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Mohammed Rafi renders songs written by Shailendra

This article is written by Mr. D.P.Bijoor & Mr. Nitin.D.Dhareshwar

Mohd Rafi during song recording for the film Usne Kaha Tha

Mohd Rafi during song recording for the film Usne Kaha Tha

Mohammed Rafi renders songs written by Shailendra – Toothe huwe kwaboon ne humko ye sikhaya hai Dil ne Dil ne jisee payya thha aankhon ne Gawaya Hai.

“Shailendra” who in him had that extra pinch of a unique greatness & that beautiful feather touch of class more than any of his other contemporaries or writers is our very personal opinion and hence he automatically becomes our favorite choice as one amongst the all-time Greats.

Mr Shankardas Kesarilal Shailendra popularly known as Shailendra was born on 30th August 1923 at Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He was the eldest of the four sons of Parvati Devi and Kesarilal. During his childhood days his family moved to Mathura for good but the sudden and accidental death of his mother after the shift caused a deep pain for Shailendra which almost turned him an atheist. Shailendra started his career with the orthodox method of joining the Government organization and lead his secure life and his job in the Indian Railways brought him to the city of Bombay in the year 1947 when the Indian freedom struggle was at its best. The stereotype and technical aspect of his job was totally out of line with his artistic nature and started spending more of his duty hours writing poetry than toiling in the workshop and accordingly his in-charge always used to complain about his working habits and was the cause of general resentment

Raj Kapoor discovers Shailendra

Shailendra decided to take active part in the Freedom struggle in his own style and started writing verses and fiery poems which would ignite the masses. His poem “Jalta Hai Punjab” was a highlight and when reading out aloud during a public meeting, Raj Kapoor spotted and caught eye on him. Raj Kapoor saw an emerging star for the Indian Film History and expressed his desire to buy the poems Shailendra has written for his new production. Shailendra the young patriot blood refused to do so, but due to some domestic reasons and responsibilities again approached Raj Kapoor and eventually agreed to his terms.

RK in those days (1947) was busy making his film “Aag” which had music composition scored by Ram Gangoli (Shankar Jaikishan were the assistants) and at this juncture Mr Kapoor promised Shailendra a break in the Industry and eventually he was signed for the film “Barsaat” in the very next year i.e. 1948

Shailendra started his career in the industry with his first ever break in the year 1948 and ended the same in the year 1970. It would indeed be a unique distinction that both his first & his last film were with Raj Kapoor starting from “Barsaat” (1948) to “Mera Naam Joker” (1970)

A unique career spanning almost 22 long years Shailendra has given all of us some of his greatest contributions and a link of those beautiful and evergreen songs which we will cherish everlastingly. Shailendra in his career span has written 258 songs which can be broadly divided or bifurcated as follows:

1) For Shankar Jaikishan he has written 190 songs which works to an whopping average of 73.64%

2) For S D Burman he has written 30 songs which works to an average of 11.63%

3) For Salil Chaudhari he has written 30 songs which works to an average of 11.63%

4) Balance 08 songs were written by him for other music directors namely C Ramchandra, R D Burman, Roshan, Ravi, Dattaram, Pandit Ravi Shankar and S N Tripathi

For S N Tripathi he wrote songs for the musical film “Sangeet Samrat Tansen” and for Pandit Ravi Shankar that beautiful film “Anuradha”

In respect of the singers his total 258 songs is classified as follows

1)      Lata Mangeshkar almost 90 songs averaging 34.88%
2)      Mukesh almost 56 songs averaging 21.71%
3)      Mohammed Rafi almost 45 songs averaging 17.44%
4)      Various other singers 67 songs averaging 25.97%

In his career spanning almost 22 long years Shailendra has won 3 Filmfare Awards as follows

1)      “Ye mara diwana pan hai ya muhobbat ka kasoor tu na pehchane tho hai ye teree nazronka kasoor rendered by Mukesh from Bimal Roy super hit film “Yahudi” in the year 1958 with music by Shankar Jaikishan starring Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari & Sohrab Modi

2)      “Sab kuch sikha hamne na sikhee hoshiaree such hai duniya waloon ke hum hai anadi” again rendered by Mukesh in the film “Anari” in the year 1959 with music by Shankar Jaikishan starring Raj Kapoor, Nutan & Motilal

3)      “Main gaoon tum sojawo sukh sapano mein kho jawoo – kal tum jab aankhen khologe tab hoga Ujiyara” rendered by Mohammed Rafi from the film “Brahmachari” in the year 1968 with music by Shankar Jaikishan starring Shammi Kapoor, Rajshree, Pran & Mumtaz.


Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar in a song recording for the film Usne Kaha Tha with Salil Chowdhury, Bimal Roy, Shailendra, Asit Sen

Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar in a song recording for the film Usne Kaha Tha with Salil Chowdhury, Bimal Roy, Shailendra, Asit Sen

Shailendra has also acted in very small or minor roles in the following films

1)      Aah in the year 1953 where he appeared as the tangewala

2)      Boot Polish in the year 1954 where he is seen giving his lip movements with Baby Naaz for the Talat Mehmood & Asha Bhosale song “Chalee kaunse desh – tu saj dhajke

3)      Shree 420 in the year 1955

4)      Teesri Kasam in the year 1966

Shailendra also produced the following film

1) Teesri Kasam in the year 1966 starring Raj Kapoor & Waheeda Rehman

Shailendra also wrote the dialogues for the following film

1) Parakh made by Bimal Roy in the year 1960 with lyrics by himself & music by Salil Choudhari starring Sadhana & Motilal in one of his greatest  roles ever of a postmaster

Today I would like to stroll down the memory lane in remembering those great renditions by our beloved King of Melody Mohammed Rafi Saab on the beautiful lyrics penned down by Shailendra and the small comprehensive list is enumerated as follows

Song/Rendition Film Year
Nanhe munhe bachhe tere muthee mein kya hai Boot Polish 1954
Ramaiya Vastavaiya maine dil tujhako diya Shree 420 1955
Duniya ne bhaye mohe aab to bula le charnon mein Basant Bahar 1956
Toothe huwe kwabone hum ko ye sikhaya hai Madhumati 1958
Jangal me mor nacha kisine na dekha hum jo peekar jara jhoome Madhumati 1958
Yeh duniya ye duniya shaitanoo kee baste hai yahan zindagee Yahudi 1958
Matwalee aankhon walee Chhote Nawab 1961
Chhahe koyee mujhe jungle kahe Junglee 1961
Ek sawal main karoon ek sawal tum karo Sasural 1961
Aa gale lagja mere sapane mere apne kareeb aaja April Fool 1964
Radhike tune bansaree churayee Beti Bete 1964
Aaj kal mein dhal gaya Beti Bete 1964
Agar teree jalwa numaya na hote Beti Bete 1964
Goree chalo na hans kee chal jamana dushman hai Beti Bete 1964
Kya se kya hogaya bewafa tere pyaar mein Guide 1965
Lal chhadee maidan khadee Janwar 1965
Badtameez kaho ya kaho jaanwar mera dil tere dil pe fida hogaya Badtameez 1966
Le gayee dil gudiya japan kee paagal mujhe kar diya Love in Tokyo 1966
O mere shaahee khuba O mere jaane Love in Tokyo 1966
Main gaoon tum sojawo Brahmchari 1968

Shailendra considered his life as his real poetry and used to derive the inspiration from his regular walks along the banks Juhu Beach every morning

It is indeed quite ironical that for the man who loved life so much, the spectra of death always haunted him and was indeed obsessed by death. There was no fear involved but a kind of helplessness drew him towards it. His producing “Teesri Kasam” caused him several heartaches and it was also the ultimate cause of his death. But what bothered him was not the films failure at the box-office but that his investment in friends he trusted and loved went wrong.

Shailendra was admitted to the hospital on 13th December 1966 but on his way he decided to stop at the famous cottage at the RK Studios to call on Raj Kapoor where he promised RK that he would complete the lyrics for “Jeena yahan marna yahan” for the film “Mera Naam Joker” and that was the one promise he could never keep mainly since Shailendra died on the following day on 14th December 1966 at the very young age of 43 years which also happened to be the birthday of Raj Kapoor.

Reading the following lines from “Anari” can indeed see his obsession for death

Ke mar ke bhee kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ke aansuoon mein muskuraenge

Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena isi ka Naam Hai

Friends I profusely remember and can never ever forget this day of 14th December 1966 mainly since my elder sister got married on this day and left for her in-laws place and above all Shailendra suddenly left all of us for his heavenly abode on this very day never ever to return again.

While summing up this small piece from our heart we indeed would like to remember one of the greatest combinations & rendition by Mohammed Rafi Saab and Shailendra which is narrated as follows from the film “Madhumati” starring the Greatest Dilip Kumar with his superb expressions

Toothe huwe kwabon ne humko ye sikhaya hai
Dil ne jise paya thha aankhon ne Gawaya Hai
Hum Dhoondte hai unko, Jo milake nahii milate
Ruthe hai na jaane kyoon, Mehamaan woh mere Dil ke
Kyaa apanee tamannaa thee, kyaa saamane aayaa hai
Toothe huwe kwabon ne humko ye sikhaya hai|
Dil ne jise paya thha aankhon ne Gawaya Hai
Laut aayee  sadaa meree Takaraa ke sitaaroon se
Ujadee huvee duniyaa ke, sunasaan kinaaron se
Par ab ye tadapanaa bhee, kuchh kaama na aayaa hai
Dil ne jise paya thha aankhon ne Gawaya Hai
Toothe huwe kwabon ne humko ye sikhaya hai
May the souls of both these Greats rest in eternal peace

This small piece is penned down by Mr D P Bijoor and has equally been shared by Mr Nitin D Dhareshwar.

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65 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi renders songs written by Shailendra”

  1. Hemant khare says:

    रफ़ी साब एक अदभुत गायक और महान इंसान थे।ऐसा लगता है जैसे कोई देवदूत थे जो हमारी धरती पर भगवान ने भेजा था हमारी तकलीफों और दुखों को कम करने के लिये।।

  2. shankerjai says:

    This is for the writers of this feature

    Amla Shailendra Mazumdar Again Nitin D Dhareshwar and D.P.Bijoor have taken the information from my article, and not even mentioned the source of their information. Read my article Remembering Shailendra, saved on this group docs. The writers have even taken my observation on obsession with death! Should I say imitation is the best form of flattery? But I am happy that Shailendra is written about and talked about and discussed. I would be happier if a more meaningful analysis of his work is done and written about. If like minded people put their heads together I am sure we can produce an interesting document on Shailendra’s work.
    Saturday at 6:40pm via mobile · Like · 4

    Ajay Kanagat Very sad that is one of the reasons why people do not write on a public forum , because they are frightened their articles will be stolen.
    Saturday at 7:37pm · Like · 4

    Shashibhushan Hegde Amla ji, this article has at least a handful of mistakes. They say that Shailendra wrote 258 songs in his career. He wrote 402 songs for SJ alone! They say that he acted as a Ta…See More
    Saturday at 8:18pm · Like · 4

    Melarkode Vishwanath Devraj Amla,you should put down your comments on the article– they cannot copy it and not give the credits.How they got it,are they members?
    Saturday at 9:06pm · Like · 3

    Amla Shailendra Mazumdar Shashibhushan ji, thanks for highlighting the errors. Is there anyway we can take this up with the duo concerned?
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like

    Amla Shailendra Mazumdar Devraj ji, yes I agree the content must be challenged. I need guidance on how this can be done.All have access to my article as it was posted on the Internet. This article was written by me way back in 1994 or 1995 for the Khaleej Times, an UAE publication.
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like

    Ajay Kanagat This is a very big problem , people have no qualms in copying……… but we should find ways in naming and shaming these people.
    3 hours ago · Like · 1

  3. Rajendra Bora says:

    There is a small error in the write up. Shailendra did not enact the role of tangewala in the film Aah. The role of Tangewala was enacted by singer Mukesh.

  4. Shashi Hegde says:

    I think you have got the numbers wrong. Shailendra wrote 402 songs for Shankar Jaikishan. In all he must have written around 600 songs for the film. Here is the complete list of songs Shailendra wrote for Shankar Jaikishan.

  5. I am keenly interested in the text of ‘Jalta Hai Punjab’ written by poet/lyricist- Shalendra. I will sincerely appreciate, if someone can send/Email me its complete text.

