Article Hindi

Remembering lyricist DN Madhok

DN Madhok, the renowned lyricist and screenwriter, helped the great Naushad find his bearings in Hindi cinema.

Sonal Pandya

Lyricist Dina Nath (DN) Madhok did not limit himself to the world of music. He was also a director, screenwriter and promoter of upcoming music directors, one of them being Naushad Ali. It was mainly due to Madhok's encouragement and backing that young Naushad became an assistant to composer Khemchand Prakash and eventually landed the assignment of composing music for Prem Nagar (1940).

Born on 22 October 1902 in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan), Madhok started out as a lyricist in Radhey Shyam (1932) and worked successfully during the 1940s and 1950s in films like Bhakta Surdas (1942), Rattan (1944) and Ehsan (1954). Writing with Pandit Indra Chandra, Madhok contributed to Jayant Desai's enduring Tansen (1943) featuring KL Saigal and Khursheed Bano.


Many sources also mention that Madhok 'helped' many music composers with tunes to his own lyrics. A man of varied talents, he wrote dialogues and directed several films in Hindi and Punjabi until 1955.

Ganesh Anantharaman, author of Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song, credits Madhok with 'bringing our folk tradition, the music of the common man, into films in a big way'. He also writes that Madhok 'had amazing variety: he wrote ghazals and geets; brought the dialects of Purabi, Bhojpuri and Avadhi into films'.

DN Madhok is regarded in the journals of Indian film music as the 'first generation' of lyricists alongside Kidar Sharma and Kavi Pradeep. He passed away on 9 July 1982.