WHEN HE breathed his last at the age of 72 in Mumbai, Anand Bakshi stood acknowledged as the ``People's Poet" without recent peer -- a wordsmith who couched the most profound of sentiments in simplest everyday terminology. Lines that the man in the street could at once vibe with - lines aimed straight at the heart.

That precisely is what made Anand Bakshi a very special person in Hindustani mainstream cinema.

Going by the remarkable lucidity of expression -- in an age when flowery Urdu poetry was the written thing in films -- Anand Bakshi had a long period of struggle, ultimately getting widely accepted for his own intrinsic worth. Entering the scene when Urdu verse — through the pens of such stalwarts as Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni and Jan Nisar Akhtar — and the shudhdh Hindi kavita of Pradeep, Shailendra, Bharat Vyas and Indivar were considered the norm, Anand Bakshi created a niche for himself. It was in the Mala Sinha-Raaj Kumar starrer, ``Phool Bane Angare," (1963) that this young hopeful made his first real impact in the company of composers Kalyanji-Anandji with such instantly hummed numbers as Chaand aahen bharega phool dil thham lege (Mukesh) and Watan pe jo fida hoga amar woh naujawaan hoga (Mohammed Rafi). These two spot hits made fresher Anand Bakshi a household name.

A poet for all seasons, Anand Bakshi blossomed teaming with Laxmikant-Pyarelal, a personal equation underscored by Mohan Segal's ``Saajan" -- that gripping 1969 musical suspense thriller starring Asha Parekh and Manoj Kumar.

It was in ``Saajan" that Anand Bakshi's yen for the ``sawaal-jawaab" concept came to the fore with the light-hearted banter inherent in Resham ki dori ho, kahaan jaiyo nindiya chura ke choree choree (Lata-Rafi) while the same duo's ``Saajan saajan pukaroon galiyon mein", carried a cadence all its own.

Anand Bakshi distinguished himself in writing a genre of songs best represented by, say, Kalyanji-Anandji's Haan to, nainon mein nindiya hai, maathe pe bindiya hai, baalon mein gajra hai (Lata-Kishore Kumar in ``Joroo Ka Ghulam"), Laxmikant-Pyarelal's Haay sharmaaoon, oi oi, haay sharmaaoon, kis kis ko bataaoon, aese kaise main sunaaoon (Lata in ``Mera Gaon Mera Desh") and S.D. Burman's Baaghon mein bahaar hai, hai, kaliyon pe nikhaar hai, hai (Lata-Rafi in ``Aradhana").

With his intimate query-response style, Anand Bakshi created a healthy sense of romantic curiosity in the viewer-listener. Anand Bakshi here even suggested the tune, but left it entirely to the composer to accept or reject. This was one song-lyricist who never imposed himself upon any music director.

Thereby he pre-emptively avoided ego clashes, another secret of Anand Bakshi's abiding success.

Anand Bakshi could be trusted to come up with the apt words for the most unusual of song placements in a film.

Just recall his well-grounded song-lyric for Pankaj Udhas' Chithi aayee hai, aayee hai, chithi aayee hai (in Mahesh Bhatt's ``Naam"). Pankaj Udhas wrote (in an evening daily) with feeling about how Anand Bakshi's rustic words went straight to the gut, as simply tuned by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Though no ghazal, Chithi aayee hai was a must in any evening by Pankaj Udhas. The song, in fact, became something of an anthem with the NRIs longing for a glimpse of the motherland.

If that sounds so much mush, you had to get a feel of the uncomplicated Anand Bakshi style of lyricising for the earthy impress that Chithi aayee hai left.

Pankaj, in fact, personally told me that, even before he could come round to it, there was a clamour for Chithi aayee hai Anand Bakshi at all times had his finger on the public pulse.

When Anand Bakshi first teamed up with the evergreen Sachin Dev Burman in ``Aradhana" (released only in 1970), there was no generation gap discernible between this comparatively young poet and the veteran composer.

Dada Burman, versatile as they come, could give meaningful musical expression to Anand Bakshi's lyrics in a whole array of chart-toppers, for instance the songs of ``Aradhana."

Where it came to attuning with Dada's trend-setting composer-son, Rahul Dev Burman, Anand Bakshi was in equally top form, as exemplified by ``Kati Patang" numbers like Mera naam hai Shabnam -- in the voice of Asha Bhosle as put across by Bindu in an especially taut scene in the film.

Be it Mukesh's empathetic Jis galee mein tera ghar na ho baalama or Lata's thematic Na koyi umang hai (both in ``Kati Patang"); or Asha-Kishore's Chal saathee chal chal saathee (in ``Ishq Ishq Ishq"), Anand Bakshi was right there.

Yet it was in Shakti Samanta's Sharmila Tagore-Rajesh Khanna heart-holder, ``Amar Prem", that the Anand Bakshi-R.D. Burman excelled in creative collaboration -- with such captive numbers as Chingaree koyi, Yeh kya hua kaise hua and Kuchch to log kahenge (all three by Kishore) and Bada natkhat hai and Raina beetee jaaye (both by Lata).

Not in one of these five super RD compositions did Anand Bakshi's lyrics sound anything but captivatingly spontaneous and serenely flowing with the tide.

Anand Bakshi was conferred with the Filmfare Best Lyricist award at last, in 1978, with Aadmi musafir hai aata hai jaata hai (Lata, Rafi & Chorus) in J. Om Prakash's ``Apnapan" at a point in Hindustani cinema when such songs had ceased to catch public fancy.

Anand Bakshi bagged the coveted award yet again for the trail-blazing Lata-Kishore duet, Tere mere beech mein composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal as the theme song of K. Balachander's ``Ek Duuje Ke Liye" (1981).

More followed via that runaway Lata-Kumar Sanu hit on Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan, Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam, scored by Jatin-Lalit for Aditya Chopra's ``Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995); and via Sonu Nigam, Sujatha, Anuradha Sriram's Ishq bina kya jeena yaaron, as crafted by A.R. Rahman for Subhash Ghai's ``Taal" (1999).

Anand Bakshi remained eternally young at heart even while mellowing graciously into the new millennium.

His tuning with the audience was such that it had to be heard to be believed: Dekho o deewaanon tum yeh kaam na karo Raam ka naam badnaam na karo -- something at striking variance with Anand Bakshi-R.D. Burman's Dum maaro dum Asha punchline in the same pathbreaking ``Hare Rama Hare Krishna."

source: hinduonnet.com