A popular radio interviewer turned actor and also lyricist, Madhup Sharma generally played supporting actor roles of police inspector, judge, lawyer, doctor, jailor, father and manager in many of his films. In a career spanning over 27 years, he appeared in more than 60 films.
He was born on 14 December, 1921 in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. He was one of 9 children; the son of an engineer, Shri Ram Sharma and Devki. Balkrishna Sharma ‘Madhup’, which is his original name, was essentially a poet. In fact, he started writing at the young age of seven, and was always interested in music and poetry. His grandfather, a well-known scholar of Urdu and Persian, tutored him, till the age of 13, post which he joined school in Delhi. Graduating from Bikaner, he was also part of the hockey team of Bikaner’s Dungar College. He shone under the guidance of his professor, Shri Narottam Das Goswami, who recognised his talents and encouraged him, also giving him his pseudonym, Madhup.
In 1946, while doing his BA from Agra University, his first collection of poems, Yeh Path Anant was published. It went on to be appreciated by big names in Hindi literature. In fact, his work won compliments from literary greats such as Maithili Sharan Gupt, Sumitra Nandan Pant, and Nirala. He also won attention at various poetry conferences.
Desirous of writing songs for Hindi films, he moved to Bombay, and got the opportunity to pen a few songs between 1952 and 1953. In 1954, on the strength of his voice, he landed a job with All India Radio, being associated with Vividh Bharati since its start in 1957. He wrote, produced and voiced several programmes such as Hawa Mahal, Geeton Bhari Kahaniyan, Jai Mala and more. One programme that remains especially memorable is Jaimala – Fauji Bhaiyon Ke Liye. This programme brought famous artistes such as Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Nargis Dutt to raise the morale of soldiers during the Indo-China war of 1962.
Post quitting his job, he went on to write numerous novels, stories and poems, dozens of which are still available today. Along with writing, he also acted in several films, such as Sujata (1959), Mere Lal (1966), Jeevan Mrityu (1970), Amar Prem (1971), Raja Rani (1972), Anamika (1973), Dost (1974), Aandhi (1974), Dharam Karam (1975), Sanyasi (1975), Azad (1978), Ram Balram (1980), Rajput (1982).In Johny Mera Nam (1970), he played a police inspector and father of the Dev Anand and Pran, in the childhood period.
Madhup Sharma landed his acting break by a stroke of luck. He had arrived to interview popular filmmaker of the time, Kidar Sharma. Sharma immediately signed Madhup up in a small role in his film Maikhana (1966). After this, Madhup appeared in films such as Mere Lal (1966) and Prem Pujari (1970). It became challenging for him to juggle work with film assignments, leading to Madhup quitting his job with Akashwani in 1967, though he did continue to freelance for radio shows. He simultaneously also wrote for the publication, Madhuri.
Associated with Navketan and Dev Anand, Sharma appeared in Anand’s movies such as Prem Pujari (1970), Johny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), Sharif Badmash (1973), Heera Panna (1973), Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974), and Swami Dada (1982).
On the personal front, he married his beautiful and vibrant muse, Vimla in 1948. They had two daughters, Poonam and Abha. An avid practitioner of Homeopathy and Accupressurefrom 1984 onwards, he helped many heal via his therapies.
He received the VarishtSahityakar award from the Rajasthan Sahitya Academy. He also received a Sahitya award for his book, Andheray Ujaalay from the Priyadarshini Academy.
Madhup Sharma passed away on 13 April, 2012. His lyrics, especially Do bol tere meethe meethe from Dara (1953) retain their charm.