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Rahat Indori’s death an “unquantifiable loss”, says Gulzar

Noted lyricist-poet Gulzar said the death of Urdu poet Rahat Indori, who passed away following a heart attack on Tuesday, is a loss which cannot be quantified.

Indori, 70, was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday morning in Indore after he tested positive for COVID-19.

“It is an unquantifiable loss. He was one of a kind. It”s as if somebody has left a void in our Urdu mushairas which can never be filled. Woh jagah ko khali kar ke chale gaye. It is not a big loss, it is a total loss,” he told PTI.

He remembered Indori as someone who would steal the thunder at mushairas (poetry symposium).

“Wo toh lutera tha mushairon ka. A happy-go-lucky man who was the ”jaan” (soul) of mushairas,” Gulzar said.

Gulzar said Indori was in total rapport with the new generation and times.

“He was very relevant. People of all ages used to wait for his turn at mushairas. One mostly comes across romantic shers in mushairas, but all his work that he read was about the sociopolitical and contemporary climate,” he added.

Asked when he last spoke to Indori, the 85-year-old legendary lyricist said it is difficult to recollect, but it seems as if they spoke just the other day.

Gulzar said his friend, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who worked with Indori on “Mission Kashmir”, would often tell him about work, including his songs “Bumbro” and “Dhuaan Dhuaan” on the 2000 film.

“I would love it and talk to him (Indori). Jab bhi koi aacha sher sunn liya, phone kar liya, daad de di (Whenever I would hear a good sher by him, I”d call him up to congratulate him),” he remembered.

With a 50-year career in poetry, Indori was known for the lyrics of songs like “Dekh Le” from Chopra”s “Munnabhai MBBS” (2003), “Chori Chori Jab Nazrein Mili” from “Kareeb” (1998), and “Koi Jaye To Le Aaye” from “Ghatak” (1996), and “Neend Churai Meri” from “Ishq” (1997). His lyrics were used in 11 Bollywood films.

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