LUCKNOW: Mortal remains of noted poet and lyricist Gopaldas 'Neeraj' reached Agra on Saturday. They were then taken to his hometown Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh for cremation.
The 93-year-old-poet who passed away on Friday was suffering from lung infection. He was initially being treated at a hospital in Agra but as his health deteroirated, he was admitted to AIIMS hospital, Delhi on July 17.
His body was initially kept at his Saraswatinagar residence in Agra where a large number of people turned up to pay their last respects.
A family member told IANS the body will be taken in a flower-decked cortege to Aligarh where it would be put at the Numaish Ground for people to pay their last respects. The body will be then taken to his ancestral village for the last rites at around 4 p.m.
Neeraj was close to the Samajwadi Party and had personal connect with former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Renowned for his writings, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007 respectively.
Gopaldas Saxena, he wrote under the pen name 'Neeraj' and became a popular figure in Hindi literature. He also was a professor and taught Hindi literature at Dharma Samaj College, Aligarh. Born in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh on January 4, 1924, he endeared generations with his soulful poems and lyrics. Many of his books and compositions won acclaim from his followers world over.
Many of his works were used in Bollywood movies. Some of his writings were turned as songs in Hindi films which got him even more accolades. He became a famous songwriter who had the fluency to write in Hindi and Urdu languages.
He wrote lyrics for songs such as 'Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe' from the film 'Kanyadaan'. It was sung by melodious Mohammed Rafi. Other of his popular works include Shokhiyo Mein Ghola Jai from 'Prem Pujari', Bas Yahi Apradh Main Har Baar Karta Hoon from 'Pehchan', Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo from Mera Naam Joker to name a few.
(With IANS inputs)