Gopal Singh Nepali was an eminent poet from the world of Hindi literature who penned everlasting poetry during his lifetime. Nature, devotion or patriotism, he was a master in every genre of poetry. Both his filmy and non-filmy poems are examples of poetic eminence.
Gopal Singh Nepali was born on the 11th of August 1911 in Bettiah in the West Champaran district of Bihar. As a child, he was driven by nature and it is the beauty of nature that inspired him to pen excellent verses later. In 1931, he gained keen interest to attend the poetry gathering of Akhil Bharatiya Kavi Sammelan in Kolkata. He joined the gathering and had the lifetime experience of meeting and knowing some of the eminent personalities from the field of art and culture.
In 1932, he attended one of the biggest poetry gatherings of approximately 115 poets arranged by Acharya Mahavir Prasad in Kashi . Only 15 poets out of the 115 got the golden opportunity to recite their poems and Gopal Singh Nepali was one of the few fortunate poets.
His poems were so very much appreciated in the gathering that Sudha Patrika’s Editor Durarelalji invited him to work as a joint editor with Suryakant Tripathi Nirala in his publication. In 1934, he went to Delhi and started working as an editor in the cine magazine Chitrapat. Later he also worked for Ratlam Times for two years and by 1939, he shifted back to Patna.
The year of 1944 is a notable year in the life of the poet. It was during this year when P. L. Santoshi, Patel and Ramanand invited him to come to Bombay (presently Mumbai) and write lyrics for their films.
Soon he joined the infamous Filmistan studios of Sashadhar Mukherjee. He penned lyrics for Filmistan’s ‘Mazdoor’ and the songs became instantly popular. In 1945, he received the award of best lyricist for the film. He went on to pen lyrics for several other films like ‘Safar’, ‘Gajre’, ‘Beghum Shikari’, ‘Jai Bhawani’, ‘Tulsidas’, ‘Naag Panchami’, ‘Narsee Bhagat, ‘Samadhi’ and ‘Nayi Raahein’.
‘Kabhi Yaad Karke Gali Paar Karke Chali Aana Humaari Angnaa’ – the enduring song written by Gopal Singh Nepali was a duet by Chitalkar and Binapani Mukherjee from the film ‘Safar’ that released in 1946.
His love towards the nation was evident from his patriotic compositions. His poem ‘Dilli Chalo’ was gradually turned into a movie ‘Samadhi’ made under the banner of Filmistan. Another song penned by him that attracted a lot of attention was ‘Musaafir Bataa De Kahaan Tujhko Jaana’ from ‘Nayi Raahein’.
‘Baras Baras Gayi Bali Bikhar Gayi Ab Kab Aaoge Balma’ and ‘Door Papeeha Bola Raat Aahi Reh Gayi’ from the 1948 release ‘Gajre’ are two notable tracks written by the eminent poet. Composed by Anil Biswas and sung by Suraiya, ‘Gajre’ had some timeless melodies penned by Gopal Singh Nepali.
His versatility was evident from his devotional poems as well. ‘Darshan Do Ghanshyam Meri Akhiyaan Pyaasi Re’ from the movie ‘Narsee Bhagat’ is a fine example of his devotional composition. Sudha Malhotra, Hemant Kumar and Manna Dey rendered the song together for the film ‘Narsee Bhagat’.
Very few people are aware that he also co-produced three movies along the ‘Rana of Nepal’. The movies made under his production banner are ‘Nazrana’, ‘Sansaari’ and ‘Khushboo’.
He wrote several patriotic poems in 1962 during the Sino-Indian war. ‘Tum Kalpano Karo Naveen Kalpana Karo’ or ‘Yug Yug Jyoti Jagaai Re’ are few of his poems dedicated to the motherland.
Gopal Singh Nepali penned his first poem ‘Bharat Gagan Ke Jagmag Sitaare’ in 1930. A collection of his very first poems ‘Panchi’ was published in 1934. He had a career spanning for almost 33 years. On the 17th of April in 1963, he took his last breath at the age of 52.