biography of urdu poet-qateel shifai

Aurangzeb Khan,"Qateel Shifai" was born on 24th December 1919, in Haripur, Hazara Division, India (now in Pakistan). He adopted Qateel Shifai as his pen name in 1938 under which he was known in the world of Urdu poetry. "Qateel" was his "takhallus" and "Shifai" was in honour of his ustaad ‘Hakim Mohammed Shifa' whom he considered his mentor.

Due to his father's early death, Qateel was forced to quit his education. He started his own sporting goods shop. Being unsuccessful in his business he decided to move to Rawalpindi, where he started working for a transport company and earned about 60 Rupees a month.

In 1946, he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly 'Adab-e-Latif', a literary magazine published since 1936. His first ghazal was published in the Lahore weekly 'Star', edited by ‘Qamar Jalalabadi’.

In January 1947, Qateel was invited to write the songs of a film by a Lahore based film producer. His first film as lyricist was "Teri Yaad". After that there was no looking back. He won numerous awards as a lyricist. Many of his poem collections were published, one amongs them being "Mutriba" which got him the highest literature award in Pakistan.

In 2001 Qateel suffered paralysis and a stroke. He had also developed complications in his kidneys. He remained in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology for about a month after which he responded slowly. But he was rushed to the hospital again because an attack of pneumonia which had affected his lungs. He died on 11 July 2001 in Lahore. The street on which he lived in Lahore has been named’ Qateel Shifai Street’ after him. There is also a sector of Haripur city that has been named after him, ‘Mohallah Qateel Shifai’.

Qateel's primary contribution to Urdu poetry is believed to raise the standards of ghazals in films. This was already started by Sahir Ludhianvi, but perpetuated and concluded by Qateel Shifai. By using simple words and a larger amount of Hindi, Qateel brought Urdu poetry closer to the masses. He established a certain standard to ghazals in films and gave them respectability.

Qateel Shifai produced a film in his mother language--Hindko-- in 1970. It was the first Hindko film which was named "Qissa Khwani". The film was released in 1980.

Over 20 collections of verse and over 2,500 songs for Pakistani and Indian films were published. His poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Hindi, Gujarati, English, Russian and Chinese.

Jagjit and Chitra Singh, as well Ghulam Ali has sung his ghazals in a number of their albums.

His poetry is included in the masters' level syllabus in many universities in Pakistan and India


'Pride of Performance Award' - 1994 for his contribution to literature,

'Adamjee Award',

'Naqoosh Award',

'Abbasin Arts Council Award'

'Amir khusro Award' in India.

Films as lyricist

Bade Dilwala (1999)

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan (1999)

Auzaar (1997)

Naajayaz (1995)

Sir (1993)

Phir Teri kahani Yaad Aayee (1993)

Tahqiqaat (1993)

Painter Babu (1983)

Shireen Farhad (1975)

Naila (1965)

Intezar (1956)

Gumnam (1954)

Gulnaar (1953)

Teri Yaad (1948)


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