Neeraj is a poet and author in Hindi literature who used to be a lyricist in the Hindi film industry. The civilian honour of Padma Bhushan came his way in 2007. Born as Gopaldas Saxena on 4 January 1924 in Uttar Pradesh, he uses “Neeraj” as pen name. Besides being a writer he is also a professor of Hindi literature.
Having given a number of hit songs to Bollywood, he quit the industry following the deaths of music directors Jaikishan of Shankar-Jaikishan and S. D. Burman. He believes that he is an unlucky poet because a couple of music directors he wrote hit songs for expired unexpectedly.
“Maayus Na Ho” (“Tu Hi Meri Zindagi”, 1965), “Likhe Jo Khat” (“Kanyadaan”, 1969), “Ai Bhai Zara Dekhke Chalo” (“Mera Naam Joker”, 1970), “Choodi Nahi YeMera” (“Gambler”, 1971) and “Dheere Se Jaana” (“Chupa Rustam”, 1973) are some of the songs written by him. Singers who have sung his songs include Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi, Manhar Udhas, Sadhna Sargam, Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey.