Khumar Barabankvi

Khumar Barabankvi-Biography

Early Life

Khumar Barabankvi's real name was Mohammed Haidar Khan. He was born on 20th September, 1919 in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh. In childhood he found poetic environment in his family. His father Dr. Ghulam Haider wrote salams and marsiyas under pen name ‘Bahar’. His uncle ‘Qaraar Barabnkvi’ was a well-known poet of Barabanki who guided Khumar in young age and did Islah (Corrections) to his poetry. His brother Kazim Haider ‘Nigar’ who died in early age was also a poet. Khumar was an intelligent student and passed his high school from Government College Barabanki with distinction in many subjects. He then moved to Lucknow for his Intermediate classes where a romantic turn in his life made him to quit education and start poetry.
Khumar Barabankvi had a melodious voice and soon became popular in Mushairas. He also got acquainted with Jigar Muradabadi and remained in association with him for a long period. His ghazals and voice made him favorites in Mushairas and became a shayar of world fame. Jigar Muradabadi and Khumar Barabankvi were known to guarantee for the success of any mushaira with their poetry as well as their melodious voice and style of recitation.
Khumar was an ardent supporter of classical ghazal like Jigar Moradabadi. Though he had to face criticism from supporters of progressive movement in urdu shayari but he stood firmly in favor of classical ghazals.

Published Work

He got his work published as ‘Hadees-e-Deegaraan’, ‘Aatish-e-Tar’ and Raqs-e-Mai’.

Lyrics and Bollywood

In 1945 Khumar went to Bombay to attend a mushaira. Film Director A.R. Kardar and music director Naushad were present there. They listened poetry of Khumar and were impressed by his ghazals. Kardar who was making ‘Shahjahan’ with Naushad as music director, offered him to write few songs for his films and he agreed. Songs of ‘Shajahan’ film were written by Majrooh Sutanpuri and Khumar Barabankvi. Songs of both the writers became super hit.
In Bollywood, singers like K.L.Sehgal, Mohd. Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt Have given voice to his poetry. With his song ‘Chaah Barbad Kare Gi Hamein Maaloom Na Tha’ sung by Sehgal for film ‘Shahjahan’ released in 1946, he gained fame and recognition in Bollywood. In 1949, he wrote ‘Tum Ho Jaao Hamaare’ sung by Mohd Rafi, in ‘Roop Lekha’ and ‘Hasrat Bhari Nazar Ko Tera Intezar’ sung by Geeta Dutt and Zohra Khan in ‘Dil Ki Basti’. In 1951 Lata Mangeshkar gave her melodious voice for his song ‘Loot Liya Mera Qaraar’ for film ‘Hulchal’. All the songs of his film ‘Baradari’ released in 1955 were hit. The songs ‘Bhula Nahin Dena Ji Bhula Nahin Dena’ and ‘Tasveer Banata Hoon Tasveer Nahin Banti’ became super hits.

His films include- ‘Shahjahan’, ‘Dil ki Basti’, ‘Roop Lekha’, ‘Adhi Raat’, ‘Meherbani’, ‘Halchal’, ‘Jawab’, ‘Rukhsana’, ‘Shahzada’, ‘Captain Sheroo’, ‘Mehfil’, ‘Menhdi’, ‘Qatil’ and many others.


Though he was a successful song-writer, he always preferred to attend mushairas than devoting time to write lyrics for films. Besides this, he was annoyed with the falling standards of poetry in films, so he kept himself away from Bollywood for quite long time. On the insistence of music director Naushad, he agreed to write songs for K. Asif’s ‘Love and God’ but soon after he quit film industry and settled in Barabanki.

He passed away on 20th February, 1999 in Barabanki.

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