Krishan Adeeb (Urdu: کرشن ادیب) was an Urdu poet, who penned lyrics for all-time greats like Mohammad Rafi, Mehndi Hassan, Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh, struggled to make both ends meet all his life.
Birth and Early Life
Krishan Adeeb was born on 21 November 1925, in Phillaur (District Jallandhar), Punjab, India.
A born rebel, Krishan Adeeb left home following a tiff with his father. He was 15 years old then. To support himself, he worked as a porter, factory worker and did other such jobs during his stay away from home. He made friends with Sahir Ludhianvi during his stay in Bombay. Recognizing the literary capacity of Krishan Adeeb, Sahir encouraged him to focus on his writing. He started writing poetry in 1950.
He paid back by writing a beautiful book in Urdu about his association with Sahir, who also belonged to Ludhiana. With the death of Krishan Adeeb, Ludhiana’s perhaps last link with Urdu poetry has been snapped. It also marks the end of the Urdu literary tradition of the town, which has given some excellent poets and writers to the literary world.
Krishan Adeeb worked as a senior photographer at the Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, from where he retired in 1985.
Krishan Adeeb was a chain smoker and a regular alcohol consumer. He had suffered a lung failure in 1954 and was frequently under the grip of asthmatic attacks. After his retirement as the senior photographer from Punjab Agricultural University in 1985, his financial condition worsened. Though the university was giving him medical cover at the PGI rates, it was inadequate and he could not go to a private hospital for treatment. Even the state government had not bothered to provide him financial help, though his family had made frequent requests in this connection.
It is said that a few days before his death, he said: دیدنی ہے شکستگی دل کی کیا عمارت غموں نے ڈھائ ہے
He passed away in Ludhiana on 7 July 1999.
His works include Awaaz Ki Parchaiyaan; Phool, Pattey, Aur Khushboo, and Rao Mein Hai Rakhash-e Umar.
Awards and Acknowledgement
Krishan Adeeb was a recipient of the Shiromani Urdu Sahityakaar Award in 1993. Krishan Adeeb’s most famous book has been his poetical rendition of his association with Sahir, “Sahir — Yaadon ke Aaine Mein”. Krishan Adeeb began to write poetry in 1950, but initially recognition came to him from Pakistan, when his poems, “Ziddi Bachche” and “Mera Ghar” featured in a list of poems published as the “Best Poems of the Year.” His other famous works include “Awaaz ki Parchaiyan”, “Phool, Patte aur Khushboo” and “Ro Mein Hai Rakshe Umar”. His latest collection of poems called “Shaam ke Baad” is yet to be published.
The predominant feature of Krishan Adeeb’s works has been a romantic yearning for the past and sorrow over failure in love. Besides writing ghazals and nazms, Krishan Adeeb was also an excellent prose writer. He received critical acclaim for his work not just from the masses, but also from other litterateurs like Ali Sardar Jaffri, Manchanda Bani, Ajaaib Chitrakaar, Sardar Panchchi.
With Krishan Adeeb’s death, a tradition of Urdu poetry in Punjab that began with Akhtar Shiram, Miyan Lucknowi, Naresh Kumar Shaad and Prem Warbatni has come to an end.
Writers give a lot of satisfaction to the readers who admire their works but unfortunately many of them die in penury and history is replete with such examples. Wife of Krishan Adeeb, one such unfortunate writer, said, “My husband’s six unpublished works have not seen the light of the day due to lack of funds. Today they have organized a ‘mushaira’ in his honour in the university. I appreciate this gesture. But I will be grateful to university authorities if they clear the pension due to him and make sincere efforts to get his works published so that his admirers get a chance to read his thoughts.” Adeeb’s pension was withdrawn in 1996 and he died waiting for it in July 1999, she added.
She said when her husband was ill; no one came to his help. Recalling the days of his youth she said,” He loved writing so much that he often played truant from the school.