Yogesh Gaud has been neglected. Here was a poet, who could write simple yet meaningful and powerful poetry and convey the soul of the poem to the audience without any gimmicks. Still, his name has never been uttered in the same breath with the likes of Gulzar, Majrooh, Sahir or Anand Bakshi. Yogesh never worked too much under big banners and his work remained confined heavily within the small budget movies of Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee in the seventies. In fact, many people are ignorant about the lyricist of some classic melodies which were written by Yogesh.
Yogesh formed a solid pair with Salil Chowdhury. He first wrote for the great music director in 1968 in Mitti Ka Dev. The movie was not released. The first official work of Yogesh came in Anand(1970) where he wrote 2 songs- Kahin door jab din dhal jaye and Zindagi kaisi hai paheli. The other 2 songs of Anand- Maine tere liye and Jiya laage na- were written by another maestro, Gulzar. Later, he became a regular fixture for Salil Chowdhury and together they created superb albums like Annadata(1972)- Guzar jaye din, Nisidin nisidin mera zulmi sajan, Raaton ke saaye ghane, Nain humare saanjh sakare; Anokha Daan(1972)- Aayi ghir ghir sawan ki, Humrahi manzil ke; Rajnigandha(1974)- Rajnigandha phool tumhare, Kain baar yun bhi dekha hai; Chhotisi Baat(1975)- Na jaane kyun, Yeh din kya aaye; Agni Pariksha(1981)- Aaj koi nahi apna and much later in Aakhri Badla(1989)- Man kare yaad woh din. Each and every song mentioned above were top class in poetry and composition. Very surprising that, in spite of writing such beautiful songs, Yogesh really could not make it very big in the mainstream cinema. Salil Chowdhury-Yogesh is a combo which should have received much much more appreciation and attention!
Sachin Dev Burman mainly stuck to Neeraj and Anand Bakshi in the seventies and Yogesh came very late, towards the end of the career of the Grand Master. But their limited association readily left some solid mark in cine music history. The two solos Yogesh wrote for SD’s last venture- Mili(1975)- “Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi” and “Aaye tum yaad mujhe” – can easily qualify as two of the finest solos made during that period. Also, they worked together in Us Paar(1974) where Yogesh wrote some highly memorable poetries for Karta- "Yeh jabse hui" and "Tumne piya".
Yogesh also worked sporadically with SD’s son R D Burman. Again, their work remained limited, but the creativity again touched zenith with albums like Manzil(1979), Humare Tumhare(1979), Chala Murari Hero Banne(1977) and Shaukeen(1982). Each of these movies had one each shining Kishore Kumar solo, viz, Rimjhim Gire sawan, Tum ho mere dil ki dhadkan, Hum aur tum the saathi, Na jaane din kaise jeevan mein and Jab bhi koi kangna bole. It is also notable to mention here that Yogesh was the poet behind some of the top class Kishore Kumar solos in the 70s and 80s. As a lyricist-singer combo, only Kishore-Gulzar combo can compete with the productivity(quality-quantity ratio) of KK-YG in that period!
Yogesh also worked with Rajesh Roshan in 2 memorable albums viz Priyatama(1976) and Baaton baton mein(1979); again having some very beautiful numbers like “Koi roko na deewane ko”, “ Udaasi bhare din kabhi to dhalenge”, “Na bole tum na maine kuchh kaha” and “Baaton baton mein pyar ho jayega”.
Yogesh did not fail to impress even with Bappi Lahiri in Apne Paraye(1980) with 2 striking solos- Kaise din jeevan mein aaye by Kishore and Shyam rang ranga by Yesudas.
And when Kishore Kumar took up a home production called Pyar Ajnabi Hai in the early 80s, Yogesh was called to do the poetry service. The movie remained shelved and a heavenly Ghazal written by Yogesh and rendered by Kishore- Junnon e ishq- was deprived of a Grand Status. Had the song been released, this would have become yet another shining jewel in the crown of a great lyricist-singer association.
Yogesh also worked well with Usha Khanna, Honeymoon(1972) was a very good album. Also, years later they worked together in a tele-serial called Chandrakanta(1994-95).
Yogesh had a tough time in the 80s and had to write for B-grade movies a lot. Somehow, this genuine poet did not receive his dues from Bollywood and remained neglected in spite of writing some exceptional poetries.