Mohammed Rafi – Kishore Kumar : Great Legends : Greatest Friends – “Bane Chahe Dushman Zamana Hamara Salamat Rahe Dostana Hamara”
The Hindi Film Industry of musical entertainment since its inception over 7 decades, has undoubtedly given music lovers especially in India and in general, all over the world the pleasure of listening to lilting and soulful melodies composed by eminent lyricisits of the byegone era and embellished by the golden voice of Immortal singers whose memories can never be erased with the passage of time.
Friends, from among the handful of most precious pearls unearthed from the depths of the Ocean as it were, – two musical GENIUSES come readily to mind both of whom have created a niche for themselves in the industry and in the minds & hearts of their innumerable fans & admirers as “GREAT LEGENDS”. Yes, I definitely mean two of the “GREATEST FRIENDS” – Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi to be very precise, both of whom are alas, no more with us today.
As is commonly known, Mohammad Rafi & Kishore Kumar were born on 24th December 1924 and 4th August 1929 respectively. During their relatively short life, the two friends were associated in almost 59 songs approximately of which, 33 songs have been recorded as duets and the balance 26 songs can be categorized as multiple voiced songs comprising of 2 or more singers. Rafi Sahab started his career in the year 1944 with the Punjabi film “Gulbaloch” whereas Kishore Da started his career in the year 1948 with the film “Ziddi” with the song “Marne kee duwayen kyoon mange” picturized on Dev Anand with music scored by Dada Burman.
In my (very earlier years when I was young ) younger days I always carried a (very wrong impression) misconception that since Rafi Sahab has sung for Kishoreda, he automatically was the greatest of the two, however when I had the opportunity of personally meeting these 2 legends I became aware of my misplaced views.(the exact situation) In the year 1958 in the film “Raagini” the lovely song “Mana mora bawara nisadin gaaye geet Milan ke” was the first song which Rafi Sahab had sung for Kishoreda. The erroneous belief (wrong impression) created for this song was since it was a classical based note it was offered to Rafi Sahaab, but the unknown fact behind this move was that initially the hero of this film “Raagini” was Bharat Bhushan and accordingly this song was recorded in Rafi’s voice to suit the actor mainly considering the stupendous success of Baiju Bawara. Subsequently the lead role was enacted by Kishore Kumar and to save on the expenses of re-recording the song all over again in Kishoreda’s voice it was decided to retain the earlier version sung by Rafi Sahab in this film. The other songs sung by Rafi for Kishore were “Ajab hai dastaan teree hai zindagi” from the film Shararat in the year 1959, “Hume koyee gam hai” & “Masiha banke bimaronke chale ho kahan karke jee bekarar” from the film Bhagam Bhag in the year 1956. Friends the main reason for Rafi Sahab singing these songs for Kishore is believed to be family unrest prevailing in Kishoreda’s house in those days which were so genuine that Rafi Sahab used to be present unfailingly (come running ) for the scheduled recordings of his close friend Kishoreda.
Such lovely incidents never created any professional envy or misunderstanding between these 2 gentlemen but in-fact immensely helped in further bonding their friendship & relationship to grow stronger!!
I would like to quote an incidence to prove my point of view –
After the stupendous success of “Aradhana” – Kishore da became immensely popular and this led to organizing various “Kishore Nite “ programs in full swing. During a similar program scheduled in Kolhapur, a large group of Kishoreda’s fans & admirers had gathered at the hotel to meet him and to obtain his autograph. One of his admirers had carried a transistor in which Rafi Sahab’s song was being played and seeing Kishoreda in front; the said admirer immediately switched off the transistor which Kishoreda minutely noticed and requested the admirer to again switch on the radio and quietly listened to Rafi Sahab’s song being played. Kishoreda remarked that it gives immense pleasure to hear Rafi’s songs and he further exclaimed “In our film industry will you ever find a sweet voice like Rafi Sahab’s?
This gesture on the part of Kishoreda indeed proves the great respect for each other.
Rafi Sahab & Kishoreda came together in many duets beginning with the film “Malkeen” in the year 1953 which was produced by the popular comedian of that era Gope. The music for this file was scored by Late Roshan and the lovely duet was “Kahee se oonchee kahee se nich sadak jamane kee sambhal ke chalna babuji”and this song was pictured on Gope & Yakub.
Other popular duets:
|Aadhi tum khalo aadhi hum khale||Fifty Fifty||Madan Mohan||1956|
|Chal shooroo ho ja||Humjoli||Laxmikant Pyarelal||1970|
|Halka halka sa rang gulabee||Khoj||Usha Khanna||1971|
|Yoon na sharma faila de apnee||Parwana||Madan Mohan||1971|
|Yaadon kee baarat nikali hai||Yaadonkee Baarat||R D Burman||1973|
|Saa Re Ga Ma pa dha nee sa||Chupke Chupke||S D Burman||1975|
|Tera jalwa toba hai tera jalwa||Aap ke Diwane||Rajesh Roshan||1980|
|Tumko khush dekhkar main bahot||Aap ke Diwane||Rajesh Roshan||1980|
|Ek raasta aha aha do rahee aha aha||Ram Balram||Laxmikant Pyarelal||1980|
Friends, when Rafi Sahab left us for his heavenly abode on that devastating night of July 31, 1980 it was Kishoreda who was seated at the feet of Rafi Sahab for hours together weeping & crying inconsolably like a child.!! Was this the mark of the great bonded relationship OR Enmity?
Indeed, both were GREAT LEGENDS of their times & Of course, DEAREST FRIENDS !!! How true then, that they had together, rendered the popular number in their inimitable voice………..
“Bane Chahe Dushman Zamana Hamara Salamat Rahe Dostana Hamara”
This small article has been penned by Mr D P Bijoor but would not have been possible without the help & able guidance from Mr Mohan S Murdeshwar.