Jigar Moradabadi (Urdu: جگر مراد آبادی) was the nom de plume of Ali Sikandar, one of the most famous Urdu poets of the 20th century and a celebrated Urdu ghazal writer. He received the 1958 Sahitya Akademi Urdu Award for his highly acclaimed poetry collection "Atish-i-Gul".

Early Life

Jigar Moradabadi was born on April 6, 1890 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. He lost his father at an early age and did not have an easy childhood. At school (madrassah) he was taught both Arabic and Persian. His poetry teacher (ustad ) in the early days was Rasa Rampuri.

Still in his teens, Jigar, as he came to be known universally, moved to Gonda, near Lucknow. This proved to be a turning point in his life. Here, he befriended Asghar Gondvi, who later also emerged as a notable Urdu poet. Gondvi was only six years older than Jigar, who became his protégé. Gondvi's influence over Jigar, and the significant role he played in his life, should not be underestimated. He was his mentor, a father figure, an older brother, a teacher, a friend and a fellow poet, all rolled into one. Jigar even married a sister of Gondvi's wife. He made Gonda his permanent home and Gonda acquired one of the most famous literary figures to have ever lived there.

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