  6. shashi hegde says:

    Can a lyricist like shailendra be born again? I think never. The best tribute for him would be the goverment posthumously conferring Dada Saheb Phalke award jointly to Shailendra-Hasrtat Jaipuri-Shankar-Jaikishan.

    I havent heard songs more well written than the likes of kisiki muskurahaton(anari), main gaoon tum so jao(brahmachari), mera joota(sri 420) and the list may be longer.

  7. binu nair says:

    Nasreen ji : re: the Bandra Mohd Rafi Chowk….

    Rafi lovers in Mumbai have taken up the agenda to beautify the chowk and we are giving a letter to the mayor of mumbai very shortly.
    two, no contributions are needed as we think that one or two corporate houses from bandra would step in.

    mr.raju korti will be the technical advisor and our team will begin the work very soon.
    ur moral support is needed.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  8. kn.kumar says:

    Thank you Bijoor ji and Nitin Dhareshwar ji for the wonderful article on the life of great lyricist Shailendra.He and other great song writers have contributed greatly to the greatness of our Rafi Saab. Rafi Saab breathed life into all their compositions and all these people have left behind a treasure for eternity. It is our duty to remember their contribution to the music of our country.I request you to kindly write a similar article on Hasrat Jaipuri who also wrote many good songs for Rafi Saab. I thank Raju Korti bhai (ref Post 41 & 45) for the work he has done and is doing in keeping us informed on various aspects of the life of our Rafi Saab.He is truly blessed to have met our beloved Rafi Saab.We the fans are lucky to have many amongst us who can write such beautiful articles.Rafi Saab is keeping us all together in a bond of friendship and devotion. May our tribe go on increasing.

  9. nasreen says:

    Ref. post 53

    Dear brother Raju. I am really sorry for using the ‘a’ word (arrogant). It seems to have rankled just a little and why not. In your place I would have felt the same. But i did not refer to your ‘hitting back’ when i used that word. In fact, it was because I was new to the site, did not really know enough at the time and read (mistakenly) into the lines. It was probably when you wrote about Feroz Khan’s ‘style and substance’ and in the posts following that article that i might have got this idea, but this is no longer relevant so I will not expand on that and say why I got this bizarre idea. But by now, I can see you as a true devotee of the great singer; someone who can see where the gaps are and has the gumption to point them out. moreover someone with the best writing skill on this site.
    Whereas I am a very ordinary person with limited knowledge (but unlimited devotion to the Voice of Rafisaab). It was probably a wee bit arrogant of ME to make the uncalled for stray remark about your ‘subtle air of arrogance’. So please do accept my apology.

    You write about the spot in bandra which should commemorate Rafisaab. Well reading Narayan saab’s post (55) about approaching mp priya dutt, is it not something fans from this site could get together and do? Maybe a petition which everyone can sign, not just fans from this site but from everywhere in india and overseas. After all, there must be millions of them around the world. I am sure it would not be far fetched to expect that some people might be generous with other important contributions too. I really wish it could happen.
    Or am I being a bit too naive?

  10. Raju Korti says:

    ref post 55
    i am aware of the history behind the padmashree mohd rafi chowk. all i was trying to say is that spot should have the look, ambience and beauty befitting the maestro’s status. i happen to pass therough the spot almost every second day and it pains me no end that it is just one of those chowks. the last time round, i saw the place, there was dust on the board and traces of dried cowdung around. very very sad indeed.
    it is heartening to know that mr binu nair is taking a lead on behalf of mumbai’s rafi foundation chapter to beautify the place and make it into a real tourist attraction.

  11. Narayan says:

    post 53

    Raju bhai,
    You have expressed the feelings correctly but regarding the Padmashree Mohd Rafi Chowk which is in a prominent place in Mumbai was mainly due to untiring efforts of Sunil Dutt saab and due to that unsung heroine Milan Singhji who singlehandedly protested to the so called authorites whenever the place was disturbed…
    My humble suggestion is this requires Political will and inspite of the presence of CM Antulay, Sherrif Dilip Kumar and the Major of Mumbai Memon in 1980 when our Farishta attained Martyrdom no one bothered about it.
    Today if group of Rafi Bakts approach the MP Priya Dutt with ur support still lot of change can happen. All the BEST bus routes mention that area as the name of the legend and Iam happy to mention that the bus commuters also refer to the Bandra Station bus stop by the legend’s name….

