhai Patel christened him ‘Baawra’. He was very impressed by his lyrics but could not reconcile their excellence to the typical young man in his twenties who wore a rather colourful shirt. He said, 'Main iska naam Gulshan Bawra rakhoonga. He looks like a 'bawra' (madman).' So this is how Gulshan Mehta became Gulshan Baawra!

For Talat and Lata he created a gem for the film 'Sunehri Naagin'.."Mil Ke Bhi Hum Mil Na Sake..', while he wrote a funny song for Mehmood for the film Poornima...'Muskura Laadle Muskura..'. In his early days Gulshan wrote many songs for Kalyanji Anandji. Like this one in Upkar..'Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle...' and 'Har Khushi Ho Wahan Tu Jahan Bhi Rahe..'.

Gulshan Bawra has written only 240 songs in a 42-year career, which is less than the number of films so many top names have done! But he claimed to have the highest average among lyricists. He said that he never believed in working too much or being aggressive. In his time, he used to charge Rs 90,000 for a film, this was the time when one could purchase a big flat for Rs 65,000!.

He died on August 7, 2009 at age 72 at his Pali Hill residence in Mumbai. No doubt he'll be remembered by his fans and film goers for a long time.

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