Category Archives: Akhtar Sirani

Biography of Akhtar Sheerani

akhtar-sheerani smallMohammed Dawood Khan ‘Akhtar Sheerani’ was born on 4th May, 1905, in Tonk state (Rajputana, now Rajasthan). He was a son of Hafiz Mehmood Khan Sheerani, a scholar and teacher of high repute. His father was teacher in Islamia College and afterwards professor at Oriental College, Lahore. Akhtar studied in the same college and did his Munshi Fazil in 1921 and Adeeb Fazil in 1922 but showed no special interest in academic achievements. Despite the efforts of his father, he could not continue his education and became a full time poet. His teacher in poetry (ustad) was ‘Maulana Tajwar Najibabadi’, a well-respected personality in literary circles of Lahore who used to publish literary magazines. By virtue of his literary and linguistic abilities, Akhtar could secure editorial assignments on several literary journals like ‘Humayun’ and ‘Shaahkaar’. He also wrote columns for dailies ‘Hamdard’ of Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar and ‘Zamindar’ of Maulana Zafar Ali Khan.

He also tried to run his own journals, ‘Baharastaan’ (1926-1927), ‘Khayalistan’, (1930-1932) and ‘Rumaan’ (1935-1939), but such attempts proved abortive as Akhtar lacked the steadiness of purpose and mind, so essential to carry such tasks to success.

Akhtar Shirani’s life was a succession of tragedies. His young son Javed Mahmood died, his close friend Mirza Shuja Khan committed suicide, his son in law Naziruddin Shirani was accidentally drowned, and he failed in love with a woman, named Salma. All this led him to turn to alcohol and started excessive drinking.

Akhtar Sheerani died on September 9, 1948, at the comparatively young age of 43.

Aye Vaae Akhtar Huaa Ham Se Judaa Ab=1367 H
Lagaa Haaye Teer-E-Qazaa Kaa Nishaana=1948 AD

Shirani was the most popular poet of his generation. His famous romantic Nazms include ‘Aye Ishq Kaheen Le Chal’, ‘Jahaan Rehana Rahti Thi’ and ‘Salma’. He is referred to as “Shair-e-Romaan”, “Byron of Rajasthan”,”Adeeb-ul-Mulk” etc. Along with Majaz, he is also referred to as Keats of Urdu poetry.
Akhtar’s poetry may be seen as a reaction against the overly didactic and ethical verse of ‘Hali’, ‘Akbar’ and ‘Iqbal’. All these poets carefully excluded from their poetry any mention of sensuous beauty or romance, and used it mainly as an instrument of social edification. Akhtar tried to reverse this trend by turning away from social and public issues, and by focusing his gaze on the inner world of feeling and imagination, highlighting in the process, the pivotal role of women in the theatre of human existence. He builds his poetry round the endearing figures of Salma, Azra, Rehana or Cleopatra, but creatures of imagination and models of womanhood.
In the matter of style, Akhtar adheres to the tradition of rhymed verse, along with “Radif” and “Qafia”, and is not generally drawn by the new vogue for free verse or blank-verse. He is the master of the musical line and an adept in describing the beauties of the landscape. He has written several memorable poems on Barsaat or Basant, the two seasons specially adored by a wine-bibber.

Out of the three poems included in the volume “Aurat” dwells on the central role of woman in every sphere of human life, “Ai Ishq Hamen Barbad na Kar” is a plaintive song of a lovelorn lover, while the third poem, “Rehana”, centres round a sweet little girl, breathing innocent charm, and dwelling in the lap of nature.

His poetical works include: “Naghma-e-Haram”, “Shairistaan”, “Subah-e-Bahar”, and “Tayyur-e-Aawara”.

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Kaam aa sakiin na apnii vafaa.en to kyaa karen

kaam aa sakiin na apnii vafaa.en to kyaa karen
us bevafaa ko bhuul na jaa.en to kyaa karen

mujh ko ye e’tiraaf du.aa.on men hai asar
jaa.en na arsh par jo du.aa.en to kyaa karen

ik din kii baat ho to use bhuul jaa.en ham
naazil hon dil pe rose balaa.en to kyaa karen

zulmat-ba-dosh hai merii du.aa-e-aashiqii
taaron ki mish.ale na churaa.en to kyaa karen

shab bhar to un kii yaad men taare ginaa kiye
taare se din ko bhii nazar aa.en to kyaa karen

ahd-e-tarab kii yaad men royaa kiye bahut
ab muskuraa ke bhuul na jaa.en to kyaa karen

ab jii men hai ki un ko bhulaa kar hii dekh len
vo baar baar yaad jo aa.en to kyaa karen

va.aade ke e’tibaar men taskiin-e-dil to hai
ab phir vahii fareb na khaa.en to kya karen

tark-e-vafaa bhii jurm-e-mohabbat sahii magar
milne lagen vafaa ki sazaa.en to kyaa karen

By Akhtar Shirani

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Ai dil vo aashiqii ke fasaane kidhar ga.e

ai dil vo aashiqii ke fasaane kidhar ga.e
vo umr kyaa hu.ii vo zamaane kidhar ga.e

viiraan hain sehn o baagh bahaaron ko kyaa hu.aa
vo bulbulen kahaan vo taraane kidhar ga.e

hai najd men sukuut havaa.on ko kyaa hu.aa
lailaa.en hain KHamosh divaane kidhar ga.e

uj.De pa.De hain dasht ghazaalon pe kyaa banii
suune hain kohsaar divaane kidhar ga.e

vo hijr men visaal kii ummiid kyaa hu.ii
vo ranj mein KHushii ke bahaane kidhar ga.e

din raat mai-kade men guzartii thii zindagii
‘akhtar’ vo be-KHudii ke zamaane kidhar ga.e

By Akhtar Shirani

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Uthte nahi hei abh duwa keliye bhi hath

Uthte nahi hei abh duwa keliye bhi hath
Kis darja na umeed hei Parvadigaar se bhi

By Akhtar Sirani

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