Rajendra Krishan was born in Shimla, on June 6th 1919. From an early age, he gravitated towards poetry. However, he landed up with a clerk's job in a municipal office, where he worked up to 1942. During this time, he cut his teeth on the immortal verse of Firaq Gorakhpuri, Ahsan Danish, Pant and Nirala. In those days, newspapers held poetry contests to mark Krishna Janmashtami in which, Krishan the fledgling poet competed regularly.
In the mid-1940s, he moved to Bombay to try his luck as scriptwriter and lyricist. His first lyrics were for Zanjeer, his first script was for Janta, both in '47. Both unfortunately bombed. But with Aaj Ki Raat in '48, Krishan tasted real success. Then in '49, his lyrics for Shyam Sunder's Lahore ('Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi') and Hunslal-Bhagatram's Badi Bahen ('Chup Chup Khadi Ho') became extremely popular, the latter celebrating a silver jubilee, which was no mean achievement. The pleased producer gifted Krishan a thousand rupees and a car. His knowledge of Tamil made him an ideal choice for AVM, the giant production house from Madras, and others to use his services for their films like Bahar, Ladki and Bhai Bhai. He wrote in all 18 scripts for AVM itself. The music directors for whom he regularly wrote songs - C. Ramachandra and Madan Mohan were also composing for the South Indian Hindi movies. Considering these composers believed in having the complete lyrics before composing it, follows that a good part of the original stimulus of the great songs of the time came from the pen of Krishan. Rumour has it that some time in the early 70s, he went into semi-retirement after he won a massive jackpot at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. His stints as screenplay and dialogue writer are largely eclipsed by his tremendous song output. Rajinder Krishan gave lyrics to a wide variety of songs, ranging from ghazals to bhajans, geets to nazms with great flair. His early association with the Janmashtami competition stood him in good stead as he wrote a large number of Radha-Krishna songs for Hindi films. His songs are simple, inventive and full of meaning. He could write a swinging song like Mr John, o Baba Khan and in the same film Barish (’57) a philosophical song, Dane dane pe likha hai khanewale ka nam, lenewale karod, denewale ek Ram. The songs he wrote for Anarkali (’53), Yeh zindagi usiki hai and Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag have attained legendary status. His Nagin (’54) songs Man dole mera tan dole and Mera dil ye pukare aja are reverberating in our hearts even today. Apart from the three music directors mentioned above, he also wrote for other great composers like Sajjid Hussain (Saiyan ’51, Sangdil ’52), SD Burman (Bahar ’51, Sazaa ’51, Ek Nazar ’51), S Mohinder (Papi ’53), Chitragupt (Bhabhi ’57, Kangan ’59), Salil Choudhry (Chaya ’61), Laxmikant-Pyarelal (Intaqam ’69). He could pen love-ballads and comedy songs with equal ease and effect. In the first category come the standards like Ye hawa ye raat ye Chandni (Sandgil), Koun aya mere man ke dware payal ki jhankar liye (Dekh Kabira Roya ’57), Mera Qarar leja mujhe beqarar kar ja (Ashiana ’52) and Ai dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai ’56). As the whole world knows C Ramchandra and Madan Mohan put a special ingredient into the songs they gave to Lata. One can not remain unmoved when listening to the following songs Rajendra Krishan wrote for her: Ham pyar me jalnewalon ko chain kahan aram kahan (Jailor ’58), Sapne me sajan se do bate ik yad rahi ik bhool gayen (Gateway Of India ’57), Dil se bhulado tum hamen (Patanga ’49)), Balma bada nadan re (Albela ’50), Ai chand pyar mera (Khazana ’51) and Wo bhuli dastan lo phir yad agayi (Sanjog ’61).
Rajendra Krishan diead in 1988, at the time of his death, he had written songs for 300 films, of which 100 carried his screenplay as well. HMV gave him the honour of being a major lyricist and brought out an LP containing 12 of his songs.