Immortal Ghazals sung by Mohammad Rafi
This article is by Mr. Souvik Chatterji, Master of Law from Warwick University, Coventry, UK. Master of Law from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Mohammad Rafi is a name which has galvanised the Indian firmament during golden age of Indian film music. As his dimension was as wide as the horizon of creative arts, various categories of his songs has been remembered by generations for the last 50 years, including ghazals, Hindustani classical songs, bhajans, folk songs, songs on the freedom movement of India, qawallis, najrul geeti and many more types of geet. Among them ghazal is one category where Rafiâ€™s sweet voice has brought life into the sensational lyrics and outstanding music compositions of the Golden era.
The ghazal is a common song form in India and Pakistan today. There are different definitions of it, but simply it is a musical form, but having a poetic recitation. Today, however, it is commonly conceived of as an Urdu song, with prime importance given to the lyrics. In some modernized ghazals the poet’s name is hidden somewhere in the last verse, usually between the front and end of a word.
Mohd Rafi with fans during the 60s
In the 1950s and 60s, the song picturised on the different films were based on different moods of the characters depicted in the stories. As the lyrics of the ghazals were quite rich, having immense literary and poetic value they generally captured the pensive moods of the major characters of the stories. Most of the films had ghazal in one form or the other composed by the musical giants of the golden age.
Madanmohan used to be considered as the king of ghazals. His most outstanding creations were composed for Mohammad Rafi , including â€œTumhari Zulfke sayeme sham karlunga, safar is umraka palme tamam karlungaâ€ from the film Naunihal, 1967, â€œ Baad muddat ke yeh ghari aayi, aap aye to zindagi ayeeâ€, from the film Zahanara, 1964, â€œkisiki yaad mai apna ko hai bhulaye hueâ€, from the film Zahanara, 1964, â€œ Rang aur noor ki barat tujhe pesh karu, in muradonki hassen raat tujhe pesh karoon,â€ from the film Ghazal, 1965, â€œBarbad muhobaat ka dua saath liye jaâ€ from the film Laila Majnu, 1977, picturised on Rishi Kapoor.1
There were very dignified ghazals composed by Roshan during that era. Some of them include â€œ jane who kaun hai kya naam hai in aankhokaâ€ from the film Bheegi Raat, 1965, picturised on Pradeep kumar, â€œ Hum intezar karenge, tera kayamat tak, khuda kareki kayamat ho, aur tu aye,â€ from the film Bahu Begum, 1967, â€œ Aab kya misal doon mai tumhare shabab ki,â€ and â€œaapne yaad dilaya tha to mujhe yaad ayaâ€ from the film Aarti, 1963, picturised on Pradeep Kumar. Roshan composed one of the most evergreen hit titled â€œ Zindagi bhar nahin bhulenge woh barsaat ki raat,â€ from the film Barsaat ki raat, 1960, picturised on Bharat Bhushan. The legendary lyrics were written by Sahir Ludhiyanvi.2
S. N. Tripathi composed few immortal ghazals based on the life of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. The songs included â€œ Na kisisi ki aankh ka noor hoonâ€ and â€œlagta nahin yeh dil meraâ€ from the film Lal Quila. Jaidev composed one of his master pieces, â€œ kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aya, baat nikli to har ek baat pe rona ayaâ€ from the film Humdono, 1961.
Shankar Jaikishan is known to create songs of diverse range of subjects. Even amongst his stylish western compositions the best ghazals were composed for Mohammad Rafi. Some of them include â€œunke khayal aaye to ate chale gayeâ€ from the film Lal patthar,1971, picturised on Raajkumar, â€œ Chalke teri aankhose sharab aur ziaadaâ€ from the film Aarzoo,1965, picturised on Rajenderkumar, â€œO Mere Shahe Khuba, o meri Jan- e- jajanaâ€ from the film Love In Tokyo, 1965, written by Hasrat Jaipuri and picturised on Joy Mukherjee.
