Remembering Sahir Ludhianvi With the Original ‘Kabhi Kabhi’ Ghazal

Athar Rather
·2-min read

Recital and Producer: Athar Rather
Camera: Qazi Danish & Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui

Born as Abdul Hayee (8 March 1921–25 October 1980) but popularly known by his takhallus (pen name), Sahir Ludhianvi was an Indian poet and film song lyricist who wrote in Urdu and Hindi.

He was born on 8 March 1921 in Ludhiana's Karimpura. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971. His work influenced Indian cinema, in particular Bollywood, and continues to do so till date. He won a second Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for his work on Kabhi Kabhi (1976).

On his birth centenary, here’s remembering the fabled poet and song lyricist.

The melodious song ‘Kabhi Kabhi' was first published in Sahir's Talkhiyan with the title 'Kabhi Kabhi.

Hard to be found in Sahir’s own voice, a part of the ghazal was read by Amitabh Bachchan for Yash Chopra’s movie Kabhi Kabhie.

Besides the original ghazal, the lyrics, as penned for the film, were sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar in the composition of Khayyam Saab:

Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayaal aata hai
Ki zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaanv main
Guzarne paati to shadab ho bhi sakti thi
Ye teergi jo meri ziist ka muqaddar hai
Teri nazar ki shuaon main kho bhi sakti thi
Ajab na tha ki main begana-e-alam ho kar
Tire jamal ki ra'ana'iyonmain kho rahta

Tera gudaz-badan teri nim-baaz ankhein
Inhi haseen fasanon main mahv ho rahta

Pukartin mujhe jab talḳhiyan zamane ki
Tere labon se halavat ke ghoont pi leta
Hayat chiḳhti phirti barahna sar aur main
Ghaneri zulfon ke saaye main chhup ke ji leta
Magar ye ho na saka aur ab ye aalam hai
Ki tu nahi tera gham teri justuju bhi nahi
Guzar rahi hai kuchh is tarah zindagi jaise
Ise kisi ke sahare ki aarzu bhi nahi
Zamane bhar ke dukhon ko laga chuka huun gale
Guzar raha huun kuchh an-jani rahguzaron se
Muhib saaye miri samt badhte aate hain
Hayat o maut ke pur-haul kharzaron se
Na koi jada-e-manzil na raushni ka suragh bhi
Tak rahi hai ḳhalaon main zindagi meri inhi
Khalaon main rah jaunga kabhi kho kar
Main janta huun meri ham-nafas magar
Yunhi kabhi kabhi mire dil main khayal aata hai

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