Roshan and Chitragupt: masters of soulful music

Roshan and Chitragupt: masters of soulful music

The legendary composers were contemporaries who produced hits that have stood the test of time

Legendary composers Roshan Lal Nagrath and Chitragupt Shrivastav were contemporaries. Roshan was born on July 14, 1917 in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan) and Chitragupt was born on November 16, 1917 in Gopalganj, Bihar. Call it a quirk of fate, Roshan passed away on November 16.

The mild-mannered Chitragupt was known for his soulful music. Just remember two songs: ‘Dil ka diya jala ke gaya’ and ‘Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha’ (both from the film: ‘Akashdeep’, 1965). The man behind the music for these numbers was Chitragupt.

In Ajeet and Shakeela’s ‘Guest House’ (1959), Chitragupt composed few foot-tapping numbers like ‘Tum se kuchh kahna hai’ (Mukesh/Lata Mangeshkar), ‘Tera jadoo na chalega o sanpere’, and ‘Dil ko laakh sambhala ji’ (Lata). Other gems from Chitragupt were ‘Ek raat mein do-do chaand khile’ (Mukesh/Lata), Lata’s immortal solo number ‘Tadpaoge, tadpa lo, hum tadap tadap ke bhi’, ‘Daga-daga wai wai ho gayi tumse ulfat ho gayee’ (Lata) and ‘Laagi chhoote na ab toh sanam’ (Lata/Mohammed Rafi).

Chitragupt would create magic using minimum instruments. He had a Midas touch, which you sense in this number: ‘Teri duniya se door chale hoke majboor’ (‘Zabak’, Rafi/Lata). His musical genius reached its pinnacle in the movie ‘Main chup rahoongi’ (1962). I’m sure, the old-timers still hum the songs like ‘Koi bata de dil hai jahan’, ‘Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya’ (Rafi-Lata) and that unforgettable ‘Main kaun hoon main kahan hoon mujhe ye’ (Rafi).

It was his music in ‘Bhabhi’ (1957) that proved his mettle and established him as a composer of remarkable skills. Years have elapsed but you still sing ‘Chal ud ja re panchhi’ (Rafi), ‘Chhupakar meri aankhon ko woh poochhein’ (Lata-Rafi) or ‘Chali chali re patang meri chali re’.

All the songs of the movie ‘Ganga ki Lahrein’ (1964) further consolidated Chitragupt’s place.  ‘Machalti hui hawa mein chhamchham’ has a mischievous twist that still remain in the hearts of music lovers. Hailing from Bihar, Bhojpuri was his forte. When ‘Ganga Maiyaa Tohe Pihari Chadhaibo’ (1962) hit the marquee, Chitragupt composed its music. Rafi sang that immortal number penned by Shailendra ‘Sonwa ke pinjra mein band.’ Chitragupt composed sombre numbers that have stood the test of time.

Roshan’s music had an everlasting appeal. ‘Man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare’ (‘Chitralekha’, 1964), ‘Chhupa lo yoon dil mein pyar mera’ (‘Mamta’, 1966), ‘Dil jo na kah saka’ (‘Bheegi Raat’, 1965), ‘Gham-e-hasti se bas begana hota’ (‘Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962), among others are etched in the hearts of those who love pristine music sans any adulteration. 

‘Main dil hoon ek armaan bhara’ (Anhonee, 1952), ‘Hum intazaar karenge tera qayamat tak’ (‘Bahu Begum’, 1967) and ‘Mile na phool toh kaanton se dosti kar lee’ (‘Anokhi Raat’) are evergreen hits. Roshan’s compositon of ‘Karwan guzar gaya ghubaar dekhte rahe’ for the film ‘Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal’ is considered a cult classic.

‘Laga chunri mein daagh’ (‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’, 1963) and ‘Jurm-e-ulfat pe’ (‘Taj Mahal’, 1963)  are nostalgic numbers. Roshan’s music is a well-woven tapestry of academic tinge, touch and tenacity. Both the composers’ tunes continue to live on.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox