Sahir Ludhianvi, an Indian Poet

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Sahir Ludhianvi


Sahir Ludhianvi (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980) was an Indian poet and lyricist who wrote in Hindi and Urdu.

Early Life

Sahir Ludhianvi was born on 8 March 1921, in Punjab, British India. He studied at Satish Chandra Dhawan Government College in Ludhiana. He was famous for his “Ghazals” and Nzams when he was in college. After moving to Lahore in 1934, he joined Dayal Singh College.


Sahir wrote his first work in Urdu “Talkhiyaan” in Lahore but couldn’t get a publisher. Eventually, in 1945, after two years of bouncing between Lahore and Ludhiana, he got a publisher. He also worked as the editor of many Urdu magazines, including “Adab-e-Lateef”, “Shahkaar”, “Prithlari”, and “Savera”. Those magazines were huge hits. The government of Pakistan issued an arrest warrant for him due to his explosive writing in “Savera.” That’s why he fled to Delhi from Lahore in 1949. After three months, he moved to Mumbai to live and create history through his illustrious works. In 1949, he became a Bollywood writer by writing the lyrics to “Aazadi Ki Raah Par”.

After that, he appeared in 1951’s “Naujawaan” with S D Burman. The film served as a steppingstone for him. In 1951, Guru Dutt’s directorial debut, “Baazi”, again paired with Burman, brought him major recognition. He then joined Guru Dutt’s team. Together they produced some legendary hits. Sahir produced enduring and timeless Hindi movie music throughout his career. The most famous ones include “Pyaasa”, “Hum Dono”, “Taj Mahal”, “Phir Subah Hogi”, “Trishul”, and “Waqt”. He won another Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for “Kabhie Kabhie”, his 1976 film that broke all records.

Sahir narrated different ages by progressing through time, which is unusual for most writers. Subah-e-Navroz talked about the conditions of the poor, Kahat-e-Bangal talked about early maturity.

He wrote several books, including Kalām-i Sāḥir Ludhiyānvī, Shadows Speak: (Parchhalyan), The Bitter Harvest: Selections from Sahir Ludhiavni’s Verse, Sorcery (Sahri): poetry, Gaata jaye Banjara (1992), Bitterness: Talkhiyan.


In 1971, he received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India. He also received two Filmfare awards.


He died on 25 October 1980, Maharashtra, India.

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