Shakeel Badayuni

3 Aug 1916
20 Apr 1970
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Shakeel Badayuni (Hindi: शकील बदायुनी, Urdu: شکیل بدایونی) (3 August 1916 – 20 April 1970) was an Indian Urdu poet, lyricist and songwriter in Hindi films

Shakeel Badayuni was born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh.His father, Mohammed Jamaal Ahmed Sokhta Qadiri, wanted him to have a good career, thus he arranged Arabic, Urdu, Persian, and Hindi tuition for Shakeel at home. His inclination towards poetry was not hereditary like other shayars.One of his distant relatives, Zia-ul-Qadiri Badayuni, was a religious shayar. Shakeel was influenced by him and the contemporary environment of Badayun led him to poetry.

When he joined Aligarh Muslim University in 1936, he started participating in inter-college, inter-university mushairas and won frequently. In 1940, he married Salma, who was his distant relative and had been living in a common house with him since childhood, however, the purdah system was vogue in their family and they were not close. After completing his BA, he moved to Delhi as a supply officer, but continued participating in mushairas, earning fame nationwide. Those were the days of shayars who wrote about the downtrodden sections of society, their upliftment, the betterment of society and all. But Shakeel had an altogether different taste – his poetry was romantic and close to the heart. Shakeel used to say:

Main Shakeel Dil Ka Hoon Tarjuman
Keh Mohabbaton Ka Hoon Raazdaan
Mujhe Fakhr Hai Meri Shayari
Meri Zindagi Se Juda Nahin
During Aligarh days, Shakeel Badauni started getting lessons of Urdu poetry from Hakim Abdul Waheed ‘Ashk’ Bijnori.

Shakeel moved to Bombay in 1944 to write songs for films. He met film producer, A.R. Kardar and music composer, Naushad Ali who asked him to sum up his poetic skills in one line. Shakeel wrote, Hum dard Ka Afsana Duniya Ko Suna Denge, Har Dil Main Mohabbat Ki Ek aag Laga Daingay. Naushad immediately signed him for Kardar’s film, Dard (1947). The songs of Dard proved to be very successful especially Uma Devi (Tun Tun)’s Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon. Only a few are so lucky that they attain success in their first film, but Shakeel deserved success which started with Dard and continued on over the years.

Together, he and Naushad became one of the most sought after composer/lyricist duos in the industry. Among the scores they churned out together, are those of Deedar (1951), Baiju Bawra (1952), Mother India (1957), and Mughal-e-Azam (1960), that stand out. Other films they scored together include Dulari (1949), Shabab (1954), Ganga Jamuna (1961), and Mere Mehboob (1963). Although Shakeel Badayuni worked most extensively with Naushad, he also collaborated with Ravi and Hemant Kumar as well. His lyrics for the song Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin and Ravi’s music both won Filmfare Awards for the hit film Gharana. His other notable film with Ravi is Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), while Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) is his biggest hit with Hemant Kumar. The title song from Chaudhvin Ka Chand, rendered by Mohammed Rafi, won Badayuni the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist in 1961.

Shakeel penned numbers for around 89 films. In addition, he wrote many popular ghazals sung by Begum Akhtar, and which are still sung by vocalists like Pankaj Udhas and others.

The Indian government had honoured him with the title Geet Kar-e-Azam.

Shakeel shared a close friendship with Naushad, Ravi and Ghulam Mohammed, with whom he enjoyed his life to the fullest. Naushad used Shakeel as the lyricist for his tunes for most of his films for a period of 20 years. Baiju Bawra, which was a milestone in both of their careers, was supposed to go to Kavi Pradeep. Vijay Bhatt, the director of the movie was insistent of using Kavi Pradeep as lyricist since the film was supposed to have many devotional songs. Naushad requested Vijay Bhatt to hear the lyrics written by Shakeel. Vijay Bhatt agreed and the rest was history.

When Shakeel Badayuni was diagnosed with TB, he was put up in a sanitorium in Panchgani for treatment. Naushad knowing that his financial condition was not well took 3 films to him and got him a payment of nearly 10 times more than his normal fees.

Shakeel also wrote a substantial chunk of his songs for music director Ravi Sharma. Prominent amongst those were Gharana (1961), Ghunghat and Grahasti (1963), Nartaki (1963), as well as Phool Aur Patthar, Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Do Badan.

Shakeel wrote for Hemant Kumar for movies like Bees Saal Baad, Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam, Bin Badal Barsaat.

Shakeel penned lyrics for the tunes of S D Burman for movies Kaise Kahoon & Benazir

C.Ramachandra – Zindagi Aur Maut, Wahan Ke Log.Roshan – Bedaag, Noorjahan.

Shakeel Badayuni succumbed to diabetes complications at the age of fifty-three on 20 April 1970,at Bombay Hospital leaving behind his wife, a son and a daughter. His friends Ahmed Zakaria and Rangoonwala formed a trust called Yaad-e-Shakeel after his death and this trust is now the source of some income to his bereaved family.

Shakeel loved to play badminton, go on picnics and hunting trips and fly kites with his friends from the industry, Naushad and Mohammed Rafi. Sometimes Johny Walker would join them in kite-flying competitions. Dilip Kumar, writers Wajahat Mirza, Khumar Barabankhvi and Azam Bajatpuri were among Shakeel’s other close friends within the industry

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