Muhammad Rafi — full throat, tuneful, versatile singer — Part X

Muhammad Rafi — full throat, tuneful, versatile singer — Part X

Another song “Batain kar lo ji” is a lilting song on Punjabi folk from this movie. Another song on cheerful note is “Teri nazar ki chabi nei khola” based on the folk tune of “Govinda aala re” from the movie ‘Laal Nishan’.
Many other songs can be quoted but the best output of Roshan, as per my humble opinion is from the movie ‘Chiterlekha’. His composition “Mun re tu kahe na dheer dhare” is one of the ever green song rendered with full pathos in Raag Aimen. My next best choice for Rafi-Roshan combination is “Dil jo na keh saka” from the movie ‘Bheegi Raat’.
Association with Salil Chaudhry: My memories of Muhammad Rafi with music composer Salil Chaudhry go back to the duet “Tasveer teri dil main” with Lata from the 1961 movie ‘Maya’, picturised on Mala Sinha and Dev Anand. The minor but difficult variations in its ‘asthai’ and ‘antara’ along with beautiful use of keyboards make this song a unique composition. Another Rafi song “Zindigi hei kaya sun meri jaan” penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri picturised on Dev Anand as ice cream vendor is a catchy song with flutes chirping in the wind like birds. Another Rafi song from ‘Maya’ in Ramba Samba beat is “Sanam tu chal diya rasta mere bina” is catchy and teasing melody. Two songs composed by Salil Chaudhry for Rafi in the movie ‘Madhumati’ speak a lot about Rafi’s versatility, one, “Tootey hue khwabon nei hum ko” and the other “Jungle may more nacha” from the movie ‘Madhumati’. Both are in diagonally opposed moods. Movie ‘Chaaya’ is famous for Talat Mahmud and Lata songs but one climax song that forms complaint of a man with his god sung by Rafi “Ya keh dei hum insaan nahin” gives him an edge over other songs. I also came across a not very familiar song by Geeta Dutt and Rafi from the 1957 movie ‘Raat Ki Uljhan’. Not many songs were rendered by Rafi for Salil but those that the team produced, had a variety in them.
Association with RD Burman: Music composer RD Burman has also been promoter of Kishore Kumar in the second half of his career but initially he also made good use of Rafi for his film songs. Even Rajesh Khanna who used to promote Kishore more had to lip-synch Rafi’s song “Koi nazrana lei kar aya” for the movie ‘Aan Milo Sajna’. For the movie ‘Pyar Ka Mausem’ (1969) Rafi sang a lovely song “Tum bin jaaun kahan”, the sad version. The cast of this movie was Shashi Kapoor, Asha Parekh, Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhushan. This musical love story was produced and directed by Nasir Hussain. The song “Aa raat jati hei” uses change of scale in its interludes and dialogues by Asha with Rafi for the movie ‘Benaam’ with Majrooh Sultanpuri lyrics. I saw the movie ‘Abhilaasha’ in 1969 in UK because of Meena Kumari cast with Nanda and Sanjay Khan and also for Rafi’s song “Wadian mer daaman”. The latter song was penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Then a very catchy number using the full range of Rafi for the song “Kya hua tera waada” came into limelight in the 1977 movie ‘Hum Kisi Sei Kum Nahin’ and became very popular overnight. A unique appearance of Rafi and Kishore was witnessed in the song “Yaadon ki barat’ (1973) for the movie with the same name. It brings the brothers Dharmendar, Vijay Arora and Taariq together after a long gap. Rafi excelled in the song “Dukh sukh ki har ik mala” for the movie ‘Qudrat’. This song was penned by Qateel Shifai. Another song “Har jalwa tera jawla’ for the movie ‘Harjaai’ picturised on Randhir Kapoor is from the RD’s post Kishore era. It is reported that RD lost his confidence over Kishore Kumar and returned back once again to Rafi until the latter’s demise. Rafi sang many hit songs of RD Burman during his last period from “Kaya hua tera wada’ to “Main nei pucha chand se” in 1980. 
At the time of Rafi’s death, he had regained his glory and was once again number one playback singer of Bollywood film industry. All the music directors including RD Burman had assigned him for their upcoming films. I am not very fond of the song “Yumma Yumma” from 1980 movie ‘Shaan’ but it must be brought into record for its popularity and RD’s singing along with Rafi and for his yodelling. It was a multi-starrer movie with Amitabh, Shashi Kapoor and Shatrugan Sinha in its cast. The best song of Rafi with RD however is “Chura liya hei tum nei jo dil ko” with Zeenat Amman’s sensuous dance. I love the qawwali-based song “Pal do pal ka saath hamara” by Rafi and Asha from the movie ‘The Burning Train’ (1970) very nicely picturised on Jeetendra and Nitu Singh. Continued

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