Renowned Urdu poet Qateel Shifai remembered on the occasion of his birth anniversary on Monday.

Born on December 24, 1919, his real name was Muhammad Aurangzeb and he adopted Qateel Shifai as his pen name in 1938 under which he was known in the world of Urdu poetry. “Qateel” was his Surname (takhallus) and “Shifai” was in honour of his Ustaad Hakim Mohammed ‘Shifa’ whom he considered his mentor.

In 1946, he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly ‘Adab-e-Latif’, a literary magazine published since 1936.

His first ghazal was published in the Lahore weekly ‘Star’, edited by Qamar Jalalabadi. In January 1947, Qateel was asked to pen the songs of a film by a Lahore based film producer. The first film he penned the lyrics for was “Teri Yaad”.

He won numerous awards as a lyricist. Many of his poem collections were published, one amongst them being “Mutriba” which got him the highest literary award in Pakistan.

To raise the standards of ghazals in films has been Qateel’s primary contribution to Urdu poetry. By using simple words and a larger amount of Hindi, Qateel brought Urdu poetry closer to the masses.

He established a certain standard to ghazals in films and gave them certain respectability. Qateel Shifai died on July 11, 2001.