A tribute to Mukesh on his 47th Remembrance Day (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976) in the series on SN Tripathi
Last month radio, print and visual media was awash with tributes to Mukesh on his birth centenary (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976). All the tributes were unanimous that he was gifted with an extremely sonorous and melodious voice. He touched the hearts of the listeners with his voice which had a natural pathos. He didn’t sing too many songs, but there were movies with superhit songs galore, but just one song of Mukesh soared over the others. He repeated his magic with SN Tripathi too. Just remember his Laut ke aa…aa laut ke aa ja mere meet tujhe mere geet bulate hain (Rani Roopmati, 1960). And there are more timeless songs: Nain ka chain churakar le gayi (Chandramukhi, 1960); Thane kajaliya bana lun (Veer Durgadas, 1960) and so on.
Mukesh sang some absolutely gorgeous songs in the vintage era for SN Triptahi. His two songs from Shri Rambhakt Hanuman (1948) – Beet chali barkha ritu seete, sudh na mili tumhari; and Hey khag mrig hey madhukar shrenee have figured in the post SN Tripathi Part 1 about his multifaceted talent in the vintage years. We lost Mukesh at a young age, on 27 August 1976 at Detroit, USA where he had gone to perform for a concert. I pay my tribute to Mukesh on his 47th Remembrance Day with some of his landmark songs for SN Tripathi.
SN Tripathi’s music had two strong DNAs: Classical and Mythological. Thus, Manna Dey was an important presence in his oeuvre. Manna Dey’s songs for SN Tripathi are grave and do not have the comic element which many music directors exploited in his voice. Some of the best songs by Manna Dey were composed by SN Tripathi. SN Tripathi also composed some excellent songs for other mainstream playback singers, though not in very large numbers.
A unique aspect of SN Tripathi’s music was songs by some very unusual singers. Two are worth mentioning. Chitragupta was his protégé, and Dilip Dholakia having worked under Chitragupta can be described as SN Tripathi’s grand-protégé. We know that they were quite proficient singers; SN Tripathi used their voices in some early films. Both Chitragupta and Dilip Dholakia had worked as assistant music director with SN Tripathi in some films.
I had posted SN Tripathi’s landmark songs for Rafi post-50s on Rafi’s 43rd Remembrance Day, 31 July 2023. Mukesh’s songs for him though fewer are no less memorable. I pay my tribute to our favourite singer Mukesh on his 47th Remembrance Day and some other male singers with songs by SN Tripathi. In this post I am also including these singers’ duets.
1. Laut ke aa..aa laut ke aa ja mere meet tujhe mere geet bulate hain by Mukesh from Rani Roopmati (1959), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Tripathi
I mentioned Mukesh’s one song towering over several other superhit songs in a film. Rani Roopmati had a dozen songs, but Laut ke aa ja mere meet has created a special niche for itself in the hearts of music lovers. The readers may recall this song also had a twin Lata Mangeshkar version, but I need not say which version left an indelible imprint.
2. Nain ka chain churakar le gayi kar gayi neend haram/ Chandrama sa mukh tha uska Chandramukhi tha naam by Mukesh from Chandramukhi (1960), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Tripathi
SN Tripathi has been able to get out the best from Mukesh in this title song. An immortal song if ever there was one.
3.Thadhe kajaliya bana lun mhare naina mein ramyalun (Rajasthani) by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar from Veer Durgadas (1960), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Triptahi
Who could believe that a traditional Rajasthani folk song would be transformed into an immortal mainstream Hindi film song. Typical of a folk song, the imagery is quite simple but fascinating – the lady says, ‘I would turn you into kohl and entrap you in my eyelids’ to which the man replies, ‘But what happens when your eyes feel sleepy, and you shut your eyelids.’
4. Taaron ki thandhi chhainya, hum tum mile o sainya yaad rahe by Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur from Naag Devta (1962), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music SN Tripathi
SN Tripathi had earlier composed Chham chham chham naache mere nainon mein pyar, mere rang bhare sapnon mein kaun aya re in the film Nav Durga (1953). He reprises this tune nine years later with another set of singers. The film’s name and the actors Mahipal and Anjali suggest that it must have been a low-budget mythological film, but this did not deter SN Tripathi to compose an everlasting tune, and Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur singing one of their all-time great duets.
5. Jhoomati chali hawa yaad aa gaya koi by Mukesh from Sangeet Samrat Tansen (1962). lyrics Shailendra, music SN Tripathi
A movie on a legendary musician has to have towering music, and this song by Mukesh towered over all.
6. Bahut dinon se bichhada man ka meet mila by Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur from Mahasati Anusuya (1965), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Tripathi
Now I come to a less heard Mukesh-Suman Kalyanpur duet, but what a supreme melody! The actors lip-synching on the screen must be Shahu Modak and Anita Guha.
7. Wo dekho udhar chaand nikla gagan se by Manna Dey (with Geeta Dutt) from Roop Kumari (1956), lyrics BD Mishra, music SN Tripathi
Beautiful duet by Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt. SN Tripathi has composed an excellent tune. He would reprise this song later in Jadoo Nagri (1961) in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar to lift it to the stratosphere – Nigahon mein tum ho, khayalon mein tum ho, jidhar dekhti hun nazar aa rahe ho.
8. Rang birange phoolon ki jhoome re daaliyan by Manna Dey (with Geeta Dutt) from Janam Janam Ke Phere (1957), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Tripathi
This film also had another well-known song by Manna Dey in the film – Tan ke tambooe mein do saanson ke taar dole. But I am mesmerised by this peppy duet with a deep philosophical meaning. I have used this song earlier in another post.
