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Asrar Hasan Khan popularly known as Majrooh Sultanpuri was born at Sultanpur (UP) on 1st October 1919.
He received his early education in Urdu, Persian and Arabic. He was trained in Hikmat at the Unani College in Lucknow. He practiced as a Hakim for quite some time. However, his interest in Urdu poetry got the better of him and in association with progressive poets like Jigar Moradabadi, Moin Hasan Jasbi and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Majrooh polished his pen giving it a biting edge of protest and national fervour. He wrote strongly about the British high handedness in India and it was because of such writings that he along with some other members of the Progressive Writers Movement was imprisoned for two years.
Sometime around the mid forties A.R. Kardar, a famous film personality of his time heard him reciting in a mushiara and asked him to write a song for the film "Shahjehan" worded as Karlijye chal kar mere jannat ke nazare which was rendered by K.L. Saigal. He also wrote songs like, "gham diye mustaqil and Jab dil hi toot gaya. All the songs became very popular establishing Majrooh in the film industry for time to come.
For over five decades his pen minted letters of gold. His songs raised a toast to life and love. Suffused with rich emotions his shairi captured the quintessence of human life, its relentless struggle to survive the odds and to triumph. He belonged to the golden era when films were invested with a certain innocence and humanism.
Majrooh Sultanpuri was the last member of a formidable quartet Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra being the other three which while not ignoring the compulsions of commercial cinema transformed film songs into sheer poetry. They were the ones who introduced ghazal to the film music.
Combining instinct with practice Majrooh perfected the technique of chiselling a popular film song. Free from banality, his songs touched the core of human heart. Although a product of the adabi tradition of classical Urdu poetry, Majrooh resisted the pull of high flowing Urdu and instead adhered to simple Hindustani which struck the right chord among the commoners and the connoisseurs alike. Majrooh had a style of his own he could write a popular number without denigrating into vulgarity. His creative energy soaked in everything from soul-stirring melody and romantic duet to the modern day techno-members.
Majroohs songs span five decades of Hindi cinema-from "Shahjehan" to "Jaanam Samjha Karo" a super hit video cassette of Asha Bhosale. Majrooh changed with time and had the rare ability to bridge the gap between Naushad Ali and Leslie "Lezz Lewis, K.L. Seigal and Udit Narayan "Hum To Mohbbat Karega" his last film is to be released shortly.
In his entire career Majrooh Wrote around 8000 film songs in over 350 films. He had under his belt scorers of super hit film such as :- "Paying Guest"; "Nau Do Gyaarah"; "Teesri Manzil"; "Yaadon Ki Baraat"; "Sujata"; "Aarti"; "Chitralekha"; "Mamta"; "Tumsa Nahin Dekha"; "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak"; "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander" and "Kya Kehna" to name a few.
Although he teamed up with music stalwarts such as Naushad, Madan Mohan, Roshan, O.P. Nayyar and Laxmikant Payarelal, Majroohs alliance with S.D. Burman and later R.D. Burman mark a glorious chapter in the annals of Hindi cinema.
Some of Majroohs unforgettable songs are Aye dil mujhe aisee jagah le chal" (Aarzoo); "Uthaye ja unke sitam" (Andaz); "Gham diye mustaqil" (Shahjehan); "Jalte Hain Jiske Liye" (Sujata); "Rehte the kabhi jinke dil mein" (Mamta); "Who jo milte the kabhi" (Akeli Mat Jayeeo); "Na Tum Hume Jaano" (Baat Ek Raat Ki); "Deewana mujh sa nahin (Teesri Manzil); "Chhod do aanchal zamana kya kahega" Paying Guest); "Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko" (Yaadon Ki Baraat) and "Papa kehte hai bada naam karega" (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak).
Majrooh has been honoured and felicitated in India, Russia, USA, England, France, Canada, Mauritius and West Asia. In India, a number of awards received by him include Filmfare award for "Dosti". Film Writers Association Award; Film Journalist Award. Uttar Pradesh Hindi-Urdu Sahitya Award; All India Journalist Award and Iqbal Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government. He was the first lyricist to be honoured by the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1994.
This illustrious film personality passed away on May 24, 2000. He was 80.
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