indian cinema heritage foundation

Behzad Lakhnavi

  • Real Name: Sardar Hasan Khan
  • Born: 1 January, 1900 (Lucknow, India)
  • Died: 10 October, 1974 (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Parents: Sajjad Hussain
  • Children: Azm Bahzad

Well-known poet and lyricist Behzad Lucknavi has several films to his credit such as Taj Mahal (1941), Zamindar (1942), Dhanwan (1946), Aag (1948), Ladli (1949), Pagle (1950), Ada (1951), and Pyar Ki Baten (1951). He primarily wrote naats and ghazals and sometimes radio plays for the All India Radio, Delhi, and later for Radio Pakistan after migrating to Pakistan. Among the songs he penned are Mere liye woh gham-e-intezaar for the film Anokha Pyar (1948) sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Dil tut gaya ji chhut gaya rendered by Shamshad Begum, Solah baras ki bali umariya by Shamshad Begum and Mohammed Rafi, Log mujhko khush samajhte hai, Hame ab ye jina ghawara nahi hai, Tum dekh rahe ho, Prem ki pyari nishani jaag rah, Aadmi wo hai musibat se, Rehne laga hai dil me andhera, and Ab koi tute hue dil ka sahara na raha. His memorable ghazals include Zinda hoon iss tarah ki gham-e-zindagi nahin, Tumhaare bulaane ko jee chaahta hai, and Rehne laga hai dil mein andhera tere baghair.

He was born Sardar Ahmad Khan on January 1, 1900, in Lucknow. Hailing from a family of litterateurs, his father was also a poet of repute in his time. He received his early education from Calcutta and after that was sent to Aligarh for further education. Influenced by the literary environment of Lucknow, Behzad started composing verse at an early age in his life. He used to participate in mushairas (social gatherings where Urdu poetry is read) apparently at the young age of 12 after poet and radio broadcaster Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari introduced him to the All India Radio. 

He went on to work for the Indian Railways for a long time and later joined All India Radio. During this period, he also made contacts in the film world and wrote lyrics for films. His filmography includes Pyar Ki Baten (1951), Ada (1951), Khel (1950), Pagle (1950), Wafa (1950), Ladli (1949), Nisbat (1949), Aag (1948), Anokha Pyar (1948), Andhon Ki Duniya (1947), Jadui Ratan (1947), Dhanwan (1946), Poonji (1943), Zamindar (1942), Roti (1942), Taj Mahal (1941), and Dhanwan (1931). 

His collections of his poetry include: Naghma-o-Noor, Kaif-o-Suroor, Mauj-e-Tahoor, Chiraagh-e-Toor, and Wajd-o-Haal. His poetry exuded simplicity, smoothness, purity and depth, as he developed his own unique style. His literary works include the novels Haseen Qatil (1924), Paidaishi Jasoos (1925), and Bete Ka Qatil (1926)

Post Partition, Lakhnavi migrated to Pakistan and worked for Radio Pakistan, Karachi. He used to recite naats as a part of congregational prayer. He also wrote some radio plays. As a ghazal writer, he contributed to the Urdu literature of Pakistan.

His last days were spent in difficult circumstances due to financial crisis and medical complications. Behzad Lakhavi died on 10 October, 1974 in Karachi, Pakistan.


Image Courtesy: Flickr