The People’s Poet Gulzar
The heroes among us
Son of Sambalpur. Odisha’s pride. People’s Poet. Padma Shri. Haldhar Nag wears these labels lightly. He walks barefoot and free on the land of his ancestors. Leads his people with humility and grace. And wages battles against injustice with the only weapon he has ever had — his pen.
Who could have imagined that a Class 3 dropout from a remote village in Odisha would one day teach the world universal lessons of humanity. Who could have imagined that in the darkness of poverty, he would find the light of eternal hope. That he would carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, as a poet and philosopher. No wonder his words resonated with his fellow wordsmith and admirer, Gulzar…
Meeting of the maestros
When we first shared the unreleased film with Gulzar, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Would two poets who dream in two different tongues — Kosli and Urdu — find a common language of camaraderie? Would two cultural giants from two corners of the country write a new chapter in the history of Indian poetry? Breaking barriers of language, and economic and social access? The short answer is, yes.
Gulzar’s first response on seeing the film was to write a letter to Haldhar Nag, to celebrate his words, to celebrate his spirit. He immediately recognised that this was a man who walks barefoot in his village, only to leave his footprints across the globe. A man who writes only to share the universal truth. A local poet with a global voice… In his remote village of Ghens, known for its role in the Revolt of 1857, in the forgotten language of Kosli, Haldhar Nag turns poison into the nectar of life with his poetry.
And that’s not all…
Shared words & wisdom