Gopal Singh Nepali, a poet, journalist, poet and producer, was born as Gopal Bahadur Singh on 11 August 1911 in Champaran, Bihar. He nurtured his habit and interest for writing from an early age. He wrote for several newspapers such as Ratlam Times, Chitrapat, Sudh and Yogi in his time. In 1930, Rambriksha Benipuri published his first poem Bharat Gagan Ke Jagmag in the children’s section of a newspaper he edited. Well-versed in both Nepali and Hindi, Bahadur published several poem collections of his such as Umang, Panchi, Ragini, Panchami, Himalaya Ne Pukara. He often performed in poetry events. Love, romance, nature and patriotism were often the recurring themes in his poetry. Despite his success as a literary icon, he struggled financially.
It was in one of these poetry events where Ramdhari Singh Dinkar spotted Gopal Singh Bahadur and acknowledged his talent. However, it was his fateful meeting with Filmistan’s Tolaram Jalan that finally led to his entry into the film world. He made his debut as a lyricist in Nitin Bose’s Mazdoor (1945). Some of his popular films he wrote the lyrics for are Begum (1945), Gajre (1948), Naag Panchami (1953), Tulsidas (1954), Raj Darbar (1955), Veer Rajputani (1955), Maya Bazaar (1958), Nai Rahen (1959) and Jai Bhawani (1961). Dil diye chalein hum was from the film Begum was sung by Mohammed Rafi and Mohantara and penned by him. Similarly, his song Ho duppatta rang de from Gajre was sung by Suraiya, Main to raja bana hu was sung by Shamshad Begum for Hum Bhi Insaan Hain (1948),and Ononche oonche haveli mere liye from Shiv Ratri (1954) was sung by Asha Bhosle. He also wrote several patriotic songs during the 1962 Indo-China war.
He passed away on 17 April 1963 at Janakpur station.
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