Sahir Ludhianvi was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist and songwriter. Sahir Ludhianvi is his pseudonym. He won the Filmfare Award twice, in 1964 and 1977, and in 1971 was awarded the Padma Shri.
Sahir Ludhianvi was born into the wealthy family of a Muslim Gujjar Chaudhry Fazal Muhammad as Abdul Hayee on 8 March 1921 in Ludhiana, Punjab in India. His mother name was Sardar Begum.
Sahir studied at and graduated from Khalsa High School in Ludhiana. Upon matriculation, he joined the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College For Boys, Ludhiana. He was quite popular for his ghazals and nazms in the college. He was famously expelled from the college within the year 'for sitting in the Principal's lawn with a female class-mate'. About his expulsion, some accounts erroneously mention Amrita Pritam as the girl, but she never lived in Ludhiana. They met after the partition of India, when she arrived in Delhi from Lahore in 1949.
In 1943, after being expelled from college, Sahir settled in Lahore. Here, he completed the writing of his first Urdu work, Talkhiyaan (Bitterness). He then began searching for a publisher and, after two years, he found one in 1945. After his work was published, he began editing four Urdu magazines, Adab-e-Lateef, Shahkaar, Prithlari, and Savera; these magazines became very successful.Sahir Ludhianvi made his debut in films writing lyrics for the film Aazadi Ki Raah Par (1949). The film had four songs written by him and his first song was Badal Rahi Hai Zindagi... Both the film and its songs went unnoticed. However, with Naujawaan (1951), he gained recognition. S.D. Burman composed the music for Naujawaan. His first major success came the same year with Guru Dutt's directorial debut, Baazi (1951), again pairing him with Burman. Thus he became part of the Guru Dutt team, and after the success of Naujawaan and Baazi, the combination of Sahir Ludhianvi and S.D. Burman came out with many more everlasting songs.
Sahir worked with many music composers, including Ravi, S.D. Burman, Roshan and Khayyam, and has left behind many unforgettable songs for fans of the Indian film industry and its music. Pyaasa marked an end to his successful partnership with S.D. Burman over what is reported to be S.D. Burman's displeasure at Sahir receiving more admiration from audiences for the words of the lyrics than S.D. Burman did for his memorable tunes. Later, Sahir Ludhianvi teamed up with composer Datta Naik in several films. Datta, a Goan, was a great admirer of Sahir's revolutionary poetry. They had already worked together to produce the music for Milaap (1955). Sahir wrote many unforgettable gems for Datta.
From the time B.R. Chopra started producing and directing films under his banner 'B.R.Films' around 1950, Sahir Ludhiyanvi remained the preferred songwriter for his films. This association continued till Sahir Ludhiyanvi died, with his last composition for B.R.Films being for Insaaf Ka Tarazu.
Sahir's final works were released for the Hindi film Lakshmi (1982). He will always be remembered along with Kaifi Azmi as the poet who brought Urdu literature to Indian motion pictures.