Majaz Lucknawi

Oct 25 2008

Majaz (pronounced Majaaz), who is sometimes called Keats of Urdu Poetry wrote Ghazals and Nazms that, if at once place speak of beauty and optimism and wit – create such a feeling of bitter despair that it leaves an ardent fan of Urdu Poetry like me and many others gasping for air. I have never seen despair and hopelessness as I have in Sahir Ludhianvi’s and Majaaz’s Poetry. Majaz’s life, however, ended way earlier than it should have.

He was one of the foremost Urdu Poets during the Progressive Writers Movement in and around 1930s and was a contemporary of noted Poets like Jigar Moradabadi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Sahir Ludhianvi and Asgar Gondavi. I hadn’t read much of Majaaz until recently when I found a copy of the TV show “Kahkashaan” that was shown on Indian Television in early 1990s. As the story goes, he fell in love with a married woman from Delhi’s high society and by the time he left Delhi, his heart was reduced to nothing. After having multiple nervous breakdowns (and even landing in a Ranchi Mental Hospital) and attempting to come back to normal, he finally met his end on a bitter cold night in Lucknow when some callous friends left him on the roof of a Maikhana (tavern) after a night of drinking. People would often get him drunk to hear his Poetry. He died alone (some say due to  cold) that night on 5th of December 1955 in Lucknow. Part of Lucknow died with him that night and Urdu Poetry suffered a huge vacuum, never to be filled again.

Here are some verses from one of his lachrymose Ghazals. Also taken is an excerpt from the TV show Kahkashaan in Jagjit Singh’s voice. Here is the MP3.

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Ai Gam e Dil Kya Karoon, one of Majaz’s creations has been sung by many generations of singers, with the most popular version by Talat Mahmood. Majaaz’s sister was married to Jan Nisar Akhtar (his son is Javed Akhtar), another master Shayar from that era.

Comments So Far..
  • Janki 25 October, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    absolutely lovely...Jagjit Singh's voice ki aawaaz mein sunkar mahshallah ghazal aur bhi haseen ho jaati hai

  • anupam dhar 26 October, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Beautiful nazm.
    Rendered beautifully.
    The static managed to steal some of the charm,though.
    Keep hunting for such gems.
    Here is wishing you a puff of joy to lift some of the gloom from the California skies.

  • akaul 27 October, 2008 at 12:57 pm to read it today only..sorry for delay
    arz kiya hai.....instant one

    yeh kambaqt Ishq kuch cheez hi aisi hai
    aam insaan ko bhi shayar ka khitab deti hai
    abh jabh majaaz ke mizaaz hi bigad jayein
    to puri awaam par khuda hi reham khayein

  • moonbeam 18 December, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    good job reviving the mystique of majaz lucknawi
    someone should write a film script on his life.

  • arif sahaab 10 April, 2009 at 7:17 am

    majaz jese azeem shair sadyun ma paida hote hain . un ki sawaneh hayat tafseel se net pe milni chaye

  • MUSHTAQ KHAN 12 August, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Kisi had tak MAJAZ,manto,ismat,faiz,faraq,ali sardar waghaira shayeri ki had tak to aaj bhi zinda hain lekin afsos wo zaban jis se ye log ishq ki had tak wabista the wo zaban jaan-ba-lab hai.Thodi bahut bol-chaal me to shayad suni bhi jaati ho rasm-ul-khat me to taqriban na-paed hi samajhiye.
    Saathiyo aap sab karam-farmaon se haath jod kar iltaja hai ki URDU ko zinda karen.kaise:-
    * Ek URDU akhbar roz khareeden.
    * Urdu ke maah-naame,haftaavaar,sah-maahi jareede khareeden.
    * apne ghar ki takhti,shaadi/saalgirah etc. ke card Urdu me likhen.
    * Naame, khatoot,tahreeron ke aaghaz urdu me karen.
    * Dokaano/Office ki takhti me Urdu zaroor ho.
    * Apne bachhon aur masturaat ko URDU padhaen.
    * Likhne me Urdu kam-az-kam 20% roz istemal ho.
    * Election/ehtajaj/awami jalson ke ishtaharat urdu me ho

