88th birthday of the versatile lyricist, Anand Bakshi

Kriti Billore
People of all age groups are familiar with his name.
His career enduring for several decades, Anand Bakshi penned some of the most memorable and beautiful songs that have ever been produced by the Hindi film industry with lively music. 

He landed Bombay with a dream in his eyes. He wanted to become a singer, a young man stepped in the Bollywood - little did he know then that destiny had decided something else for him. More than 600 films to his credit and having worked with the best people in the Hindi film industry, Anand Bakshi secured the reputation of a respectable man in Bollywood. Most of the actors desired to be a part of the films which had lyrics written by the legend, Anand Bakshi. This factor also striked in reality when several actors opted to work only with Anand Bakshi when they inaugurated their respective production houses. 
The most celebrated actors from Rajesh Khanna & Jeetendra to Amitabh Bachchan & Shah Rukh Khan, and music directors from Laxmikant Pyarelal to R D Burman loved and respected the legendary personality called Anand Bakshi.

Early Life
Anand Bakshi was born on July 21, 1930 in the city of Rawalpindi now situated in Pakistan. Bakshi's forefathers belonged to the Kuri village situated close to Rawalpindi and some of them also lived in Kashmir. His mother, Sumitra took her last breath when he was merely five years old. Bakshi then lived with his father. It was under the care and supervision of his father that Anand Bakshi completed his schooling and graduation. After completing his elementary schooling, Anand Bakshi joined the Cambridge College in Rawalpindi, only to leave his studies midway on March 6 1943, when he was selected to join the Royal Indian Navy as a post boy in 1944. 

Anand Bakshi had always dreamt of becoming a singer since his childhood and this is why he boarded the H M I S Dilawar and H M I S Bahadur Ship after his appointment in the Indian Navy, thinking that the ship would halt in Bombay, the land of his film ambitions. Unfortunately, the ship did not reach the Bombay docks, leaving Anand Bakshi to work with the Navy for two years followed by a six year stint in the Indian Army before he could finally fulfill his dreams of penning Hindi film songs. On April 5,1946, Anand Bakshi was expelled from his position in the Indian Navy after he was caught participating in a naval mutiny against the British from the Bombay harbor. 

Bakshi joined the Indian Army the following year. He served the Indian Army for about six years, between those years he also went to Bombay to try his luck in Hindi films. Reports claim that during his stay with the Army, Anand Bakshi used to entertain the other soldiers by singing to them his own composed songs. All his friends in the Indian Army always encouraged him to shift to Bombay and seek employment as a Hindi film writer, singer or actor. 

After India got its independence, bakshi's family shifted to Delhi and left Rawalpindi in the October of 1947. Four years later, in 1951, Bakshi left the Corps of Signals and came to Bombay for the first time, looking for some work. Sadly all his efforts went in vain, forcing him to return to his home and his job with the Army with the E.M.E. (The Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) in Lucknow.

Meanwhile, Anand Bakshi settled down and married Kamla Mohan, a girl who had been his childhood neighbor in Rawalpindi, in the year 1954. 
Anand Bakshi quit his service in the Indian Army on August 27, 1956 and in the month of October of the same year, he travelled to Bombay again to try his luck. But just as before his luck did not favor him the this time too. Anand Bakshi was left jobless and moneyless on the platforms of local Bombay stations. But he was not the one who got disheartened, he continued to pen songs, though by then, he already had a collection of more than 60 songs all written by himself. His first poem, which he had composed as a song, was published in the Sainik Samachar magazine brought out by the Indian Army. This gave Bakshi the impetus to go ahead and try harder to bring to life his dreams.

