indian cinema heritage foundation

Rahat Indori

Lyricist
  • Real Name: Rahatullah Qureshi
  • Born: January 1, 1950 (Indore, Madhya Pradesh)
  • Died: August 11, 2020
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Parents: Rafatullah Qureshi and Maqbool Un Nisa Begum
  • Spouse: Anjum Rehbar (divorced), Seema Rahat
  • Children: Faisal Rahat, Satlaj Rahat, Shibli Irfan
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Urdu poet and Hindi film lyricist Rahat Indori penned lyrics for popular songs such as Aaj hume dil ka har kissa (Sir, 1993), Loye loye (Yaraana, 1995), Tujhe pyar karte karte (Naajayaz, 1995), Teri aankhon ka deewana (Daraar, 1996), Koi jaaye to le aaye (Ghatak, 1996), Hameshaa hameshaa (Hameshaa, 1997), Neend churai meri (Ishq, 1997), Chori chori jab nazrein mili (Kareeb, 1998), Bumbro bumbro (Mission Kashmir, 2000), M bole to (Munna Bhai MBBS, 2003), Tumsa koi pyaar (Khuddar, 1994), and Dil ko hazar baar (Murder, 2004). He was also seen onscreen in Dilbar (1995) essaying a cameo as Shaayar Qaidi. His career graph has a tough-times-to-tinsel-town slant, with him starting off as a painter, turning professor, and poet and then Hindi film lyricist. A pedagogist of Urdu literature at Devi Ahilya University, Indore, his poetic flair was spotted and appreciated by listeners of Urdu poetry, as well as the film industry in Bombay. Philosophically inclined, he was known for his poetic brilliance and absolute commitment to work.

He was born Rahatullah Qureshi on 1 January, 1950 in Indore, the fourth child of cloth mill worker Rafatullah Qureshi and Maqbool Un Nisa Begum. Completing his Higher Secondary from Nutan School Indore, he went on to graduate from Islamia Karimia College, Indore in 1973 and earned his MA in Urdu literature from Barkatullah University with a gold medal in 1975. He earned a PhD in Urdu literature from the Bhoj University, Madhya Pradesh in 1985.  

His family went through hard times financially, which had led to him taking up work as a sign-painter at the tender age of 10. A good student, he was also the captain of the football and hockey teams at school and college levels. He recited his first sher in his college days when he was only 19. On completing his education, he took up a teacher’s job in Urdu literature at IK College, Indore. Making his mark in mushairas, he began to get invitations in India and abroad.

Rahat Indori, the name he adopted to highlight the place he hailed from, performed at poetry gatherings for over 40 years. Attending poetry symposiums across India, he also traveled internationally multiple times to recite his poetry. 

Entering the film industry, he penned lyrics for Hindi films such as Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities (2004), Ishq (1997), Hameshaa (1997), Ghatak (1996), Tamanna (1998), Prem Aggan (1998), Jurm (2005), Dil Kitna Nadan Hai (1997), Auzaar (1997), Beqabu (1996), Yaraana (1995), Gundaraj (1995), Takkar (1995), Naajayaz (1995), Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Mission Kashmir (2000), and Himalay Putra (1997). 

A compilation of his ghazals and shayari was released in the form of a book - Mere Baad, in 2016. He was known for the simple and lucid language in which he penned poetry. Books he has to his credit include Qalandar, Rut, Do Kadam Aur Sahi, Mere Baad, Dhoop Bahut Hai, Chand Pagal Hai, Maujood, and Naraz. He composed approximately 66 ghazals. Some of the popular ghazals he penned include Aankh mein pani rakho honton pe chingari rakho, Roz taron ko numaish mein khalal padta hai, Hath khaali hain tere shahr se jate jate, Bimar ko maraz ki dawa deni chahiye, and Teri har baat mohabbat mein gawara kar ke. He was also famous for his shayari, composing approximately 32 couplets. He was known for reciting his couplets in an expressive style. 

Winner of many awards, he received various honours from Houston City Council, Houston USA; Gehwara E Adab, Atlanta, USA; Farogh E Urdu Adab Award – Kuwait; Mohd. Ali Taj Award, MP Urdu Academy, Bhopal; Rajasthan Urdu Academy, Jaipur; Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Bhopal; Maulana Mohd Ali Johar Award – Jamia Old Boys Association, New Delhi; Adeeb International Award – Sahir Cultural Academy, Ludhiana; Haq Banarasi Award – Anjuman Nawa e Haq, Banaras; Sahitya Saraswat, Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag; Indira Gandhi Award, National Federation, Haldwani; Pradesh Ratna, Hindi Sahitya Parishad, Bhopal; National Integration Award, Indian Cultural Society, New Delhi; UP Hindi Urdu Sahitya Award, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow; Rajiv Gandhi Literary Award, Hum sab Ek Hain, Bhopal; Award of Excellence in Urdu Poetry, Social Educational & Welfare Association (SEWA), Mumbai; Sadbhaawna Award, Bazm E Gango Jaman, Ujjain; Dr Zakir Hussain Award, New Delhi; Kabeer Samman – Vaadiz Hindi Shiksha Samiti, Jammu Kashmir; Indore Ratna – Dainik Dabang Duniya, Indore; and Mirza Ghalib Award, Jhansi. 

Indori had appeared on television on shows such as The Kapil Sharma Show, and Wah! Wah! Kya Baat Hai! His couplet ‘Bulati hai magar jaane ka nahi’ went viral and began trending on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during Valentine’s week in 2020. It became a popular meme. Another popular couplet, ‘Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai’ also became popular on social media.

Testing positive for Covid-19, Rahat Indori passed away due to cardiac arrest on 11 August, 2020.