Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980) was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist and songwriter. Sahir Ludhianvi is his pseudonym. He won the Filmfare Award twice, in 1964 and 1977, and in 1971 was awarded the Padma Shri.

Sahir Ludhianvi was born into the wealthy family of a Muslim Gujjar as Abdul Hayee on 8 March 1921 in Ludhiana, Punjab in India.His mother name was Sardar Begum.

The house where Sahir was born, a red sand-stone haveli, stands in Karimpura, a Muslim neighborhood of Ludhiana, with a small plaque announcing its importance upon the arched mughal darwaaza — the only effort by the city to remember him.

Sahir studied at and graduated from Khalsa High School in Ludhiana. Upon matriculation, he joined the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College For Boys, Ludhiana. He was quite popular for his ghazals and nazms in the college. He was famously expelled from the college within the year 'for sitting in the Principal's lawn with a female class-mate'. About his expulsion, some accounts erroneously mention Amrita Pritam as the girl, but she never lived in Ludhiana. They met after the partition of India, when she arrived in Delhi from Lahore in 1949

In 1943, after being expelled from college, Sahir settled in Lahore. Here, he completed the writing of his first Urdu work, Talkhiyaan (Bitterness). He then began searching for a publisher and, after two years, he found one in 1945. After his work was published, he began editing four Urdu magazines, Adab-e-Lateef, Shahkaar, Prithlari, and Savera; these magazines became very successful. He then became a member of the Progressive Writers' Association. However, inflammatory writings (communist views and ideology) in Savera resulted in the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by the Government of Pakistan. So, in 1949, Sahir fled from Lahore to Delhi. After a couple of months in Delhi, he moved to and settled in Bombay. A friend of his recalls Sahir telling him "Bombay needs me!".

In recent years there have been many attempts to chronicle his life and times. Many books about him were published both in India and Pakistan. In 2010 Danish Iqbal wrote a Stage Play 'Sahir' about his life which was directed by NRI Director Pramila Le Hunt. This Play became a commercial success and had a dream run in Delhi. For perhaps first time, in the history of Indian Theatre, songs were used as narrative to recreate the life and struggles of Sahir. Many of his misty eyed contemporaries, Ramesh Chand Charlie, Kuldeep Nayyar and few others, thronged the performance with nostalgic ache in their heart.

Attempts are being made to convert this Play into a film on Sahir. Because the Play Sahir had characters like Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra and Amruta Preetam, it would be a tough task for the casting and depiction but it would be a nostalgic journey down the memory lane both for the public and his friends and admirers.

Personality


It was ironically appropriate; while the poet's heart bled for others, he never paid enough attention to his own life.

His friend, Prakash Pandit once recalled how, after the Partition of India, Sahir was unhappy without the company of his Hindu and Sikh friends (they had all fled to India). A secular India was Sahir's preference to an Islamic Pakistan.

Sahir Ludhianvi was known to be very egotistic[citation needed], perhaps as a result of his zamindar background; he fought for, and became the first lyricist or songwriter, to get royalties from music companies. Sahir insisted on writing the songs before the song was composed, against the Bollywood norm. However, some of his songs were written after the tunes were ready. For example,(Naya Daur 1957 - music by O.P. Nayyar). At the height of his popularity, Sahir is known to have demanded a rupee more than what was paid to Lata Mangeshkar for singing it. It was on Sahir's insistence that All India Radio started crediting lyricists along with singers and music composers for songs it aired.

Famous works


  • English translations of Sahir's poetry: LUDHIANVI, Sahir (1921–1980)
  • SHADOWS SPEAK tr. with intro. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas {Abbas, Khwaja Ahmad} pref. Sajjad Zaheer {Zaheer, Sajjad} English text only. P.P.H. Bookstall (Bombay) 129pp (intro. 7-12) 1958 paper only.
  • THE BITTER HARVEST tr. Rifat Hassan {Hassan, Rifat} Urdu & English texts. Aziz Publishers (Lahore) 169pp (pref. i-iii) 1977 cloth only.
  • SORCERY/ (Sahir) tr. with pref. Sain Sucha {Sucha, Sain} Urdu & English texts. Vudya Kitaban Forlag (Sollentuna, Sweden) 114pp (pref. 1-6, essay in Urdu 106-114) 1989 paper only.
  •  Gaata jaye Banjara - A Collection of film lyrics


Published collection of Urdu poetry


  •     Talkhiyan ("Bitterness")


Stage Plays, Documentaries and TV Productions on Sahir


In recent years there have been many attempts to bring him in sharp focus by using Theatre and Television.

  • M S Sathyu directed Stage Play Amrita: A Sublime Love Story had the first part of the narrative built around his enigmatic presence. Written by Danish Iqbal this Play was staged in Delhi, Gurgaon, Patiala and Banglore etc.
  • Pramila Le Hunt directed Play Sahir is a lyrical tribute to the life and times of this great poet and his revolutionary spirit. Written by Danish Iqbal in 2010 this Play became a commercial success and had a dream run in Delhi. For perhaps first time, perhaps in the history of Indian Theatre, songs were used as narrative to recreate the life and struggles of Sahir. Many of his misty eyed contemporaries, including Ramesh Chand Charlie, Kuldeep Nayyar and few others, thronged the performance with nostalgic ache in their heart.
  • Few TV Series on Modern Poets had episodes devoted to Sahir.

Awards

  • 1964: Filmfare Best Lyricist Award: Jo Wada Kiya ( Taj Mahal)
  •  1977: Filmfare Best Lyricist Award: Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein (Kabhi Kabhie)

 

Events
Upcomming
Fan Page Updates
 
Subscribe & Share
 
Useful Links