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Ultimate Bollywood » Bollywood Features » 2009
Abrar Alvi- A Life Lived In Guru Dutt’s Shadows
Abrar Alvi was a very warm, humane and cultured man

2009_11_Abrar_Alvi

Abrar Alvi who passed away on Wednesday lived his life as Guru Dutt's resident writer. Though he wrote some films outside Guru Dutt's banner including 4 back-to-back Vyjanthimala starrers Suraj, Chotisi Mulaqat, Sungharsh and Saathi between 1966-68, his name remained associated with Guru Dutt for whom he directed the classic Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and wrote the dialogue and/or screenplay for Aar Paar, Mr and Mrs 55, Pyasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Chaudvin Ka Chand.

Gulzar Saab had a very interesting and strange and life-changing encounter with Abrar Alvi in 1968. "Abrar Ali Saab was the uncle of one my favorite protégés Salim Arif. I was brought in to write from scratch a screenplay that Abrar Ali Saab had written. H.S Rawaail's Sungharsh, which Abrar Ali Saab had written, had to be re-written from scratch by me, on the film's leading man Mr. Dilip Kumar's behest. They just couldn't see eye-to-eye. So I was brought in to write the screenplay and dialogues. It was one of my first writing assignments in films. We spent a lot of time together during those days. He was a very warm, humane and cultured man. He remained associated with Guru Dutt's cinema. He hardly wrote anything outside Guru Dutt's cinema except for Guru Dutt's brother Atma Ram. I'd never pass by his home in Janki Kutir without stopping by to pay my respects. Another pillar has fallen."

Asha Parekh got to know Abrar Alvi during the making of Shikar in 1968. "Shikar was directed by Guru Dutt's brother Atma Ram. Abrar Alvi wrote that film. I'd sit and chat with Abrar Saab. He knew so much about so many things besides cinema. A very sensible, refined, cultured and educated man. One by one all the stalwarts are going away."

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