Majaz Lucknawi

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.


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

    wonderful……got 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.

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