Sameer Anjaan (b. 1958, India) has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the Most prolific Bollywood lyricist ever – having composed an incredible 3,524 different songs as of 15 December 2015.
Officially named Shitala Pandey, but commonly known by his nickname Rajan, the music-making machine was presented with a certificate during a recent celebration ceremony in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Sameer’s musical career was kick-started in 1983 when his first song appeared in the movie Bekhabar (below).
Since then his work has featured in 650 Bollywood movies and he has been nominated for a multitude of prestigious awards.
Sameer was born in 1958 in Banaras, the son of veteran lyricist Anjaan (Lalji Pandey) – but in spite of his musical heritage Sameer spent some time working at the Central Bank of India before realising that he too had the potential to be a successful musician.
The first film song he recorded was ‘Maar Ke Kataaree Mar Jaibe’ for the Bhojpuri film Bairi Saawan (1984), performed by Suresh Wadkar and Preeti Sagar.
The 58-year-old, who is married with three children, writes his songs in the Hindi language but is often distinguished from many Bollywood lyricists for using a vocabulary that singers and listeners can understand more easily.
He was honoured with his first Filmfare Award for the song ‘Nazar Ke Saamne’ in Aashiqui in 1991.
The lyricist then received a further two in in 1993 and 1994 for the songs ‘Teri Umeed Tera Intezaar’ from the movie Deewana, and ‘Ghunghat Ki Aad’ from Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke.
Sameer said: “I don’t collect any data or keep a record of my work. It’s my friend Biswas Nerulkar who brought it to my notice that I had written the highest number of songs and should enter the apply to Guinness World Records for verification. I was not expecting to come this far. But I continued to work and adapted myself to newer generations. In the last 35 years, I have worked with more than hundred music directors.”