About The Author

Rangeen Saadat Yaar Khan was born in Sirhind. He was a brought up in Delhi and spent the major part of his life there. He was a sepoy by occupation and liked to travel. He had been in the service of many elites and especially that of Prince Suleman Shikoh. Later, he worked as an officer of artillery in Hyderabad. Later, he quit service and started horse-trading. Being a poet, his personality was full of contradictions. Sometimes he spoke as the founder of rekhti and sometimes he composed the Faras Nama. Sometimes we find him correcting the works of the doyens of literature to exhibit his expertise. However, his expertise lies in the fact that he retains his basic trait in all his writings. The words that he uses mesmerize the reader. 

His association with the elites and the liaisons with the beauties of Lucknow led him towards rekhti and hazaliyaat. Rekhti is the feminine gender of rekhta and is a very interesting trait of literature and while composing this, a poet talks from a woman’s point of view. He has four deewans to his credit, these are, Rekhta, Baqiyaa, Aamekhta, and Angekhta. He writes like a romantic poet in his first two deewans. His choice of words is at times so high for a reader that it steals the poetical spark away. The third one is of Hazaliyaat that has a long poem that praises the Satan. Besides Bismillah it starts with Nauzobillah. Muslims consider it pious and auspicious to start every good work with Bismillah, while Naouzobillah is used to keep the Satan away. The fourth one is based on Rekhti. Besides, these deewans, he wrote five other books as well. The first one is Faras Nama that describes the breeds and cures of the illness of horses. The second one is Majalis-E-Rangeen. In this book, he incorporates corrections in the works of the experts of Urdu poetry. Rangeen Nama is the answer of Mehmuud Nama. The next one is a Masnavi, Dil Pazeer and according to Hasrat, it is better than all the masnawiees of his era. The story line and language are interesting and free of ambiguity. He was the disciple of Shah Hatim and of the age of Zoq. In his last days, he quit everything and would stay confined in his house. He died in Lucknow in 1835.   



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Insha Allah Khan (1752-1817), better known by his pen name of Insha, was born in Murshidabad where his father, Mir Masha Allah khan, a royal physician and also a poet, had migrated from Delhi following the decline of the Mughal Empire and received the patronage of Nawab Sirajuddaulah. Insha received his early education and advice on his poetry mostly from his father. Later, his father brought him back to the court of Shah Alam II in Delhi who valued his poetry, his verbal dexterity, and his ready wit. With the fall of Delhi durbar, Insha migrated to Lucknow where he joined the court of Nawab Mirza Sulaiman Shikoh, a poet and a patron of poets, and became his favourite to the extent that the nawab replaced his mentor Ghulam Hamdani Mus’hafi and appointed Insha in his place. This led to a legendry rivalry between these two major poets of the age which subsequently became a part of the Urdu’s literary history. As Insha was a sociable person and wanted to explore better opportunities in life, he also developed a good relationship with Nawab Sa’adat Yaar Khan. However, his acerbic tongue and derisive remarks, which he made without much consideration, landed him in disfavour with his patrons and contemporary poets. With the seizure of stipend from his patrons and left with no sources of sustenance in the later period of his life, Insha lived a life of misery in Lucknow where he died and lies buried.

Insha was a remarkable polyglot and had a unique expertise in various languages and dialects like Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Punjabi, Pushto,  Marathi, Kashmiri, Poorabi, Rekhti, Marwari, and Hindi. He could also compose verses in them. He is valued as the first author of a complete grammar of Urdu language in Persian called Daryaa-i-Lataafat. He also wrote a fascinating fictional narrative called Raani Ketaki ki Kahaani that did not have a word of Arabic and Persian in it. It also happens to be the earliest work of Urdu prose. Endowed with unique resourcefulness with the written word, he could appropriate a great variety of ideas, events, and anecdotes into his poetry. Insha has left behind his works in various forms and genres of ghazal, qasida, and mathnawi in Persian and Urdu, apart from miscellaneous poetical compositions in the forms of hamd, naat, manqabat, qita, rubai, hajw, and riddles. 

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