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Veteran poet and lyricist Gopal Das Neeraj passes away

Gopal Das Neeraj wrote several hit Bollywood songs in the 60s and 70s and was at the peak of his career when he gave it all up for a quiet life in Aligarh.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2018 23:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Gopal Das Neeraj,Gopal Das Neeraj dead,Hindi poet
A Padma Bhushan awardee, Neeraj had suffered a head injury following a fall at his house in Agra and was undergoing treatment at a hospital there.(PTI File Photo)

Veteran poet and lyricist Gopaldas ‘Neeraj’ died on Thursday at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), days after he fell at his house in Agra and suffered a serious head injury.

The 93-year-old was a recipient of Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in the country.

“He was shifted to the trauma centre here last night in a critical condition. He had kidney failure, infection all over his body and head injury,” said Dr Rajesh Malhotra, chief of the AIIMS trauma centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death. “Saddened by the demise of noted poet and lyricist Shri Gopaldas ‘Neeraj.’ Shri Neeraj’s unique style connected him with people from all walks of life, across generations. His works are unforgettable gems, which will live on and inspire many. Condolences to his admirers,” Modi said in a tweet.

Born on January 4 ,1925 in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah, Neeraj wrote several hit Bollywood songs in the 60s and 70s and was at the peak of his career when he gave it all up for a quiet life in Aligarh. He continued to be a popular fixture at poetry meets (kavi sammelans), winning hearts and applause with his simple and affable style. He also wrote some ghazals with focus on harmony.

Some of his popular songs include Phoolon ke Rang se (Prem Pujari), E Bhai Zara Dekh ke (Mera Naam Joker), and Mera Mann Tera Pyasa (Gambler).

Neeraj is survived by three sons and a daughter. Kundanika Sharma, his daughter, said the family would go to Aligarh on Friday to fulfil Neeraj’s last wish of donating his body.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 21:42 IST