Ek pyar ka nagma, a song that skillfully captures the temporary essence of love and life was penned by accomplished poet and lyricist Santosh Anand. Unfortunately, Anand has faded from our popular memory despite delivering some soulful music enjoyed by the Indian film audience till date.
Anand was born as Santosh Kumar Mishra on 5 March, 1940 in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. He completed his graduation from Aligarh Muslim University and continued to pursue his love for poetry. For the next forty years, he managed to establish himself as a celebrated shayar and poet who often performed in poetry events. He prepared his verses to perform in the Red Fort’s 26th January parade on the same day, and the audience was taken by his way with words. He penned patriotic poems when India was at war in 1962, 1965 and 1971 which were well received by the people.
In 1960, Anand was invited to perform in one of the poetry circle events which was attended by Tarachand Barjatya too. Barjatya met with Anand to share his admiration for his performance later. Anand returned to Delhi when his college friend Hari Bharadwaj connects him with Manoj Kumar. The actor was impressed with Anand’s poetry and sent a ticket for him to join the film industry in Bombay. Anand took the chance and started his career in Hindi films as a lyricist.
Purab Aur Pachhim (1970)’s Purwaa suhaani ayi re was the beginning of a successful career as a lyricist. Some of his other celebrated songs are Mai na bhulunga from Roti Kapada Aur Makan (1974) rendered by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, Megha re megha, Teraa saath hai from Pyaasa Sawan (1981) sung by Lata Mangehskar, Mohabbat hai kya cheez from the film Prem Rog (1982), and Zindagi ki na tute ladi from Kranti (1981).
Anand often collaborated with Manoj Kumar in films like Purab Aur Pachhim, Shor (1972), Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Kranti and Santosh (1989). Another leading figure of Hindi cinema that was enthusiastic about collaborating with Anand was the showman Raj Kapoor. Kapoor approached Anand to write the lyrics for his Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), however Anand declined the proposition for some personal reason. Later, the two worked together in Gopichand Jasoos (1982) and Kapoor’s directorial venture Prem Rog.
Santosh Anand was bestowed with Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for the films Roti Kapda Aur Makan and Prem Rog. In 2016, he was honoured with the Yash Bharati award.
On the personal front, he got married in 1965 and had two children – a daughter and a son. His son and daughter-in-law died by suicide on 16 October 2014 which left him and his family broken with grief for a while. Ridhima the couple's daughter is now looked after by Anand and his family. The man, who wrote some of the most soulful love songs, believes that the meaning of life lies in love. He spends his time reading, enjoying an occasional paan and spending time with his granddaughter and family currently.