Born On: July 21, 1920
Born In: Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan)
Died On: March 30, 2002
Occupation: Bollywood Lyricist
The name, Anand Bakshi is familiar to Hindi film lovers both young and old. In a career spanning several decades, Anand Bakshi penned some of the most memorable songs that has ever been produced by the Hindi film industry. With dreams of becoming a singer, a young man landed in Bombay to acquire a foothold in Bollywood - little did he know then that destiny had different plans for him. With over 600 films to his credit and having worked with the best people in the Hindi film industry, Anand Bakshi earned himself a reputation of a respectable man in Bollywood. All actors wanted to be part of films which had lyrics penned by the legendary Anand Bakshi. And this factor came into play when several actors opted to work with only Anand Bakshi when they inaugurated their respective production houses. Bollywood actors from Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra to Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, and music directors from Laxmikant Pyarelal to R D Burman loved and respected the powerhouse called Anand Bakshi.
Anand Bakshi was born on July 21, 1920 in the city of Rawalpindi now situated in Pakistan. The lyricist’s forefathers were from the Kuri village situated close to Rawalpindi and some of them also lived in Kashmir. Anand Bakshi’s mother Sumitra died when he was a mere five-year old kid. Hence, it was under the care of his father that Anand Bakshi completed his school and college education. 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 aspired to become a singer since he was a child and this was precisely 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.
Years Of Tryst
After being expelled from the Indian Navy, Bakshi joined the Indian Army the following year. He served the Indian Army for a period of six years, in between which he 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 Anand Bakshi to shift to Bombay and seek employment as a Hindi film writer, singer or actor. Meanwhile, after India got its independence, the family left Rawalpindi and settled at Lucknow in the October of 1947. Four years later, in the year 1951, Bakshi left the Corps of Signals and arrived in Bombay for the first time looking for work. But 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).
Meanwhile, Anand Bakshi settled down with Kamla Mohan, a girl who had been his childhood neighbor in Rawalpindi, in the year 1954. Anand Bakshi quit his position in the Indian Army on August 27, 1956 and in the month of October of the same year, traveled to Bombay again in the hope of work. His luck did not favor him the second time too, leaving Anand Bakshi jobless and moneyless on the platforms of local Bombay stations. But not the one to be disillusioned or 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 Anand Bakshi 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
The big break in Anand Bakshi’s life came towards the end of the year 1956. Though Anand Bakshi had planned to enter Bollywood as a singer or a scriptwriter for Hindi films, he was chosen to write the lyrics 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. Nine years later in the year 1965, Anand Bakshi was an established lyricist of Bollywood with films like 'Himalay Ki God Mein’, 'Jab Jab Phool Khile’ and 'Milan’ in his kitty. The latter two endured that Anand Bakshi would further get work with only 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 made a mark as a Bollywood lyricist, Anand Bakshi 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 loved quawwalis and he wrote as well as sang a number of quawwalis during this part of his career.
In the span of a very successful career, Anand Bakshi 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.