Himayat Ali Shair, an Urdu poet, writer, actor and radio drama artist from Pakistan has passed away. He was 93 years old and breathed his last on 16 July 2019 in Toronto.
Shair was born on 14 July, 1926 in Aurangabad, India and began his career with radio. First with All India Radio and then with Radio Pakistan after his migration to Pakistan in 1951.
Being exposed to the works of the leading leftist writers at a very young age, Shair went on to carve a niche for himself not just through poetry but also through his work in films.
His first poetry book Aag Main Phool was published in 1956 and received the Presidential Award in 1958 before he moved on to make a career as a lyricist in the film industry in Pakistan. Lori, a film he produced and directed,featured Muhammad Ali, Zeba and Santosh Kumar in the lead roles and went on to play for 52 weeks in Karachi theatres.
Some of the first few evergreen Pakistani cinema songs were also penned by him. Some of them include the likes of “Na Chura Sakogay Daaman”, “Jaag Utha Hai Sara Watan”, “Khudawanda Yeh Kaisi Aag”, “Jab Raat Dhali” and “Har Qadam Per Nit Naye Sanchay Main Dhal Jatay Hain Log’ among others.
Shair’s poetry was as much loved in Pakistan as across the border in India. He also wrote an autobiography titled Aaina Sar Aaina which had as many as 3500 couplets.
Apart from being a prolific writer-poet and having a great career in the film, industry he quit it for some ‘ decent profession’ as the industry was not considered a respectable place, then, for his children to grow up in
His decision to pursue a full time career in poetry writing, which despite being a low-paying job as compared to the former counterpart, came from a fear of not letting his children follow in his footsteps and enter the film world.