Dev Kohli, a veteran Hindi film lyricist, died on Saturday in Mumbai at the age of 80. Kohli’s songs have appeared in over 100 films, including ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya,’ ‘Baazigar,’ ‘Judwaa 2,’ ‘Musafir,’ ‘Shoot Out At Lokhandwala,’ and ‘Taxi Num 911.’ He has worked with musicians such as Anu Malik, Raam Laxman, Anand Raaj Anand, and Anand Milind, among others.
Pritam Sharma, Kohli’s publicist, revealed the lyricist died at his residence early this morning. He had been ill for several months and had been taken to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Hospital before being returned home about ten days ago, according to Sharma.
Kohli’s final rites will take place around 6 p.m. today in Jogeshwari West.
Anand and his close buddies Raaj Anand, Anu Malik, Uttam Singh, and other celebrities from Bollywood will be attending his funeral.
Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan into a Sikh family, Kohli relocated to Dehradun following Partition.
Kohli’s close friend composer, lyricist and playback singer Anand Raaj Anand told ANI, “In 1995, when I first arrived in Mumbai and got my first project, I wanted to open a bank account but bank personnel said they could not do so unless i produced somebody who would vouch for me. At that moment, a sardar ji intervened and helped me. It was Dev Kohli ji. He told me You’re into music, and I write music. Therefore, don’t worry and he signed for me.”
“After two days I called him on his landline as I was excited and things were proceeding in a in a laid-back manner. Kohli ji invited me to sing as we got started playing. I informed him that I had also composed songs and he told me that he would write for me when I made it big. A few years later, his predictions came true and we ended up performing numerous tunes together. I only ever collaborated with one or two other lyricists apart from him.”
“I first met him a week ago, and I visited his house to touch his feet in order to receive his blessing. He requested that I sing a song about Radha Krishna, which bestowed blessings upon me, and urged me to start over and succeed in my career,” Anand Raaj Anand said.
When Kohli arrived in Mumbai in 1964, he began hunting for film work. He made his Bollywood debut with the release of the film ‘Gunda’ in 1969. His breakthrough came with the song ‘Geet Gaata Hoon Main’ from the 1971 film ‘Laal Patthar.’
He authored the lyrics to several hit songs, including ‘Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate,’ ‘Kabootar Ja Ja Ja,’ ‘Aaja Shaam Hone Aayee,’ ‘Maine Pyar Kiya,’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’.
In the 1990s, he and Anu Malik had a brilliant collaboration on songs like ‘Dekho Dekho Jaanam Hum’ in Ishq and ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen’ in ‘Baazigar.’