Anand Bakshi is the most prolific lyricist ever to come out of Bollywood with a career spanning four decades. He was born on July 21, 1930 in Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan. Little is known of his early life. Before his career as a lyricist, he served in the Royal Indian Navy at Karachi from 1944 to 1946. Post Partition, he and his family migrated to Lucknow. He joined the Indian Army in 1947 and served for 6 years.
His spare time would be spent in the company of his radio, singing to his comrades in the Army and writing poems. He moved to Mumbai in 1956 to try his luck in the film industry and pursue his passion in music.
While he aspired to be a playback singer, his break came as a song-writer for the 1958 movie, “Bhala Admi”. He was paid Rs 150 for writing four songs for the movie including “Dharti Ke Laal Na Kar Itna Malaa”, his first song to be recorded. His breakthrough took another four years though with “Mehendi Lagi Mere Haath” in 1962 followed by a string of hits including “Devar” in 1964 and “Himalay Ki God Mein” and “Jab Jab Phool Khile”, both in 1965. His song “Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana” from “Jab Jab Phool Khile” was an instant hit making him the leading lyricist of the time.
Anand Bakshi's songs were simple and struck a chord easily with the listener. His range as a lyricist can be seen in the songs he penned - from the slow and lilting “Sawan Ka Mahina” from “Milan” to the hard-hitting “Dum Maro Dum” from “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”. As Javed Akhthar in an interview once said, Anand Bakshi's songs “will always be cherished as folk songs. They will instruct, inspire and elevate, because they have the power to change society.”
Anand Bakshi penned songs for all the leading music directors of the times. He worked on more than 250 movies with the duo of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and about 100 movies with R.D. Burman. He worked with music composers spanning two generations of fathers and sons: Kalyanji(-Anandji) and Viju Shah, Chitragupta and Anand-Milind, SD and RD Burman, Roshan and Rajesh Roshan, and (Nadeem-)Shravan and Sanjeev-Darshan.
He also lent his voice for seven songs, the duet ”Baagon Mein Bahaar Aayi” with Lata Mangeshkar in “Mom Ki Gudia” among others. An interesting story behind one of his most famous songs is of him getting lost in Laxmikant's sprawling bungalow. The result was “Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho” from “Bobby”. His songs have also been remixed and featured in movies like “Monsoon Wedding”- "Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai" originally from Loafer and "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" from “Khal Nayak“ which was featured in “Slumdog Millionaire”.
He received 40 Filmfare Award nominations and won the award for Best Lyricist four times for: “Aadmi Musafir Hai” from “Apnapan” (1977), “Tere Mere Beech” from “Ek Duuje Ke Liye” (1981) “Tujhe Dekha Dilwale” from “Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995) and “Ishq Bina” from “Taal” (1999).
Anand Bakshi succumbed to lung and heart complications on March 30, 2002 at the age of 72 in Mumbai. With a career spanning 45 years and more than 4500 songs, he was truly a lyricist for all times.