Chitragupta Shrivastava was born on 16th November, 1917 in Chapra, Bihar and is better known by his first name alone. He is a music director by profession of the 1960s. He had a double MA, in Economics & in Journalism. He worked as a lecturer in Patna before he ran away to Bombay to pursue a career as a composer in films.
He assisted S. N. Tripathi for some time before he got an independent opportunity with Ramnik Vaidya in 1946. He succeeded after a struggle in 1952 with the Rafi-Shamshad duet; Adaa Se Jhoomate Hue (Sindbad the Sailor) hit the music charts and was a hit.
S. D. Burman recommended him to Meiyappan of AVM studios, and he started with a film Shiv Bhakt in 1955. Bhabhi, Barkha, Main Chup Rahoongi and Main bhi ladki hoon were the other notable ventures of this collaboration. He worked with few big name studios or actors- with Mohan Sehgal, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, G P Sippy, Kishore Sahu and AVM being the exceptions.
He parted ways with his mentor, S. N. Tripathi, due to their difference in their innovative approaches and ideas from popular Western music. His classical roots are seen in songs like Kishore Kumar's Paayal Vaali Dekhna (Ek Raaz), while his modern and light-hearted, foot-tapping music could be sampled in songs like Ham Matavale Naujavan (Barkha), Dekho Mausam Kya Bahaar Hai (Opera House). Chitragupt was also a good singer and lyricist. He worked with all the major lyricists of the time - Majrooh, Rajinder Krishan, Anand Bakshi, Prem Dhawan and even Sahir. After Sahir Ludhianvi agreed to write to the tunes Chitragupt composed, they produced some wonderful songs in collaboration for Vasna. When it came to Bhojpuri films, Chitragupt was the ruling king. He also composed the music for a few Punjabi and Gujarati films, as well as the music for an MGR film dubbed from Tamil.
He suffered a heart attack in 1968 and a paralytic stroke in 1974. He died on the 14th of January 1991.
Despite having many hits to his name, Chitragupta never received any awards for his contribution to Hindi cinema .
His sons, Anand and Milind are a wellknown composer duo.