Qateel Shifai

Aurangzeb Khan or Qateel Shifai (24 December 1919 - 11 July 2001) (Urdu: قتیل شفا ئی ) was a Pakistani Urdu poet.

Early life

Qateel Shifai was born in Haripur, Hazara Division, British India (now Pakistan).

Career

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(master) Hakeem 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 and initially, after working for some time as assistant lyricist to some of the famous poets/lyricists of the time (c.1947-48 to 1956-57)[2], he eventually became a regular film lyricist and won numerous awards in due course. Many of his poem collections were published, one amongs 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 a certain respectability. Qateel Shifai worked on numerous ghazal albums with Jagjit and Chitra Singh, as well as with Ghulam Ali to name a few.