Music has amazing possibilities, science says that it acts as medicine. But what gets us connected to music is our emotions which are engraved in the lyrics. Also, indian movies have given rise to some brilliant lyricists of India. Whether it is the voice of revolution in form of ‘Dushyant Kumar’ or expression of love in the form of ‘Faiz Ahmed Faiz’, our movies have a long list of poets to be proud of. A lyricist gives emotions to our words.

Here is the list of some of the greatest lyricists of India!

1. Shaharyar (June 1932 – Feb 2012)


Akhlaq Mohammad Khan, pen name as Shaharyar, was one of the greatest lyricists of India. Gaman (1978) and Umrao Jaan (1981) were most noteworthy movies that took him to the height of success. Also, he was associated with teaching and retired as the HOD of Urdu language from the Aligarh Muslim University and thereafter remained a sought-after name in mushairas and poetic gatherings. Some memorable ghazals of him are ‘Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiyay’ and, ‘hujūm-e-dard milā zindagī azaab huī ‘………..An awesome nazm of Shahryar-

kahiye to āsmāñ ko zamīñ par utaar laa.eñ

mushkil nahīñ hai kuchh bhī agar Thaan lījiye

2. Sahir Ludhianvi (March 1921 – October 1980)

Sahir Ludhianvi picture
Sahir Ludhianvi

Abdul Hayee popular as Sahir was an Urdu poet and one of the most famous lyricists of India. His works influenced Indian cinema a lot. Due to  Sahir’s pressure, the directors were forced to mention names of lyricist alongside with music composers at the time of casting. Taj Mahal (1963) and Kabhie Kabhie (1976) were two movies which grabbed him Filmfare Award for best lyricist.Also, he was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971 for his contribution in the field of art and literature. In his honor Indian govt. issued a commemorative stamp as well, in March 2013, on the eve of his ninety-second anniversary. Few lines from his Filmfare award-winning song…….

कल और आयेंगे नगमो की खिलती कलियाँ चुनने वाले,

मुझसे बेहतर कहनेवाले, तुमसे बेहतर सुननेवाले;

3. Nida Fazli (Oct 1938 – Feb 2016)

Nida Fazli
Nida Fazli

Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli, was a prominent Indian Hindi and Urdu poet, lyricist and dialogue writer. He has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2013 by the government of India for his contribution to literature. Nida’s creations are mostly inspired by relations among human beings. In his own words, he says “poets are same as any other artist; musician or painter.” Some noteworthy creations of one of the greatest lyricists are ‘Mohabbat me wafadari se bhchiye’, ‘nai nai aakhen ho to har manzar aacha lagta hai’……we can realize his mastery in these lines…

ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo, yu kar le

kisi rote hue bachche ko hansaaya jaaye

4. Santosh Anand (March 1940 – enjoying life)

Santosh Anand
Santosh Anand

Santosh Anand is one of the greatest lyricists of India, who attained success in the 1970s. He is awarded Filmfare twice 1974 for song ‘main na bhoolunga’ in the movie ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’ and 1982 for the song ‘Mohabbat Hai Kya Chij’ in the movie ‘Prem Rog.’ Also, he is awarded by Yash Bharti in 2016. Anand has written total 109 songs in 26 films. The most noteworthy couplets from his favorite millennium song:

ghar phuk diya humne,ab raakh uthani hai;

 zindgi aur kuch bhi nhi, teri meri kahani hai…….

5. Gulzar (18 Aug 1934 – actively working)


Sampooran Singh Kalra known popularly as Gulzar, is a poet, lyricist, and film director. He is one of the most popular lyricists of India of the present time. Gulzar is only Indian Lyricist to win an Oscar for ‘Jai Ho’ in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” which he shares with A.R Rahman along with Grammy award as well. Also, he has also been awarded Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award which is the highest award in Indian cinema, Indian National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards in total. TV series Mirza Ghalib in the 1980s, directed by him, which helped in bringing Ghalib near to masses of our country. A beautiful nazm by him….

तुम्हारे ख़्वाब से हर शब लिपट के सोते हैं

सज़ाएँ भेज दो हम ने ख़ताएँ भेजी हैं

6. Javed Akhtar (17Jan 1945 – actively working)

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar is a son of well-known Urdu poet and film lyricist Jan Nisar Akhtar and Safia Akhtar. He belongs to a family having seven generations of writers. Also the highly respected Urdu poet, Majaz was his maternal uncle and is looked upon as a milestone in Urdu Poetry. Script Writer, as well as Poetry, is his areas of work. Most of all, his excellent in dialogue and scripts of movies like Sholay, Zanzeer, Deewar, and Don separates him from other contemporary writers. Akhtar Shaab has achieved a lot of milestones in his life like the Padmabhushan award by the Government of India, National Award for best lyricist five times and Film Fare award for best script/lyricist sixteen times, such a big numbers. One of his the most noteworthy song is……

Kya Kahoon Duniyaa Ne Kiya, Mujh Se Kaisa Bair

Hukm Tha..? Main Jiyun Lekin Tere Baghair

Naadaan Hai Woh Kahte Hain Jo Mere Liyeh Tum Ho Ghair

Kitne Sitam Humpe Sanam Logon Ne Kiye

Dil Mein Magar Jalte Rahe, Chahat Ke Diye

Tere Liye, Tere Liye

7. Prasoon Joshi (16 September 1971 – Adding new gems in his crown)

Prasoon Joshi
Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi is a lyricist, screenwriter, and poet. He has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in August 2017. Furthermore, Prime minister, Narendra Modi has appointed him as his main ad campaigner. Not only his achievement includes Filmfare for best lyricist three times but also National Film award for best lyrics twice. Prasoon receives the Padma Shri award by the Government of India in 2015, for his contributions in the field of Arts and Literature, is the most noteworthy milestone. Seems like poetry is not the only forte, he has even worked in advertising. Especially the ad “Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola” helps him grab Cannes award for best TV commercials. An inspiring line by him, from movie Bhag Milkha Bhag…

Aag zubaan pe rakh de

Phir chot ke hoth bhigaayenge

Ghaav gungunayenge

Tere dard geet bann jaayenge

Zinda, hai toh, pyala, poora bhar le

Kancha, phoote, choora, kaanch kar le

8. Irshad Kamil (5 September 1971 – Quenching his thirst)

Irshad Kamil 
Irshad Kamil

Irshad Kamil is a poet as well as a lyricist and is best known for writing songs for Bollywood films including Jab We MetRockstarAashiqui 2 and Highway. Not only he is a fresh addition to this list of awesome lyricists of India but also, won Filmfare 3 times for movies Tamasha, Rockstar, and Love Aaj Kal…. some couplets from his Filmfare winning song Naadan Parinde……

काग़ा रे काग़ा रे मोरी इतनी अरज तोसे

चुन चुन खाइयो माँस

आरजिया रे खाइयो ना तू नैना मोरे

खाइयों ना तू नैना मोहे

पिया के मिलन की आस

ओ नादान परिंदे घर आजा


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