Naqsh Lyallpuri was born Jaswant Rai Sharma in Lyallpur, Punjab (now in India). His interest in literature, specially Urdu literature, started as a young boy. He became aware of his talent when his school teacher borrowed his notebooks at the end of the year because of the poems he wrote on them.
After Partition, he moved to Lucknow with his family. He moved to Bombay to find a job and ended up working at the Department of Post and Telegraph. He quit soon after thanks to the monotony of job and his keen interest in making a career in Hindi films. His film career began in 1952, when an introduction to film maker Jagdish Sethi led to his first song - “Agar Teri Ankhon Se Ankhen Mila Doon” (“Jaggu”, 1952). However, success eluded him for many years and he sustained himself through B and C grade Hindi films as well as Punjabi films. His first big hit came with “Main To Har Mod Par Tujhko Doonga Sada” (“Chetana”, 1970), almost two decades after his debut in Hindi films. That success led to work with bigger movies and bigger music directors and he went on to write several gems through the 1970s and early 80s including “Rasme Ulfat Ko Nibhaye” (“Dil Ki Rahen”, 1973), “Ulfat Mein Zamane Ki” (“Call Girl”, 1974), “Mujhe Pyar Tumse Nahi” (“Gharonda”, 1977) and “Na Jane Kya Hua” (“Dard”, 1981).
Disillusioned by the demands of producers to write crude lyrics, he retired from films and started writing lyrics for the title songs of TV serials where he was active for several years. In the 2000s he made a brief comeback writing for “Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story” (2005) for Naushad and “Yaatra” (2006) for Khayyam.