Anand Bakshi Death Anniversary: He filled my life with a lot of Joy

Death Anniversary: Anand Bakshi filled my life with so much joy I don't know whether my life would have been the same if I had been a part of any other industry. I will always be grateful to this industry which has given me so much.. Ali Peter John

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Anand Bakshi Death Anniversary
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Death Anniversary: Anand Bakshi filled my life with so much joy I don't know whether my life would have been the same if I had been a part of any other industry. I will always be grateful to this industry which has given me so much. I know there are many people out there who enjoy running this amazing industry, and I've shared my methods and ideas with them, but I will always remember this industry fondly because it has provided all the love I expected from it and has given me more love than that.

I have been very fortunate to have the love of great men and women like V Shantaram, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, K.A. Abbas, and the list goes on till the last man whose love I experienced and that man is Shahrukh Khan. But, if there is anyone who loved me without any expectations, it was the poet of life and love, successful lyricist Anand Bakshi!

A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Recollections with Bakshi Sahab

Like everyone who has had a very close association with me, I still do not remember how and where I met Bakshi Sahab for the first time. However, I remember taking a long walk with him on Khar Danda Road facing the sea. It was this road that inspired him to write some of his best songs! He was mostly lost in his world and used to go ahead of me, due to which I kept following him and often wondered if he was the same Anand Bakshi whose name I had heard more than half the time in my life. But even then I never got any response because there was nothing in him like ordinary Hindi and Urdu poets. He never spoke in the high-flowing style of poems and poets. He never consumed paan and the only bad habit he had was that he smoked a lot and drank alcohol at night, where he sometimes drank too much. He told me that he was a normal person who reacted to situations and people and how he behaved in different situations.

He had a birthday party in his apartment ‘Costapibles’ and there were many people in his house that night. Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were among those who were praising Bakshi Sahab. I had met Raj Kapoor several times, but my senior Mr. R.M.Kumtakar, introduced me to all his friends there because he liked it, and he also introduced me to the great showman there, who was then drunk! I politely shook hands with him, but the showman said in a loud voice, “O boy, where are your hands?” And before I could say anything, he shouted again and said, “Raj Kapoor ke saath koi aise baat karte hain?” I did not want to spoil Bakshi Saheb's party and I said to the showman, “I am having some pain in my back” Before I could finish my sentence, the showman again said, “Boy, your days are full, and you will die soon.”

However, unfortunately for him and I, I did not die as per his prediction, thank God and I am still alive, but I will never forget this one of my few unfortunate moments with the showman. The next morning Bakshi Sahab called me and apologized and asked me to have lunch with him and his wife. It was an invitation that started our friendship which lasted till the end.

It was his daughter's wedding reception at Juhu's Sun-N Sand Hotel, which hosted some of the best parties in the 70s and 80s. And I was invited by Bakshi Sahab. Even though I hated attending weddings and receptions, I set a goal and reached Sun-n-Sand. Bakshi Saheb was on the stage with the newly married couple and was busy welcoming the guests. And then suddenly, I heard a voice like Bakshi Sahab's voice and that voice said, "Ali Ali, my Ali has come, what more do I want?”

This was not just a show of emotions! He came down from the stage and took me to an empty table so that I could feel comfortable there and asked the waiters to take special care of me. I wondered how I would repay this kind man for his gratitude.

We talked about many important topics and people, but what Bakshi Sahab said about his friend and idol Dilip Kumar is fresh in my mind even after so many years. However, we were sitting and drinking in the same Sun-N-Sand hotel when Dilip Kumar passed by in his white trousers and immaculate white shirt. Bakshi Saheb took one look at Shahenshah, took a long puff of his favorite cigarette, and said, “I don't know why people keep wandering here and there in search of God, tell them that if they want to see God, then they should once look at Dilip Kumar, and they will find not only God but the whole world”, and while saying this he had tears in his eyes. I still don't know why those tears suddenly appeared in Bakshi Saheb's eyes.

In the late 70s, Bakshi Saheb kept falling ill regularly and was admitted to Nanavati Hospital. His addiction to cigarette smoking, which he called his love, had taken a toll on his lungs. His disease continued to grow dangerously. I used to go to meet him every day. One day one of his sons told me that he was in critical condition and I ran to him and found him lying unconscious. But believe me, when he saw me, he was alert and I will never forget those last words he said to me. He had said, “Ali, I do not want to die”.

Shortly after this, the doctors declared that all his organs had failed and the magician of emotions and words had left us. A few days before his death, Bakshi Saheb wrote a Poem named “brave” in which he showed that he was not afraid of death. But what can man do with death? He has to come and take you, whether you are an emperor, a beggar, Bahadur Shah Zafar, or Anand Bakshi.

Finally, a few days before his departure, he wrote this unpublished and unused poem, which he presented to Subhash Ghai, who could not think without the work. He knew he was dying, but read the poem below and you will know that the man and his unwavering spirit stood above all else. I present this poem to one and all on his death anniversary.

Main koi barph nahin hoon Jo pighal jaoonga

Main koi harf nahin hoon Jo badal jaoonga

Main sahaaron pe nahin khud pe yakeen rakhata hoon

gir padoonga toh huva kya Main  samhaal jaoonga.

chaand sooraj kee tarah vaqt pe nikalata hoon Main 

chaand sooraj kee tarah vaqt pe dhal jaoonga.

kaaphile vaale mujhe chhod gae hain peechhe

kaaphile vaalon se aage Main  nikal jaoonga.

Main andhero ko mita doonga chiraagon kee tarah

aag sine Main  laaga doonga Main  jal jaoonga.

husnn vaalon se guzaarish hai kee parde kar len

Main deevaana hoon Main aashik hoon machal jaoonga.

rok sakatee hai mujhe rok le duniya ‘bakhshee’

Main toh jaadoo hoon Main jaadoo chala jaoonga.

Main koi barph nahin hoon Jo pighal jaoonga

Main koi harf nahin hoon Jo badal jaoonga

What should I praise you for, Bakshi Saheb? You didn't even understand the meaning of praise. You were only doing that for which God had made you like Him and like God, you are immortal and will remain forever.

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