Veteran Hindi film lyricist Dev Kohli passed away in Mumbai on Saturday, He was 80.
Kohli is famed for his songs in over 100 films including Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, Judwaa 2, Musafir,Shoot Out At Lokhandwala, and Taxi No. 9211. He has collaborated with music directors like Anu Malik, Raam Laxman, Anand Raaj Anand, and Anand Milind among others.
Kohli’s spokesperson Pritam Sharma confirmed the lyricist passed away at his home early this morning. He had been ailing for some months now and had been admitted to the Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai before being brought home around 10 days ago, Sharma said.
Kohli’s last rites will be conducted in Jogeshwari West around 6 p.m. today.
Close friends Anand Raaj Anand, Anu Malik, and Uttam Singh along with stars from Bollywood will attend 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 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 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.
Arriving in Mumbai in 1964 Kohli began looking for film work. With the release of the movie Gunda in 1969, he debuted in the Bollywood industry. His first big break came with the song ‘Geet Gaata Hoon Main’ from the 1971 movie Laal Patthar.
He wrote lyrics for several hit songs like ‘Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate,’ ‘Kabootar Ja Ja Ja,’ ‘Aaja Shaam Hone Aayee,’ ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’
He and Anu Malik formed a spectacular partnership in the 1990s, working together on songs like ‘Dekho Dekho Jaanam Hum’ in Ishq and ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen’ in Baazigar.