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Mohammed Rafi – The Voice of the Masses

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

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The voice born at the Kotla Sultan Singh located near Amritsar, the fragrant voice of the soil, in which he was born on 24th December 1924, the voice of the khet, khaliyan in which he grew up, the voice of you & me, the voice of the masses and ultimately the voice of the silver screen almost ranging from Talat Mahmood to Mahmood and various character and other artists.

The voice of Mohammed Rafi Saab with the voice so great and the human being par excellence. Mohammed Rafi has so many beautiful songs & renditions to his credit which he has performed for the sake of this beautiful nature and its surroundings. A few of the songs which fall under this category are enumerated as follows

1) Bheeni bheeni khushboonko chiratee huwee jab who rehnooma aawaj nikalti hai tho kaheti hai “Chalo dil dar chalo chand ke paar chalo ham hai tayyar chalo” with Lata Mangeshkar from the film Pakeezha.

2) Pyare pyare khetonse woh ahista sur milate hai aur kehte hai “Neel gagan par udate badal aa aa aa dhoop mein jalta khet hamara kar de thoo chhaya” with Asha Bhosale from the film Khandaan

3) “In baharon mein akele na phiro rah ha mein kaali ghata roka na le” with Asha Bhosale from the film Mamta

4) “Baharon phool barsawo mera mehboob aaya hai” from the film Suraj

Rafi Saabs golden voice was in fact meant for all the cast & creed including the rich & the elite, the poor and the down-trodden which indeed made him the greatest performer amongst all his other contemporaries.

Here are some of the examples which he has performed for the much lesser artists:

Who can ever forget the song “Ye zindagee ke mele duniya mein kam na honge afsos hum na honge” from the film Mela which was filmed on an unknown artiste but still the song became a super duper hit in the annals of the History

The other similar song “Zindabad zindabad hai muhobbat zindabad” from the film Mughale Azam was filmed on the great character actor Kumar  

There was also a song “Chaman ke phool bhee tujhako gulab kehe hai hamee nahee hai sabhee la jawab kehte hai” with Lata Mangeshkar from the film Shikari filmed on Ajit and Ragini (sister of Padmini) The other 2 songs which I remember for Ajit are from the film Miss Bombay which was made in the year 1957 starring Nalini Jaywant and the songs are “Badla tho aaise badla” and “Din ho ya raat ho tumharee marji” with Suman Kalyanpur.

Rafi had also sung that evergreen great song for Bhagwan from the film Albela “Is dil mein mere kaun ye deewana aagaya jab shamma ne pukara tho parwana aagaya” with Lata Mangeshkar

For Shaikh Mukhtar Rafi has lent his voice in the film Ramudada and the 2 songs which I remember are “Daal bhee de palkon ki” with Lata Mangeshkar and “Jinda hai jinda humse” with Suman Kalyanpur

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

For Chandrashekhar he has sung “laagee chhote na kab se sanam” with Lata Mangeshkar and the other songs which I remember are “Nache nagin baje bin” with Lata Mangeshkar, “Pehle nazar tere pyaar,” “Subha na aayee sham na aayee” and “Ek chameli ke mandve tale” both from the film Cha Cha Cha with music by Iqbal Quereshi.

For Jagdeep, Rafi Saab has sung a few of the great songs like “Paas baitho tabiyat behel jayegee maut bhee agayee tho tal jayegee” from the film Punar Milan which was made in 1964 with music by C Arjun and starring Ameeta, Balraj Sahni & Jagdeep, “Chal udjare panchee ab des uwa begana” from the film Bhabi starring Nanda, Balraj Sahni, Jagdeep and Shyama.

As for Jagdeep he has also starred in the film Bindiya with music by Iqbal Quereshi which starred Padmini and Balraj Sahni

For Mahipal Rafi Saab has sung the following great songs:

1) “Teree duniya se dhoor chale hoke majboor” with Lata Mangeshkar from the film Zabak

2) “Woh jab yaad aaye bahot yaad aaye” & Roshan tumhee se duniya raunak tumhin jahankee” from the film Parasmani

Note: We have tried to present this small piece basically to remember the small time great artists who have over the years have indeed slogged in this Industry. But today who remembers them. Any omissions should hence be pardoned please.

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34 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi – The Voice of the Masses”

