Lyricist of popular songs in the 70s and 80s, Verma Malik was the winner of two Filmfare awards for his work in Pehchan (1970) and Be-imaan (1972). He penned well-received songs such as the wedding anthem Aaj meri yaar ki shaadi hai from Aadmi Sadak Ka (1977), the evergreen Yashoda ka nandlala from Sanjog (1985), Ek taara bole from Yaadgar (1970), Do bechaare from Victoria No. 203 (1972), Hai hai yeh majboori from Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), Kaan mein jhumka chaal mein thumka from Saawan Bhadon (1970), and Tere sang pyaar mein from Nagin (1976). Known for his unique way of blending shayari and folk songs, he penned approximately 500 songs in the course of his career.
He was born Barkatrai Malik in 1925 in Ferozepur. He had started off writing bhajans. An active freedom fighter during the British Raj, he also penned many patriotic songs. Post Partition, he settled in India and began writing songs for Punjabi films. He adopted the name Verma Malik on the suggestion of Punjabi films music director Hansraj Behl, who had helped him in the beginning of his career in the film industry. He penned lyrics for songs in films such as Chakori (1949), Jaggu (1952), Shree Nagad Narayan (1955), Mirza Sahiban (1957), CID 909 (1957), and Taqdeer (1958). Away from the film industry for nearly seven years post-1961, he returned to write songs for Dil Aur Mohobbat (1967).
Malik got his break in Hindi films via actor-director Manoj Kumar. Penning Ek tara bole for Yaadgar, which was a big hit, his work the same year in Pehchan (1970) also won him attention, establishing him as a prominent film song lyricist. He went on to create many memorable classics, which became popular and well-liked, working in films such as Sawan Bhadon (1970), Paras (1971), Hum Tum Aur Woh (1971), Shor (1972), Be-Imaan (1972), Anhonee (1973), Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), Ek Se Badhkar Ek (1976), Nagin (1976), Jaani Dushman (1979), Shakka (1981), and Do Ustad (1982). His work in Pehchan and Be-Imaan won him Filmfare Awards.
A simple, calm person, known to be happy and proud of his work, Verma Malik passed away on 15 March, 2009 in Mumbai, aged 83.