Last year, he made India sway to Ishqiya’s Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee. Now, Gulzar has put the common man’s life in words for Pankaj Kapur-starrer Chala Mussaddi – Office Office, a film adaptation of popular TV series, Office Office. “The entire project fell into place like a dream. Keeping the subject and story in mind, I could only think of Gulzarsaab as the lyricist. When I met him, he was very impressed with the film, which is about corruption in the system. In fact, he agreed to pen the lyrics without even picking up the script,” says director Rajiv Mehra.
One of the songs, Aam Aadmi is “sure to strike a chord with the common man.” Says Mehra: “It really can’t be simpler and more hard-hitting than what he has penned. Also, the second song, Chala Musaddi is very contemporary and unfussy.” According to the filmmaker, Gulzar “makes you feel really comfortable.” In fact, when he went to meet the lyricist-filmmaker for the second time, he kept the mukhda (first stanza) of Aam Aadmi ready.
Gulzar was also instrumental in getting composer duo Sajid-Wajid on board. “Gulzarsaab was working with the duo on Veer (2010) and he felt that Sajid-Wajid were doing some very good stuff,” says Mehra, adding that his entire cast and crew of the TV series always knew that they had a great subject for a film. “In 2008, when our serial finally went off air, I started working on the script and screenplay.”
Featuring Kapur as Mussaddi Lal, the show offered an insight into work culture in government offices and the plight of the common man. Now, Mehra, who worked with him on Zabaan Sambhal Ke and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raam Jaane (1995) will show Kapur the film once he wraps up his directorial debut, Mausam.