1940s & 1950s brought in the golden era of Hindi film music. The era which saw the blossoming of many new talents in the music industry who later became stalwarts and the ambassadors of music. The time when Hindi cinema was bagful with mixed genres of modern, classical, mythological, philosophical, historical movies. The entire music scenario was dominated by heavyweights such as S D Burman, SJ, Naushad, OPN and C Ramchandra while Madan Mohan, Jaidev, Khayyam, Salil Chowdhury, Roshan, Kalyanji Anandji, Hemant Kumar were surging ahead step by step in the music field. In this assembly of music grandees, Chitragupt arrived on the scene with some really melodious music. Though mostly he got to work in B or C grade films (with most of these films having no creative value at all) his music came out as the winner and rose above those films.
Born and brought up in a small town of Bihar, Chirtragupt Srivastav, was a lecturer in a Patna college. With a double degree holder in Economics and Journalism and a formal training in music, he was also the most learned man in the music circle. Making his foray in the music industry as an assistant to S N Tripathi, he had to struggle till he got an independent break with Toofan Queen (1946). Thereafter he made a mark with his melodious compositions through some well known films like Bhabhi, Zabak, Main Chup Rahungi, Patang, Ganga Ki Leherein, Oonche Log, Akashdeep etc. He worked with all the top singers such as Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh. His solo compositions rendered by Lata Mangeshkar find there way to the top list of the nightingale’s repertoire. Though not many know that Chitragupt himself was a good singer too and has quite a few songs to his credit.
Here’s a list of few such songs rendered by Chitragupt –
1. Ali Baba Aur Jaadui Chirag – A duet with Shamshad Begum, this song is composed by S N Tripathi and lyrics by Shyam Hindi.
2. Basre Ki Hoor – This song rendered with Geeta Dutt, has Chitragupt popping a few words in between. Lyrics by Shevan Rizvi and composed by Chitragupt himself.
3. Manchala – A delightful duet with Kishore Kumar, music by Chitragupt and lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
4. Nav Durga – A beautiful aarti sung by Chitragupt is composed by S N Tripathi and lyrics by Ramesh Chandra Pandey.
5. Naya Rasta – A lovable duet rendered by Shamshad Begum and Chitragupt, music by Chitragupt and lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
6. Sati Naag Kanya – A playful, teasing duet rendered by Chitragupt along with Geeta Dutt, composed by S N Tripathi.
7. Saudamini – A solo rendered by Chitragupt, music directed by S N Tripathi.
8. Sindbad The Sailor – This duet composed by Chitragupt is rendered by Rafi along with Chitragupt himself.
9. Kismat – Another duet with Shamshad Begum, composed by Chitragupt and lyrics by Indeevar.
10. Toote Khilaune – Lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan are very unusual and hilarious. Rendered by Shamshad Begum and Chitragupt, composed by Chitragupt.