  • MUSHTAQ KHAN 12 August, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Kya ajab hai ke shaayere inquilaab Majaz Lakhnavi jinko KEATS ke ham-palla qarar diya ja chuka tha ,ab Aligarh wa Lukhnow me shayad hi unke naam leva maujood hon,jabke Keats aa-limi shohrat yafta shayar hain.
    Yqeen na ho to 100 talba-Aligarh se Tarana-Aligarh ke Khaliq ka naam poochh len, majaz jaise alamghir haisiyat ke shayar ki maqbooliyat ka andaza ho jaega.Urdu to kuja.

  • kashif ali 27 September, 2009 at 10:05 am

    really this is amazing , you are doing good job . i am one of the MAJAAZ fan like you all, but i am very close to him and meet him on 3 or 4 time in a month .......... thinking ?........
    MAJAAZ grave is in lucknow , nishatganj paper mill KABRISTAN , where is resting with his sister SAFIYA AKHTAR ( SAFIYA BAJI ) , SHE IS javed akhter mom . and with his father ,

    MAAJAZ live at nishatganj , lucknow . his house name was JABR AS SIRAJ. but now sold to other person . and the road for kabristan is named after him MAJAAZ LUCKNAWI ROAD.

    somting after reciting FATIHA for him , i usually recite one of the master by him AMU TARANA ( nazr e alighar) YE MERA CHAMAN YE MERA CHANAM , MAI APNE CHAMAN KA BUBUL HO.

  • MUSHTAQ KHAN 8 October, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I loved your way of remembering Majaz ,Kashif Sb..You are really condemnable who visits his last resting place and his then residence. You know what we did with our legends when they died unsung and mostly in destitude in utter poverty? We dug a grave and buried them with their works,memories,passion and everything and covered the graves with heap of dust,then never returned back to them.
    Our children hardly know anything about GHALIB, MEER, IQBAL,MAJAZ,CHAKBAST,AMEER MEENAI,ABDUL HAQ,FAROOQI,ABDUL MAJID DARIYABADI,HAIDER,ISMAT,MANTO,JAAN NISAR,KALIM AAJIZ,INSHA,ZAUQ ,HALI, NARANG, GULZAR DEHELVI, and hundreds more just because we all prefer to forget them unlike English and french and Germens who do whatever they can for their poets,writers,dramatists,artists. That is why we all know very well people like Keats,Sheiley,Shakespear, Bernad Shaw,Oscar Wild,Chekov,Toltoy etc. but not our own.

  • Dastagir 23 February, 2010 at 1:48 am

    To : M/s. Raju Hirani... Vidhu Vinod Chopra ; Aamir Khan ; Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

    Sub: Majaaz.


    I request you to consider making a beautiful film on the life of Majaaz... Imagine Shah Rukh Khan.. singing "Aye Gham-e-Dil Kya Karoon"... or Aamir singing a Majaz ghazal.

    The last Muslim Social (Nikaah) was released in 1980. It has been 30 yrs., and no muslim social has hit the cinema screens. There is a huge market.

    Dare to venture. Introduce younger generations of India(ns) to the genius of Majaz's poetry.

    Kind rgds...

  • husain 2 June, 2011 at 12:52 am

    hum paper mill colony, nishantgunj, me rehte hai hai . yaha k kabristan me majaz sahab dafan hain us graveyard k paas hi rehte hain humme garv hai ki un jaise mashhoor shayar ki kabr yaha hai..............................

  • Iftakhar 8 August, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Tthank u for sharing information. I am fan of Majaz from Sindh Pakistan. Although i m sindhi speaking but ve high regards for Majaz n who still remember Majaz.

  • Bhavit Mehta 18 August, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I am looking for someone in the UK who knows the poetry of Majaz sahib and can recite the Urdu poetry and translate into English to take part in a literature festival in London. Do any of you know someone in the UK who can do this? Many thanks.

  • kashif 19 August, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hi Bhavit , thats a awsome job u guys are going to organize, i wish u best of luck and REGARDS for this wonderful job , i will try my best to provide u links as per ur reqmnt , beside this i would like you to prepare a documentry on MAJAZ when u organize this fest , right from his childhood in RUDAULI to ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY BACK TO LUCKNOW -DELHI- bombay-delhi -lucknow and his last day 5 december in cold night , this doc will make majaz lover to understand the way he live and enjoy with his companion . if u need any help from me i will be available at or at

  • kashif 5 May, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Hussain sahab Adab : Aap jab nishatganj kabristan jaye , waha pe bilkul shuruat hi mein lest hand side pe majaz sahab ki kabr hain , and u can also ask from kabristan khadim ABID , he knew all majaz family member graves.

  • husain 8 May, 2012 at 1:25 am

    kashif bhai i know his grave hum usse colony me rehte hai jaha vo kabristan hai unki famliy members ki bhi humme pata hai

  • Fowad 16 May, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Majaz sb ki shayari unki zidagi ki tarjuman hain.

  • Dr.Prabhat Dasgupta 27 March, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    A film on Majaz is in progress in Aligarh by Dream merchant films . . .

  • avinash ram rana 7 June, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    " Aapko padhkar ke sudhbudh apni kho betha hoon main'
    Taaumar roye hain aap aaj ro betha hoon main'
    Ai Mazaz-e-shayar-e Hindostaan teri kasam'
    Aapke ashaaron ka diwana ho betha hoon main".....


  • avinash ram rana 7 June, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I am an unknown writer.............

  • avinash ram rana 7 June, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Main gumshuda shayar hoon.............

  • Sat Satgan 4 April, 2014 at 8:28 am

    IN response tp Mushtaaq Khan's Commentary, dated Aug; 12 2009. Mushtaaq Saheb. Aap ne bajaa farmaya , aur aap ne jo tarqeebein bhi sujhayee heien, woh bhi baja. Lekin to samajhane ki baat yeh hei keh aaj Hindistane mein kitne log hein jo Urdu pardhna aur likhna jaante hein, Es mulk ke kuchh " TANG DIL LOGON " nein , barde hee sochi samjhi TARQEEB se meri es Zubaan ka sar-e aam Qatl-e aam kiya hai, pichhle chand hee saalon mein keh sadiyon se boli jane wali, meri GHUNCA DEHAN , Urdu apne hi mulk se dar-badar ho gayi hei. Ab jab koyi prdhana likhna bhi nahien jaanta, woh kiya Akhbaar khareeda ga ya pardhe ga aur kiya khaaq likhe ga. Afos .... sad afsos .... Aaaaahhhhhhh !!!!

  • raju 4 April, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Mystic voice in great ghazal. Can't believe I am listening to you. Going through some Ghazalkar I read some of Jigar Morabadi's words. Great ghazalkar had left so much behind which we can't fiend in other language.It has sharp words that gives true meaning. Going through almost every night your Urdu poetry which takes little time to get into Guj. brain, but for sure it does and gives kind of peace in mind. You all are right that no one wants to be old fashion in this crazy modern world. Sahab, Talking about news paper!!!!it's history in electronic world.. Sorry for jumping in..Thank for everything Gautam

  • falak 26 May, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    wahshatno me jiye ja rahr hai..............
    majaz sahab ko samajhne ki koshish kar raha hu !!

  • ISHTIYAK AHMAD QADERI 18 June, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    mein uske bina jiyun dua na kar
    koi dekhye to usay hoti mujhko jalan
    aye hawa to bhi ab chua na kar

    kushi ki ankh mein aansu ki bhi jagah rakhna
    bure jamane kabhi pouch ke nahi aate

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