Jigar Moradabadi (جِگر مُرادآبادی), was the takhallus of Ali Sikandar (1890–1960), one of the most famous Urdu poets of the 20th century and a celebrated Urdu ghazal writer. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1958 for his highly acclaimed poetry collection “Atish-i-Gul”.
He belonged to the classical school of ghazal writing and was a mentor of Majrooh Sultanpuri, a famous lyricist of Indian Film Industry who penned many popular songs in Hindi/Urdu. Jigar remained a keen drinker most of his life and was famous for his forgetfulness and absent-mindedness. But when he met Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi, a very pious and reformer man of that time, he changed his lifestyle and did not drink ever after that time.
Jigar was extremely popular with the masses, who regarded him as the People’s Poet. His ghazals remain very popular with lovers of Urdu poetry. Many remark that the era of classical Urdu poetry ended with Jigar.
Here is a memorable ghazal written by him and immortalized in Jagjit Singh’s melodious voice:
ishq ki daastaan hai pyaare
apni apni zabaan hai pyaare
hum zamaane se inteqaam to le
ek haseen darmiyaan hai pyaare
tu nahin main hoon main nahin too hai
ab kuchh aisaa ghumaan hai pyaare
rakh qadam phoonk phoonk kar naadaan
zarre zarre mein jaan hai pyaare
Tis the tale of love, my friend;
Everyone has their own version to tell
I could take revenge on the world as I want
Something beautiful comes between me doing so
You are me. I am you.
Such is the presumption, my love
Take your steps lightly, my naïve friend
There is life in every little particle, my friend