2021 will mark the centenary birth anniversary of one of Hindi cinema’s most prolific lyricists, Sahir Ludhianvi (1921-1980). He is the man behind the words Kabhi Kabhi (from Kabhi Kabhie, 1976) and Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar (from Hum Dono, 1961), and more. His work endures on and is still enjoyed by fans across the subcontinent and the diaspora.
In 2013, award-winning author Akshay Manwani’s biography titled Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet, was published by Harper Collins. The book traced Ludhianvi’s journey right from his dysfunctional childhood to the point where he became India’s most celebrated songwriter with superhit songs in classic films like Pyaasa (1957), Naya Daur (1957), and Phir Subah Hogi (1958).
Published after five years of research, and involved readings, interviews, as well as detailed analyses of his film and non-film work the story is all set to come to the big screen, thanks to the rights acquired by Rainbox Studios.
The book is a comprehensive account that analyses the poet and his life through his work. Cinematic greats like Dev Anand, Yash Chopra, and Javed Akhtar were all interviewed for this book and have provided valuable insights into this enigmatic man’s life.
A poet who concerned himself with the world he lived in, Ludhianvi’s passion for social justice and communal harmony reflected in his words that appealed to the masses. He was a lone crusader of sorts to ask for the recognition due to lyricists in film.
In a statement released to the press, Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO, HarperCollins India, said, “We are delighted that this definitive book on Sahir Ludhianvi will now be visualised, especially since Sahir led such a remarkable and creative life. We can’t wait to see how this adaptation will materialise.”
Akshay Manwani, the author of the book, said, “The People’s Poet is the most intimate of my work. Sahir Ludhianvi continues to enthrall his fans, film enthusiasts, and poetry lovers to this day. The decision to collaborate with Rainbox Studios stemmed from the shared vision of how the story of this genius should play out for audiences the world over.”
MunnishPuri, Founder and CEO of Rainbox Studios, said, “As we approach Sahir Ludhianvi’s centenary year, we wanted to share this story of a troubled childhood not limiting one’s dreams. His is a timeless story, an inspiration for the youth.”