Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980) was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist, who worked extensively in Hindi films. Sahir Ludhianvi is his pseudonym. He won the Filmfare Award twice, in 1964 and 1977, and in 1971 was awarded the Padma Shri.The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee released a Commemorative Postage Stamp on his birth anniversary on 8 March 2013 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.His biography, Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet, has been published by HarperCollins.


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.In 1948, Sahir started work as editor for Shaahkaar and Savera. He also published Shaahraah from Delhi and did some editorial work for “preet kii laDi”/”Prithlari”, all of which were successful.  He also became a member of the Progressive Writers’ Association. Soon, however, his inflammatory writings in Savera resulted in the Government of Pakistan issuing a warrant for his arrest. So, Sahir fled to Delhi  but after a couple of months, moved to Bombay (present day Mumbai).Sahir made his debut as a lyricist with the film “Azadi Ki Raah Par” in 1948. The film had four songs written by him. His first song was “badal rahii hai zindagii”. However, it was the year 1951 that would bring him fame and recognition. Two films, released in 1951, had songs that sky-rocketed in popularity and are hummed even today. First was “ThanDii hawaayeN lehraa ke aayeN” from Naujawan. The second was a landmark film, marking the directorial debut of Guru Dutt – Baazi. Both films, coincidentally, had music by S. D. Burman.

On October 25th, 1980, Sahir Ludhianvi succumbed to a massive heart-attack. He was buried in the Juhu cemetery but in 2010, his tomb was demolished to make space for new burials. He died a bachelor. His popularity, undiminished more than thirty years after his death, belies his own lines from Kabhie Kabhie:

kal aur aayenge naGmoN kii khilatii kaliyaaN chunanewaale
mujhe se behtar kahane waale, tum se behtar sunane waale
kal koii mujh ko yaad kare, kyooN koii mujh ko yaad kare
masroof zamaanaa mere liye, kyooN waqt apanaa barbaad kare


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