Article Hindi

5 enduring songs by composer SN Tripathi — death anniversary special

On the versatile artiste’s 30th death anniversary today (28 March), we revisit some timeless classics composed by him during his long career as a filmmaker, actor and composer.

Sonal Pandya

A quick glance at SN Tripathi’s credit list shows that the talented man kept himself busy. Starting out as a violinist at Bombay Talkies' music department in 1935, he assisted music composer Saraswati Devi and eventually became an independent music composer with Chandan (1941).

The many talents of SN Tripathi

Tripathi was known for his work on several hit mythological films during his career. Besides composing music, he also acted as Hanuman in a number of films and directed a few historicals like Rani Rupmati (1959). However, he is most remembered today as a composer and we revisit a few of his timeless classics from the golden era of Indian cinema.

1. ‘Parwar Digar-E-Alam’ – Hatimtai (1956)

Early on in his career, SN Tripathi found success with the music of the Homi Wadia-directed fantasy film, Hatimtai (1956), starring Jairaj and Shakila. Tripathi also composed the background music for the film. The adventure story is known for the astounding special effects by Babubhai Mistry and the devotional song ‘Parwar Digar-E-Alam’ sung by Mohammed Rafi. Written by Akhtar Romani, the song is still popular today. Apparently, the number was a favourite of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who requested the song be shown 11 times during a screening of the film.

2. ‘Zara Samne To Aao Chhaliye’ – Janam Janam Ke Fere (1957)

Sung by Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Zara Saamne To Aao Chhaliye’ is composer SN Tripathi's most well-known songs and has resonated with listeners over six decades. Written by Bharat Vyas, with whom Tripathi had a fruitful association, the song rose to the top of the charts in 1957 on the popular radio countdown show Binaca Geetmala.

Janam Janam Ke Fere was the first film of Manmohan Desai, credited here as Manoo Desai. Tripathi had a role in the film as Mahapatra, a devotee of Lord Indra whose son Raghu turns to atheism. Manhar Desai played Raghu, while Nirupa Roy played his sweetheart Annapurna whose love he spurns.

3. ‘Aa Laut Ke Aaja Mere Meet’ — Rani Rupmati (1959)

The historical was one of SN Tripathi’s early directorial ventures. Prior to this he had made Ram Hanuman Yuddha (1957) in which he had also acted. On this film, he handled multiple roles as composer, writer and director. The film’s lyrics were written by Bharat Vyas once again. The film, which was shot on location at Madavgarh, focused on the romance between Rani Rupmati and Baaj Bahadur. The song ‘Aa Laut Ke Aaja Mere Meet’ had a male and female version sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar respectively.

4. ‘Shyam Bhai Ghanashyam Na Aaye’ – Kavi Kalidas (1959)

While he took on many roles in films, both as a filmmaker and an actor, SN Tripathi remained a master composer throughout his career. He had comprehensive knowledge of classical music and he used it to his advantage on the soundtracks he composed. The album of Kavi Kalidas (1959), which he also directed, was no exception especially on the devotional song, ‘Shyam Bhai Ghanashyam Na Aaye’, which was beautifully rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and written by Bharat Vyas. The film starred Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhushan.

5. ‘Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon’ – Lal Qilla (1960)

Another historical, this time directed by Nanabhai Bhatt, told the tale of the last days of Bahadur Shah Zafar. SN Tripathi once again brought his winning touch to the soundtrack. There were many hit songs from ‘Pyara Pyara Yeh Sama Hai’ and ‘O Jaanewale’, but it is the simplicity of the song ‘Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon’ which still endures today. Mohammed Rafi brings poignancy to every note of the melancholy song with makes use of little music and put the focus more on Rafi’s exquisite voice and Vyas’s moving lyrics.