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

Muhammad Rafi — full throat, tuneful, versatile singer — Part II
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Khayyam also composed wonderful non-film songs for Rafi. I remember having possessed a 78 speed record with two ghazals on either side. These were “Yei Na Thi Hamari Qismet” – a Ghalib number and another one “Ghazab Kiya Tere Wa’ade Pei Aitbar Kiya” – a Dagh Dehlvi number. These ghazals were composed in very soft, melodious tunes. Then a geet “Meri Muhabbat Qubool Kar Lo” on one side and another “Pooch Na Mujh Sei Dil Kei Fasane” on the other side of the record kept on fascinating me for a long time. Mushtaq Hashmi and I used to sing these songs for our friends in Logia, Government College Lahore in 1960s. Radio listeners also used to listen to these numbers and enjoy these melodies. I remember Rafi’s bhajan “Tere Bharose Hei Nandlala” as one of the best Rafi-Khayyam’s combined creative religious endeavour. The base of the composition was Raag Pahari, a favourite raag of Khayyam in, which he composed many other tunes in his film career. Last but not the least, Rafi and Begum Akhtar sang melodious numbers of Ghalib’s ghazals composed by Khayyam on Ghalib’s centenary in a LP form. I participated in 1969 centenary celebrations in London representing Pakistan whereas Rajinder Singh Bedi and actor Om Parkash represented India. 
It is reported that Khayyam once mentioned in his Vividhbahrati interviews that during mid-‘60s, Rafi’s popularity graph was at its peak and his national and international musical shows used to be very successful and he carried out these shows only with successful music directors of that time like Shankar Jaikishan and so on. So, Khayyam too approached Rafi Saheb once for doing one of such shows with him but Rafi Saheb, after consulting his brother-in-law, had politely declined this request on the pretext that “Khayyam Sahib, aap aur bhi zara stabilise ho jaayiye aur us ke baad show karne se acha hoga!” (Mr Khayyam, let you first get a little more stabilised, then doing such a show shall be fruitful). Naturally Khayyam was upset at this response and remained disturbed with Rafi for some time on account of this rejection.


Association with Shankar Jaikishen: The list of Muhammad Rafi’s songs with music duo Shankar Jaikishen is also quite impressive despite the latter’s tilt towards singer Mukesh because of Raj Kapoor’s influence. These songs are “Badan ei Sitare Lipatte Hee”, “An evening in Paris”, “Surahidar Garden Koyel Si Hei Awaaz”, “Phool sa chehra”, “Aa janeman, aa janeman”, “Aik karki hei jin sei”, “Na mukhra mor kei jaao”, “Dharakne lagta hei mera dil”, “Dil lei gai”, “Yei mera prem pater parh kar keh” (from the 1964 movie ‘Sangam’; a very well acted movie by Rajinder Kumar and Vyjantimala opposite Raj Kapoor), ‘Falsafa Pyar ka tum kya jano”, “Kaun hei jo sapno mei aya” (from the movie ‘Jhuk Gaya Asmaan’), “Teri pyari pyari surat ko kisi ki nazar”, “Aaj kal tere mere pyar kei charche” (with Suman Kalyanpur from the movie ‘Barhamchari’ in twist dance beat) and a lilting number – a lullaby “Main gaaun tum so jaao” and a medium fast number “Dil kei jharoke main tujh ko bitha kar”, “Choti si mulaqaat pyar bun gai”, above all “Baharo phool barsao mera mehboob aya hei” picturised on Rajinder Kumar in the movie ‘Suraj’; all written by Hasrat Jaipuri. Two songs “Chehre pei gireen zulfain” and “Itna hei tum sei pyar” from this movie are romantic numbers. The song I like the best is “Yaad na jeye beete dinon ki” from the movie ‘Dil Aik Mandir’. This song was penned by Shailender. The song “Dil use do jo jaan dei dei” with Asha from the movie ‘Andaz’ was a very beguiling number as well. Another song “Re mama re mama re” (a comedy number sung for kids going with the theme of the film) from this movie was catchy number. The song “Teri pyari pyari surat ko kisi ki nazar” used to be aired on Radio Ceylon’s Binaca mala for many weeks from the movie ‘Sasural’. Another song, “Kaya mil gaya kaya” from the same movie was in Rafi’s voice as well as the question-answer number “Ik sawaal main karun” (with Lata) was from this movie. SK were very good in composing romantic songs picturised on actors such as Shammi Kapoor and Rajinder Kumar; especially for dance sequences for the former actor, for example “Aei gulbadan” and “Khuli palak main jhoota ghusa” from the comedy movie ‘Professor’.
As reiterated above, Shankar Jaikishan and Muhammed Rafi with lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri gave many hit songs for many movies. They had one of the best collaboration in the Bollywood history. SJ chose Muhammad Rafi for over 80 percent of their compositions. Out of six Filmfare awards, three of them were from SJ compositions with lyrics by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. Some of their movies together are ‘Brahmachari’, ‘Suraj’, ‘Andaz’, ‘Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai’, ‘Gumnaam’, ‘Chori Chori’ and Sasural’ to name a few. Continued

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