Saturday, June 28, 2014


                        ( SAHIR LUDHIANAVI )



Sardar Begum ( Died 1976 ) , mother of Sahir Ludhianavi was from a Kashmiri Muslim family that had settled in Punjab. She was the youngest child of  Abdul Aziz , a Kashmiri contractor of Ludhiana . She was well known to the family of Shorish Kashmiri and during the communal frenzy of 1947 , she was brought by this family to Lahore from Ludhiana. Sahir’s father , who had divorced his mother , had also moved to Lyallpur ( Now Faisalabad )from Ludhaina where he died in 1964. 
Sahir was in Delhi when his mother moved to Lahore. He went to Lahore in September 1947 to bring her back to india. At the same time , his close friend Hameed Akhtar had come to Lahore from Mumbai. Hameed insisted on Sahir’s staying in Lahore . Very reluctantly Sahir agreed and started editing a newspaper after taking up rented accommodation at Abott Road opposite Nishaad cinema in Lahore . But he had to pack back when arrest warrants were issued against him for writing anti establishment editorials including one wherein he questioned the legitimacy of the 'Two Nation Theory'  . His belief in Marxism did not find favour with the rulers of the new born country . Sahir fled Lahore and returned to Delhi . From Delhi, he requested his friend Prakash Pandit to go to Lahore to bring back his mother . 
Staying for some time in  Delhi , Sahir moved to Mumbai. To make both ends meet in Mumbai, he even copied manuscripts for publishers that also included Krishen Chander’s poorly handwritten pages . For this he earned Rs150 . With no regular income , he once sold his mother’s bangles to pay water and electricity bills . Inspite of all this,  he did not lose patience .He kept moving from studio to studio for work but did not get a break or work . And Ishar Kour , the Sikh girl whom he loved during his college days had also moved to Mumbai. She tried to look for him in vain and was finally married to a distant cousin by her parents . This all happened before Sahir landed in Mumbai. No one knows what happened to her thereafter. 

And then One day, his friend Mohan Sehgal recommended  him to S D Burman who stayed permanently in GREEN HOTEL located at Khar . Sahir landed at the Hotel early in the morning and knocked at the door of Burman Dada 's room. Dada was gracious and made him sit comfortably. Sahir introduced himself and spoke about the purpose of his visit to the hotel . S D Burman  neither knew urdu nor was much familiar with poetic nuances. He was essentially a composer . Burman asked Sahir to listen carefully to a tune that he had prepared for a film song and then pen words to fill up the tune . And sahir wrote 

“ Thandi havaayein , 
Lehra ke Aayein ,
Ruut Hai jawaan ,
Tum ko Yahaan ,
Kaise Bulaayein …..

A visibly overjoyed Burman jumped from his seat . He took Sahir to producer A R Kardar saying that the desired poet had arrived. When Lata ji sang the song , it was instant hit. Burman ensured Sahir’s song writing in more films including Jaal,Taxi Driver ,Munim ji , Devdass , House No 44, Pyassa and Funtoosh etc. For 1957 superhit movie Pyassa , Guru Dutt ,Sahir and S D Burman pooled their Heart and soul . 

                 ( left to right  Sahir , His Mother sardar Begum and a cousin of Sahir )

( Left to right ..Sahir , Majrooh, Naushad Ali , Jan Nissar Akhtar , R D Burman, Akhtar Ul Imaan , Faiz Ahmed Faiz , Rajinder singh Bedi )

PHAILEE HUYEE HAIN SAPNON KI BAAHEIN ” …..When sahir wrote this song for House no 44 starring Devanand and kalpana kartik, an overjoyed S D Burman kissed his hands . 

“Komaal Hai ! Komaal Hai ! ”Burman kept crying . And once Lata ji gave her voice to the song, it turned immortal.

Burman had already composed the tune and sahir just filled in the words . Sahir also wrote “ Chup Hai Dharti “ another beautiful song for this movie on a tune already prepared by S D Burman.

( Avtar Mota)

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