Born in Lucknow in 1908, Vajahat Mirza began his cinema career as an assistant cameraman at New Theatres in Calcutta. He later moved to Mumbai in the 1940s where he worked as an actor and a director. An exceptional screenplay and dialogue writer, Vajahat Mirzas poetry in Urdu, though never published, was also regarded as first-rate. He gave to Indian cinema extraordinary screenplays, including Mughal-e-Azam (co-writer), Shikast, Yahudi, Gunga Jumna and Leader. The award-winning Mother India was his sixth collaboration with Mehboob Khan.
Nephew of celebrated writer Agha Jani Kashmiri, Syed Ali Razas distinctive and marvellous writing style shone through from his first film Andaaz (directed by Mehboob Khan). S. Ali Raza wrote dialogue for many Mehboob Khan films, including the popular Aan. During the making of the film, he met the actress Nimmi and they later married. S. Ali Raza passed away in Mumbai on l November 2007 at the age of 85.
Notes on translator:
Author and documentary filmmaker, Nasreen Munni Kabir has written many books on Indian film, including Guru Dutt, a life in cinema (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1996), Lata Mangeshkar in her own voice (Niyogi Books, 2009) and The Dialogue of Awaara, Raj Kapoors Immortal Classic (Niyogi Books, 2010).