  12. Nasreen says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that I have found the song I requested “Aaj is khat mein nayi baat tumhe llikhtaa hoon”. A friend has kindly emailed it to me, so I no longer need it.

    Thank you and take care


  13. Raju Korti says:

    ref post 51
    no hard feelings. my apologies if i have come across as an arrogant person. but let me assure you i am in fact just the opposite — meek and submissive. we are all hardened rafisaab fans. that makes us all equal. just a thought here and there or a disagreement once in a while should not alter this basic truth. perhaps the only time i really lost my cool was when the so called fans (most writing with fictitious and funny names) of a rookie singer tried to make out a case that he was paying a great tribute to singing’s ultimate god. No one, not even some of our own rafisaab fans bothered to answer the question i and haldersaab posed: did any of the proceeds of this so called tribute go to perpetuate rafisaab’s memory? don’t we have n number of singers who spring up from nowhere to hold a programme in “rafisaab’s memory” on 24th dec and july 31st? where does this tribute “money” go? surely into the pockets of the singers and organisers. it’s all pathetic. and how can a tribute to one’s own guru be titled “rafi resurrected”? i have never heard of a bigger joke or a worse blasphemy. just think, today, the rafi chowk in country’s landmark pilgrimage centre of bandra lies in ruins. nobody thinks of turning that little place into some beauty spot. no statue, no ode. the place boasts of nothing but a board that tells us that here lived a titan once. so i hit back with all might. and what happened? a rash (!!!) of self-proclaimed experts” rushed to this tributor-y’s defence as if he was some leader facing the worst political crisis of his life. if that makes me arrogant, then i plead guilty.

    ref post 52
    my pleasure haldersaab. you are welcome to mumbai any time. i would love meeting you. and please keep writing. it’s good to see you write with so much passion

  14. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 40:

    Dear Korti saab,

    What a fantastic post! As someone pointed out, this post of yours deserves to be an article by itself. I myself feel humbled after hearing from fans like you. I will definitely meet you sometime in the future to see your collection.

    Long live Rafi saab!

  15. Nasreen says:

    Mainly for Raju Korti

    I am envious of those who have met the great God of singing. I would be happy if my job was to just wash his feet everyday or fetch his slippers or something like that. I worship his voice and you all understand because you do the same.. No, my intention is not to sound silly, I really feel this way – I think most of his fans do. And the reason is not just that his voice is …….well, indescribable…but that as a human being too (hard to believe that this is what he was), he was so unbelievably good and towered above those around him. That gentle smile of satisfaction after he had finished performing a song well – and I saw in some TV show long ago that he just left the studio still humming the tune just recorded without a care about the money involved. No, such lower and base considerations were not his major worry. And Raju Korti brought this side of him out in his post (41). Thank you.

    Raju : before this, I had read some of your posts, and in some of them, a subtle air of arrogance came through. But I read this one, and now ask your pardon for misjudging you. You have written with feeling, expression and ‘punch’. No mean feat. Especially when one is writing about rafisaab. I simply loved your last sentence “if I start commercialising my god, how does it make me a worshipper?” Wow!!

    May I ask you, or anyone else reading this, about a non-filmi song of rafisaab? The words are as follows:

    “aaj is khat mein ek nayee baat main likhtaa hoon
    Ek shayar ke khayalat main likhtaa hoon”

    If anyone has this song, could they please share it with me? I am part of a community radio program and would like to play it for my friend who has requested that i do. But if I have ever heard this song, I cannot recall it. And have no clue where to start looking, apart from here. And since Raju, you mentioned that you have painstakingly collected Rafi gems over the years, I am hoping that you have it in your collection and would not mind sharing it.

    I feel happy when I come to this site because it takes me back to somewhat younger days when I would stand on the ‘chhat’ and listen to the loudspeakers around us playing songs like “kaun hai jo sapnon mein aya” , ‘tum haseen main jawaan” and “nain milakar chain churana kiska hai yeh kaam, arre hum se poochho humko pata hai us zaalim ka naam”. I am far away now in a very different place, but it is only these memories, and listening to songs from that era – that keep me going.

    Well, thank you friends that I can be here among people so knowledgeable – and so devoted.


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