Gulzar inspires taboos and treats of Lahore in upcoming film

Ankhon ko visa nahi lagta

Sapno’n ki sarhad hoti naheen

Band aankhon se roz Sarhad paar chala hata hoon

Milne Mehdi Hasan se

  • Gulzar

Indian poet Gulzar is one of those witnesses of Partition who haven’t come to terms with the annus horribilis that 1947 was. Not accepting the forced uprooting from his birthplace, Jhelum, Gulzar, to date, carries a nostalgia for the pre-Partition era. Therefore his subcontinental version of romantic poetry appeals to Indians and Pakistanis alike, who are acquainted through the poet’s verses with the similarities the soil of both the countries carries.

Pakistani YouTube channel Kabaar Khana, in its attempt to pay tribute to the Chaiyaan Chaiyaan lyricist loved-across-borders, is bringing a short film the very title of which is named after the poet. When asked why the name of the short film is called so, the writer told Minute Mirror:

Gulzar, as it is called, revolves around a person who is a huge admirer of Gulzar based in Pakistan. Gulzar, as a poet, holds as much importance for Pakistanis as he does for Indians.”

Faseeh Bari, the writer made it clear that the film was not inspired from the life of a real fan of Gulzar sahib, but was a fictional story that deals with his Pakistan-based fandom while tackling the subject of human psychology at a subtler level.

However, the writer’s description of the film seemed quite opposite to what its stills posted on Facebook reveal. Shots from Gulzar show Tamkenat Mansoor clad in a tight, gaudy dress, the kind of which Pakistan’s tabooed dancers are known for wearing,

“Yes. Tamkenat plays a dancer in the film, residing on the fringes of Gawalmandi, the Lahori area notorious for harbouring dancers and prostitutes. She doesn’t hold much market value and therefore dances at circumcision gatherings and birthday parties only,” told Faseeh Bari.

As much as it sounds interesting, it’s equally difficult to guess how these two themes, that of an Indian poet’s fandom and Lahore’s prostitution market synchronize with each other. When inquired about how he’ll be connecting the two strands, the writer said, “Well..that’s a surprise!”

To add to the intriguing details of this short film called Gulzar, Bari also said that the film would be dedicated to Pakistan’s first Muslim gay poet, Iftikhar Naseem, who is commonly referred to as Ifti Naseem by the literary circle.

As far as the release of Gulzar is concerned, a final date hasn’t been announced yet but the film is set to be released on web in the coming month and has been directed by Jasim Khan.

Muhammad Ali has an M.Phil in classic and contemporary Pakistani television drama, Partition Novel and Literary Environmental Literature. He has written extensively on these topics for various local newspapers between 2015-2020. His research on Sahira Kazmi's classical drama serial "Zaib un Nisa" has been presented on various platforms such as Olomopolo Media and ICDELL, 2019. He can be reached on Twitter @MuhammadAli_DT, and through email at