Remembering an 'Anjaan' lyricist!
October 27, 2009

First Published: 07:00 IST(28/10/2009)

He went by the pen name Anjaan (anonymous), but the lyrics written by him made him famous. Today is the 79th birth anniversary of the famous Hindi movie lyricist who's famous for songs such as Khaike Paan Banaraswala from Don (1978) and Rote hue aate hain sab from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978).

Lalji Pandey, a native of Varanasi, often used the Bhojpuri dialect of Hindi in his lyrics. A great charmer of Hindi language and literature, Anjaan participated in almost every gathering of Hindi poets.

Even though he used Urdu to the minimum he made his presence felt in every kavi-sammelans and mushairas. Use of Urdu language is a fashion in Indian Film Industry but Anjaan came up with his innovating new ideas and core Hindi contemporary language for songs.

Anjaan got his first break with the 1953 Premnath production Prisoner Of Golconda where he wrote Lehar Yeh Dole Koyal Bole and Shaheedon Amar Hai Tumhari Kahani. After this he remained fairly busy, but in small films. His only popular number was Mat Poonch Mera Hai Mera Kaun Watan (Lambe Haath) with music by GS Kohli, with whom he did many small films.

He was first noticed for his work with the Raaj Kumar film Godaan, based on the Premchand classic, with music by Pt. Ravi Shankar. This film got him a few good assignments in the mid 60’s with big composers like OP Nayyar in Guru Dutt’s Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi and GP Sippy’s Bandhan, which established him commercially with Bina Badraa Ke Bijuriya Kaise Barse.

This also saw the forging with fellow lyricist Indeevar and composers Kalyanji - Anandji. He was at his best in the Amitabh Bachchan films of Kalyanji-Anandji, beginning with Do Anjaane (Luk Chhip Luk Chhip Jao Na) in 1976. Followed Hera Pheri, Khoon Pasina, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Don, Laawaris and Jaadugar. He also wrote hits for Bachchan with other composers like Rajesh Roshan, Bappi Lahiri, and RD Burman.

(Lyricist Sameer is Anjaan's son )

His health suffered a major setback in the early 90’s, though he delivered hits with Zindagi Ek Jua, Dalaal, Ghayal and the 1990 chartbuster Gori Hain Kalaiyan (Aaj Ka Arjun) and his last hit Shola Aur Shabnam (1992).

Anjaan was a very successful all-rounder for almost 20 years in Hindi films, but his poetry still had the colour of Bhojpuri language and the ethos and culture of Uttar Pradesh, the citadel of Hindi.

A few months before his death on 13th September 1997, his only book of poems, Ganga Tath Ka Banjara was released by Amitabh Bachchan. His son Sameer is also a famous Bollywood lyricist.

(Inputs by News Tomorrow)