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

Muhammad Rafi — full throat, tuneful, versatile singer — Part XV
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However, director Suraj Prakash felt it was a beautiful story and accepted it. It went on to become his greatest hit. It was his first colour film. To prepare for his role as Raja, Shashi Kapoor would spend days with the boatmen in Kashmir to study their lifestyle. Sometimes, he would have meals with them. At the film's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Suraj Prakash asked Brij Katyal what religion Raj belonged to, as it had never been specified and no one had noticed till now. It turned out that all the boatmen in Srinagar were Muslims. The writer was speechless, as this could have been portrayed as a Hindu-Muslim love story. Prakash claims this to be the true climax behind the making of his greatest hit. The climax, where Raja pulls Rita into the train, was shot at the Bombay Central Train Station. Suraj Prakash gave explicit instructions on how and when to pull Nanda into the train. Kapoor followed those directions so well that there were only a few feet left for the platform to end when he pulled her in. Prakash claims the incident was so hair-raising that he had shut his eyes and was convinced that Nanda's end had come. 
I remember having seen the movie 'Haseena Maan Jaye Gi' while I was in UK. This was 1968 movie directed by Parkash Mehra with Shashi Kapoor, Babita, Johnny Walker and Ameeta in the cast. Two duets "Bekhudi mein sanam uth gaye jo qadam" and "Chale they sath mil ke" were mesmerising. Other Muhammad Rafi songs were "Suno Suno", "Dilber dilber kehta hua diwana" and "O! Dilber jaaniye". Besides, KA also used Rafi in duet song "Gulabi raat gulaabi" with Asha in the film 'Upkar', where Manna Dey's song "Qasmai Wade" made everlasting impact in the minds of the listeners. My most favourite song however remains "Akaile hai chale aao" from Rajesh Khana's movie 'Raaz' opposite Babita. I am surprised that despite lip-synching Rafi's beautiful songs in the initial phase of his career, why Rajesh Khana opted for Kishore Kumar later on! KA's sincerity with Rafi continued and they kept on using his voice for songs like in Dilip Kumar's film 'Gopi' and created songs like the Bhajan "Sukh ke sab sathi", which still remains one of the adorable devotional songs. 
KA and Rafi created storms in the film 'Geet' like creating the song "Mere mitwa aja tujh ko pukare mere geet". Each and every song picturised on Rajeder Kumar became hit. The compositions of KA involving folk flavour of the mountains always enchanted the Indian audience right from the movie 'Himalay Ki God Mei' to 'Maryada'.
Association with Lakshmikant Pyarelal: We have discussed Rafi's association with all the leading music composers of his time. We must not forget his work for music composers Lakshmikant Pyarelaal. The duo music composers created melodious melodies during their association with Rafi; 369 numbers composed for him out of, which 186 were his solo items. We shall only quote some of these songs as these pertain to all type of moods indicating adaptability of the team in different situations. The duo used him for the first time in the film 'Chaila Babu' for which Rafi at that time showed his generous gesture by not accepting any payment for the song "Tere pyaar ne mujhe gham diya". I saw Rafi crooning with full throat melodious numbers for the duo for the movie 'Dosti' in 1964. Hence the laurels were won by the team in the shape of the Filmfare Awards for the song "Chahoonga main tujhe saanjh savere". Another song "Rahi manwa dukh ki chinta kyun satati hei" was a mesmerising number from this film. Actually all songs by Rafi left their mark from this movie.
One goes into happy and romantic mood when one listens to 1969 movie 'Jeene Ki Raah' song "Aane se uske aye bahaar".
This was LV Parsad directed movie with Jeetendra and Tanuja in the lead. Then one gets into melancholy mood when the lover misses his beloved in the movie 'Qismet' and sings Rafi's song "Jab jab bahar aai".
Both these songs were hits of their time. Movie 'Qismet' has another sad number picturised on Bharat Bhushan "Mujhe bhool jana agar ho sake". In this song, Bharat Bhushan portrays a character in which people consider him a madcap and children throw stones at him due to his careless attire. From this song one can decipher that LP had the quality of taking out lots of emotions from Rafi's vocals. The movie 'Banphool' had LP's music with lyrics by Anand Bukhshi. This 1971 Vijay Bhatt movie had Jeetendra and Babita in its cast. Babita portrays the role of a tea vendor. Rafi-Lata's duet, "O! sapno kei raja, tu chore main sipahi" is a catchy number. 
Continued

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