Kaifi Azmi was born as Syed Athar Hussain Rizvi in Azmargh district, UP in 1919. His first poem he composed when he was 11 years old and grew up to be inspired by Gandhi’s Quit India movement in 1942. His first collection of poems was published in 1943 and was titled Jhankar. He later became an important part of the Progressive Writers’ Association which achieved socioeconomic reforms through words.
Kaifi Azmi's best work includes a collection of poems named Aakhir-e-Shab, Sarmaya, Awaara Sajde, Kaifiyaat, Nai Gulistan. He also wrote numerous articles for Urdu Blitz, the script of Heer Ranjha he wrote in Devanagari. His famous poems are Aurat, Makaan, Daaera, Saanp, and Bahuroopni.
Kaifi Azmi joined the entertainment industry as a writer and completely changed the vocabulary of Hindi songs. He has been honored with various awards for films like Garam Hawa, Manthan, Heer Raanjha, Kaagaz Ke Phool. Aaj Ke Prashid Shayar: Kaifi Azmi has his autobiography.
Kaifi Azmi is one of the most popular poets of the 20th century and was awarded three Filmfare awards, Padma Shri Award for Literature and Education and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, which is India’s highest literary honors.
Kaifi Azmi is the father of veteran Bollywood actress, Shabana Azmi.