Qateel Shifayi: Remembering renowned Urdu poet on his death anniversary

Qateel Shifayi: Remembering renowned Urdu poet on his death anniversary
Muhammad Aurengzeb, with Qateel Shifai as his pen name, was a great Urdu poet who contributed immensely to poetry and literature. Qateel was his Surname (takhallus) and Shifai was in honor of his Ustaad Hakim Mohammed, whom he considered his mentor as well.

Due to his father’s early death and pressure to support family financially, Qateel was forced to quit his education. To make ends meet, he started working for a transport company and earned about Rs.60 per month.

It was in 1946, he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly ‘Adab-e-Latif’, which was a literary magazine published since 1936.

His first ghazal, then, 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” which was a mega hit. It opened doors for him and after that he never looked back. He established a certain standard to ghazals in films and gave them certain respectability. Later, 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.

The renowned poet passed away on July 11, 2001.