Shakeel Badayuni on a 2013 stamp of India
|Born||3 August 1916|
Badaun, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
|Died||20 April 1970|
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Shakeel Badayuni was born in Badaun, 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, Hazrat Zia-ul-Qadiri Badayuni Rehmatullah Aleh, 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 his Aligarh days, Badauni also started learning Urdu poetry formally 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 Dengey. Naushad immediately retained 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 score 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.
The Indian government had honoured him with the title Geet Kar-e-Azam.
- Association with Naushad
Shakeel shared a close friendship with Naushad, Ravi and Naushad's former assistant, 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 24 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 on 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.
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, getting the lyrics written in the sanatorium, and got him a payment of nearly 10 times more than his normal fees.
- Association with Ravi
Shakeel also wrote a substantial chunk of his songs for music director Ravi Sharma. Prominent amongst those were Gharana (1961), Ghunghat,Grahasti (1963), Nartaki (1963), as well as Phool Aur Patthar and Do Badan.
- Association with Hemant Kumar
- Association with S.D.Burman
Shakeel penned lyrics for the tunes of S D Burman for movies Kaise Kahoon & Benazir.
Shakeel Badayuni succumbed to diabetes complications at the age of fifty-three, on 20 April 1970, at Bombay Hospital leaving behind his wife, two sons and two daughters. One daughter, Najma, died soon afterwards, while still a college student. His elder son Javed works in the travel and tourism industry. His other son's name is Tariq. Shakeel's friends Ahmed Zakaria and Rangoonwala formed a trust called Yaad-e-Shakeel after his death and this trust became 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 Johnny Walker would join them in kite-flying competitions. Dilip Kumar, writers Wajahat Mirza, Khumar Barabankvi and Azm Bazidpuri were among Shakeel's other close friends within the industry.
A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him on 3 May 2013.
- "Write Angle – The door at life's end". The Hindu. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Vandita Mishra (13 March 2012). "The Bard's Unread Poems". Indian Express.
- "Mughal-e-Azam". Sify. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Bollywood Melodies – The original playlist". Live Mint. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Shamnad Basheer (26 June 2010). "Sold for a Song". The Indian Express.
- Rajiv Vijayakar (2 June 2011). "The soft spoken Bard". Indian Express.
- Shakeel Badayuni at Kavita Kosh (Hindi)