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Majrooh Sultanpuri Biography

Born : 01 October 1919, in Nizamabad,Uttar Pradesh,India

Death : 24 May 2000, in Mumbai,India

Majrooh Sultanpuri was a noted lyricist of the Hindi film industry who is best remembered for his patriotic and devotional numbers. Sultanpuri made his mark in the industry as a versatile lyricist. In a career spanning over five decades, he worked in over three hundred and fifty films and was the lead lyricist during the 1950s and early 60s. He became the first lyricist who was a recipient of the much coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his immense contribution to the Indian film industry.

Sultanpuri was born, Asrar ul Hasan Khan in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh in 1919. He received his education in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, and formally studied the Unani system of medicine. In 1938, he graduated as a medical practitioner, a 'hakim'. After just a year of practice, he quit his job to write poetry. Sultanpuri joined the Progressive Writers Movement (PWM) along with other eminent personalities such as Jigar Moradabadi, Moin Hasan Jasbi  and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. For his association with PWM and his poetry against the British rule, he served a prison term of two years before India gained independence.

 Sultanpuri got his first big break in Hindi films with the film Shahjehan (1946). His first film song "Gam diye mushtaqil..." was sung by K L Saigal and shot him to fame as a film lyricist. Raj Kapoor's Andaaz (1949) established his credibility within the film industry with a number of hit songs including "Tu kahe agar jeevan bhar main geet sunata jaaoon" and "Ham aaj kahin dil kho baithe.”  Over the next few decades Sultanpuri worked with music composers of all generations- Madan Mohan, Laxmikant-Pyarelalji, Naushad, O P Nayyar, Roshan and Anil Biswas, to AR Rahman, Anu Malik and Jatin-Lalit. His collaboration with R D Burman delivered many hit songs in films like Teesri Manzil (1966), Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973), and Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin (1977). Naushad played a crucial role in bringing out the nuances of Sultanpuri's poetry and fuse it with the demands of the film.

Majrooh Sultanpuri published his collection of poetry as Mishal-e-Jaan (The Torch of the Soul). He was honoured with the Ghalib Award and the Iqbal Prize for his contribution to Urdu poetry. The veteran lyricist passed away on 25 May, 2000 in Mumbai.