Living The Dreams
Anand Bakshi’s got his big break in life by the end of the year 1956. Though Anand Bakshi had planned to enter Bollywood as a singer or a scriptwriter for Hindi films, but he was chosen as a lyricist for the Hindi film 'Bhala Aadmi’. Anand Bakshi penned four songs for the Brij Mohan film and his first written song 'Dharti Ke Laal Na Kar Itna Malaal’ was recorded on November 9,1956. In the period of nearly nine months1965, Anand Bakshi was an established lyricist of Bollywood with films like 'Himalay Ki God Mein’, 'Jab Jab Phool Khile’ and 'Milan’. The latter two endured that Anand Bakshi would further work only with the best music composers and producers in the world of Hindi cinema. But the first film that made Anand Bakshi popular among the masses was the 1972 Hindi film 'Mome Ki Gudiya’. 

'Mome Ki Gudiya’ was also the beginning of the success story between lyricist Anand Bakshi and music director Laxmikant Pyarelal. They went on to work together in a number of films later on, making some of the best songs that Bollywood has ever heard. 1972 also saw the release of popular Hindi film track 'Dum Maro Dum’ from the film 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, a track which brought to light the versatility of Anand Bakshi as a lyricist. 

While he had already became an established Bollywood lyricist, Anand Bakshi's dream also came true as he got his first opportunity to sing for a Bollywood production in a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. The song 'Baaghon Mein Bahaar Aayee’ was accepted well and Anand Bakshi went on to sing other songs for films like Sholay, Maha Chor, Charas and Balika Badhu. 
Anand Bakshi also loved quawwalis and he had written a number of quawwalis as well as sang them during this part of his career. 

His Work
Anand Bakshi had worked in at least 300 films with Laxmikant Pyarelal, almost a 100 films with R D Burman, more than 30 films with Kalyanji & Anandji and a couple of films with new age music composers Anu Malik and Rajesh Roshan in his successful career.

  • Anand Bakshi’s lyrics have been used and reused in Bollywood and Hollywood. For instance, the song 'Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai’ was used by Mira Nair for her 2001 Hollywood production 'Monsoon Wedding’. Similarly, the Bollywood hit 'Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai’ was used in the 2009 release 'Slumdog Millionaire’.
  • Anand Bakshi was the lyricist of the first recorded songs of popular Bollywood singers Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krisnamurthy, Udit Narayan and Shailendra Singh.
  • Anand Bakshi worked with such composers who were the sons of popular former musicians with whom he had also worked. The most popular pairs are S D & R D Burman and Roshan & Rajesh Roshan. In addition, Anand Bakshi also worked with father - son duo film directors Yash Chopra & Aditya Chopra and Manmohan Desai & Ketan Desai.
  • Such was the popularity of Anand Bakshi that Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Shashi Kapoor, Sunil Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan and also Sunny Deol, Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan chose him as their first production’s lyricist.
  • Anand Bakshi penned the lyrics for the debut films of several Bollywood actors like Rishi Kapoor, Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Amrita Singh, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar.

Anand Bakshi received as many as 40 nominations which was a recording breaking number itself for lyrics written for Hindi films.

He has earned total four Filmfare Awards for the best lyricist to his name:
1. 'Aadmi Musafir Hai’ for Apnapan in the year 1977
2. 'Tere Mere Beech’ for Ek Duuje Ke Liye in 1981
3. 'Tujhe Dekha’ for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in the year 1995
4. 'Ishq Bina’ for Taal in 1999

In addition to Filmfare Awards, Anand Bakshi won the best lyricist awards at different events also like the Screen and Zee Awards, the Stardust Hero Honda Awards, the Ruby Film Awards, the Aashirwad Film Awards and the Sushma Shama Awards.

Anand Bakshi was a heart and lung patient of heart during his later stages of life. He was a smoker throughout his life and this had an ill effect on his system. He underwent a heart surgery at Nanavati Hospital in Bombay after being admitted under a condition of bacterial infection in 2001. Anand Bakshi succumbed to multiple organ failure and breathed his last on March 30, 2002 in the same hospital. Anand Bakshi was 81 years of age at the time of his death. 

His work was also used after his death.
Anand Bakshi’s lyrics continued to be used in films released after his death. His last writing was for the film 'Mehbooba’ released in the year 2008.

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