Tag Archives: Biography

Biography Of Asghar Gondvi

Asghar GondaviAsghar Husain ‘Asghar Gondvi’ was born in 1884 at Gonda (U.P.). His father, Taffazul Hussain, was a clerk, a man of modest means who couldn’t provide higher education to his son in a good school or college. Asghar studied up to the 8th class only, but through self-effort he attained a complete mastery of Urdu, Persian and Arabic, besides achieving proficiency in English. Asghar was under the influence of ‘Sayed Abdul Ghani Kazmi’, a religious saint and mystic, and led a life of piety and self-control. He had a great love of literature, religion and philosophy, more specially, the philosophy of the Sufi saints. To earn his living Asghar for some time did trading of optical items, then worked in the railway engineering department, and then he worked at the India Press at Allahabad. When Jigar Moradabadi came in contact with him he became very close to him and guided him in his poetry. Jigar Moradabadi was married to a sister of Asghar’s wife.
He died of a paralytic stroke in 1936.

Asgha’r poetic works are available under two volumes: ‘Nishat-e-Rooh’(Bliss of the Soul) and ‘Sarud-e-Zindagi’(Song of Life). The central theme of his poetry is love, not earthly and material, but mystic and transcendental. He expresses his feelings with consummate artistry, using the imagery of romantic poetry, so that he can be enjoyed at both the secular and spiritual levels. According to him life is a perpetual quest, an eternal search for the fount of love and beauty, and all objects of this earth are engaged in the pursuit of this one aim. Reason and analytical probing cannot take us to the source of light and love. What we need is a spirit of self-surrender and a sense of humility. Then alone can we rise above the apparent confusion of creeds and realise that one Truth for which the whole creation is striving.

Asghar Gondvi lent a new charm based on philosophy and spiritualism to the poetic landscape of Urdu and Persian poetry. While his work is miniature as compared with the works of other Classical poets such as Ghalib and Mir Taqi Mir who have thousands of verses, the superiority of Aghar’s work makes it out. Asghar seems to have been influenced by Ghalib, while in his emphasis on the greatness of man, and the value of struggle, he reminds us of Iqbal, who too, gives utmost importance to the virtues of love, faith and action.

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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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Biography Of Bashir Badr

Bashir BadrDr. Bashir Badr (Full Name Syed Mohammad Bashir), was born on the February 15th 1935. He did B.A. M.A. and Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University. He worked as a lecturer in the Aligarh Muslim University and later as the lecturer and head of the department of Meerut College, Meerut. He knows Persian, Hindi and English as well. He started writing Shers in his teens. It is said that during his Master’s program he was made to study one of his own book. Bashir Badr has two sons and a daughter. One of his sons Nusrat Badr is a Bollywood writer. The journey of Bashir Badr was not easy. He had to not only face hardship stages during his youth, but a fire calamity burnt down all his possessions and he had to start all over again. He moved to Bhopal and lives there.

He has seven collections of Ghazals: ‘Ikaai’, ‘Image’, ‘Aamad’, ‘Aahat’, ‘Kulliyat-e-Bashir Badr’, etc. He also has 2 books of literary criticism, ‘Aazadi Ke Baad Urdu Ghazals Ka Tanqidi Mutaala’ and ‘Biswin Sadi Mein Ghazal’. He also brought out a collection of Urdu Ghazals in the Devnagari script, titled ‘Ujjale Apni Yadon ke’. ‘Aas’, the award winning collection of 69 Ghazals is the jewel in the poetic crown of Bashir Badr. The collections of his Ghazals have been published in Gujrati script also. His works have been translated into English and French.

His Ghazals, contain contemporary Urdu, and are therefore easily understood and appreciated by a vast majority of people, without extra effort. His Ghazals are primarily an expression of anguished love and express the mysteries of life.

Bashir Badr has been into various controversies. He is the Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy. Some people criticize him of getting this post by showing great admiration to Atal Bihari Bajpai and B.J.P. He has also been accused of not sincerely managing the affairs of M.P. Urdu Academy. His other controversial statement comparing himself with “Ghalib” and “Meer”, heart many people.


Dr. Bashir Badr was awarded “Padma Shri” in 1999 for contribution towards literature and Sangeet Natak Akademi.

He is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for his poetry collection “Aas” in 1999.

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Biography of Ahmed Faraz

Ahmad-farazAhmed Faraz was born on January 14, 1931, at Kohat, Pakistan. His real name was Syed Ahmad Shah. His father was Syed Mohammad Shah Barq and brother, Syed Masood Kausar. They belonged to respectable family, descendants of”Haji Bahadar” a famous saint of Kohat. He moved to Peshawar with entire family. Studied in Edwards College, Peshawar and then did his Masters in Urdu and Persian from Peshawar University.

He later became lecturer at the Peshawar University.

During his time in college, “Faiz Ahmed Faiz” and “Ali Sardar Jafri” were the best progressive poets, who impressed him and became his role models.

He was arrested for reciting certain poems at a Mushaira, criticizing the military rule during the Zia-ul-Haque’s regime. He went into self-imposed exile and stayed for 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe. After returning to Pakistan, he was initially appointed Chairman Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based “National Book Foundation” for several years.

Maintaining a tradition established by his mentor, the revolutionary “Faiz Ahmed Faiz”, he wrote some of his best poetry during those days in exile. Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been “Mahasara”

Despite his deteriorating health, he was quite active in the Judicial Crisis, in 2007. He himself joined the lawyers to protest against the government, and also encouraged his colleagues to do the same. Faraz’s health continued to deteriorate and he died from kidney failure in a local Islamabad hospital on 25 August 2008.

Ahmed Faraz, who has been compared with Faiz Ahmed Faiz, holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing.

He was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004, in recognition of his literary achievements. He returned the award in 2006 after becoming disenchanted with the government and its policies.


Adamji Award, (Pakistan’s highest literary award), 1966

Abaseen Award, 1970

Dhanak Award, 1971

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Award, 1991

Naqoosh-e-Adab Award, 1992-93

Sitara-i-Imtiaz, 1993

Kamal-e-Fan Award, 1994

Pakistan Academy of Letters Award, 2000

Hilal-e-Imtiaz, 2004 (returned in 2006)

International Awards

Firaq International Award, (India), 1982

Academy of Urdu Literature Award (Canada), 1991

JN Tata Award (India), 1992

2000 Millennium Medal of Honors (USA), 1999

First Kafi Azmi Award (UAE), 2002

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