Jan Nisar Akhtar was a popular Indian poet of Urdu ghazals and nazms of the 20th century. He was also a part of the Progressive Writers' Movement and a famous Bollywood lyricist. Jan Nisar was the father of the famous Bollywood film writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar and the proud grandfather of Bollywood film director, producer, screenwriter, playback singer, actor and lyricist Farhan Akhtar.
Early Life and Family
Jan Nisar Akhtar was born on the 18th of February, 1914 in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh). He was born into a family of scholars, poets and theologians. Muztar Khairabadi, his father was a poet and his grandfather Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi was a scholar of Islamic studies and theology.
Jan Nisar had done his matriculation from Victoria Collegiate High School in Gwalior and joined the Aligarh Muslim University in the year 1930 where he secured his B.A and M.A degrees. However, Jan Nisar had to leave his doctoral work due to some family situations and had to return to Gwalior.
In the year 1943, he got married to Safia Akhtar, a writer and a teacher. When Jan Nisar shifted to Mumbai to work as a film lyricist, Safia stayed back in Gwalior with their children Javed and Salman.
After his marriage, he joined the Victoria College of Gwalior as an Urdu Lecturer. Later he had to shift his base to Bhopal due to the Post-independence riots in Gwalior. There he worked as the Head of the Department of Urdu and Persian in Hamidia College. Later his wife Safia also joined the same institute. Both Jan Nisar and Safia were engaged in the Progressive Writers' Movement where he was made the President.
After he resigned from his job in 1949, he moved to Bombay to try his luck as an Urdu/Hindi film lyricist where he came in touch with other progressive writers of Bombay like Krishan Chander, Mulk Raj Anand, Ismat Chugtai, Rajinder Singh Bedi and many more. This group of writers often met at the Bombay's Silver Fish Restaurant and they were known as the 'Bombay Group of Writers'.
On 17 January 1953, Safia died of protracted cancer. Three years after her death, Jan Nisar got into an alliance with Khadija Talat. A collection of letters, "Tumhare Naam", written by Safia Akhtar from 1st October 1943 to 29th December 1953 were first published in two volumes under the title, "Harf-e-Aashna" and "Zer-e-Lab" in the year in 1955.
Finally after struggling for some years he got a career breakthrough as a lyricist in the year 1955 for the film Yasmeen. His closeness to music director Madan Mohan gained him many memorable movie songs. Some of his notable lyrics include the hit Piya piya piya in Baap Re Baap (1955) music by O.P. Nayyar, Meri Neendon Mein Tum in Naya Andaz (1956) by Kishore Kumar, Aap Yun Faaslon by Lata Mangeshkar in Shankar Hussain (1977), Garib Jan Key Hamko Naa Tum Daga Dena sung by Mohd. Rafi in Chhoo Mantar et al.
He was also a great poet and like many of the other progressive writers of his time, his poems were mainly based on dignity, freedom and economic exploitation. His ghazals displayed romanticism and mainly talked about family and household life. Some of his notable books are Ghar Angan, Nazr-e-Butaan, Khaak-e-Dil, Javidaan and Salaasil.
In the year 1967, he wrote and produced a film named Bahu Begum starring Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar. During a span of four years until his death, he published 3 collections of his work and the most important among them was Khak-e-Dil (The Ashes of Heart). He was also honored with Sahitya Akademi Award (Urdu) in the year 1976 for Khak-e-Dil. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru asked him to combine the best Hindustani poetry of last 300 years. Later Indira Gandhi released the first edition of the book Hindustan Hamara (Our Hindustan) in two volumes. The book contained various topics from Urdu verses on praise and love for India and its history to festivals like Diwali and Holi, on Indian rivers like the Yamuna, Ganges and the Himalayas.
On 19 August 1976, a great poet and lyricist breathed he last while he was still working on Kamal Amrohi's film, Razia Sultan. Posthumously he was nominated for Best Lyricist Award in 1980 (Filmfare) for "Aaja Re Mere Dilbar" from the movie Noorie. In 2006, his anthology was re-released in Hindi.
During his career of over four-decades he worked with some of the great composers of his time including O.P. Nayyar, Ramchandra, and Khayyam, N Dutta. He composed about 151 songs in his career.
Children: Javed Akhtar, Salman Akhtar, Albina Sharma, Uneza Akhtar, Shahid Akhtar
Grandchildren: Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar
Great grandchildren: Shakya Akhtar, Akira Akhtar
(FAN OF Mr. JAN NISAR AKHTAR)
We seek to promote lively discussion and debate. We believe that our users have the right to express themselves freely in a manner that is courteous and respectful of others' point of view and sensibility.
Repeated violations may lead to suspension and/or termination of your message posting privileges.
www.tributes.in takes abuse very seriously: We will co-operate fully with law enforcement, including disclosure of your user ID, IP address and messaging history.
Please review your message, you cannot delete/edit once it has been posted.
Give a Tribute to someone special and see how your family and friends react - it'll be priceless (trust us)!