Santosh Anand

From Indpaedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hindi English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Additional information may please be sent as messages to the Facebook
community, All information used will be gratefully
acknowledged in your name.

Category:Cinema-TV-Pop |A ]]


Avijit Ghosh, Sep 2, 2019: The Times of India

On a railway platform in Bengal before a smartphone camera, her voice hit the perfect notes. India was captivated. Accolades rained. Doors opened. Within days, impoverished Ranu Mondal’s life had changed.

For the lyricist who wrote the simple yet philosophical lines on life and love, Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai (film: Shor, 1972) that she sang, not much has changed but he is happy that it is his words that made her famous. “I have struggled in life so I can understand her struggle. I don’t know if she knows the writer of the song but she has my best wishes,” says Santosh Anand, who turns 80 next month.

Two Filmfare Award statuettes are displayed in a corner of Anand’s DDA flat in south Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar colony, reminders of younger, happier days. In recent years, Anand has battled personal tragedies. In 2014, his son and daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide. The scars of that loss still run deep. In his youth, he ran and won races. Now he can barely manage a few steps with a walker. Par mera hausla kabhi nahi toota (But I have kept up my morale),” he says.

Despite his age, Anand travelled to Jamshedpur for a kavi sammelan last week. “The audience sang with me. Last year the same thing had happened in Bikaner,” he says. He still writes poetry, reciting a few lines that have just come to him: “Mohabbat se kab mulakat hogi / Zindagi ki kab shuruat hogi (When will I meet love / When will life begin).”

Born in Sikandrabad in west Uttar Pradesh, Anand went to Aligarh Muslim University to study library science and later worked as a librarian in Delhi. “I get pension and some money from poetry gatherings. And thanks to Javed Akhtar’s efforts, songwriters like me have also started getting royalty,” he says.

Anand talks about the past with the fondness of a granny opening her jewellery box. Memories flow as he recalls the famous Lal Qila poetry sessions on Republic Day in the 1960s. “Thousands would attend those sessions. If they didn’t like a poet, they would hoot. The poster would say, Bachchan, Neeraj, followed by names of other poets. At the end, they would say, ‘Aur aapka laadla, (And your dear) Santosh Anand,” he says. Bombay cinema arrived at his doorsteps with Manoj Kumar’s sari-is-better-than-skirt saga, Purab Aur Pachhim (1970). The actor-director met Anand at Delhi’s Oberoi Hotel and listened to his poems. Hours slipped by. “Suddenly we realized night had fallen. Both of us ate chhole bhature for dinner,” he reminisces.

The long soiree, feels Anand, was the actor’s way of establishing a poetic as well as emotional bond. A few days later, Kumar sent him an air ticket for Bombay. “I wrote about 50 stanzas for my first song, Purva suhani aayee re. He chose the parts he needed,” he says. The film’s opening credit said, ‘Introducing Santosh Anand’, an honour generally reserved for debutant heroes and heroines.

Over the next decade, Anand penned a bunch of chartbusters for Kumar. Main Na Bhoolunga (Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan, 1975) fetched him a Filmfare Award for best lyricist. Zindagi Ki Na Toote Ladi (Kranti, 1981) finished second in Binaca Geet Mala’s annual countdown show. A second Filmfare came with Raj Kapoor’s Prem Rog (1982) for Mohabbat hai kya cheez. He also authored a much-appreciated ode to the rain clouds, Megha re megha re (film: Pyaasa Sawan). The composers, invariably, were Laxmikant-Pyaarelal.

“My understanding with Laxmikant was perfect. He once told me, ‘I was born to compose. You were born to write songs.’ We even made songs on the telephone. His death broke my heart,” says Anand. One of his fondest non-film memories is reciting poems to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a specially arranged meeting. “He heard me for about 90 minutes. Then, he recited his own poems to me,” says Anand. Last week, the poet received a flurry of calls after Mondal’s version of Ek pyaar ka naghma hai scorched the web. He recalls that the number was originally composed on a small harmonium that belonged to Laxmikant’s son, and that the marathon recording of the song began at 9 am and ended only around 11 at night. “Lata listened to the song three times after that,” the lyricist remembers.

Now nearly five decades later, the Lata-Mukesh duet continues to tug at heartstrings. Anand says, “People forget the opening lines of a new song nowadays. My achievement is that the world is still singing the songs I wrote.” 

Personal tools