NEW DELHI — Himayat Ali Shair, the popular Urdu poet with millions of fans in both Pakistan and India, breathed his last in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday, July 16. He was 93 years old and had been living in Toronto, Canada, at the time of his death.
According to reports, the poet suffered a heart attack in the morning. Shair was born on 14 July, 1926 in the city of Aurangabad, in the princely State of Hyderabad.
He began his professional career at the All India Radio station. He migrated to Pakistan later on. In 1956, he penned his first book, titled Aag Main Phool and received the Presidential Award for his work in 1958, just two years later.
Shair decided to venture into the film business and produced many super hit songs for some of the biggest films of the era. Again, just a couple of years into the field, he won two Nigar Awards for Best Song Lyricist in 1962 and 1963, for the films Aanchal and Daman respectively.
Films with his work include Jab se Dekha hai Tumhe, Dil ne Tujhe maan liya, Daaman, Ek tera Sahaara, Kaneez, Mairay Mehboob, Tasveer and Khilona just to name a few.
He was also applauded and well-regarded for works like, ‘Aag Mein Phool’, ‘Shikast Aarzoo’ and ‘Mitti ka Qarz’.
He became known as one of the leading Urdu poets, film song lyricists and radio artists of the time, so much so that he was even awarded the Pride of Performance Award from the government of Pakistan in 2002.
Shair remained hugely popular in Hyderabad Deccan and Aurangabad, now in Maharashtra, thanks to his roots and friends and family ties.