Lyricist Dev Kohli was born in Rawalpindi, modern-day Pakistan, and showed a keen interest in Urdu poetry since childhoood. During the partition, his family moved to Dehradun. Taking inspiration, poetic and otherwise, from the life of famous lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, Dev Kohli set out for Mumbai during the 1960s’.
He camped outside a hotel in Khar that was frequented by film personalities, where he met the secretary of composer duo Shankar-Jaikishan. He introduced the struggling writer to the composer duo, where Kohli was signed in to write a song for the film “Kala Patthar” (1971) - “Geet Gata Hoon Main.”
Though his first song was a success, it took him almost twenty years to be recognised for the formidable talent he possesses. With the songs of “Maine Pyar Kiya” (1989 - notably “Aaja Shaam Hone Aayi” and “Kabootar Ja” - he tasted success like never before. He continued to write a song or two for films like “Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman” (1992), “Khiladi” (1992) and the hit number “Ye Kaali Kaali Ankhen” (“Baazigar”, 1993), until Rajshri Films signed him up for the songs of “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” (1994). Some other films he has written songs for include “Ishq” (1997), “Judwaa” (1997), “Biwi No.1” (1999), “Hum Saath Saath Hain” (1999) and many others, with the song “Mere Yaar” (“Shootout At Lokhandwala”, 2007) being his most recent hit.