Jan Nisar Akhtar was an Urdu poet, lyricist and Hindi film producer.
He was born in a family of scholars and poets in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. After graduating from Aligarh Muslim University, he took up a job as a lecturer of Urdu in Victoria College, Gwalior. He later moved with his family to Bhopal and also got married there. In 1949, he left a stable job as Head of Department at Hamidia College and moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in literature and films.
Life in Mumbai was tough and Jan Nisar Akhtar had to depend on financial support from his wife, Safia Akhtar, who had stayed back in Bhopal. After many years of struggle, he finally gained some recognition with the popularity of the songs from “Yasmin” (1955). After writing songs for several Hindi films through the 1950s, he moved on to writing poetry and published several books. He also wrote and produced the film “Bahu Begum” (1967). In 1976, a compilation of his poetry, Khak-e-Dil, won him the Sahitya Academy Award for Urdu.
Some of the songs he is remembered for are “Piya Piya Piya Mera Jiya Pukare” (“Baap Re Baap”, 1955), “Ankhon Hi Ankhon Mein Ishara Ho Gaya” (“CID”, 1956), “Meri Needon Mein Tum” (“Naya Andaz”, 1956), “Aaja Re O Mere Dilbar Aaja” (“Noorie”, 1979) and “Aye Dil E Nadaan” (“Razia Sultan”, 1983). He died on 19 August 1976 in Mumbai.