Anand Bakshi (Bakhshi Anand Prakash Vaid) was born in Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan, on 21 July 1930. His ancestors were Mohyal Brahmins from Kurree, near Rawalpindi, and had their origins in Kashmir. His mother, Sumitra, died when he was five years old. Bakshi’s family migrated to India (Delhi) on 2 October 1947, in the aftermath of the partition, when he was 17 years old. The family arrived in Delhi, via a Dakota aircraft, and then migrated to Pune, then Meerut and settled in Delhi finally.
Bakshi was fond of writing poetry since his youth,but he did this mostly as a private hobby. In a 1983 interview with Doordarshan, Bakshi recounted that after his initial studies, he joined the Indian Army, where due to a paucity of time, he could only write occasionally. He continued to write poetry whenever time permitted, and used his songs and lyrics in local programmes related to his troop. He worked in the Army for many years and simultaneously tried to market his songs in the Mumbai film world.
Anand Bakshi came to Hindi films to make a name for himself in writing and singing but ended up becoming more successful in writing lyrics. He got his break writing songs in a Brij Mohan’s film titled, “Bhalaa Aadmi”, 1958, acted by Bhagwan Dada. He wrote 4 songs in this film. His first song in this film was “Dharti Ke Laal Na Kar Itna Malaal” which was recorded on 9 Nov 1956. In his own voice on All India Radio interview
After writing for few movies from 1956 onwards, he first found success in 1962, with Mehendi Lagi Mere Haath, which was produced by (LimeLight), Music Kalyanji & Anandji, Music Pub-HMV/Saregama. Bakshi later made another mark for himself writing a quawalli for the 1962 film Kala Samundar, the song was “Meri Tasveer Lekar Kya Karoge Tm”. He got his real big breakthroughs in 1965 with Himalaya Ki God Mein, and a huge breakthrough again in 1965 with the super hit film Jab Jab Phool Khile, starring Shashi Kapoor; and yet again in 1967 with the super hit movie Milan (starring Sunil Dutt). These six hit films within a decade of his entry into films cemented his status as a lyrics writer of immense caliber. He went on to work as a lyricist of over 3500 songs and 638 films in his career.
He got his first break as singer in a film directed by Mohan Kumar’s Mom Ki Gudiya(1972). The first song he sang was a duet “Baaghon mein bahaar aayi hothon pe pukaar aayi”, along with Lata Mangeshkar for music composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. He also sang the solo “ Main dhoondh raha tha sapnon mein” from the same film. He also sang songs in 4 other films: Sholay (1975) where he sang the quawwali “Chand Sa Koi Chehera” along with Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Bhupinder, the song was released only on the vinyl but not in the feature film; Maha Chor (1976); Charas (1976); and, Balika Badhu (1976).
Anand Bakshi’s was widely associated with music Composers such as Laxmikant Pyarelal, R D Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, SD Burman, Anu Malik, Rajesh Roshan and Anand-Milind and his songs have been sung by all the top singers as also other singers like Shamshad Begum, Ila Arun, Khursheed Bawra, Amirbai Karnataki, Sudha Malhotra and more. He is known to have worked with more than one generation of music composers.
He wrote the first recorded songs of many first time male and female leads who went on to become stars, and also of singers like Shailendra Singh, Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy, etc., and he established himself as a versatile lyricist with the song “Dum Maro Dum” in the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1972).
After this, he wrote memorable lyrics in many movies including Bobby and Amar Prem (1971), Aradhana 1970, Jeene Ki Raah, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Aaye Din Bahar Ke, Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay (1975), Dharam Veer, Nagina, Hum (1991), Mohra (1994), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), “Pardes” (1997), Heer Raanjha, Dushman (1998), Taal (1998), Mohabbatein (2000), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) and Yaadein. Mehendi Lagi Mere Haath, Devar, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Milan, Do Raaste, Aradhana, Amar Prem, Main Tulsi Tere Angaan Ki, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Aasra, Himalaya Ki Godh Mein, Chotta Bhai, Sohni Mahiwal Seeta aur geeta, Mera gaon mera desh, Roti, Anokhi Ada, Jeene Ki Raha, Aan Milo Sajna, Sharafat, Khilona, Maryada, Kati Patang, Raja Aur Rankh, Aradhana, Farz, Do Raaste, Raja Rani, Raja Jaani, Loafer, Bairaag, Piya Ka Ghar, Apna Desh, Charas, Aap Ki Kasam, Bobby, Main Sundar Hoon, Amar Akbar Anthony, Dharam Veer, Shalimar, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Julie, Jawani Diwani, Dostana, Hero, Main Sundar Hoon, Taqdeer, Raja Saab, Love Story, Betaab, Avtaar, Aasha, Apnapan, Suhag, Mr Natwarlal, Sargam, Karz, Ram Balram, Aas Paas, Krodhi, Fifty Fifty, Jaaneman, Judaai, Sharda, Namak Haram, Mukti, Khilona, Jeevan Mrityu, Naseeb, Desh Premee, Chupke Chupke, Ek Hi Bhool, Jeevan Dhara, Andha Kanoon, Farz, Shaan, Abdulla, Sholay, Rocky, Aamne Saamne, Shakti, Teri Kasam, Hum, Saudagar, Lamhe, Sahibaan, Khuda Gawah, Alag Alag, Sacha Jhoota, Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge.