Born in Delhi to a Kashmiri family in 1938, Fazli was raised in Gwalior. During partition his parents moved to Pakistan but he decided to stay back.
Fazli penned down several popular songs for Bollywood including the famous ghazal from Sarfarosh (1999) “Hosh Walon Ko Khabar Kya”, “Kabhi Kisi ko Mukammal Jahaan Nahin Milta” (Ahista Ahista, 1981), and the song “Aa bhi ja” (Sur, 2002). The melodious song of Kamal Amrohi’s 1983 movie Razia Sultan, “Aye Dil e Nadaan” was written by Fazli and immortalised by Lata Mangeshkar.
In 1994, he collaborated with Jagjit Singh and brought out an album named Insight which was well-received.
As a poet, Fazli excelled in various moods and offered a depth of sentiment. He published his first collection of Urdu poetry in 1969.
Fazli strongly disagreed with partition of India and spoke against communal riots and fundamentalism. Fazli was well-read not only in Urdu poetry and literature but had extensively read writers and poets of other languages which included TS Eliot, Gogol, Anton Chekhov and Takasaki.
Fazli received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1998 and Padma Shri in 2013 among other honors.
On Twitter, personalities from the literary sphere as well as Bollywood condoled his death.
With his passing, Urdu literature has lost yet another gem within days. On 2 February, renowned writer Intezar Hussain also passed away in Pakistan.