Tony Juneja met Bakshiji first when he was very young..... He was new in Bombay and had come from Calcutta (I was earlier in Delhi.) He remembers that, his brother Tito and he, production company Navjeevan Films International, was going to start shooting for our film, Ram Balram, it was sometime around 1978/79/80. For Ram Balram, we sent composers Mr. Laxmikant and and Mr Pyaarelal to meet Bakshiji for the lyrics, and Bakshiji agreed to write our songs. I went to meet Bakshiji and I fell in love with Bakshi saab. Soon our film Ram Balram got delayed because of certain circumstances ( Dharamji's dates with us clashed with dates he had given to some other producer), and so we had free time for two to three months; Therefore, we decided to make Mr Natwarlal with director Rakesh Kumar within that free time we suddenly got. We requested Amitji if he would do the film, Natwarlal, with us and he agreed.There was no script at that time when we approached Amitji, we had only a story idea of Mr. Natwarlal. Our director Rakesh Kumar had just finished shooting his film Khoon Pasina and we knew that Rakesh Kumar and Amitji both got along very well, so we signed Rakesh Kumar and Amitji for Mr Natwarlal. This happened sometime in the month of March and in May we were supposed to shoot for Ram Balram. Therefore, we planned to go to Kashmir in May, after two months, to shoot Mr Natwarlal. We did not have a screenplay or script ready, but we had some great gimmicks (scenes with great fun elements) that we knew would eventually fit well into the script/film. The script was there but not yet fully written in March, so we decided to begin Mr Natwarlal by first recording and shooting all the 6 songs we needed for the script, because we knew the song situations in the script or story, and we decided that while we record and shoot all the songs in Kashmir, and the scenes and all can follow. Now, it was most challenging to record six songs within two months, March and April, because May was the Kashmir schedule for Natwarlal. We went to composer Rajesh Roshan, who composed the music for Natwarlal and then we requested Bakshi saab to team up with him and give us 6 songs within three weeks!When we met Bakshi saab with this strange request I remember he was having his paan and he jokingly told us to get out of his house! He said 'You must be crazy you want me to write 6 songs for you in 3 weeks, that too just because you want to go to shoot in Kashmir in May! He said, 'I have many other producers I have promised songs to, I cannot let them down by giving you songs before them.' We assured he we do not want all 6 together, we want them one by one over three weeks. He agreed! Since that day I started going to his house every day to check on the progress as he would call me as and when he spared time for us from all his other commitments. He was a most busy writer even then and yet he adjusted us. I would collect him and drive him to composer Rajesh Roshan's music sitting room, or drive Rajesh Roshan to Bakshiji's house, and very soon Bakshiji and I developed a good relationship with each other. I must tell you, he used to love saag (spinach) made in my house by our cook. I would send it to him often. That was the beginning of our relationship as far as affection was concerned.In those days, we had to book the recording theatre 2-3 weeks or months earlier since they were few good ones and very difficult to get overnight. Rajesh Roshan somehow booked a recording studio with great difficulty. Now the dilemma was we had a recording studio but no song to record.Bakshi saab normally came in his 1964 Fiat car at sharp 6 'o' clock in the evening to Raju's (Rajesh Roshan) house with a pan and a cigarette packet .and we would sit to think on the song. One evening, as usual, he was smoking his 555 and he began humming a song, the lyrics and tune too. It was the song 'Pardesiya se sach hai piya, sab kehete hain toone mera dil le liya...' that we shot for Mr. Natwarlal. We were all surprised and wondered what Bakshiji is saying and humming in tune. But it sounded great. Raju and his musicians got all charged up and played along Bakshi saab....and that was how that song was composed. After he narrated and sang the first line of the song, the remaining three verses he wrote in front of all of us in 15 minutes! All the while chewing his paan and smoking.I must say, after he wrote the first verse, he went out of the hall to the balcony from where he sat and looked out for just a few minutes and he returned and wrote the rest of the verses one after the other! The whole song 'Pardesiya" was done within half an hour with music in place.When his paan got over, he sent his driver to get him more paan from Khar west, shop opposite the station. He said his brains are not working and then asked for a cup of tea. Again, he lit his cigarette and said 'Why not we have a song with the children too, and why not we make Amitji sing this song?' Out of the blue, he suggested we make Amitabh Bachchan sing a song with the children in the story.We all were very close friends by then and Raju looked at me and said this would be the first time Amitji would be singing a film song, and Bakshi saab said, 'Yes, but why not, him singing in his own voice will sound more intimate singing with the children.' That was the end of our discussion on the voice, and believe me in the next 10 minutes he wrote the complete song that Amitji sang, 'Mere paas aao mere doston ek kissa suna.' It is history I tell you! I do not think anyone ever wrote 2 songs and in just one music sitting within an hour, and with the tunes, and both became super hits when the film released. Natwarlal's main assets were the gimmicks and music, for which credit goes to Bakshiji too.Once when we became financially tight in those days I told Bakshi saab there is no money to pay him, and it was his greatness he never asked us for the money, however, eventually we paid him in instalments. Those were old days, the great days of trust and of love. We all worked as one team. Bakshi saab was a Great man, I say. We did 7 pictures with him! 'Teri Kasam' was another example of how he gave us great songs with Pancham Da, R D Burman. In 2 days he wrote us 6 songs and he gave us the tunes. We had 2 movies scheduled in Manali, 'Johnny I love you' and 'Teri Kasam' together were scheduled to shoot. They were planned all of a sudden, and he delivered us songs without a complaint. Teri Kasam was a romantic film of Kumar Gaurav, and was releasing after his super hit film, "Love story" so the music had to be very good and Bakshiji helped us with that, this is the respect and regards I have for Bakshi saab that he was a genius that the film industry had. I wish he could be with us even now. Bakshiji never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. If we pleaded with him to give is a song earlier he would always adjust. He would call up his music directors who were also top composers so they were also very busy and request them to adjust time for him, so that he could adjust for us. Bakshiji was writing for everybody, so many producers. And yet he never let us down, that was his professionalism that you learn from him that everybody's money is important and has value, you should and cannot let anybody down. You must adjust with everyone and deliver to everyone.He never delayed my songs even when we suddenly asked for them. He would always call me or Raju and ask them how is the antra he has written and narrate it.He had no ego about his work and would ask an opinion sometimes. These are nice things. What amazed me is he used to write a song in 15 minutes or maximum in a day. Nowadays, I am told, some writers take many days to write a song. Bakshi saab had the talent, the energy, the honesty above all, and all three combined together made Bakshi saab a genius and living legend.He also wrote songs for our other films, like, Ram Balram, and in Aasman he wrote us two fabulous songs, 'Banke nazar Dil ki Zubaan' and 'Baagan wich Lagiyan Ambiyan'; he also wrote sings for Johnny I love you, Teri Kasam, and some other films which I am now forgetting. I had a great association with Bakshi saab, and I regret a legend like him is not there with us today.I used to go to his house in the evening sometimes just to see him. I once saw him at the joggers park where he would walk regularly and he asked me 'Saag kithhe hai' ('when are you making saag for me?') You cannot forget those moments, the most simple ones are so beautiful. There are other unforgettable ones with him, like seeing him chewing his paan, he always carried his paan ka dabba to music rooms, his cigarette held between his third and fourth finger, so many moments. He used to play the harmonium at times when he would write lyrics.He used to tell me, 'My songs rhythm will always sound like a heartbeat. My songs will beat just as our heart beats, my songs should beat like our hearts beat.' Bakshi saab was a genius and a genius still remembered. See more
No thief dies his own death, he gets killed.