Agha Hashar Kashmiri or Agha Hashr Kashmiri (Urdu: آغا حشر کاشمیری) was an eminent Urdu poet, playwright and dramatist. He was also called the Shakespeare of Urdu.

Biography

Agha Hashar Kashmiri was born on 3 April 1879, in Banaras, British India. He got his initial Education there .He could not get a higher education due to lack of interest in text books. Since child hood he was interested in poetry,music but after watching few stage drammas his mind was changed toward his field. He came to Bombay at the age of 18 and started his career as a play writter.He had a full command on more than one language but familiar wid Urdu, Arabic, persian, English, Gujrati and Hindi.

His first play, Aftab-e-Muhabat, was published in 1897. He started his professional career as a drama writer in the New Alfred theatrical company in Bombay, on a salary of Rs. 15 per month. Murid-e-Shak, his first play for the company, was an adaptation of Shakespeare's play The Winter's Tale. It proved a success and his wages were raised to Rs. 40 per month thereafter. In his works, Agha had experience introducing shorter songs and dialogues with idioms and poetic virtues in plays.

Later, he created the Shakespeare theatrical company but could not stay in business for long. He also joined Maidan theatre – a tented theatre to accommodate large audiences – where he earned a credible name in Urdu drama and poetry. He moved to Lahore to experiment in film production but died before its completion on 28 April 1945. He was buried in Miani Sahib graveyard in Lahore.

Agha married Mukhtar Begum, a renowned classical singer from Calcutta and elder sister of Farida Khanum.

Works

His famous works in Urdu include Khwaab Hasti, Khoobsoorat Bala, Aseer-e-Hirs, Mureed-e-Shak, Shaheed-e-Naz and Sufaid Khoon. In Hindi, famous dramas such as Sita Bin Maas and Ganga Utran are on his credit. He also translated or transformed plays from English literature into Urdu. The translation of Henry Arthur Jones and Henry Herman's melodrama, The Silver King, was translated under the title Naik Parveen. It is still enacted in the theatrical circles of India and Pakistan.

Agha was the first Muslim playwright to be awarded a Gold Medal by Banaras Hindu University in recognition of his contributions to Indian theatre.

Agha Hashar Kashmiri's Works:

Urdu

Khwaab Hasti, Khoobsoorat Bala, Aseer-e-Hirs, Mureed-e-Shak, Shaheed-e-Naz and Sufaid Khoon.

Hindi

Sita Bin Maas and Ganga Utran

Poems by Agha Hashar Kashmiri

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