Ravi has composed few unforgettable tunes like â€œchaudavi ka chand ho yah aaftab ho, jobhi ho tum khuda ki kasam, lajawab hoâ€ from the film Chaudavi ka chand, 1960, picturised on Gurudutt, also â€œChulene do nazuk hoton ko, kuch aur nahin hai jaam hai yehâ€ and â€œyeh zulf agar khulke bikhar jaye to accha hoâ€ from the film Kaajal, 1965, picturised on Raaj Kumar.
Naushad had done proper justice to each and every raaga he has used to compose his songs. His notable ghazals include â€œMere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasamâ€ and â€œtumse ishar â€“ e â€“haal kar baitheâ€ from the film Mere Meheboob, 1963 picturised on Jubileekumar Rajender Kumarâ€ written by Shakeel Badayani, â€œkoi sagar dil ko behlata nahinâ€ from the film Dil Diya Dard liya,1966, and â€œaajki shaam mere dilki salaami lele, dilki salaami lele, kal tere bazm se diwana chala jayega, shamma rah jayegi, parwana chala jayegaâ€, from the film Ram Aur Shyam, 1967, picturised on Tragedy king Dilip Kumar.3
O.P.Nayyar had made a very unique use of the santoor with the sarangi, and he too while making his western blend thought about ghazals for Rafi. His best creations include â€œ aapke hasin rukh pe aaj naya nur hai, mera dil machal gaya to mera kya kusur haiâ€ from the film Baharen phir bhi ayegi, 1966, picturised on Dharmender, and â€œAanchal me saja lena kaliyan, zulfo me sitaren bhar lenaâ€ and â€œZulf ke chayon me chehere ka ujaala lekarâ€ from the film Phir Wohi dil Laya Hoon, 1963, written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and picturised on Joy Mukherjee.
There were ghazalas from other Classical composers also like â€œKahin bekhayal hoker yuhin chuliya unhiko,â€ and â€œAise to na dekho, ki humko nasha ho jayeâ€ by SD Burman in the film Teen deviya, 1965, â€œTheheriye hosh me aaloon to chalejayiegaâ€ by Khayyam. As these songs are soft in nature, they create an everlasting impact on the souls of numerous music lovers of the country who find themselves associated with Rafi. It is very difficult to mention the notable ghazals sung by the maestro who has around 26000 songs in a span of 35 years. An archive should be created where Rafiâ€™s creations are restored, categorised and preserved for future generations to know the noble hertitage of ghazals India had during the golden age.
Souvik Chatterji (author), Rumi Chatterji (wife), Supriya Chatterji (mother), Chitta Ranjan Chatterji (father) and Sathvik Chatterji (son)
1 Noted and renouned Ghazal Singer, Ghulam Ali had said that Rafiâ€™s songs had reflected the truth that the man possessed and the sweetness of the songs depict his generousness and kindness of heart.
2 My father Ex Chief Public Prosecutor of Bankshall court, Chief Metropolitan Magistrateâ€™s Court interviewed Monobendra Mukherjee, the Bengali Classical Singer composing Music for Bengali films Mayamrigo 1960, Joyjayanti,1970, Badhu,1962, and singing more than 1000 nazrul geeti, who said that he used to do the riyaaz everyday for several hours to do justice to his thumris, tappas and he is amazed about only one singer in India, Mohammad Rafi, whose voice floats like a river and the harkats in the songs are so accurate and effortlessly sung like the way clouds flow in the sky.
3 Jagjit Singh, one of the most legendary ghazal singers of the present century, said some of the very melodious Ghazals were sung by Rafi during the Golden age, listeners heard them and appreciated them even sometimes not knowing that they are categorized as ghazals. Jagjit Singh composed music for noted film Saath Saath and TV serial Mirza Ghalib starring Nasir uddin Shah and directed by Gulzar.