Published On: Sun, Oct 25th, 2015

Tribute To Literary Giant Sahir Ludhianvi, On His 35th Death Anniversary Today.



Sahir Ludhianvi is probably the only songwriter in Hindi films whose poetry was accepted in its purest form and incorporated as a film song. So great was his stature as an Urdu poet that he never had to mould his poetry to suit the demands of film songwriting; instead, producers and composers adapted their requirements to his poetry. His songs in films like Pyaasa, Naya Daur, Phir Subah Hogi and Kabhi Kabhie have attained the status of classics.

During his nearly three decade long stint in the industry, Sahir Ludhianvi added a new life of sorts to many movies, through his skillfully crafted lyrics.

Sahir Ludhianvi with the renowned Kathak danseuse Sitara Devi.

Sahir Ludhianvi with the renowned Kathak danseuse Sitara Devi.


Sahir made his debut as a lyricist with the film “Azadi Ki Raah Par” in 1948. The film had four songs written by him. His first song was “badal rahii hai zindagii”. Sahir’s real break in Hindi films came from his meeting with SD Burman who was unaware of Sahir’s reputation as an Urdu poet. When Sahir went to meet him, SDB gave him the first few notes of a tune he was working on. Sahir spontaneously wrote, “Thandi hawaaein lehra ke aayein, rut hai jawaan, tum ho yahan, kaise bhulayein”. This song was used in ‘Naujawan’ starring Nalini Jaywant and Prem Nath. It was Sahir’s ability to bring nature into his love songs that makes the songs immortal.

Sahir Ludhianvi with Yash Chopra and Ravi.

Sahir Ludhianvi with Yash Chopra and Ravi.


Most of his songs became hugely popular and are even today sung and hummed by people of all generations.

On 25 October 1980, at the age of fifty-nine, Sahir Ludhianvi suffered a massive heart attack and died.

His popularity, undiminished almost thirty five years after his death, belies his own lines from Kabhie Kabhie:

“kal aur aayenge nagmonki khilti kaliyaan chunnewaale
mujhe se behtar kehne waale, tum se behtar sunne waale
kal koi mujh ko yaad kare, kyoon koi mujh ko yaad kare
masroof zamaanaa mere liye, kyoon waqt apna barbaad kare”

Sahir Ludhainvi with Shiv Kumar Batalawi

Sahir Ludhainvi with Shiv Kumar Batalawi

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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