Magic combination of Guru Dutt and Mohammad Rafi
By Dr. Souvik Chatterji
Eminent director, actor and producer Guru Dutt had a great relationship with legendary singer great Mohammad Rafi Sahab. Just because the relationship lasted for 14 years till the sad death of Guru Dutt in 1964, Rafisahab did not get an opportunity to contribute in more than 100 songs for Guru Dutt. But majority of the songs were masterpieces which adorn the golden music of the 1950s and 1960s.
Rafi’s songs in Guru Dutt’s Aar Paar, released in 1954, composed by OP Nayyar became super hit. On one hand Rafisahab reflected the andaz of Guru Dutt in the songs “sun sun sun sun zalima” and “mohabbat kar lo jee bhar lo”, on the other hand sang with comedy andaz for Johnny Walker for the song “na na na na nan a tauba tauba”. Geeta Dutt did a great job in the duet songs opposite Rafi Sahab. In the film Baaz released in 1953, Rafisahab’s song “jo dil ki baat hoti hai” became very popular. It was followed by Mr and Mrs. 55 released in 1955. Songs picturized on both Guru Dutt and Johnny Walker had melody and sweetness. Rafi’s songs like “idhar tum jawan ho” for Guru Dutt composed by OP Nayyar had romantic andaz, while the song “jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji” for Johnny Walker had comedy andaz, most of the songs created landmark in the mid-50s and Rafi emerged as the greatest singer of bollywood films during that time.
The same combination of Guru Dutt, OP Nayyar and Rafi gave everlasting hit in the film 12 O Clock with songs like “mai kho gaya”. Even Rafi Sahab’s song “tum jo hue mere humsafar” had romantic andaz which mesmerized the audience. When Guru Dutt used SD Burman for composing songs in the film Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ka Phool, Rafi was used brilliantly for the legendary music of those films. Both the films won national and international awards and remain a landmark in the field of story-telling. Rafi’s songs “sar jo tera chakrae” picturised on Johnny Walker and “hum aapke aankho me” and “yeh mahalon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya” picturised on Guru Dutt had emotions, passions, comedy, tragedy everything embedded in them. Rafi’s duet combination with Geeta Dutt was bolstered in the film. The lyrics were outstanding as well. The films marked the best music given by SD Burman in his entire lifetime.
Guru Dutt can boast himself to have given lips in one of Rafi’s best ghazals sung in the history of bollywood films titled “chaudavi ka chaand”. Guru Dutt picturised the song sequence with color, showing his passionate relationship with Wahida Rehman in the film Chaudavi Ka Chand. Ravi’s music in the film showed the pardanashin culture of muslims in India during the early 60s. Most of the songs had very strong urdu lyrics of Shakeel Badayani. Rafi Sahab’s song “mili khak me muhobbat” was sang in an outstanding way. Other songs of Rafisahab in the same film included “yeh duniya gol hai”, “mera yaar bana hai dulha”, “yeh lucknow ki sar zameen”. Johnny Walker gave lips in a number of songs of Rafisahab in the film.
Rafi also sang songs for Guru Dutt in the film Saanjh Aur Sawera, composed by Shankar Jaikishan. The title song “yehi hai wo saanjh aur sawera” sung by Rafi became very popular. The duet song of Rafisahab and Suman Kalyanpur in the same film titled “ajahu na aye, balmaa sawan beeta jaye”, had brilliant classical andaz. Meena Kumari balanced the powerful performance of Guru Dutt in the film. The other films where Rafi had contributed for Guru Dutt include Bharosa, released in 1963, where Ravi composed melodious tunes including “yeh jhuki jhuki naina” picturised on Guru Dutt and Asha Parekh. The other good song of Rafi Sahab included “is bhari duniya me” in Bharosa. In Guru Dutt’s film Suhaagan in 1964, Rafisahab’s song “tu mere saamne hai” was very sweet.
Guru Dutt’s music in the film Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi composed by OP Nayyar, created sensation in the mid -60s. It was a tragedy, that Guru Dutt died before the release of the film and could not see the success of the film. The songs sung by Rafi and picturised on Dharmender mesmerized the audience and still haunts people all over the world. One of those brilliant songs include “aap ki haseen rukh me aaj naya nur hai, mera dil machal gaya to mera kya kasoor hai”.
The uniqueness of Guru Dutt’s relationship with Rafi lies in the fact that whether the composer was OP Nayyar or Shankar Jaikishan or SD Burman or Ravi, the music composed for whom had philosophical thoughts embedded in them and Rafi gave expression to the mesmerizing lyrics of evergreen tunes which had become immortal over a period of time. The films and the songs should be preserved and restored.