Dev Kohli was born in Rawalpindi (now a part of Pakistan) but the partition brought him to India and his parents settled in Dehradun, U.P. Kohli began writing poems at a very young age but the fear of ridicule prevented him from telling anyone about his talent.
It was only after his mentor Mr. Shaukat read his poems and inspired confidence in Dev Kohli did he muster the courage to show his poems to anyone else.
Kohli came to Mumbai in the 60's. During his stay in a hotel in Khar, which was frequented by people in the industry he met Shankar-Jaikishen's secretary. He read Kohli's poems and introduced him to the duo. His first song 'Geet Gata Hoon Main? from Lal Patthar, was a hit but it did not bring him recognition within the industry.
He refused to employ a PR agent or a secretary as a result he was recognized only 20 years later when he became a sensation with the songs of 'Maine Pyaar Kiya'. Since then he has also penned lyrics for films like 'Baazigar', 'Judwaa', 'Anari No.1', 'Biwi No.1', and 'Kaante' to name a few. At a time when lyricist are working on several films at a time, Kohli prefers to deliver quality work rather taking on several projects and delivering a sub-standard product.
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