9. Tu roop ki nagri ka raja main pyar ki galiyon ki rani by Manna Dey (with Geeta Dutt) from Jagga Daaku (1959), lyrics BD Mishra
10. O ashadh ke pahle baadal by (Manna Dey with Lata Mangeshkar) from Kavi Kalidas (1959), lyrics Bharat Vyas
This song signifying the theme of Kalidas’s ‘Meghdootam’ was first sung in films by Jagmohan with just one change in words in the opening line – O varsha ke pahle baadal mera sandesa le jana – in the eponymous film Meghdoot (1945). The two singers belong to different eras and their voices were very different. But the readers would be able to compare the two.
11. Ud ja bhanwar maya kamal ka aaj bandhan tod ke by Manna Dey (Part 2 of the song by Lata Mangeshkar) from Rani Roopmati (1959), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Trapathi
Among all the hit songs of Rani Roopmati is this superb song my Manna Dey in raag Darbari. Typical of his voice and singing style, this has a profound philosophical message not to get trapped by illusions. As the song ends, it segues into another song by Nirupa Roy in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. This may be seen as a response to the first part’s suggestion that love for a woman may be a temptation.
12. Badli badli duniya hai meri by Mahendra Kapoor and Lata Mangeshkar from Sangeet Samrat Tansen (1962), lyrics Shailendra, music SN Tripathi
I have mentioned earlier that this film was full of superb songs. Badli badli duniya hai meri (duet with Lata Mangeshkar) is Mahendra Kapoor’s one of the everlasting songs.
13. Janam janam ka saath tumhara by Mahendra Kapoor and Suman Kalyanpur from Been Ka Jadoo (1963), lyrics BD Mishra, music SN Tripathi
One feature of SN Tripathi’s music was his auto-inspiration. Morally there can’t be any objection to a music director repeating his tunes. This song would remind you of SN Tripathi’s Phool bagiya mein bulbul bole daal pe dole koeliya, a Rafi-Lata duet from Rani Roopmati (1959). This one is a clear note-by-note copy of its more famous predecessor.
14. Dhaani chunri meri..dhaani chunri mein cham cham taare by Mahendra Kapoor, Minoo Purushottam from Kunwari (1966), lyrics Shailendra, music SN Tripathi
An unheard of film, and equally unknown actors, Indrani Mukherjee and Ravindra Kapoor, but SN Tripathi composes a superb folk dance song performed before an audience in the open.
15. Hai naam mera Ramzani by Chitragupta and Shamshad Begum from Alladin Aur Jadui Chirag (1952), lyrics Shyam Hindi
It is surprising to note that having already used the great playback singers Rafi and Mukesh, SN Tripathi was not firmly settled on them, and used his protégé Chitragupta – renowned as a music director – as a singer. I have to say Chitragupta as the voice of Ramzani the trader trying to sell his magic lamp is excellent in the song. He was one of the music directors who had landed up in Bombay with a dream to become a playback singer. But they reconciled that it would be difficult for them to compete against the specialist playback singers, and became successful as a music director – Ravi is another example that comes to mind (we have to exclude artistes like Hemant Kumar who achieved great success as both a singer and a music director).
16. Jai jaikar karo mata ki aao sharan bhavani ki by Chitragupta from Nav Durga (1953), lyrics Ramesh Chandra Pandey
This film had two timeless songs: Chhai birha ki raat mora tadpe jiya, mose roothe piya (Geeta Dutt solo) and Chham chham chham naache more naino mein pyar (Rafi-Geeta Dutt duet). In Jai jaikar karo mata ki SN Triptahi and Chitragupta have captured the style of kirtan for Goddess Bhavani perfectly. We know many singers at Mata Ki Chowki graduated into well-known playback singers.
17. Ek teer chala ke gori bijli gira ke mohe chhod ke akeli kahan jaye re by Chitragupta and Shamshad Begum from Nav Durga (1957), lyrics Ramesh Chandra Pandey, music SN Tripathi
Shamshad Begum was superb in such irreverent fun songs songs, remember her duet with Mukesh – Humse nain Milana BA pass kar ke (Aankhen, 1950; Madan Mohan). In ‘Ek teer chala ke’ Chitragupta is more than a match for her. When she says, ‘Tu kaun hai poochhane main ayi hun’, he promptly replies, ‘Tere baap ka honewala jamaai hun’ – and it goes on in this vein throughout the song. A superb suet between Chitragupta and Shamshad Begum.
18. Ram rameti rame..Ram Ram bhaj Ram Ram Siyaram by Dilip Dholakia from Ram Hanuman Yuddh (1957), lyrics Ramesh Chandra Pande, music SN Tripathi
Dilip Dholakia was assistant to SN Tripathi in the film, and an execellent singer. He got to sing two more songs in the film (a duet with Geeta Dutt, and one with Lata Mangeshkar respectively). To Dilip Dholakia goes the credit of having sung Taari aankhno afini, which has acquired the status of a legend. Many singers make their living by singing remixes of this song. In this naam-kirtan Dilip Dholakia has brought out the devotional flavour appropriate to the film.
19. Ui amma main kahe ko bazaar gayi thi by Sheikh from Haatimtai (1956), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music SN Tripathi
Who is this Sheikh? He was a small time comedian in B-grade movies, He sings this song in darg in an affected female voice. He is the main actor lip-synching Humein to loot liya mil ke husnwaalon ne. This is a befitting song to end this post with, showing the multifaceted talent of SN Tripathi.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
Song links have been added only for the listening pleasure of music lovers. This blog does not claim any copyright over these songs which vests with the respective owners.