Jan Nisar Akhtar

جاں نثاراختر

Jan Nisar Akhtar


Jan Nisar Akhtar was a prominent Urdu poet, lyricist, and songwriter of the 20th century in India. Born on February 14, 1914, in Gwalior, Akhtar was celebrated for his evocative poetry that captivated the hearts of many. He was a significant figure in the realm of Urdu literature, renowned for his profound understanding of emotions and the human condition.

Akhtar belonged to a family that had a deep-rooted association with literature and culture. His father, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, was a renowned poet, and this environment greatly influenced Akhtar’s literary inclinations from an early age.

With an eloquent mastery of words, Jan Nisar Akhtar’s poetry resonated with themes of love, loss, and the intricacies of life. His verses often delved into the complexities of human relationships, societal issues, and philosophical reflections, showcasing a deep sensitivity and insight.

Apart from his poetic contributions, Akhtar was also recognized for his work as a lyricist in the Indian film industry. His lyrics, characterized by their depth and soul-stirring quality, graced numerous Bollywood films, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s legacy endures through his timeless poetry and the unforgettable songs he crafted, earning him a place among the stalwarts of Urdu literature and the world of Indian cinema. His profound impact on both realms continues to inspire and influence generations of poets, lyricists, and enthusiasts of poetic expression. Even though he is no longer with us, his words remain immortal, etched in the fabric of literary excellence and cultural heritage.

Resting place

Jan Nisar Akhtar, the renowned Indian poet and lyricist, is laid to rest at the Juhu Muslim Cemetery in Mumbai, India. His grave is located in this cemetery where he was buried after his passing. Akhtar was an influential figure in Urdu literature and the Indian film industry, known for his profound poetry and contributions to Indian cinema.

Notable work

Jan Nisar Akhtar, a prominent Indian poet of the 20th century, was known for his significant contributions to Urdu poetry. He was part of the Progressive Writers’ Movement and was recognized for his poetic talent and contributions to literature. Some of his notable works include:

1. “Aaye Kuch Abr Kuch Sharaab Aaye”: This ghazal, composed by Akhtar, is one of his most famous works. It’s admired for its depth, emotion, and lyrical beauty.

2. “Bazm-e-Khayal”: This collection of poetry is celebrated for its literary depth and philosophical themes, exploring various aspects of life, love, and societal issues.

3. “Ghazals”: Akhtar’s ghazals, in general, are highly regarded for their exquisite expression, intricate metaphors, and emotional depth.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s works continue to be celebrated and admired in the world of Urdu poetry for their beauty, depth, and philosophical insights. His poetry often reflected the socio-political climate of his time, earning him a significant place among the influential Urdu poets of his era.

Early life

Jan Nisar Akhtar was an influential Indian poet, lyricist, and songwriter who was born on February 18, 1914, in Gwalior, India. He was born into a family with a strong literary and artistic background. His father, Muzter Khairabadi, was a renowned poet, and his mother, Bismillah Begum, came from a family of intellectuals.

Akhtar grew up in an environment surrounded by Urdu literature, poetry, and arts. His early exposure to the rich cultural milieu at home played a crucial role in shaping his passion and talent for poetry. He received his education in Gwalior and later moved to Aligarh Muslim University for further studies.

His deep understanding of Urdu poetry and literature began at a young age, and he started expressing his thoughts and emotions through his verses early in life. His exposure to the literary giants of his time and the prevailing socio-political atmosphere greatly influenced his poetic inclinations.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s poetic journey began from his formative years, evolving through different phases and experiences that he encountered during his lifetime. His early life experiences and exposure to the literary heritage of his family laid the groundwork for his future contributions to Urdu poetry and Indian cinema as a distinguished lyricist.


Jan Nisar Akhtar was a prominent Indian poet of the 20th century, known for his remarkable contributions to Urdu poetry and the Indian film industry. He was also the father of renowned Bollywood actor and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. Some of his notable works include:

1. Ghubaar-i-Khatir (1947): This collection of poems reflects Akhtar’s poetic style, which often delved into themes of love, loss, and social issues.

2. Gul-e-Naghma (1947): Another significant collection that showcases his poetic prowess and his ability to evoke emotions through his verses.

3. Sarod-e-Khama (1957): This work further solidified his position as a significant poet in the Urdu literary world.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s poetry is marked by its depth, emotional richness, and a profound understanding of human experiences, which have left a lasting impact on Urdu literature. His works continue to be revered and celebrated in the world of Urdu poetry.


Jan Nisar Akhtar was a prominent Urdu poet and Bollywood lyricist from the mid-20th century. He was part of the famous trinity of Urdu poetry known as the “Progressive Writers’ Movement,” alongside Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri. Akhtar was recognized for his deeply evocative and socially relevant poetry, often reflecting the struggles and aspirations of the common people.

His legacy remains significant due to several reasons:

1. Urdu Poetry and Literature: Akhtar’s poetry contributed significantly to Urdu literature. His works often carried themes of social justice, love, and the human condition, resonating with a wide audience. His verses were emotionally rich and deeply resonant.

2. Film and Bollywood: Akhtar also made a mark in the Indian film industry as a lyricist. His poetic sensibilities found expression in Bollywood songs, adding depth and meaning to the lyrics of the era’s music. He penned lyrics for several films, enhancing the lyrical beauty of the songs and leaving a lasting impact on Indian cinema.

3. Social Relevance: Akhtar’s involvement with the Progressive Writers’ Movement and his socio-politically charged poetry reflected the larger societal concerns of his time. His commitment to social change and justice through his poetic expressions inspired many and continues to do so.

4. Literary Influence: His son, Javed Akhtar, is a celebrated poet, lyricist, and screenwriter, carrying forward the family’s legacy in the world of arts and letters. Javed Akhtar has been a significant influence in contemporary Indian cinema, renowned for his powerful lyrics and screenwriting.

Jan Nisar Akhtar’s legacy endures through the continued appreciation of his poetry, his impact on Urdu literature, and the significant influence he had on Bollywood’s lyrical traditions. His work, with its depth and social awareness, remains a source of inspiration for poets, writers, and artists in India and beyond.

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