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15 all-time chartbusters from the Anand Bakshi playlist

The lyricist, fondly known as the people’s poet, has had a hand in most of the top songs of the last five decades. On his 15th death anniversary, we go back in time to highlight some of his hit songs over the years.

Sonal Pandya

1. 'Na Na Karte Pyar Tumhin Se' – Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)

Anand Bakshi got his big break as a lyricist with Bhagwan’s Bhala Admi (1958); however, it wasn’t until Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) seven years later that he was catapulted into the big league. The film and its music by composers Kalyanji-Anandji were grand successes. Besides Bakshi, the film’s hero, Shashi Kapoor, got his first solo-hero hit with this film. Most of the songs from ‘Yeh Samaa, Samaa Hai Pyar Ka’ to ‘Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana’ were popular, but it was ‘Na Na Karte Pyar Tumhin Se’ that became the breakout romantic hit. The duet was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Interestingly, Laxmikant-Pyarelal assisted Kalyanji-Anandji on this soundtrack.

2. 'Sawan Ka Mahina' – Milan (1967)

A Subba Rao’s Milan marked another milestone in Anand Bakshi’s career. His son, author Rakesh Anand Bakshi, stated that “he never lacked work until he lived” after this film. The reincarnation-based drama starring Sunil Dutt and Nutan had several memorable songs but none more popular than ‘Sawan Ka Mahina’ in which Mukesh teaches Lata Mangeshkar how to correctly pronounce the word ‘sor’. Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, the song delighted even audiences abroad when Mukesh and Lata performed it on stage, enjoying the part where he teaches her to say the word properly. Laxmikant-Pyarelal won their second Filmfare award for Best Music Director for this film.

3. 'Dum Maro Dum Mit Jaye Gham' – Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)

Shot mostly in Nepal, filmmaker-actor Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna was an exploration of the hippie culture of the times. The film followed the quest of a persistent brother Prashant (Anand) to save his lost sister Jasbir aka Janice, played by Zeenat Aman. The role and the iconic song, ‘Dum Maro Dum’, turned Aman into a star overnight. Composed by RD Burman, ‘Dum Maro Dum’ fetched Asha Bhosle her fourth Filmfare award for Best Female Playback Singer. Usha Uthup gave accompanying vocals for the song. In 2011, the song was remixed and featured in the film Dum Maaro Dum with actress Deepika Padukone making a special appearance.

4. 'Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Phir Raha' – Jawani Diwani (1972)

Once again, composer RD Burman and Anand Bakshi captured the essence of youth with their collaboration on Narinder Bedi’s Jawani Diwani starring Randhir Kapoor and Jaya Bhaduri (now Bachchan). The album reached the top of the charts. Singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle sang all six songs on the soundtrack, with ‘Samne Yeh Kaun Aaya’ and ‘Nahi Nahi Abhi Nahin’ becoming popular. But it was the catchy duet ‘Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Phir Raha’ that stood out; going all the way to number 26 on the 1972 Binaca Geetmala hit list.

5. 'Mehbooba Mehbooba' – Sholay (1975)

The cult classic Sholay (1975), with its outstanding lyrics and music, was shut out of the Filmfare awards by the films Julie and Amanush. Rajesh Roshan picked up the best music director trophy over RD Burman while Indivar bested Anand Bakshi for the song ‘Dil Aisa Kisine Mera Toda’ from Amanush. Singer Kishore Kumar also won the best male playback singer, beating out Burman who sang ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ himself. Picturized on Jalal Agha and Helen in the den of one of the most notorious villains of Hindi cinema, the song ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ sets the stage for the heroes, Jai and Veeru (Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmenda, respectively) to make their big move on Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan).

6. 'Om Shanti Om' (Meri Umar Ke Naujawanon) – Karz (1980)

Rishi Kapoor atop a spinning record in the song ‘Om Shanti Om’ is an enduring image from Subhash Ghai’s blockbuster Karz (1980). Inspired by the 1975 film, The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud, Karz starred Kapoor as a singer Monty, who recalls his past life and the disturbing secret behind his death. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s Filmfare award-winning soundtrack featured hit songs like ‘Dard-e-Dil’ and ‘Ek Haseena Thi’. The music of ‘Om Shanti Om’, sung by Kishore Kumar, is said to have been ‘inspired’ by the music of Calypso artist Lord Shorty. Bakshi’s iconic song inspired generations to come in India, especially Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om (2007), which paid homage to films of that decade.

7. 'Aa Dekhen Zara' – Rocky (1981)

The spinning record made another appearance with RD Burman’s score for Rocky (1981). A launch vehicle for Sunil Dutt and Nargis’s son Sanjay, the film had a number of hits in 'Kya Yehi Pyar Hai’ and ‘Doston Ko Salam’, but the song that has prevailed over time is ‘Aa Dekhen Zara’ sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. The dance competition song was picturized on two pairs – Sanjay Dutt with Reena Roy and Tina Munim with Shakti Kapoor. Actor Shammi Kapoor makes a special appearance as a chief guest at the event. The Burman-Bakshi number was used again in the 2009 thriller Aa Dekhen Zara (2009) starring Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu.

8. 'Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai' – Chaal Baaz (1989)

This remake of Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) won for Sridevi her first Filmfare award for Best Actress with the double role as twins Anju and Manju. The music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics by Anand Bakshi contributed greatly to the film’s success. Bakshi’s lyrics for Chaal Baaz ranged from comedic (‘Gadbad Ho Gayee’) to romantic (‘Tera Beemar Mera Dil’) and even included chartbusters like ‘Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai’ sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Mohammed Aziz. Recently, actress Alia Bhatt paid homage to the song and Sridevi in a special performance at the 2017 Filmfare awards. ‘Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai’, too, was remixed recently; it was recreated by music composers Sachin-Jigar for the film I, Me Aur Main (2013) starring John Abraham.

9. 'Tirchi Topiwale' – Tridev (1989)

Anand Bakshi’s ability to change with the times contributed to his longevity. It also meant that while composers who were active when he began had retired, Bakshi was working with the next generation, their offspring. Case in point, Viju Shah, son of Kalyanji Virji Shah, who composed the music of Tridev (1989). ‘Tirchi Topiwale’ was also known as the ‘Oye Oye’ song because of the song’s intro by singers Amit Kumar and Sapna Mukherjee. Viju Shah said recently that when people began praising Anand Bakshi for the number, referring to it as ‘Oye Oye’, the lyricist wasn’t aware which song they were talking about. Sapna Mukherjee won the Filmfare award for Best Female Playback Singer for her rendition.

10. 'Jumma Chumma De De' – Hum (1991)

Anand Bakshi’s tradition of chartbusters continued even in the 1990s where he updated his lyrics to connect with younger generations. In Mukul Anand’s blockbuster Hum (1991), Amitabh Bachchan and Kimi Katkar were featured in the song ‘Jumma Chumma De De’ sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sudesh Bhonsle. With Bachchan as Tiger in black and white work clothes and Katkar as Jumma in Spanish-style red dress, Bakshi wrote the song with Bachchan’s Tiger asking Jumma for a kiss. ‘Jumma Chumma De De’ was choreographed by Chinni Prakash, who won his first Filmfare award for his work.

11. 'Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai' – Khal Nayak (1993)

Subhash Ghai’s Khal Nayak (1993) weathered many controversies in its time. First, the song was hauled up for its suggestive lyrics by Anand Bakshi and and a case was filed that it was ‘degrading Indian culture’. Second, the film’s leading man, Sanjay Dutt, was arrested for his connection with the 1993 Bombay bombings before Khal Nayak hit the theatres. Despite these setbacks, both the film and the song went on to enjoy a life of their own. The song won Filmfare awards for its choreography by Saroj Khan and its rendition by singers Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun. ‘Choli Ke Peeche’ has been remixed numerous times over the years, most famously by British Asian DJ Bally Sagoo.

12. 'Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast' – Mohra (1994)

Anand Bakshi’s ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast’ is one of the latest songs to be remixed this year. The 1994 hit, picturized on Raveena Tandon and Akshay Kumar in a nightclub, was recently used in the Abbas-Mastan dud Machine (2017). However, the original, composed by Viju Shah, which was one of the top albums of 1994, still has legs. Sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy, the song turned Raveena Tandon into the ‘Mast Mast girl’. She had stepped in to replace the late Divya Bharti and went on to make a good pair with Akshay Kumar in future films too.

13. 'Ruk Ja O Dil Diwane' – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Showcasing why the second generation of filmmakers preferred him as lyricist, Anand Bakshi wrote timeless songs for Aditya Chopra’s debut film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Composed by Jatin-Lalit, ‘Ruk Ja O Dil Diwane’ was a lively update on the nightclub song. Set in Paris (but shot on a studio in India), the song was sung by Udit Narayan and picturized on Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Bakshi picked up his third Filmfare trophy for Best Lyricist for the song ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh’ from the same film. His previous two wins came for the song ‘Aadmi Musafir Hai’ from Apnapan (1977) and ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ from the romantic saga Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981).

14. 'Le Gayi' – Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

On Uttam Singh’s Filmfare award-winning soundtrack, Anand Bakshi wrote a contemporary song for Asha Bhosle yet again. Her sister Lata Mangeshkar sang the remaining eight songs on the soundtrack. Singh (then 49) and Bakshi (then 67) were instrumental in helping director Yash Chopra (65 at the time) create a modern romantic musical that is still remembered today. Dil To Pagal Hai’s songs came to define the meaning of romance and the film’s background of a dancing theatre group set the stage for actor Shah Rukh Khan and actresses Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor to turn in memorable performances.

15. 'Ishq Bina' – Taal (1999)

Before he died on 30 March 2002, Anand Bakshi wrote hit songs for films like Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) and Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (2002). But it was in Subhash Ghai’s Taal, starring Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai and Akshaye Khanna, for which Bakshi collaborated with AR Rahman, that he left an everlasting lyrical impression. The music and lyrics were the real stars of the film and brought the composer and lyricist several awards, including the Filmfares. The standout song of the album was ‘Ishq Bina’ by singers Sujatha Mohan, Sonu Nigam and Anuradha Sriram.