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Yogesh, popular lyricist of the 1970s, dies aged 77

Yogesh Gaur was known for his simple and lucid lyrics for films like Anand (1971), Rajnigandha (1974) and Mili (1975).

Our Correspondent

Yogesh, writer of some of the most iconic Hindi film songs of the 1970s, died in Mumbai today. He was 77.

Yogesh Gaur, known simply as Yogesh, was among the preferred songwriters for filmmakers like Basu Chatterji, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and composer Salil Chowdhury in the early 1970s. His discography includes songs like 'Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye' from Anand (1971), 'Rajnigandha Phool Tumhare' and 'Kai Baar Yunhi Dekha Hai' from Rajnigandha (1974), and 'Badi Sooni Sooni Hai' from Mili (1975).

Born in Lucknow in the erstwhile United Provinces, Yogesh arrived in Bombay in the 1960s following the death of his father. His maternal cousin, writer-lyricist Vrajendra Gaur, suggested that he try for work in films but did not offer any personal help.

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Yogesh got his first break with the film, Sakhi Robin (1962). He worked through several B-grade films before he was finally spotted by composer-lyricist Chowdhury, who recommended him to Mukherjee for his breakthrough film, Anand (1971).

In a 2018 interview with The Hindu newspaper, Yogesh recalled, "Salil-da would be very patient and got out the best in me. In Rajnigandha and Chhoti Si Baat (1975), he allowed me to experiment with words and phrases not commonly used [in Hindi film songs]."

In addition to success in several films, the lyricist wrote for Indian television serials like Chandrakanta (1994), Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zarurat Hai (1997), Hasratein (1997), and Gudgudee (1998). His last work was for the Pankaj Tripathi-Sanjay Mishra film, Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain (2018).