Muhammad Rafi — a full throat, tuneful and versatile singer — Part IX

Muhammad Rafi — a full throat, tuneful and versatile singer — Part IX

The humming at the end of every first line is lilting. The song “Tere ghar ke samney ik ghar” was also condensing for this movie of the same title. On a lilting mood I must quote the song “Janey kaya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya” from the movie ‘Ziddi’ made in 1964. This song was penned by Hasrat Jaipuri for this Parmod Chakarvarti picture. It starred Joy Mukherjee, Asha Parekh, Shobha Khote, Mahmud, Ulhas, Dhumal, Raj Mehra, Sulochana, Nazima and Mumtaz Begum.

Association with Roshan: I shall now shift to Roshan Laal, a melodious composer who composed outstanding, melodies in general and for Muhammad Rafi in particular. A song that immediately comes into mind is Suman Kalyanpur (her singing makes one feel that we are not missing Lata in this song) with Rafi in the duet “Aise tau na daikho keh behek jayen”. Picturised on Meena Kumari and Pardeep Kumar for the movie ‘Bheegi Raat’ in open air with picturesque flowery backdrop, the impact of the melody is further enhanced. 1961 movie ‘Arti’ was another milestone in the duo’s teamwork in the shape of the song “Ab kaya misaal dun”. This Meena Kumari-Pardeep Kumar movie was a musical hit. Lyrics were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Roshan’s use of sitar, flutes and string instruments was very eastern especially while composing ghazals. This is a very soft melody. Another beauty from this movie is Lata-Rafi duet “Aap nei yaad dilaya tau mujhe yaad aaya”. The same melodious treatment is seen in 1967 movie ‘Bahu Begum’ with the same leading pair and the song is “Hum intizar karain gei tera”. Another song “zindigi kei more par jo koi raasta mila” from the movie ‘Bedagh’ catches my melodic-ears whenever I listen to it. The hallmark in Rafi-Roshan combination is “Jo baat tujh main hei teri tasveer main nahi” from the movie ‘Taj Mahal’ starring Pardeep Kumar and Bina Roy. In that era Kings used to sing to their beloved’s photographs. Another song with Lata from this movie “Paaon chu laine do” is a lilting number. Who can forget Lata-Rafi singing “Jo wada kiya hei nibhana pare ga” from this movie!
Earlier in 1954, Rafi sang “Zameen bhi wohi hei wohi asman” for the movie ‘Chandni Chowk’. Piano effects are used in this song to depict the degradation of Delhi’s society and devastation of the ancient city. This movie starred Shekhar and Meena Kumari. Rafi and Lata rendered “Buhut asaan hei chilman sei” for the 1956 movie ‘Rangeen Raatein’. This Kidar Sharma directed movie starred Shammi Kapoor, Geeta Bali and Mala Sinha. In 1960, Rafi sang a motivational song “Jan hatheli par lei kar phirte” for the movie ‘Laal Qilla’. It was a qawwali beat number using ‘Heer’ tune in Raag Bharvin for the ‘antaras’. Qawwali beat was Roshan’s forte like in the songs “Haseeno ke jalwe pareeshan rehte” for the 1961 movie ‘Baber’ by Rafi-Manna Dey and some female artists. For this movie Rafi rendered a song “Tum aik baar muhabbat ka imtihan”. Treatment given to this song was of ghazal type. This movie had B-class cast comprising Gajanan, Jagirdar, Salochna Chatterjee, Azra, etc. Romance and qawwali songs were epic in Roshan’s movie ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ starring timeless beauty Madhubala and Bharat Bhushan. This romantic song was “Zindigi bhar nahi bhoole gi woh barsat ki raat”. 
It is not that Roshan was expert in romantic and qawwali numbers only. His qawwalis from ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ (“Na Tau Carvaan Ki Talash Hei”) and ‘Bahu Begum’ (Sahir Ludhyanvi’s “Arz-e-shauq ankhon main hei”) are all time hits. This qawwali was rendered by Manna Dey and Rafi for Meena Kumari and Pardeep Kumar. Roshan Laal could compose happy love songs too based on Punjabi folk. His composition “Duniya ki nazar hei buri zulfain” by Geeta Dutt and Rafi was happy romantic duet with a touch of Punjabi folk ‘Boliyan’ from the movie ‘Agra Road’ starring Vijay Anand, Shakeela and Nanda. Talking of romantic numbers with relatively fast beat, one can refer to the Asha-Rafi duet “In baharon main akele na phira karo” from the 1966 movie ‘Mamta’ with debonair Dharmendar and Suchitra Sen (who died recently at the time of writing this piece). In this song, violins play their interludes in cheerful countenance on the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri. On a sad note, one cannot but refer to Rafi’s song “Carvan guzar geya ghubar daikhte rahe” from the film ‘Nai Umr Ki Nai Fasal’. On a happy and comic note, a song, “O! Daata hum ko bhi dei payara bangla” by Rafi and Asha from the 1958 movie ‘Aji Bus Shukriya’ can be referred to. A dance sequence on Western beat and instruments can be referred in the song from the film ‘Wallah Kaya Baat Hei’ with lyrics by Prem Dawan, picturised on Shammi Kapoor with Bina Roy as female lead and Nishi as side heroine. Continued

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