Bhakti Songs of Rafi
This article is written by Mr. H.V Guru Murthy.
When Music Director Naushad expired, in her condolence message, Saira Banu expressed her amazement at Dilip Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni, all Muslims joining together and giving hit Bhajans. Perhaps, this fact speaks volumes of the general public not bothered about the Hindu â€“ Muslim culture but believing only in Indian culture. Well we never bothered to which religion these people belonged but only enjoyed their performance. I read somewhere that Dilip Kumar in his entire career has acted in only one movie where he had to don the role of a Muslim and that incidentally was MUGHAL E AZAM, otherwise, in all his movies, he has portrayed Hindu characters.
Similarly, Rafiji has sung umpteen number of Bhakti songs, which have become great hits. His pronounciation of certain Sanskritized words were better than other Singers. He was able to give something more than other Singers in all his Bhazans. The feelings he imparted to each and every word, the rising and lowering of the voice, and the modulation in his voice, made these songs memorable.
I am particularly fond of listening to his â€œSukh Ke Sab Saathiâ€ from GOPI, â€œIshwara Allah Tero Naamâ€ from NAYA RAASTA, â€œAana Hai To Aa Rahameâ€ from NAYA DAUR, â€œTu Hai Mera Prema Devataâ€ from KALPANA with Mannadey and of course the evergreen â€œO Duniya Ke Rakhawaleâ€ from BAIJU BAWRA. In this particular song, Rafiji in the end sings â€œRakhawaleâ€ three times in the Original record, each time raising his voice further and further. But if one listens to his stage show, he raised his voice the fourth time which I feel no other Singer especially the present lot could have achieved. I still remember this song which he sang at Shivajinagar Stadium in Bangalore in the mid-seventies and that night the approximately three hours I spent along with my friends in the adjacent Bus stand listening to his songs are still fresh in my memory.
Other popular Rafi Bhakti songs included â€œInsaaf Ka Mandir Hai Yehâ€ from AMAR, â€œJai Raghunandan Jai Siyaramâ€ from GHARANA with Asha Bhonsle, â€œTune Muzhe Bulaya Sherawaliyeâ€ from ASHA with Chanchal, â€œBadi Daer Bhai Nandalalaâ€ from KHANDAAN, â€œKuch Aur Nahin Bas Dhyana Teraâ€ from HEERA MOTI with Mannadey, â€œO Sherowaliâ€ from SUHAG with Asha, â€œBadi Daer Bhaiâ€ and â€œDuniya Na Bhaye Moheâ€ from BASANT BAHAR, â€œShirdiwale Saibabaâ€ from AMAR AKBAR ANTONY, â€œSainath Tereâ€ and â€œSaibaba Boloâ€ from SHIRDI KE SAIBABA, â€œRadhike Toone Bansiri Churayiâ€ from BETI BETE, â€œRamji Ki Nikali Sawariâ€ from SARGAM, etc. Rafijiâ€™s non-filmy hit Bhazans included â€œTere Bharose He Nandalalaâ€ and â€œPaun Padoo Tore Ramâ€.
Mohd Rafi with Naushad, Shaqueel-Badayuni, Lata and others
Only few other Bhakti songs of other Singers can match the high standards of Rafiji. One such song was â€œAllah Tero Naamâ€ from HUM DONO sung by Lataji. Of course, Lataji has sung very many Bhakti songs like the melodious â€œJaya Jaya Hai Jagadambe Mathaâ€ from GANGA KI LEHRE, â€œPrabhu Tero Naamâ€ from HUM DONO, â€œKannah Re Kannahâ€ from TRUCK DRIVER, â€œKanha Kanhaâ€ from SHAGIRD, etc. apart from non-filmy and Meera Bhazans. Other notable Bhakti songs are â€œJai Jagadeesha Hareâ€ sung by Geetha Dutt and Hemantha, â€œNa Mai Dhan Chahunâ€ by Geetha Dutt from KALA BAZAAR, â€œOm Jai Jagadeesha Hareâ€ and â€œRaghupati Raghava Rajaramâ€ sung by Mahendra and Company for PURAB AUR PACHIM, â€œShyam Dhale Jamuna Kinareâ€ sung so melodiously by Mannadey and Lata, â€œBhagavan Ke Ghar Me Sub Kuch Haiâ€ by Mannadey from YAAR MERA. Another really wonderful song was â€œBhay Bhanjanaâ€ from BASANT BAHAR sung by Mannadey picturised on Bharat Bhushan.
Whether the song was Bhajan or patriotic or Lori or romantic or serious or classical or Yahoo type or comedy or ordinary ched chad or qawali or pop or any other type of song, MR always excelled and showed his class. In fact, due to MR some ordinary songs also became hits. Well, we will never get another Rafi again as people like Rafi Sahab are born once in a millennium and are divine gifts. Goddess Saraswati perhaps had bestowed some special boons to Rafiji. As Naushad admitted Rafiji came to him with a smile and was always having a constant smile on his face. An ordinary human being cannot attain that level. We are lucky that we grew up listening to his songs and even now twenty seven years after he left for his heavenly abode, we are still enjoying his songs.