Hasrat Jaipuri was born on 15 April 1922. His real name was Iqbal Husain. Till 1939, he lived in hometown Jaipur. He studied English till 'medium level' and then acquired his 'taalim' in Urdu and Persian from his learned grandfather, Fida Husain. He began writing verse at the age of 20, and around that time, he fell in love with a Hindu girl called Radha. His love was silent, but he wrote a poem for her, ‘Yeh mera prem patra padh kar, ke tum naaraaz na hona...’. And that letter may never have been delivered to Radha, but Raj Kapoor had later delivered it to the world as the everlasting mantra for lovers of all generations in his Sangam. In 1940, Hasrat moved to Bombay and worked as a bus conductor, earning a monthly salary of 11 rupees. He used to participate in mushairas.
The late Prithviraj Kapoor heard Hasrat’s verse and recommended him to his son Raj Kapoor, who was planning a musical love story Barsaat (1949) with two new composers, Shanker - Jaikishan. Hasrat’s first recorded song was ‘Jiya beqaraar hai…’ tuned by Shanker. The second was ‘Chod gaye baalam…’, his first song with Jaikishan, and his first duet too. The movie, along with its music, was a big hit!
Hasrat next wrote the song ‘Yaad kiya dil ne…’ for Dev Anand in Patita (1953). He also wrote a couple of songs for Pradeep Kumar – starrer Anarkali (1953), viz. ‘Mohabbat aisi dhadkan hai…’ and ‘O aasman wale shikwa hai zindagi ka…’. He worked again for Raj Kapoor in the romantic Aah (1953). The film had songs like ‘Aaja re ab mera dil pukaara…’, ‘Sunte the naam hum…’ and ‘Jo main jaanti unke liye jaane na nazar…’. He also wrote the title song of the film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955). Hasrat then penned ‘Dil tumne liya…’ from Toofan Aur Deeya (1956), which wasn’t too popular. He also wrote the songs for Raj Kapoor’s Chori Chori (1956), like ‘Aaja sanam madhur chandni…’ and ‘Rasik balma…’ which became very popular and gave Hasrat his due recognition in the industry.
Hasrat’s next few songs included ‘Duniya na bhaye…’ and ‘Main piya teri…’ from Basant Bahar (1956), ‘Aansoo ki aag leke…’ from Yahudi (1958) and ‘Aansoo bhari hain…’ from Parvarish (1958). These songs had some good music. Howrah Bridge (1958) comprised of the hit song ‘Aaiye meherbaan baithiye jaan-e-jaan…’ penned by Hasrat. Songs like ‘Aaye pari rang bhari…’ and ‘Bachpan ka tora mora…’ from Do Phool (1958), ‘Sambhal ke karna jo bhi karma…’ and ‘Soch rahi thi kahun na kahun…’ from Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960) didn’t gain much popularity. Hasrat contributed to the hit music of Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) with his lyrics for ‘Itni badi mehfil aur ek dil…’. ‘Teri pyari pyari soorat ko…’ from Sasural (1961) was also penned by Hasrat, which is popular even today. Junglee (1961) had some great songs from Hasrat like ‘Din saara guzaara…’ ‘Aai Aai ya karu main kya…’ and the evergreen song ‘Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar…’. He also penned the title song of Dev Anand’s Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961). ‘Tu kahan yeh bata…’ from Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) and ‘Ruk ja raat thehar ja re chanda…’ from Dil Ek Mandir (1963) were fabulous songs penned by Hasrat. ‘Main tere pyar mein kya kya na bana dilbar…’ and ‘Jaanu kya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya…’ from Ziddi (1964), and ‘April fool banaya…’ from April Fool (1964) were also popular tracks. Janwar (1965) had some great tracks as well from Hasrat. These included ‘Tumse achcha kaun hai…’ and ‘Meri mohabbat jawan rahegi…’. ‘Gumnaam hai koi…’ and ‘Hum kaale hain toh kya hua…’ from Gumnaam (1965) are remembered even today. ‘Aao twist karen…’ from Bhoot Bungla (1965), ‘Sayonara sayonara…’ from Love In Tokyo (1966) and ‘Duniya banana wale…’ from Teesri Kasam (1966) were big hits too. ‘Bahaaron phool barsao…’ from Suraj (1966) is considered one of the best romantic tracks ever composed. ‘Parde mein rehne do…; from Shikar (1968) was a very popular track too. ‘Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya…’ from Mere Huzoor (1968) was a brilliant composition. Hasrat also composed the lyrics for Brahmachari (1968), which included ‘Aajkal tere mere pyar ke charche…’ and ‘Dil ke jharoke mein…’. Yakeen (1969) also had some very good songs from Hasrat like ‘Yakeen karlo mujhe mohabbat…’ and ‘Gar tum bhula na doge…’. ‘Janam janam ka saath hai…’ and ‘Kabhi humne nahi socha tha…’ from Tumse Achha Kaun Hai (1971) are also memorable tracks. Mera Naam Joker (1970) had some immensely popular tracks from Hasrat like ‘Kehta hai joker saara zamaana…’ and ‘Jaane kahan gaye woh din…’. ‘Tum mujhe yun bhula na paaoge…’from Pagla Kahin Ka (1970), ‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana…’ from Andaz (1971) and ‘Sun sahiban sun…’ from Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) were among Hasrat’s other popular tracks. His last film as a lyricist was Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi (1997). He has worked in over 250 films and has recorded more than 1800 songs.
In 1967, Hasrat Jaipuri won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for the song ‘Bahaaron phool barsaao…’ from Suraj (1966). In 1972, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for the song ‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana…’ from Andaz (1971). Hasrat was honoured with the Josh Mahilabadi Award, from Urdu Conference for Urdu poetry. He won the Dr. Ambedkar Award, for ‘Jhanak jhanak tori baaje payaliya…’ from Mere Huzoor (1968).
Hasrat also wrote screenplay for the movie Hulchul (1951) Hasrat invested his earnings in property, on his wife's advice, due to which his financial condition was sound. Therefore he was not much active as a lyricist. He expired on September 17, 1999. He is survived by his two sons and a daughter. Music Director Anu Malik is his nephew.