About Me

Jameel Gulrays.

Friends know of him as an Urdu connoisseur, writer and shayar

Colleagues remember him as a mad combination of creative and media planning… his industry contemporaries know him as the strategic planner and 10-sec format maverick behind campaigns like “Bottal mein aam, Maaza hain naam…”  “Taaza mango, Maaza mango”,  “lime-n-lemoni Limca”, “toh phir kyon na khaye Amul Chocolates; pyaar ki meethi bhent”, LIC’s “Jeevan ke saath bhi, Jeevan ke baad bhi” and many more…

His Voice Over friends and radio producers vouch for him as the best Hindi-Urdu writer they have worked with, and remember him for coining phrases that have become common parlance, including the now oft repeated ‘Ziddi mael’…

Discovery and Travel & Living channels have insisted that their best, most sensitive programmes are transliterated into Hindi by none other than him…

Having traversed through all aspects of the communications business for over 40 years, Jameel Gulrays has many firsts to his credit. His contribution to advertising includes Advertising’s one and only book in Hindi titled, Vigyapanon Ki Duniya, 52 advertising training workshops for beginners conducted for the industry body Advertising Agencies Association of India, starting the first ever awards to recognise contribution and work of media professionals – The Media Meet awards and much more. 

Besides being on Ad Club- CAG- committees, writing articles for several newspapers, winning innumerable awards, being behind iconic brand launches, outdoing competition with cut-throat media strategies, producing ad films, he is now the communications consultant for select clients.

While communications continue to get his adrenalin pumping, it is Urdu and that plays his muse. Mir, Zauq, Zafar, Chakbast, Dagh, Faiz, Iqbal, Firaq, Hali, Ghalib… you ask him and he will know the poet and the poetry, most of the time from memory. Manto, Krishan Chander, Rajender Singh Bedi, Ismat Chughtai, Pitras Bukhari… you ask him to recollect short stories from the galaxy of these litterateurs, and he will have it right out of his memory! His collection of Urdu poetry and literature and his repertoire of knowledge with respect to his beloved language Urdu and Urdu literature, is enviable to any lover of the language. 

Currently, he is on a crusade of sorts to preserve the rich tapestry of Indian language literature through his initiative Katha Kathan. 

He was felicitated with Maharashtra State Government’s Urdu Sahitya Academy Award, for his work in promoting Urdu literature.

Even as a man on a mission, he still enjoys juggling the multiple hats he wears.

He started off by sharing his repertoire of Urdu poetry on Twitter, through his handle @gulrayys. From barely 5 followers for months to closing on nearly 8000+ followers of Urdu today, he continues to share classics on this platform. 

However, over two years ago, he realised that as more and more Indians start giving up studying their mother tongue, it is but a matter of time when most will not be able to read or write in any of the Indian languages. Given that as Indians, we still do speak our mother tongue at home, these generations will however still understand the language. One way to reintroduce and rejuvenate languages and motivate the younger generations to want to learn them is to introduce them to the stories and poems and philosophy in original form, by narrating the literature and ensuring it reaches them through media they consume. 

Katha Kathan’s journey began with his quest to make his vast library of Urdu poetry and prose available to those who appreciate Urdu literature. As he started off with this rather simple mission with his YouTube channel ‘Jameel Gulrays’, it transcended into a larger cause of preservation of the vast repertoire of Indian language literature. 

Being fluent in Urdu, Hindi and English, and also having graduated in Persian, it has been relatively easy for him to share the gems of Urdu with his audiences through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where he records one story and/or poem each day, of legendary writers and poets.

Today, his initiative Katha Kathan which is headquartered in Mumbai, now has chapters in Delhi, Allahabad and Lucknow.

Even as a man on a mission, he is still in pursuit of his swan song…