Dr. Zarina Sani, was born on 5th of July 1936 in the city of Nagpur. Central India. Her father Abdul Rahim (Chakkiwale) a flour miller by profession was a progressive thinker and insisted that all his daughters get a formal education, something not very common for girls in those days. Right since her school days she was interested in writing. Barely 16 she had her first story “Matbua” published in “Bano” magazine, New Delhi (1952). She completed her Matriculation from Government Girls High School, Nagpur in the year 1953. The same year at age 17 she was married to Abdul Haleem Sani of Kamptee.
Getting permission to continue her education from her in-laws was not an easy task for a young girl-woman but she persisted and in next 9 years she got her Bachelor of arts and two Master of arts degrees for Urdu and Persian from Nagpur University. Dr. Zarina Sani was also religiously aware and always felt that the religion you followed should be understood thoroughly before being practiced. In pursuance of this, she, concurrently with her B.A. passed the “Maulvi Alim” exam for Arabic and “Munshi Alim” exam for Persian from Nagpur University. It must be added here that she viewed religion as an intensely personal matter between god and the devotee. She crowned her education with a PhD thesis titled “Seemab ki nazm neegari” under the guidance of Dr. Syed Raffiudin in the year 1969.
As soon as she cleared her B.A. in the year 1958, she started to work as temporary tutor at L.A.D. College. She was promoted to Head of department of Urdu in just 2 years and continued to work on the same post till 1982. Apart from being the head of department she was also member of advisory board All India Radio, Nagpur, member of Nagpur University Board of Studies (Urdu and Persian), member of D.R.C Nagpur University and PhD guide for Urdu and Persian for Nagpur University. She was awarded by Maharastra State and Bihar State Urdu Academy for her work in the field of Urdu literature.
Continuing her education, working as a teacher and being a mother did not deter her from her passion for writing. Her first book “Urdu Shayari ki Hindustani Rooh” was published in 1967. Later she published 4 more books, “Semaab ki Nazmiya Shayari” – 1978, “Boodha Darakth” – 1979, “Safdar Aah Ba-haisiyat Shayar” – 1979. Her last book “Aaina-e-Ghazal” which she wrote along with Dr. Vinay Waikar was published in the year 1983 after her death. While the books were research works on the scholars of Urdu literature, it was her poetry which was dear to her heart. She was deeply influenced by freedom of आज़ाद नग्मे and आज़ाद ग़ज़लें – the free verse. She wrote with a takhallus (pen-name) of “Zari” in her initial years and later changed it to “Sani”. Her poetry was widely published in several Urdu magazines from all over the country. Some of her works were also published in magazines from Pakistan and Great Britain.
Apart from writing books and poetry, she also wrote several short stories. Representative among them are “Kasoor apana nikal aaya”, “Badala tere sitam ka”, “Aurat ki khuddari”, “Khayal apana apana”, “Mujrim zameer”, “Ek kiran ujale ki” and “Phatak”.
Her life was unexpectedly cut short at the peak of her literary career. On 14th January 1982, at the age of 45 years, she breathed her last after a very brief illness.