Shahab Jafri’s era of poetry saw the descent of the Progressive Writers Movement and the uprise of the Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zauq. For a few years Shahab Jafri, too, was closely associated with the Progressive Writers Movement but his poetry is not that heavily influenced by progressivism. In fact, his poetry is the product of the conflict between these two schools of thought of this period and contains the pulse of the ideas of both these two schools of thought.
Shahab Jafri was born on 2nd June 1930 in Banaras. He holds an MA in Urdu from Aligarh Muslim University and a Ph.D. from Delhi University. Thereafter, he became a teacher of Urdu at Khalsa College, Delhi University. He wrote profusely but time and circumstances did not allow him to bring his literary works to the fore. Therefore, his only collection of poems, "Sooraj Ka Shahr", published in 1967, is present.
Initially, Shahab’s poetry dwelled only upon Ghazals but, besides Ghazals, his complete works comprise of Nazms, Quatrains, and even an entirely versified allegorical drama. His renown is attributed not only to his Ghazals but also the treasured literary articles he wrote.
Theatre also immensely interested Shahab, he worked for the longest time with Mohammad Hasan. His famous couplet, ‘Tu idhar udhar kin a baat kar ye bataa ki Qafila kyuun luTaa’, was recited in the Parliament, time after time. It is said that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad once recited this couplet to Jawaharlal Nehru in Parliament while his poetry was still in its infancy. Shahab took his last breath on 1st February 2000, in Delhi.