Dev Anand’s indirect connection with Aligarh: through Gopaldas Neeraj

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Dev Anand’s indirect connection with Aligarh: through Gopaldas Neeraj

Sunday, 27 September 2020 | PNS | Aligarh

Evergreen actor Dev Anand whose birth anniversary is celebrated on this day (26 September) and famous poet Gopaldas Neeraj, these two celebrities that touch the peak of popularity are no longer among us but once upon a time, stories of their friendship were famous in Bollywood.

Dev Anand had no connection with Aligarh but once upon a time, there were songs of Neeraj in each film of Dev Anand which made him special for Aligarh. Neeraj always mentioned Dev Anand in every discussion of the Bollywood. Dev Anand kept in touch with Neeraj till the end of his life.

Today let us know about his memories related to Neeraj on the birth anniversary of Dev Anand.

Dev Anand first met Neeraj at the poetry function held in Mumbai and he listened to his music on stage with seriousness and then inquired about Neeraj. When Dev Anand came to know that the song “Karavan guzar gya” of M. Chandra’s film “Nai Umar ki Nai Fasal” wrote by Neeraj, he was happy and met Neeraj after the function where Dev Anand promised him to write songs for his film. After some years, when Neeraj came to know that Dev Anand was going to make a film called “Prem Pujari”, he wrote him a letter and reminded him of the promise. On this Dev Anand called him to Mumbai. Neeraj arrives at Mumbai Dev's house where he got Rs 1000 as well.

The next day, both visited S.D Burman, Burman asked  Neeraj “what is the definition of love” on which Neeraj narrated this song “Shokhiyo mai ghola jae phoolo ka shabaab”, as soon as Burman heard this, he stood up and hugged and said that this is what he wanted. S.D Burman said that I want another song which starts with the word “Rangeela” and this is how the song “Rangeela Re tere rang mai” was born. Dev Anand was also happy to hear this and this film released in 1969 was a super hit only because of this song. With the film “Prem Pujari”, the relationship between Dev Anand and Neeraj became an unbreakable friendship. The lyrics were written by Neeraj in the 1969 film “Prem Pujari” to Dev's last film “Chargesheet” under the direction of Dev. Dev wrote in his book Romancing with Life that Rangeela Rr, a song written by Gopaldas Neeraj for the film Prem Pujari, is his lifetime favorite song. On 3 December 2011, Dev Anand left for heaven and 2 years ago Neeraj has also left us.

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