Born at Rawalpindi, Anand Bakshi had started writing poems at a young age. Working as a switchboard operator in the signal department of the Indian Army, Anand Bakshi was dreaming to be a lyricist in the film industry and hence he left the service and came to Mumbai where he had to struggle a lot. Even once he had left Mumbai in depression. However, he returned back in 1957, and then Bhagwan Dada gave him an opportunity to write songs for the film ‘Bhala Adami’. He wrote five out of ten songs in the movie and received one hundred and fifty rupees for the work. In 1958 it was a considerable amount, but more important was he got assignments of writing songs for four more films. Till 1961 he wrote songs for nearly 12 films but could not get any name fame.
His songs ‘Dhalti Jaye Raat, Kah Le Dil Ki Baat‘ in ‘Razia Sultana’ in 1961 as well as Qawwali ‘Meri Tasveer Le Kar Kya Karoge‘ from ‘Kala Samundar, ‘Chand Aahe Bharega‘ from ‘Phool Bane Angare’, and ‘Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi‘ from ‘Mr. X in Bombay’ gave him popularity and his name came in limelight. Since 1970 he wrote lot of songs for the next three to four decades just like throwing bullets from a revolver. Anand Bakshi had the skill to put perfect words in the tunes set by music directors. Some film appreciators don’t consider him to be a quality lyricist as they think his songs are not that meaningful.
Of course, the songs like ‘Somwar ko Ham Mile, Mangalwar Ko Nain‘, ‘One Two Ka Four‘, ‘Aaj Mohabbat Band Hai‘ are not having much lyrical value. However, his songs like ‘Chand Si Mehbooba Ho‘ (Himalay Ki God Mein), Ek Tha Gul (Jab Jab Pool Khile), ‘Baharon Ne Mera Chaman Loot Kar‘ and ‘Aaya Hai Mujhe Phir Yaad Woh Jalim‘ (Devar), ‘Hum Tum Yug Yug Se‘, and ‘Mubarak Ho Sabko‘ (Milan of 1967) are very meaningful and quality songs. Though not all the songs at some songs from his movies Amar Prem, Hare Ram Hare Krishna, Taqdeer, Aaye Din Bahar Ke, Aap Ki Kasam, Shalimar, Asha, Sargam, Kati Patang, etc. really touched the hearts of music lovers.
He had great creative skills to write perfect songs to suit the story, incident/ scene of the film. That was the reason producers like Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra, Prasad Productions, Rajshri Productions, Raj Khosla, Shakti Samanta gave him preference. Even at the time of Bobby, Raj Kapoor kept his favorite lyricist HasaratJaypuri aside and called Anand Bakshi. He had a tremendous vocabulary of Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi languages and based on that treasure he used to make the suitable song as expected. He has written songs on the tunes made by Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, S. D. Burman, R. D. Burman, and also Shiv Hari, Jatin Lalit, and A. R. Rehman from next generations.
It should not lose attention that the specialty of Anand Bakshi was to tell a story through song and he was perfect in this art. For example ‘Ek Tha Gul‘ from ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile, ‘O Gangaram Kanwara Rah Gaya‘ from ‘Jeevan Dhaara’ (1981). He also wrote songs in a question-answer format such as ‘Achchha Toh Ham Chalte Hai (Aan Milo Sajna), Woh Kaun Hai (Anjaana), Woh Kya Hai Ek Mandeer Hai (Anuraag), Maine Dekha Tune Dekha (Dushman), etc. Then he made a special experiment in the movie ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ where he used names of 64 Hindi movies in the song, ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi, Pyar Kiye Ja’ as it was the need of that film.
Once, Anand Bakshi, had himself confessed that ‘I neither know the grammar of lyrics, nor I can write using figures of speech. Then also he used to write perfect songs after considering and understanding the weight of words, the meter of musical tune, and the rhythm. He used to make such simple and sweet songs that anyone can sing and remember easily. His few words used to denote great meaning sometimes, we can see the song like ‘Tu Kaun Hai Tera Naam Hai Kya, Seeta Bhi Yaha Badnaam Huyi’, from ‘Amar Prem’ or ‘Woh Khwabon Ke Din, Woh Kitabonke Din, Sawalo Ki Raate, Jawabonke Din’ from ‘Dostana’.
Anand Bakshi is the lyricist who wrote ‘Main Shayar To Nahi‘ and also ‘Jikra Hota Hai Jab Qayamat Ka‘ as well as ‘Woh Tere Pyar Ka Gam‘ (My Love). With the changing time, he showed his versatility with ‘Pal Do Pal ka Yeh Safar’ and ‘Oye Raju Pyar Na Kariyo.’
It can be a separate topic for discussion with human life and the method of living portrayed through his songs. When we carefully listen ‘Yeh Jeevan Hai Ees Jeevan Ka…’ or ‘Kaise Jeete Hai Bhala..’ or ‘Bura Mat Suno, Bura Mat Dekho..’, ‘Dekho O Deewane Tum Yeh Kaam Na Karo…’, ‘Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai..’ one can realize the guidance and philosophy of life narrated there.
We can’t say that Anand Bakshi was not a quality lyricist when we listen, ‘Ek Banjara Gaaye…’. One more quality song that he created and through it he has kept his memories and impression of his contribution and left this world o 30th March 2002, that song narrating the truth of life is
‘Aadmi Musafir Hai, Aata Hai Jaata Hai;
Aate Jaate Raste Me Yaadein Chhod Jaata Hai!’