D.N. Madhok was a scriptwriter, actor, director and songwriter in Hindi films.
Born in 1902 in Karnal (now in Haryana), he began his career as an actor with Calcutta’s New Theatres. He moved to Bombay and took up work as writer of scripts, screenplays and dialogues. He is considered to have guided the transition of Hindi film lyrics from the flowery and bombastic to the simple but effective.
However, it was in writing song lyrics that he found his true calling. His first hit film as a lyricist was “Radhe Shyam” (1932). This was followed by films like “Holi” (1940), “Pagal” (1940) and "Kanoon” (1943). He perhaps reached his peak as lyricist for the films "Taansen" (1943) and “Rattan” (1944). "Rattan" also catapulted music director Naushad to stardom. Madhok's contribution to Naushad's success is notable since it was he who helped Naushad get his first film as music director "Prem Nagar" (1940). Such was Madhok's prominence during this period, that he came to be known as Mahakavi Madhok.
D.N. Madhok also directed several film in his career, starting with “Baghdad Ka Chor” (1934) and ending two decades later with "Bilwa Mangal" ((1954).
By the early 1950s, an infusion of talented lyricists in the film industry and his own inconsistency, resulted in fewer offers and he gradually came to be disassociated with the Hindi film industry.