14 classic tracks by lyricist Sameer – Birthday special!

As the lyricist turned 59 (24 February), we reminisce about 14 of his classic songs.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

The late 1980s and 1990s was a period when simple music and lyrics struck a chord with the masses. This saw the rise of music directors like Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit and Anu Malik, while Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal and Alka Yagnik emerged as the singing stars. 

In a career spanning over three decades, lyricist Sameer has penned over 500 songs, working with the best music directors and singers of the 1990s. He has to his credit some of the biggest musical blockbuster like Aashiqui (1990), Saajan (1991) , and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). As the lyricist turned 59 today (24th February), we remember 14 of his classic songs.

1. 'Phool Gulab Ka' – Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988)

Most would remember Biwi Ho To Aisi as Salman Khan's debut film. However, the Farooq Shaikh and Rekha-starrer romantic family drama also helped Sameer give his maiden hit song, 'Phool Gulab Ka'. True to its title, Rekha looked more gorgeous than roses in the garden. A classic track of the 1980s wherein the hero resorts to lyrical flattery. Who better than Mohammad Aziz and Anuradha Paudwal to croon ‘Phool Gulab Ka’.

2. 'Bas Ek Sanam Chahiye' – Aashiqui (1990)

Has there ever been a song that has defined love in the most essential way? The title track of Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui is one that will live in people’s hearts till their last breath. Aashiqui propelled Sameer to the top league of lyricists in Hindi cinema. 

3. 'Kaisa Lagta Hai' – Baaghi (1990)

Songs need not be poetry. Plain conversation between lovers can be soothing to the ears too, if backed by appealing music. Sameer penned the lyrics, 'Kaisa Lagta Hai?', Anand-Milind provided the apt romantic music, and Amit Kumar and Anuradha Paudwal did the rest with their voices. Perhaps today Salman Khan and Nagma would laugh looking at this track, but fans cheered their child-like antics then. 

4. 'Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai' – Saajan (1991)

After Aashiqui, Sameer and Nadeem-Shravan created another timeless tunes for Lawrence D’Souza’s Saajan. You will be spoilt for choice to decide which is a better track. There is such simplistic purity in the 'Mere Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai' song that it cuts across people of all generations. Making it all the more special is the evergreen Madhuri Dixit and the soothing voices of Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.

5. 'Dhak Dhak' – Beta (1992)

It’s next to impossible to take your eyes off Madhuri Dixit’s cleavage in this song. Let’s just say that Sameer must be mighty proud to have penned this seductive track. Does your heart still beat for the 'Dhak Dhak' girl? 

6. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai title track (1998)

Karan Johar signed Sameer to pen all tracks for his directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Each track was a hit, but the title track, crooned by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik, stole a march over others. Yet again, no poetry, just plain simple emotions that people experience when in love.

7. 'Chunari Chunari' – Biwi No 1 (1999)

There are some songs that you just can’t describe. This has no great lyrics, no great voice, but the two when combined with great music can turn the track into a memorable one. Sameer’s average lyrics for 'Chunari Chunari' were given a fine tune by Anu Malik in the Salman Khan-starrer Biwi No 1. Hindi audiences will remember South singer Anuradha Sriram purely for this track.

8. 'Socho Ke Jheelon Ka Shaher Ho' – Mission Kashmir (2000)

Vidhu Vinod’s Chopra’s revenge drama, set in the backdrop of terrorism in Kashmir, was a critically acclaimed film. It had good music with the 'Bumbro' track being the most popular. However, die-hard romantics will pick the 'Sochon Ke Jheelon Ka Shaher Ho' track as their favourite. Sameer wrote perfectly to the visuals and the sequence. 

9. 'Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana' – Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001)

R Madhavan and Dia Mirza’s Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein is counted among the top romantic sagas in the modern era. Young or old, the broken-hearted were struck by 'Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana'. Get your whisky and tune in to this one.

10. 'You Are My Soniya' – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)

Sameer joined hands with Karan Johar for the latter’s second film, a multi-starrer family drama having a past great (Amitabh Bachchan), a present great (Shah Rukh Khan), and a future star (Hrithik Roshan) in leading roles. Upping the ante from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Sameer proved his versatility with the 'You Are My Soniya' track, a peppy dance number that played regularly at discos and parties.

11. 'Kyun Kisi Ko' – Tere Naam (2003)

It is hard to believe that this is a Himesh Reshammiya composition. Sameer took us back to the good years of the 1990s with this ballad. 'Kyon kisi ko wafa ke badle wafa nahi milti, kyun kisiko dua ke badle dua nahi milti….' Millions across the country will testify to this Tere Naam track.

12. 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' – Aksar (2006)

A song that help turn Himesh Reshammiya into a singing star. Reshammiya's music, nasal singing and Sameer’s simple lyrics made 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja' a rage. 

13. 'Yoon Shabnami' – Saawariya (2007)

He had penned just one track ('Morey Piya') for Devdas (2002), but Sameer wrote all the songs for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya. Though known for his simple, conversational lyrics, Sameer pushed himself to pen the poetic number 'Yoon Shabnami'. Monty Sharma’s music took this song to divine heights. 

14. 'Dagabaaz Re' – Dabangg 2 (2012)

Despite the Dabangg title, the Salman Khan-starrer 2010 action comedy had melodious music. The second film, and its music, could not match up to the earlier standards, but Dabangg 2 did have Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shreya Ghosal croon the romantic number 'Dagabaaz Re', filled with beautiful (largely Bhojpuri) lyrics. One needn’t know the words, but such was the impact of the singing that any layman too would turn into a dagabaaz (traitor).