Today is the death anniversary of Majrooh Sultanpuri, the renowned Urdu poet and lyricist. Born Asrar ul Hassan Khan,Majrooh wrote wonderful lyrics for the film industry in a career spanning six decades.He did not receive conventional education but was admitted to a madarsa where he learnt Arabic and Persian and and obained degrees in those disciplines. He learnt Unani medicine and practiced as a Hakeem also. Soon he started reciting poetry at mushayaras and gained popularity. In the beginning, unwilling to write songs for the films, on being persuaded by Jigar Muradabadi, Majrooh agreed to write lyrics.Interestingly he was put to test by the music director Naushad , who asked Majrooh to write a song for a tune already prepared and played before him . Majrooh came up with a song and immensely impressed Naushad with his creative talent. This was the start of a promising career for the poet-lyricist. The signature song of K.L.Saigal – Hum jee ke kya karenge jab dil hi toot gaya- sung for the film Shahjahan became an instant hit and a personal favourite of Saigal so much so that the actor-singer wished the song to be played at his funeral. Majrooh’s famous lines-
“Main akela hi chala tha jaanib-e-manzil
Log saath aate gaye aur carvan banta gaya”
- continue to be quoted in various contexts to this day.
After the film Shahjahan, Majrooh wrote songs for Andaaz and Arzoo which also became hits.
He was also imprisoned and served a two year term along with other Left- leaning Progressive artistes and writers for ‘anti-establishment’ activities .
Continuing the journey of his creativity Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote memorable songs for films like
Tumsa Nahin Dekha,Dil Deke Dekho,Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon,Dosti, Teesri Manzil,Baharon Ke Sapne,Pyar Ka Mausam,Caravan ,Yaadon Ki Baraat,Hum Kisi se Kum Naheen,Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai,Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,Umrao Jaan , Pakeezah , Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and Akele Hum Akele Tum.
He was a recipient of Filmfare Best Lyricist award and the first lyricist to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Our humble tributes to the great poet-lyricist !