Al – Vidaa Shahryar Saheb !

Shahryar Taking Jnanpith Award from Amitabh Bachchan

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 18 , 2012           01.45 A.M.

A renowned poet of Urdu language , Shahryar a.k.a. Akhlaq Mohammad Khan , who also won Jnanpith Award in 2008 for his contribution to Urdu literature , died on February 13 , 2012 in Aligarh , Uttar Pradesh . He was suffering from lung cancer . He was the 4th Urdu writer to win prestigious Jnanpith Award .

Born in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh on June 16 , 1936 , he went to Aligarh Muslim University for higher education and later on became a lecturer of Urdu Literature in the same university and retired as Head of Department of Urdu Literature . He was co – editor of  ” Sher O Hikmat ” , a literary magazine .

Bab-e-syed, the gateway to AMU

Gate of Aligarh Muslim University

He , apart from writing ghazals and nazms , also wrote lyrics for highly successful films like ;  ” Gaman ” [ 1978 ] , ” Umrrao Jaan ” [ 1981 ] and ” Anjuman ” [ 1986 ] , all directed by Muzaffar Ali .

Who can forget ghazal of  ” Gaman “  ” Seene me jalan , saanson men toofan sa kyon hai ; Is shaher me har shakhs pareshan sa kyon hai ……

Or these immortal ghazals of ” Umrao Jaan ”  :

In aankhon ki masti ke mastane hazaron hain …… or

Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan leejiye ; bas ek baar mera kaha …….. …or

Jab bhi milti hai mujhe ajnabi lagti kyon hai ……… or

Ye kya jagah hai dosto ; ye kaun sa dayar hai …….. or

Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm me laati hai hamen ……..

Lyrics of ” Umrao Jaan “ are immortal and they are still popular among the connoisseurs of Hindi film music and ghazal lovers of this country and Urdu speaking diaspora .

He got Sahitya Akademy Award in Urdu for his poetry in 1987 . Later on in 2008 , he got prestigious Jnanpith Award . As stated earlier , he was the 4th Urdu writer to get Jnanpith Award . Firaq Gorakhpuri was the 1st to get this award in 1969 . Qurratulain Hyder was the 2nd and got the award in 1989  . Ali Sardar Jafri was the 3rd , who got Jnanpith in 1997 .

Firaq Gorakhpuri

Firaq Gorakhpuri


Qurratulain Hyder

Ali Sardar Jafri (1913-2000)

Ali Sardar Jafri

Some famous books of Urdu poetry written by Akhlaq Mohammed Khan alias Shahryar :

1 – Ism – E – Azam [ 1965 ]

2 – Satvan Dar [ 1969 ]

3 – Hijr Ke Mausam [ 1978 ]

4 – Khwab Ke Dar Band Hain [ 1987 ]

He got Sahitya Akademy Award in 1987 for his book ” Khwab Ke Dar Band Hain ” .

With his death the last doyen of Urdu literature , the last titan of modern Urdu ghazal is gone . World of Urdu poetry will never be the same again .




Jagjit Singh Ji ! Chitthi Na Koi Sandesh , Kahan Tum Chale Gaye ?

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA             DECEBER 31 , 2011                   7.00 P.M.

On October 09th , when I came to my institute and started going through all the twitter postings , I found a tweet , to my shock and dismay, about the sad demise of Ghazal King Jagjit Singh Ji. I knew about his medical condition and also that he was admitted in Lilawati hospital due to brain haemorrhage , but still I was hoping against hope that he would survive .

Jagjit Singh and his singer wife Chitra Singh were not only one of the most popular Ghazal singers of India but they are solely responsible for the resurrection of this genre of singing , popular among royalty of South East Asia . Before the advent of Jagjit Singh , Ghazals had classical base and flowery and chaste Urdu poetry and that too heavily Persianised Urdu . Because of this , genre of Ghazal became the thing of wealthy Zamindars and the selected royalty. This was the reason of limited reach of Ghazals and its subsequent decadence in popularity.

English: Cropped version of File:SAARC.PNG foc...

Ghazal Loving Countries of South East Asia

When Jagjit Singh came to the scene , he realized the precarious situation and single-handedly fought and changed the scene. He chose easy but meaningful and poignant words, simplified the classical Ragas and introduced modern orchestra. His music arrangement was also very modern and catchy. Puritans frowned , as they always do , whenever a change is ushered in , but masses lapped this new kind of Ghazals and slowly puritans also fell in line because you can’t fight with the masses.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

SAARC Countries

” The unforgettables ” [ 1976 ] , was the first LP records of Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh and it hit  the market like a tarnado. It created sensation and a new icon was ushered on the firmament of the music world. I am proud to say that I have LP record of ” The unforgettables ” .

English: Lata Mangeshkar releases music album ...

jagjit Singh with Lata mangeshkar

But the journey of Jagjit Singh was not easy . Born In Sri Ganga Nagar , Rajasthan on February 08 , 1941 , Jagjit Singh started learning music at early age . He came to Mumbai in 1961 and started his struggle . Success came to him after 15 long and arduous struggling years . But once it came , Jagjit Singh created history .

Combined album of film songs sung by him ; ” Arth “ and Saath Saath is India’s largest selling album of all times . His ghazal album ” Sajda “ with Lata Mangeshkar is the largest selling album of all times in India in non – film category .

He gave music for films like ; ” Prem Geet ” [ 1981 ] , ” Arth ” [ 1982 ] , ” Saath Saath ” [ 1982 ] ,  and TV serials like ; ” Mirza Ghalib [ 1988 ] and ” Kahkashan ” [ 1991 ] . Just like his ghazal albums , all the songs of these albums were hits . In total he has given us 80 albums and all of them are best sellers .

Besides ghazals . Jagjit Singh also sung bhajans and gurbani . His albums like ; ” Maa ” , ” Hare Krishna ”  and ” Hey Ram … Hey Ram “ and ” Man Jeetayi jagjit “ are much renowned and acclaimed .

His concerts were almost always sold out .

English: Jagjit Singh performing live at Symph...

Jagjit Singh - Live Performance at Symphony

I am ashamed that I am posting this obituary after 3 months . I started writing immediately after his death . But it remained incomplete because so many luminaries died in the last quarter of 2011 and I was travelling incessantly .

I am ashamed for the delay and saddened at the loss of the world of music .




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