Millennium Post

Anand Bakshi: A record-breaking Lyricist

Bakshi has been regarded as the most prolific lyricist of Hindi cinema – he also lived a life which itself is an inspiring journey of faith, dreams, success and humanity

Born on July 21, 1930, in Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan, Anand Prakash Bakshi was an avid film buff since childhood. Fond of singing and writing songs, he nurtured his dream of going to Bombay and be a part of the film fraternity. But he landed up in the Indian Navy, given the vagaries of Partition and with millions being uprooted, he had to support his family. Whenever Anand heard the name of a song writer, he dreamt that one day his name would be announced as a lyricist.

He took official leave and went to Bombay to push his luck but his efforts didn't yield any result. In 1957, he made another attempt, and this time round, lady luck smiled. In a chance meeting with Bhagwan Dada, who was directing Bhala Aadmi (1958), asked him to write lyrics for his film. Bakshi wrote only two songs for this film along with other lyricists. And he recorded both the songs in his own voice, Dharti ke laal mat kar malal and Humse karega jo muqabla. It was one of his duets in Razia Sultan (1961), Dhalti jaaye raat sun le dil ki baat (Rafi-Lata), that became popular and brought him into limelight.

Thereafter, Bakshi tasted his first success in director Suraj Prakash's film Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath (1962) and Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), and his songs made it to the top of the charts. In Vijay Bhatt's film, Himalaya Ki Gode Mein (1965), Mukesh's two numbers, Chaand si mehbooba hogi meri and Mein to ek khwaab hoon, and Lata's pensive number, Ek tu na mila saari duniya miley established Bakshi as a lyricist par excellence.

Lakshmikant-Pyarelal were assistants of Kalyanji Anandji for these films, and they were quite impressed by the simplicity of Bakshi's lyrics. When they became independent composers, Bakshi was the first choice for their film Mr X in Bombay (1964).

There was an interesting anecdote during the creation of the song Achha to hum chaltein hain. Lakshmikant played several tunes for Bakshi to write the lyrics. Bakshi made an attempt but didn't seem content. Suddenly he got up and told Lakshmikant, "Achha to hum chaltein hain". As he reached near the door, Lakshmikant asked, "Phir kab miloge?" Bakshi promptly replied, "Jab tum kahoge." Thus, the song was completed in one go for Aan Milo Sajana. Similarly, while composing the title track for Raj Khosla's Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki, upon hearing the title of the film, he instantly wrote the song Koi nahin main tere angan ki.

The 1970s was Bakshi's era, wherein he gave hit songs in Jeevan Mrityu: Jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga; Khilona jaan kar tum to mera dil tode jaate ho (Rafi) and mujra style number, Agar dilbar ki ruswai (Lata) set in Raga Kalavati, in Khilona.

In Dushman, yet again, he penned several popular numbers: Waada tera waada (Rafi); Dekho dekho dekho biscope dekho and O balma sipahiya (Lata). Haathi Mere Saathi, too, had catchy romantic numbers: Sun ja o thandi hawa and Dilber jaani chali hawa mastani (Lata-Kishore), and the title track, Chal mere saathi O mere haathi (Kishore); Mera Gaon Mera Desh had two intoxicating numbers – Hai sharmaun and Maar diya jaaye ya chhod diya jaaye, which are still cherished by music lovers.

In 1972, he sang two songs – Baghon mein bahar aayi with Lata, and a solo, Mein dhoondta raha tha sapno ko for Mom Ki Gudiya, and Lakshmikant Pyarelal also composed a folksy number by Bakshi, Ladki Punjab di mauj Chanab di (Rafi) for the film.

Piya Ka Ghar had four songs: a sonorous Ye zulf kaisi hai zanjeer jaisi hai (Rafi-Lata); Kishore's soulful number, Ye jeevan hai; the title song, Piya ka ghar hai yeh (Lata); and a peppy number, Bombai shaher ki tujhko sair kara doon. In Julie, Dil kya kare jab kissi se (Kishore) had a lingering effect.

Bakshi and Lakshmikant-Pyarelal teamed up for more than three hundred films together and gave super hit numbers in silver and golden jubilees.

