Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Abrar Alvi

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Film director

November 18, 2009, Mumbai

Film writer

Abrar Alvi

Years active

Abrar Alvi How writing love letters helped Abrar Alvi land Guru Dutts films

The Dialogue of Pyaasa: Guru Dutt's Immortal Classic

Filmfare Award for Best Director, National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Aar‑Paar, Guddu

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Abrar Alvi

Abrar Alvi (Hindi: अबरार अलवी; Urdu: ابرار علوی‎; 1927 – 18 November 2009) was an Indian film writer, director and actor. Most of his notable work was done in the 1950s and 1960s with Guru Dutt. He wrote some of the most respected works of Indian cinema, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Kaagaz Ke Phool, and Pyaasa which have an avid following world over. Pyaasa is included in the All-Time 100 Movies by Time, as chosen by Time movie critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel.


Abrar Alvi Reading Ten Years With Guru Dutt Abrar Alvis Journey Not Just

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) Evergreen Songs


An integral part of the Guru Dutt team, he is noted for writing such films as Aar-Paar, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Pyaasa, & Mr. & Mrs. '55. It was a chance meeting with Guru Dutt on sets of Baaz in 1953. Guru Dutt was having problems with a scene on the movie and Abrar suggested his opinion. Guru Dutt was so impressed that he invited Abrar to write Aar-Paar, from where Abrar became integral part of the Guru Dutt team. Many of the movies he worked on for Guru Dutt have since become classics not only in India but world over. He also directed the box-office hit Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. He last appeared on a poignant three-part documentary on Guru Dutt reminiscing his work and days with the Guru Dutt team. The documentary is produced by Channel 4 and is included in the extra features section of Kaagaz Ke Phool and Chaudhvin ka Chand DVDs as well Post Guru Dutt and due to controversy of who actually directed Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam he was unable to give any notable directorial work. Abrar, however continued to pen screenplay and dialogue for several movies, some of these hits such as Professor, Prince etc.

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam controversy

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was important for Guru Dutt. Following the box-office disaster of Kaagaz Ke Phool, he lost almost 1.7 million on the movie. Guru Dutt needed a success to put him back on map. The film went on to become a major box office success of the year. The film also won the President's Silver Medal and the 'Film of the Year' Award from the Bengal Film Journalist Association. The film was also screened at the Berlin Film Festival in June 1963 and was India's official entry to the Oscars that year.

The controversy about who actually directed Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam has increased over the years. Since the film is characteristic of Guru Dutt's feel and style, it is difficult to think that he did not direct the film. However Guru Dutt never denied Abrar Alvi's role in the film nor did he make any counter claims when Alvi won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for the film. Abrar Alvi has stated that Guru Dutt did direct the songs in the film, but not the film in its entirety. The editor of the film Y.G. Chawan however says that for the film it was Abrar who sat with him. To quote him... Abrar worked so hard on that film but he never got any credit. People say it was produced by Guru Dutt so it had to be Guru Dutt's film.


  • 10th National Film Awards (1962): President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
  • Won – Filmfare Best Director Award for: Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
  • Death

    Abrar Alvi died due to a stomach complication on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 in Mumbai. He was 82 years old.


    1. Guddu (1995) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    2. Kasam Suhaag Ki (1989) (dialogue)
    3. Patthar Dil (1985) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    4. Khuda Kasam (1981) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    5. Biwi-O-Biwi: The Fun-Film (1981) (dialogue)
    6. Hamare Tumhare (1979) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    7. Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1976) (dialogues) (screenplay)
    8. Bairaag (1976) (dialogue)
    9. Laila Majnu (1976) (dialogue)
    10. Manoranjan (1974) (written by)
    11. Saathi (1968) (dialogue)
    12. Sunghursh (1968) (dialogue)
    13. Chhotisi Mulaqat (1967) (dialogue)
    14. Suraj (1966) (dialogue)
    15. Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966) (written by)
    16. Professor (1962) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    17. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) (dialogue)
    18. Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)
    19. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) (dialogue) (screenplay)
    20. Pyaasa (1957) (dialogue)
    21. Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955) (dialogue)
    22. Aar-Paar (1954) (dialogue)


    1. Laila Majnu (1976) .... (Guest Appearance)
    2. 12 O'Clock (1958) .... Police Inspector


    1. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

    (Darar) Serial Screenplay


    Abrar Alvi Wikipedia