Two songs from ‘Raj Tilak’ (1958), one from ‘Karigar’ (1958), four songs from ‘Paigham’ (1959) and one from ‘Sarhad’ (1960) did not leave any mark also. However the duets from the movie ‘Nausherwan-e-Adil’ were very sweet and popular. These were “Ye hasrat thi keh issi duniya main”, “Taron ki zuban par hai muhabbat ki kahani” and “Bhool jayen saare gham”. There were six duets, sung by both male and female in the 1955 movie ‘Insaniyat’. Muhammad Rafi also sang for the movies ‘Qavi’ (1954), ‘Sagai’ (1951), ‘Nirala’ (1950), ‘Sargam’ (1950), ‘Baarish’ (1957), ‘Lutera’ (1955) and ‘Raj Tilak’ (1958). Finally Rafi sang for C Ramchandra for the movie ‘Nadi Ke Paar’ (1948) and ‘Sajan’ (1947) also.
For music composer Chitergupt, Rafi sang “Chand jane kahan kho gaya” with Lata Mangeshkar in the film ‘Mai Chup Rahungi’, written by Rajinder Krishan. This song was picturised on Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari. The other hit duet in this film included “Koi bata de dil hai kahan” sung again by Rafi and Lata in the film. Rafi’s song “Itni nazuk na bano” in the film ‘Vaasna’ composed by Chitragupta created a very romantic plea. Another song rendered by Rafi was “Yeh parbaton ke daire” that became a big hit in the late 1950s. Also the songs of Rafi “Chupakar meri aankhon ko” and “Chali chali re patang” in the film ‘Bhabhi’ were very catchy compositions in sombre mood. I like the song “Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha” from the film ‘Akash Deep’ the best. The song “Raste me hai tere kab se khare” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film ‘Opera House’ needs mention.
In my opinion, Rafi was a great ‘full throat and tuneful’ singer with silky voice of the 20th century Bollywood screen. It is a fact that between 1950s and 1970s, he was the most sought after singer in Bollywood. He sang for almost all male stars in Indian films. In 1965, he was honoured by the government of India with the Padma Shri Award. Rafi recorded two Hindi songs in English also in 1968. He also sang a song in Creole while on his visit to Mauritius in the late 1960s. Rafi recorded two English albums as well. One of them is titled ‘Pop Hits’. Before winding up this submission I must mention the ego scuffle of the two greats, Rafi and Mangeshkar with reference to an article by ML Dhawan. Such ego scuffles diminish great artists’ image. According to the writer “Muhammad Rafi often referred to Lata Mangeshkar as Maharani. Rafi got on Mangeshkar’s wrong side when he disagreed on the royalty issues that Mangeshkar was vouching for. Rafi saw no way he could go with Mangeshkar in claiming any singing royalty as a singer carried no responsibility in the recorded song’s success or failure. Rafi’s line of reasoning annoyed Mangeshkar and they ceased to sing duets. Though the matter was later patched up by composer Jaikishan but the tuning between them was never quite the same. Mangeshkar was annoyed when she came to know that in Naushad’s house, a letter had been signed by Rafi disputing Lata’s 25,000 songs record, as listed in 1974 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Rafi and Naushad were never pardoned by Mangeshkar for this misadventure’.
After Rafi’s death, many singers paid tribute to him. Manna Dey said that he learnt the art of throw in one’s voice from him. Jagjit Kaur paid tribute to Rafi by saying the singing filmi ghazals like “Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aya” was the forte of Rafi. Anup Jalota said that whenever Rafi sang, it seemed that he was singing for a particular artist, whether it was for Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Mehmud or Johny Walker. Mangeshkar stated that she sang maximum songs with Rafi. g
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