Born in Deena (Now in Pakistan) on 18th August, 1934. After partition he came to Delhi. Gulzar - aka Sampooran Singh Kalra began his film career as an assistant to Bimal Roy. He also worked with Hrishikesh Mukherjee in the beginning of his career. He started writing songs for films with Bimal da's Bandini. Mora Gora Ang Layee Le is supposed to be his first song. Although His first film to be released was Kabuli Wala, which also had some all time greats like Ganga aaye kahan se. Bandini and Kabuliwala were followed by Sannata, Biwi aur Makan, Do Dooni Chaar and most notable of all Khamoshi and various others during 60's.
After getting recognition as a sensitive lyricist, he started writing scripts and stories for films. Then with Mere Apne in 1971, He turned Director. Since then he has given us lots of beautiful, serious and funny moments through his movies. He has written stories for around 60 films and directed 17 movies, each one a masterpiece.
During 1987-1996 he went away from the scene as he did only 7 films as lyricist and 2 as director in the span of 10 years. During this period he did one of the most outstanding jobs for the small screen, the serial called Mirza Ghalib, a tribute to the legendary poet. Mirza Ghalib will remain one of the most memorable TV productions for its music, direction, dialouges and portrayel of MG by Naseeruddin Shah. 1996 saw Gulzar back in action, behind the camera for the making of Maachis, a candor document on terrorism in Punjab. The success of Maachis, got Gulzar back to the film industry. After Maachis, he teamed up with new breed of music directors like AR Rahman, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The magic of Dil Se's music won him yet another Filmfare award. He has recently did a tele serial on Munshi Premchand's works titled Tehrir... Munshi Premchand ki, which was on air recently.
Although films gave him a mass recognition, Poetry always remained his first love. His first poetry collection Ek Boond Chaand was published in 1962. A collection of Gulzar poems titled "Triveni and Raavipar" were released in Marathi by Mehta Publishing House, covering his most acclaimed literary works. Mera Kuchh Samaan and Chhaiyya Chhaiyya are the two song collections of Gulzar.
Last few years are the years of experimentation, where many young artists from different faculties worked with Gulzar and provided new expressions to his work. Some of the notable experiments include Kharaashein - a play by Salim Arif on Gulzar's short stories, Udaas Paani - an experimental music album by Abhishek Ray and, Gulzar's Poetry on Canvas by a young Painter Ajay Kumar Samir. Meghna Gulzar has recently come up with a biographical sketch of Gulzar saab in the form of a book titled "Because He Is...". He penned the theme song "Lau se lau jalti rahe" for Olympic Torch Relay event at New Delhi and "Chal dilli chalein chalna hai" for Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi in 2010.
Gulzar was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2004 for his contribution to the arts and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002. He has won a number of National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards. At the 81st Academy Awards, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" (shared with A.R.Rahman), for the film Slumdog Millionaire. On 31 January 2010, the same song won him a Grammy Award in the category of Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Gulzar has won the most Filmfare Awards for Best Lyricist (11 in total) as well as four Filmfare Awards for Best Dialogue. He was also awarded the 2012 Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.
Gulzar received the 2013 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award of the Indian cinema, on 3 May 2014 at the 61st National Film Awards.