Our Legend

Saher Ludhanvi

Biography:

Born Abdul Hayee March 8, 1921 [ameenpur bazar;][lyallpur][faisalabad], Punjab

Description:

Sahir Ludhianvi was born into the wealthy family of a Muslim Gujjar[3] as Abdul Hayee on 8 March 1921 in Ludhiana, Punjab in India.[4] His mother name was Sardar Begum. Sahir’s parents had a very loose and estranged relationship. In 1934, when he was thirteen years old, his father married for the second time. At that time, his mother decided to take the bold step of leaving her husband, forfeiting all claims to the financial assets. Sahir’s father then sued his mother for child custody but lost. He threatened to make sure Sahir did not live with his mother very long, even if that meant taking the child’s life.[5] Sahir’s mother then found friends who kept a close watch on him and didn’t let him out of sight. Fear and financial deprivation surrounded the formative years of this young man. His parents’ divorce brought him and his mother face to face with poverty and struggle in life.[6] The house where Sahir was born, a red sand-stone haveli, stands in Karimpura, a Muslim neighborhood of Ludhiana, with a small plaque announcing its importance upon the arched mughal darwaaza — the only effort by the city to remember him. Sahir studied at and graduated from Khalsa High School in Ludhiana. Upon matriculation, he joined the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College For Boys, Ludhiana. He was quite popular for his ghazals and nazms in the college. He was famously expelled from the college within the year ‘for sitting in the Principal’s lawn with a female class-mate’.[7][8] About his expulsion, some accounts erroneously mention Amrita Pritam as the girl, but she never lived in Ludhiana. They met after the partition of India, when she arrived in Delhi from Lahore in 1949.