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Portrait of an author: Gulzar

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-05-2017 Rohit Chawla

Gulzar

Indian poet, lyricist and film-maker

As I took up the newspaper

Some small, insignificant stories fell into my lap.

A child, thrown into a dustbin

Was kept alive

By a dog who suckled him for three days;

Then, some people came and took the child away.

The dog now paws at the garbage day and night . . .

The Passport Commissioner looked up

From the application before him and said:

‘Any mole or wart on your body?

Any birthmark?

Any identification that cannot be erased?’

The Sikh thought for a few minutes

And then suddenly took off his shirt:

‘There is a burn mark, Sirji,

From ’84.

This can’t be erased!’

Newspaper, from the collection Suspected Poems (2017, Penguin Random House)

A 12-part series of portraits selected for Lounge by Rohit Chawla, who has photographed over 200 authors at the Jaipur Literature Festival over a decade.

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