Popular As: Anjaan
Birth: 28th October 1930
Death: 3rd September 1997
First Film: Golconda Ka Qaidi
Last Film: -
Work Span: 1953-1990

His real name was Laalji Pandey. and he was born in Banaras, U.P., on 28th October , 1930. The main thing in his early life was his asthma, which prevented him from whatever he wanted to concentrate on. Hindi poetry was one such thing. Somehow though he started even writing in his young days. He used to participate in Kavi Sammellans. Increasingly appreciated, he decided to go over to Bombay. He wanted to become a celebrity. But lethargy overcame his desires many times, and also the asthma, always.

Finally, in 1951 he ran away to Bombay. He even changed his name to suit the film industry and to sound lyrically acceptable and curiosity-inspiring Anjaan, meaning the Unknown.

His much awaited break came in 1953, in producer-director-actor Premnath's Golconda Ka Qaidi. The film had an excellent story, based as it was on the life of King Tana Shah. Unfortuantely the film's songs became a hotchpotch put together by three music composers and three songwriters (including Anjaan), so it wasn't fun listening to them. But Anjaan had obtained a toehold in films.

From here, Anjaan went on to many small budget films, but there was nothing to write home about. Thiswent on till 1960, when the lyricist got the approval he was waiting for. He wrote a song for composer G S Kohli in the film Lambe Haath, a song so well penned people sat up to ask who the writer was. This was the choris backed Rafi number, 'Pyar ki raah dikha duniya ko...'. After this huge one, Anjaan wrote songs in many better films, including for Pandit Ravi Shnakar in Go-Daan, which got everyone saying hmmm..good words. Then he penned for O P Nayyar in Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi. In Bandhan he later wrote for Kalyanji Anandji.

Anjaan went on to do lots of song writings in the coming '70s and 80's, fo so many composers, especially with Kalyanji Anandji, Bappi Lahiri, and R D Burman. He wrote songs for over 150 films during that time. Some of the big names included Kab Kyun Aur Kahan?, Hungama, Muqqaddar Ka Sikandar, Do Aur Do Paanch, Don, Yarana, Namak Halaal, Sharabi, Apne Rang Hazaar, Hera Pheri etc,. Many successful songs and films, albeit in these relatively less creative times.

Among Anjaan's own favorites was his own song "Maano to main ganga maa hoon, maano oto behta paani...' from Ganga Ki Saugandh. And yes, not surprisingly, he had a soft corner for things associated with U.P: the river Ganges, Banaras, Pt. Nehru, Hindi, Bhojpuri, amitabh Bachchan, etc. His only collection of poems is thus called, aptly, Ganga Tat ka Banjara, meaning a Gypsy on the banks of River Ganges. And, not surprisingly, Amitabh Bachchan was the chief guest at the book launch party.
In his 67th year Anjaan suffered a paralytic stroke and his health went down. Within just a few months it got so bad he could hardly recognize people. A heart attack on September 3, 1997 claimed the writer's life.

Contributed by: Mr. Manek Premchand
Author: Yesterday's Melodies Today's Memories

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