Article Hindi

Birthday special: 11 all-time romantic songs by lyricist Sameer

As the prolific songwriter turns 60 today (he was born on 24 February 198), we list some of his most well-known love songs from Dil (1990) to Dabangg 2 (2012).

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

Son of lyricist Anjaan, Sameer Anjaan (as he would like to be called now) initially tried working in a bank. But it was to no avail. He was destined for the music industry, just like his father.

Lyricist Anjaan through the eyes of son Sameer: Death anniversary special

Moving to Mumbai in 1980, he began writing lyrics for Bhojpuri cinema. His first film credit came with 1983’s Bekhabar. But it wasn’t until 1990, his big breakthrough year with dual successes of Dil and Aashiqui, that the lyricist truly arrived.

After that, well, there was no looking back. Working with composers like Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit, Anu Malik, and Himesh Reshammiya, he created numerous best-selling soundtracks. He claims to have worked with over a hundred different composers.

In 2016, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records for writing the maximum number of films songs, over 3,500. The lyricist still writes, adding to the overall count.

Here are some of his most well-known love songs that have stood the test of time.

1. ‘Mujhe Neend Na Aaye’ – Dil (1990)

The Madhuri Dixit-Aamir Khan-starrer, Dil (1990), brought Dixit her first best actress trophy at the Filmfare awards. The romantic drama had a hit album composed by Anand-Milind with songs like ‘O Priyaa Priyaa’, ‘Khambe Jaise Khadi Hai’ and ‘Humne Ghar Chhoda Hai’, but it was ‘Mujhe Neend Na Aaye’ that won him a Filmfare nomination. The duet, a personal favourite of his, was sung by Udit Narayan (the voice of Aamir Khan during the 1990s) and Anuradha Paudwal (the T-Series staple). The song featured the characters of Khan and Dixit, Raja and Madhu, professing their love to each for the first time.

2. 'Nazar Ke Saamne' – Aashiqui (1990)

Vishesh Films’ Aashiqui (1990) changed the film landscape in many ways. Directed by Mahesh Bhatt, the love story starred two newcomers, Rahul Roy and Anu Agarwal, and its music became of the top selling music albums in Hindi cinema. Composers Nadeem-Shravan and singer Kumar Sanu became household names after this. As for Sameer, he won his first Filmfare trophy as best lyricist, beating out himself (with ‘Mujhe Neend Na Aaye’ from Dil) for the prize. In the film, Rahul (Roy) and Anu (Agarwal) balance their blossoming romance with the demands of their real lives.

3. 'Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Paagal Hai' – Saajan (1991)

The love triangle, Saajan (1991) featured Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit in memorable roles. Dutt played the sensitive poet Sagar who is best friends with Akash. He sacrifices his love for Pooja (Dixit) for the sake of friendship. In ‘Mere Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai’, Sagar admires Pooja as he spends time with her, continuing his one-sided love for her. Singer Kumar Sanu and music composers Nadeem-Shravan both won Filmfare awards for their work on the film. Sameer too was nominated but lost out to Gulzar for Lekin…(1992).

4. 'Teri Umeed Tera Intezaar’ – Deewana (1992)

Raj Kanwar’s Deewana (1992), which turned Shah Rukh Khan into an overnight star, had several hit songs from ‘Aisi Deewangi’ and ‘Koi Na Koi Chahiye’, but it was this romantic number ‘Teri Umeed Tera Intezaar’ that won Sameer his second Filmfare trophy. The next year, Sameer won the award again for the song ‘Ghungat Ki Aad Se’ from Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993). Picturised on Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharti, ‘Teri Umeed Tera Intezaar’ was sung by Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam.

5. 'Pardesi Pardesi' – Raja Hindustani (1996)

A remake of Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), the old-fashioned love story Raja Hindustani paired Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor opposite each other for the first time. Once again, the lyricist worked music magic with composers Nadeem-Shravan. The song ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ was an instant success and played everywhere. It was sung by Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, and Sapna Awasthi. In the film, Kapoor plays a rich city girl who falls in love with Khan’s poor taxi driver.

6. ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Karan Johar’s debut film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), had all songs written by Sameer. The love story, and its songs composed by Jatin-Lalit, have become sentimental favourites, thanks to the performances by its leads, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji. The title song, filmed in Scotland, was sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. She won the National Award for her rendition. At the Filmfare awards, Sameer too was nominated for this song and ‘Ladki Badi Anjani Hai’, but once again lost out to Gulzar, who won for ‘Chaiyya Chaiyaa’ for Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se… (1998).

7. 'Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mein' – Dhadkan (2000)

Dharmesh Darshan’s Dhadkan, starring Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty and Akshay Kumar, is known more for its music even today. The intense love triangle featured songs like 'Aksar Iss Duniya Mein' and 'Dulhe Ka Sehra', but it was ‘Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mein’ that eventually connected with listeners. For Suniel and Shilpa, the film and its hit soundtrack was a standout in their careers. Another Nadeem-Shravan composition, ‘Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mein’ helped Sameer pick up his 11th nomination at the Filmfare awards.

8. 'Bole Chudiyan' – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001)

Assembling a star cast that spread across three generations, Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001) was an ambitious second film. The music was naturally a success as well. Brothers and composer Jatin-Lalit, along with composers Sandesh Sandilya and Aadesh Shrivastava, put together the music. Sameer wrote all the songs save for one. Amongst them, ‘Bole Chudiyan’ quickly become the go-to number for couples to perform at weddings. In the film, the song was picturised on the whole cast from Amitabh Bachchan to Kareena Kapoor. The number was sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, and Amit Kumar.

9. Title Song – Tere Naam (2003)

The romantic drama, starring Salman Khan and newcomer Bhumika Chawla, arrived at an opportune time for the actor, saving his career amidst a string of lacklustre films. He played Radhe, an unstable young man who falls for a simple girl, Nirjara (Chawla), from his town. His methods and means to get her to love him, are unusual and violent. The music of Himesh Reshammiya also lifted the film’s soundtrack. The title song, ‘Tere Naam’ sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik became one of the top songs of 2003. Narayan and Sameer were both nominated for ‘Tere Naam’.

10. 'Jab Se Tere Naina' – Saawariya (2007)

In Saaawariya (2007), the slightly disappointing debut of star kids Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, the music was its saving grace. ‘Jab Se Tere Naina’ served as Ranbir’s introduction number and in it, his character Raj sings of his ideal girl of who he’s already in love with. Later, it turns out to be Sakina (Sonam), a mysterious girl who fascinates him. Monty Sharma composed the music for the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Sameer earned his 17th Filmfare nomination for this love song sung by Shaan.

11. ‘Dagabaaz Re’ – Dabangg 2 (2012)

It’s no wonder than that Sameer has been chosen for the Guiness Book of World Records, his pace never slows down. For Dabangg 2 (2012), directed by Arbaaz Khan, Sameer only composed one song, but it was the lovely romantic number sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shreya Ghosal and Shadab Faridi. Salman Khan as Chulbul Pandey publicly proclaims his love for his wife Rajjo, played by Sonakshi Sinha.