Abdul Hayee, better known by his takhallus (pseudonym), Sahir Ludhianvi (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980) was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist and songwriter.

In 1949, when Sahir left Lahore and Delhi to come to Bombay, he told a friend, ‘Bombay needs me.’ And how true he was. This started a most memorable career for one of Bollywood’s darling poets – a career that spanned 31 years and gave Indian films over 200 Golden Greats – songs, ghazals, nazms that have enthralled many generations.

Below is one of his most famous works. Popularized by the movie “Kabhi Kabhie”, this nazm featured in Sahir’s “talKhiyaaN” (his first serious work published in 1945) and was later simplified for the movie version.  The movie contained two different versions of the nazm, the one that was sung by Mukesh and then Mukesh and Lata and the other version was from ‘talKhiyaaN’, recited by Amitabh Bachchan.  The one posted here is straight from his book ‘talKhiyaaN’ and was recited by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie “Kabhi Kabhie.”

Kabhi kabhie mere dil main khayal aata hain
Ki zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaon main guzarne pati to shadab ho bhi sakti thi.

Yeh ranj-o-gham ki siyahi jo dil pe chhayi hain
Teri nazar ki shuaon main kho bhi sakti thi.

Magar yeh ho na saka aur ab ye aalam hain
Ki tu nahin, tera gham teri justjoo bhi nahin.

Guzar rahi hain kuchh iss tarah zindagi jaise,
isse kisi ke sahare ki aarzoo bhi nahin.

Na koi raah, na manzil, na roshni ka suraag
Bhatak rahin hai andheron main zindagi meri.

Inhi andheron main reh jaoonga kabhi kho kar
Main janta hoon meri hum-nafas, magar yoonhi
Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayal aata hai.
shaadaab = pleasant, agreeable, fresh,delightful
teeragi = darkness
zeest = life
shu’aaoN = light, rays, brightness
begaana-e-alam = stranger to the world
jamaal = beauty
ra’anaayioN = elegance
gudaaz = gentle, tender
neembaaz = half open
mahv = drowned
talKhiyaaN = bitterness
halaavat = sweetness
hayaat = life
barhanaa = naked
muheeb = dreadful
samt = towards
hayaat-o-maut = life and death
purhaul = full of deceit, might
KhaarzaaroN = a place full of thorns
jaada = road
KhalaaoN = darkness
hamnafas = companion