This article is written by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy.
I have a Cassette by name â€œAnmol Ratan Volume 12 Mohammed Rafiâ€ â€“ â€œPhir Rafiâ€ released by HMV which I very frequently listen to while I travel. All the songs are classical based and are soothing to ears. Side A contains â€œRadhike Tooneâ€ (BETI BETE) music by SJ, â€œManare Tu Kahenaâ€ (CHITRALEKHA) by Roshan, â€œMadhuban Me Radhikaâ€ (KOHINOOR) by Naushad, â€œSaaz Ho Tumâ€ (SAANZ AUR AWAAZ) by Naushad, â€œNache Man Moraâ€ (MERI SOORAT TERI AANKHEN) by SDB and â€œAaye Bahar Bankeâ€ (RAJHATH) by SJ.
Side B contains â€œMan Tarpatâ€ (BAIJU BAWRA) by Naushad, â€œDuniya Na Bhayeâ€ (BASANT BAHAR) by SJ, â€œKaise Samjhaunâ€ (SOORAJ) with Asha by SJ, â€œAjahuna Aayeâ€ (SAANJ AUR SAVERA) with Suman, again by SJ and â€œNava Kalpana Nava Roopaseâ€ (MRIG TRISHNA) beautifully set to music by Shambu Sen.
All eleven songs are gems. The songs from Saanz Aur Awaaz, Rajhath and Mrig Trishna are comparatively not as popular as the other songs, but these three songs are real class. The Mrig Trishna song was picturised with a dance by Hema Malini which she admitted that she really enjoyed doing the dance for the song.
The â€œKohinoorâ€, â€œMSTAâ€ and â€œBaiju Bawraâ€ songs are quite popular songs. Regarding the song from â€œChitralekhaâ€, nothing more need be said as it is considered one of the best short solos ever recorded in the history of Indian Film Industry. I read somewhere that some people felt that such a wonderful song should not be so small and they wanted to have one more Antara but finally decided to have just two Antaras, but still what a classic song.
The â€œBeti Beteâ€ song is another good song. SPB tried the same song in a Kannada movie. The â€œSaanj Aur Saveraâ€ duet was a national award winner and that too picturised on Comedians Mehamood and Shuba Khote and the duet from â€œSoorajâ€ was also a hit song with a wonderful dance by Vyjayantimala. The â€œBasant Baharâ€ song comes in the climax of the movie and is one of the highlights of the movie, picturised on Bharat Bhushan.
What about other classical film songs sung by Rafiji? Of course, there are plenty of songs based on Indian Raags set to music by Naushad and SJ. Admittedly, Rafi was one of the few good singers who could sing a REAL classical song perfectly others being Mannadey, Lata and to certain extent Asha. This fact has been admitted by all the Music Directors.
If any further proof is needed of Rafijiâ€™s caliber for such songs, the fact that Rafi sang â€œMan Mora Bawaraâ€ in RAGINI for even Kishore Kumar, himself a great Singer, should suffice. Apart from the above songs in the cassette, no one can forget songs like â€œDuniya Ke Rakhawaleâ€ (BAIJU BAWRA) especially people who have listened to Rafiji on stage, when Rafi used to raise his voice fourth time while singing â€œRakhawaleâ€¦â€¦.â€ in the end instead of three times as in the regular song. A classical duet with Lata â€œKuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliyaâ€ (SWARNA SUNDARI) music by Southern Adinarayana Rao clearly showed Rafiji and Latajiâ€™s mastery over even Carnatic music. Another song worth mentioning is a male duet sung by Rafi and Manna, â€œTu Hai Mera Prema Devataâ€ in KALPANA. â€œPanjaniya Chalke Raamâ€ was another song sung by Rafiji in his melodious voice. Similarly the Rafi â€“ Asha duet â€œSawan Aayeâ€ from Dil Diya Dard Liya was another classic, so also â€œDeewana Mastanaâ€ (Bambai Ka Babu). And what about â€œAnkhiyan Sang Ankhiyan Lagiâ€ (BADA AADMI) and â€œUnke Khayalâ€ (LAAL PATHAR).
Mannada of course was a master of classical music. His songs in films like Basant Bahar (Sur Na Saje and Bhay Bhanjana), Dooj Ka Chand (Phulgendava Na Maro), Dil Hi To Hai (Laga Chunari Me Daag), Jaane Anjane (Cham Cham Bajere Payaliya), Talaash (Tere Naina), Mere Huzoor (Jhanaka Jhanaka), Padosan (Aao, Aao Savanriya and Ek Chatur Naar), Budda Mil Gaya (Aayo Kahan Se Ghanshyam), Boot Polish (Lapak Zhapak), Lal Pathar (Re Mana Surame Ga with Asha), etc. are unforgettable.
Lataji also has given wonderful songs like Kare Badara Bairi Ja, Jyoti Kalash Chalke, Jiya Legayoji Mora Sanvariya from Anpadh, Ghar Aaya from Chote Nawab, etc. Asha also had â€œKase Kahoon Man Ki Baatâ€.
Though Mahendra Kapoor also has sung few of such songs like â€œShyamal Shyamal Karanâ€, â€œTum Nacho Ras Barseâ€, etc., but his effort looked pedestrian and laborious. All other Singers hardly tried anything classical.
If the above songs are observed carefully, it is revealed that most of the classical songs are by either Naushad or SJ followed by SDB. No doubt that classically these three were the best MDs.
Perhaps, Rafiji and Mannada could have even given a full length concert of purely classical music if the numbers of such songs sung by them are considered.