Urdu Poet Qateel Shifai’s 95th birth anniversary was celebrated today (Tuesday)

He adopted Qateel Shifai as his pen name in 1938 under which he was known in the world of Urdu poetry. “Qateel” was his “takhallus” and “Shifai” was in honour of his Ustaad Hakim Mohammed ‘Shifa’ whom he considered his mentor.

Due to his father’s early death‚ Qateel was forced to quit his education. He started his own sporting goods shop. Being unsuccessful in his business he decided to move to Rawalpindi‚ where he started working for a transport company and earned about 60 Rupees a month.

In 1946‚ he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly ‘Adab-e-Latif’‚ a literary magazine published since 1936. His first ghazal was published in the Lahore weekly ‘Star’‚ edited by Qamar Jalalabadi.

In January 1947‚ Qateel was asked to pen the songs of a film by a Lahore based film producer. The first film he penned the lyrics for was “Teri Yaad”. After that there was no looking back. He won numerous awards as a lyricist. Many of his poem collections were published‚ one amongst them being “Mutriba” which got him the highest literature award in Pakistan.

To raise the standards of ghazals in films has been Qateel’s primary contribution to Urdu poetry. This was already started by Tanvir Naqvi and Sahir Ludhianvi‚ but perpetuated and concluded by Qateel Shifai . By using simple words and a larger amount of Hindi‚ Qateel brought Urdu poetry closer to the masses. He established a certain standard to ghazals in films and gave them certain respectability.

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