KARACHI: Realising the dismay that his early return to India from Lahore would have caused to his admirers in Pakistan, Indian poet and filmmaker Gulzar on Thursday wrote a letter to the founder and organiser of the Karachi Literature Festival, Ameena Saiyid.
True to his poetic inclinations, he titled the letter “Mujh Se Naraz Na Hon (Don’t be cross with me)”.
The contents of the letter cleared the air regarding the reasons for his sudden return to his homeland. According to Gulzar, it was his visits to his birthplace Dina and to Ahmed Nadim Qasmi’s gravesite that he felt “uneasy in the chest”. When the discomfort continued he decided to go back to the ‘familiar’ Mumbai where such ‘contingencies’ could be met.
He profusely apologised to the people of Pakistan and wished the festival success. The following is the letter that was sent by him to Ameena Saiyid:
“Dear Ameena Saiyid Ji, “Perhaps by now you may be aware that while at Lahore, I had taken the opportunity to visit Dina to have a look at the house where I was born and spent my teens and of course the Qaber of my late guru and mentor Ahmed Nadeem Quasmi to pay my respects. I was moved very much by these two visits. As ill-luck would have it, I felt very uneasy in the chest. The uneasiness subsided temporarily at the recording studio.
“We were recording a song for Vishal with Pakistani singers. The discomfort returned when I reached the hotel. It was 2am Vishal postponed the recording for a later date some time in March and we impulsively decided to return to Mumbai, which being a familiar terrain to meet such contingencies.
“Thus I reached Mumbai on 13th night. I had come fully prepared for The Karachi Literary Festival. But this mishap has disappointed me very much.
“I am awfully sorry for this, which is beyond my control. With very best wishes for a very successful festival.
“You may share my letter with the media if you think it proper. I have no reservation. My apology from the people of Pakistan.
My message: ‘Mujh se naaraaz na hon!’ Yours sincerely, Gulzar.”