Asar Lakhnavi belongs to the last batch of the literary connoisseurs who represented the fast-fading literary culture of Lucknow. He was born in Katra Abu Turab locality of Lucknow on 12 July, 1885. Born Jafar Ali Khan, he chose ‘Asar’ as his pen name. He received his education at Canning College, Lucknow and served as Deputy Collector and held other important administrative positions. He also worked as a minister in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In recognition of his services, the government of India conferred the prestigious Padam Bhushan award on him.
Following the trend of his times, Asar Lakhnavi wrote on traditional subjects but he distinguished himself as a poet of great linguistic finesse. He also gained much from his discipleship of Aziz Lukhnavi. Asar’s poetical works were published in Baharaan, Naubaharaan, and Uroos-e-Firtrat which is a collection of his nature poems inspired by his stay in Kashmir. He also wrote essays on literary issues. His critical studies include Anis ki Masiya Nigaari, Mutala-i-Ghalib and Chhaan Been. He also published a selection of Meer’s poetry entitled Mazaameer.
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