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The Best of SN Tripathi

In 1957, his composition Zara Samne Toh Aao Chhaliye from the mythological Janam Janam ke Phere made it to the top slot of the Binaca Geetmala beating out heavyweights like SD Burman (Pyaasa), OP Nayyar (Naya Daur) and Shanker-Jaikishen (Chori Chori). Still, in a career that spanned five decades and more, ever since he worked under India’s first female music director, Saraswati Devi, at Bombay Talkies, SN Tripathi never really got his due from the Hindi film industry. This, when he was a prolific composer, actor, writer and director. It could be because he largely found himself relegated to mythological, devotional and historic films or rather the B-films of the day. Today on his 27th death anniversary we look at some of his most famous compositions.

We start with the obvious, Tripathi’s most famous song and as we mentioned, the number one song of the 1957 edition of the Binaca Geet Mala. The film, Janam Janam ke Phere, was produced by Manmohan Desai’s elder brother, Subash, and starred Nirupa Roy and Manhar Desai.

One of Tripathi’s most famous compositions was this song, sung in two versions. by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar from a film on the immortal love story of Rupmati and Baz Bahadur, Rani Rupmati (1959). Tripathi directed this film starring Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhooshan, besides also composing its music. Here is the Mukesh version.

The Bharat Bhooshan-Nirupa Roy-Anita Guha starrer Kavi Kalidas (1959) remains one of Tripathi’s his most popular films. Here’s a lovely Geeta Dutt ditty from the film, also directed by Tripathi.

Tripathi also gave Mohammed Rafi this wonderful composition, which went on to become one of his biggest all time time hits from this early Gevacolor film, Hatim Tai (1956) starring Shakila and Jairaj.

Another popular historical of Tripathi’s was the biopic on India’s greatest ever musician, Tansen, Sangeet Samrat Tansen (1962) with Bharat Bhooshan playing the title role. Here’s  the most famous song of the film with Rafi (or rather, Tansen) rendering raag Deepak.

And finally, one from the exotically titled Cobra Girl (1963), a sultry Asha Bhosle number performed by heroine Raagini, the youngest of the Travancore sisters.

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