Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet


Akshay Manwani









This was one of the beloved numbers from the film “Taj Mahal” (1963 release), which continues to comfort the ears of music lovers even today, five decades after its release. The song of everlasting romance became so popular then and still is that it earned renowned Urdu poet, lyricist and Hindi lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi his first Filmfare Award as “Best Lyricist”.

newly released book Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet by Akshay Manwani The HarperCollins publication is a detailed biography that traces the poet’s rich life through his troubled childhood and his equally troubled love affairs and then as one of the pre-eminent figures of the Progressive Writers Movement and the golden age of Hindi film. traces his rise as a lyricist. music.

Writer Akshay Manwani turned to freelance writing after a brief career in the corporate world. His attempt to profile the life and work of Sahir Ludhianvi stems from the belief that much more needs to be done to preserve the legacy of anonymous legends. It is also his way of saying thanks to the poet-songwriter who gave him immense joy through his songs.

Born on March 8 (International Women’s Day), Sahir Ludhianvi ruled the hearts of many women in his lifetime with the power of the written words. Sahir fell in love many times and always wrote poems as a tribute to his love. Sahir remained a bachelor for the rest of his life.

Sahir (meaning magician) as the name suggests was truly a magician of words who wrote more than 680 songs for more than 100 films in his more than 30 years of life associated with Bollywood. It is said that while Sahir’s heart was more concerned with others, he apparently never paid enough attention to his life. He believed in the beauty of relationships for those who strike ties for life in his opinion were relations of the higher nature.

The journey of this story is contained in a book spread over 14 chapters. One of the chapters in this book talks about a phrase repeated over and over by Sahir Ludhianvi. While any discussion took place between Sahir and Hameed Akhtar about the direction of Sahir’s future, the most commonly heard words were, I will be a major songwriter. Sahir’s affinity for these words was attributed more to his belief in his songwriting skills, and not to limiting it to just his dreams.

An interesting anecdote is seen in one chapter that talks of “new peaks, new associations”. Sahir was known for his high ego and when his popularity was at its peak, it was his temperamental attitude which started to rub people the wrong way, which was the reason for his break-up with industry stalwarts like SD Burman. Witnessed, as is seen with many people in real life. Ego.

After reading various pivotal moments in the life and times of Sahir Ludhianvi in ​​this book, one thing is clear that despite coming out of the jungle of broken heart, Sahir never stayed on one issue for long. After giving a poetic form to a particular incident of his life, he felt that he had fulfilled his purpose. The experience enriched his life so much that Sahir’s poetry was always filled with emotions depicting his experiences or romantic affiliations. The chapter “Finding Love in the Shadow of Oedipus” talks about this.

The author has made elaborate efforts to cover “List of Film Songs”, “Select Bibliography” and “List of Poems and Film Songs”.

The biography is really inspiring and sets the reader’s mind that it did not make Sahir bitter despite so much mental turmoil and bitter experiences in his personal life. Rather, it changed his mind to look beyond his personal life. His phrases were simple but always left a deep impression on the mind of the readers.

Source by Niilesh A Raje

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