Bakshi worked with SD Burman for the first time in golden jubilee hit Aradhna (1969). The film had a variety of songs with superb duets of Lata and Rafi, Gun guna rahe hain bhanvre khil rahi hai and Baghon mein bahar hai. But it was Kishore all the way who was responsible for Rajesh Khanna zooming to a superstar status, courtesy of Bakshi's lyrics: Mere sapno ki rani and Roop tera mastana; a romantic duet of Kishore and Lata, Kora kagaz tha ye mann mera, set in Raga Durga, that broke all the records. Lata's lullaby in Raga Bhopali, Chanda hai tu mera suraj hai tu, also became popular. Burman da had his distinct signature in the song, Saphal hogi teri aradhna, in his own voice. Next year, Burman da and Bakshi were back with Ramesh Saigal's Ishq Par Zor Nahin (a remake of his own film Shola Aur Shabnam) starring Dharmendra, Sadhna and Biswajit. Bakshi's lyrics composed marvelously by Burman da in the Rafi-Lata duet, Ye dil deewana hai, and Lata's title track, Log sacch kahte hain ishq per zor nahin. And a heartrending song, Tum mujhse door chale jaana na (Lata). Notwithstanding its brilliant music and lyrics the film flopped.

Burman da and Bakshi also worked together in Anurag (1972). In Jugnu (1973), Pyaar ke is khel mein do dilon ke mael mein (Kishore); in Prem Nagar (1974), Ye laal rang kab mujhe chodega (Kishore); in Barood (1976), I love you, you love me (Asha).

Another endearing composer for Bakshi was RD Burman. Kati Patang was an outstanding example with exuberant numbers, Ye jo mohabbat hai, Ye shaam mastani and Pyaar deewana hota hai (Kishore); melancholic numbers: Na koi umang hai (Lata) and Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho balma (Mukesh); and a seductive dance number, Mera naam hai shabnam (Asha), captivated the younger generation. The intense numbers of Namak Haram: Diye jaltein hain and Main shayar badnaam, (Kishore) tugged at your heartstrings.

The duo joined Navketan Films with Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and Bakshi wrote a variety of songs for this movie: a song of filial love, Phoolon ka taaron ka sab ka kahna hai; a hippie number, Dum maro dum (Asha); and Kanchi re Kanchi re, based on a Nepalese folk tune. They also did Heera Panna (1973), Shareef Badmash (1973), Ishq, Ishq, Ishq (1974), and Bullet (1976). They were at their creative best in Amar Prem (1971): Kuchh to log kahange, Chingari koi bhadke (Kishore), and a classical number, Raina beeti jaaye (Lata). Their other memorable hits were in Jawani Deewani (1972). Bakshi poured his philosophy of life in Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo maqam (Kishore), the agonising separation of lovers in Karwatein badalte rahe (Lata-Kishore), and a celebratory Holi song, Jai jai Shiv Shankar, in Aap Ki Kasam. Sholay was a cult film and it had everlasting numbers: Mehbooba O mehbooba (RD Burman) and Ye dosti hum nahin todeinge (Kishore-Manna Dey).

RD Burman introduced a new voice of Amit Kumar (Kishore's son) in Balika Vadhu (1976), Bade acche lagte hain and he composed two versions of Bakshi's Mere naina sawan bhado in Kishore-Lata voices separately in Mehbooba (1978). In the same year in Krishna Shah's Shalimar, Kishore sang his iconic number, Hum bewafa hargiz na the. Bakshi also wrote the most romantic song in The Great Gambler (1979), Do lafzon ki hai dil ki kahani (Asha-Amitabh-Sharad).

Kya yehi pyaar hai (Kishore-Lata) in Sanjay Dutt's debut film Rocky (1981), was among the best romantic songs of Bakshi.

Bakshi had written passionate numbers on for various other composers. Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam (Kumar Sanu) in DDLJ for Jatin Lalit; the title song of Dil To Pagal Hai (Lata) for Uttam Singh; Ye Dil in Pardes (Sonu Nigan) for Nadeem Shravan; Ishq bina kya jeena yaaro (Sukhvinder Singh & chorus) in Taal for AR Rahman; and Humko humi se chura lo in Mohabbatein (Lata) for Jatin Lalit. His swan song, Yaadein yaad aati hain, for Anu Malik, was sung by Hari Haran in Yaadein (2001).

Bakshi always maintained dignity in his words, but he was criticised for numbers like Choli ke peechhe kya hai, One two ka four and Tu cheez badi hai mast-mast. Nominated for the Filmfare Awards forty times, he made the cut four times for these songs: Aadmi musafir hai (1978) in Apnapan; Tere mere beech mein (1981) in Ek Duje Ke Liye; Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam (1995) in DDLJ and Ishq bina kya jeena yaaro (1999) in Taal. He was also a recipient of Screen Awards twice for Zakhm (1998) and Mohabbatein (2000).

Being a chainsmoker, Bakshi had severely affected his lungs and heart. He suffered a heart attack in 2001 and was operated upon, but a year later, at 72, he succumbed to these ailments and died of multiple organ failure on March 30, 2002, in Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai. Having left behind a treasure trove of thousands of melodies, his memory will live for a long, long time!

Sharad Dutt

Sharad Dutt

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