"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"
Gulzar's LIBAAS (1986-88) and its unreleased status. (Did You Know - 45)
03 Apr, 2013 | Did You Know!

The mid 80s film LIBAAS has a special importance in the heart of every true fan of the legendary poet, writer and director Gulzar due to an interesting fact associated with its existence. And the fact is that though the film was reportedly completed in the year 1986, but still it hasn’t been released in the theaters ever and cannot be found either in the home video market or over the net through any official or unofficial link till the day of writing this article in April 2013.
So where at one end you can easily see its publicity posters and also enjoy its worth listening soundtrack available on the web with only a click, there the film remains to be seen by almost all Gulzar fans and is still untraceable even after more than 25 years of its making since the late 80s.
Based on the theme of extramarital affairs written around the background of a theater group, it features Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi & Raj Babbar in its key characters and has music by the maestro R. D. Burman with lyrics penned by Gulzar himself. Talking about a subject which was considered to be quite bold and path breaking in that particular time period, the film probably got caught in the censor issues & other undisclosed disputes and couldn’t be released for the public as it is told. However it did won its due appreciation when screened in few International Film Festivals after few years.
Apart from its unique extinct status, LIBAAS enjoys a mystical kind of aura around its name mainly because of its four fabulous tracks which are, “Sili Hawa Chhoo Gayi”, “Khamosh Sa Afsana”, “Phir Kisi Shaakh Ne” and “Kya Bura Hai, Kya Bhala” sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadekar and Pancham Da himself. Its music cassettes were first released by WESTON company in the late eighties, which also had few dialogues of the film as I can remember. And later the tracks came on SAREGAMA (then HMV) in combination with few other Gulzar’s classics like IJAAZAT.
However all is not lost, if you are really interested in witnessing this invisible classic in a different form other than the usual moving images shot with the magical camera, as mentioned below.
Probably the last film of Pancham Da & Gulzar together, LIBAAS was later written in the form of a short story by the writer-director himself with the title of “CHAABI” (Key) which also got published under the name of “Seema” in his book “RAAVI PAAR”. So you can easily know the actual storyline of the film by reading this short story by Gulzar in his book comprising a compilation of his short stories.
Libaas - Script BookBut in case you are just not satisfied by this indicative plotline alone as a short story, then we also have its detailed SCRIPT published in a book form by Radhakrishan Publications, Delhi in hardbound form with more than 100 pages. The book is titled LIBAAS only with a short introduction by Gulzar, in which the veteran makes you aware of the journey of his thoughtful creation from an unreleased film to a short story and then as a script in the form of a book.
To say the least, LIBAAS is indeed a worth reading experience as a Script or Book based on the changing human relationships between its three lead characters, which deserves to be given a chance in this available form, till we get an opportunity to watch it in its original version of a film as conceived by its gifted creator called ‘Gulzar’.

With a hope that it will soon be made available somehow by the makers themselves.


Tags : Gulzars LIBAAS (1986-88) and its unreleased status, Did You Know Facts about Hindi Films, Bollywood Trivia, Unknown Facts on Bollywood, Unknown Gulzar, Unreleased Gulzar movie, Pancham Da, RDBurman, Film Scripts, Interesting Facts of Bollywood at bobbytalkscinema.com
03 Apr 2013 / Comment ( 2 )
Suvineet Srivastava
The movie is being released now.
Bobby Sing

Dear Suvineet,
Knowing the system here, though I am doubtful of any wide release, but will be more than happy if it even gets released in just a couple of theaters in the near future. However there are more chances of its coming online.

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