  1. I define Mohd Rafi as – “A perfect male singer.” He is matchless. He is devine. His voice suits best to the perfection of a male singer. He is greatest not only as a perfect singer but also as a perfect human being. He stands No 1 apart from other singers. No doubt that where there is “Aawaz”, there is “Saaz’. Music plays role with voice as- “Sone Pe Suhaga”. But in case of Mohd Rafi even if there is no music ,only his voice fulfils the thirst of a listner.”Pyasa” is the example.Sweetness in his voice is full to its capacity to the extent of optimism.He is incomparable. Even Higher Reality will find difficulty to make another singer like Mohd.Rafi.He has a reserved place in one corner of my heart. I am unfortunate that I could not see him in person & could have his glimpse at a close proximity. I could even not had a talk to him. In the whole world I admire & appreciate by heart only selected personalities like Pandurang Shashtri Athavale in Spirituality, Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Politics and Mohd Rafi in the field of Music & Singing. Some people take re- birth due to “VAASANA” but in case of Mohd Rafi Almighty has directly sent him on this Earth i.e. India i.e. Bharat as per HIS WISH to serve the masses & “HE” called Rafi back to the abode of Paradise after fulfilling the Mission of “Singing Amrut”.He is matchless. He is live in the hearts of millions of masses. I worship him in my heart as a special representative\massiah.I feel myself fortunate enough to have attended the funeral of Mohd Rafi after his departure from this Earthly World. Every year on 31st July I pay my sincere & humble homage to the memory of Mohd Rafi in the graveyard at Santacruz. Though he may be dead but his kingdom of singing World is alive. I call him a true Indian Muslim Male Singer with Perfection. He in true sense he sachcha Hindustani lived in India & sang for India & died for India i.e. Bharat. His immortal memory will abide in everyone,s heart for ever. If somebody asks- “What type of voice of a male singer should be ?” I will answer -“Like Mohd Rafi”. His voice is the proof of a perfect male singer. I recommend to the Govt Of India to honour him with the Highest Civilian Award i.e. “Bharat Ratna” It is not like that I am only his admirer. Millions of lovers have fallen in love with his immortal songs. Rafi is exceptional. His contamporaries like Manna Dey , Mahendra Kapoor treated him as their GURU. He should be a model role for present singers.He is perfectionist in singing. I am unable to quote his exact number of my liking songs. He alone as a singer can fulfil my thirst of listening songs. JAI HIND.

  2. anand shetty says:

    Hi. Nitin this is anand your college mate, i too have fond memories of the days gone.
    Pls, send your email id.

  3. I thank all the fans & admirers of this great site for their overwhelming & kind prayers for my speedy recovery & well being. I will still strive very hard till my death puts me apart to entertain with my anecdotes comprising of the facts pertaining to my being in this film industry.
    Friends I joined this industry way back in the year 1948 at the very young age of almost 16 years in the Raj Kapoors film Barsaat which was also the debut break for Shankar-Jaikishan, (who had earlier scored music as the assistants to Ram Gangolli in the year 1947 for the film Aag) Shailendra, Hasrat-Jaipuri, Nimmi and above all a great push back to the nightingale Lata Mangeshkar also.
    I have associated myself in almost 962 songs since 1948 to 1982 and in this span I have worked with the following music Directors as enumerated as follows
    1) R D Burman 372 songs
    2) Shankar-Jaikishan 290 songs
    3) S D Burman 62 songs
    4) Madan Mohan 60 songs
    5) Chitragupt 49 songs
    6) Salil Choudhary 25 songs
    7) Chitalkar (C Ramchandra) 24 songs
    8) O P Nayyar 20 songs
    9) Ravi 16 songs
    10) Iqbal Quereshi 10 songs
    11) Kalyanji-Anandji 10 songs
    12) Laxmikant Pyarelal 09 songs
    13) Usha Khanna 06 songs
    14) Jaidev 05 songs
    15) Ramlal 02 songs
    16) Sonic Omi 02 songs
    Friends though I have never ever worked with the Legend Naushad Saab I would still rate as the all time greatest amongst all his other contemporaries mainly because he himself had that class of touch of his own. I would rate the golden pair of Shankar-Jaikishan in the second best slot mainly because the pair had the best orchestration piece ever under the great & the able arrangement of Dattaram and later with Maruti Keer. The third slot I shall vote to none other than the smart, elegant Madan Mohan all the way and thereafter the rest.

  4. Dearest Sandeep Unclejee — Post 22,
    Aapka comment padkar hamare pairon tale ye choteesee zamin sarak gayee — Unclejee aap khud mein ek Faishta hai — jinhe naaz hai iss hind par woh aaj kahan hai?
    In a very few months of your being in this beautiful site, you have not only won the hearts of several but have indeed shown us all the insight of this bedard industry.
    Jis rehnooma ne aapko “beta” kahe ke pukara hai wohee tho hai hamare sache allah, bhagwan, issayee aur maalik.
    When a “beta” of your calibre has the total aashiwad & above all the duwa of the purest of pure soul like Rafi Saab who will ever have the guts jo aapko hamare beech se uthakar le jane kee taaqat rakhata hai?
    Have faith unclejee aur apne aap pe pura bharosa — Mehboob Khan Sab ne kitna sahee farmaya thha “Mudayee laakh bura chhahe kya hota hai — wohee hota hai jo manjure khuda hota hai!!!
    We all the admirers & fans of Rafi Saab would indeed wish you to complete a century and above all be amongst us always guiding your children like us for many many more years to come.

  5. sabnavees says:

    yesterday i.e on 6th june there was a musical night under the name ‘ rafi sahab ki kahani , beti ki zubani ‘ the programme was behind the shedule by two hours. it was a matter of great excitement for me when rafi sahab;s eldest daughter madam nasreen meraj came to the stage with her husband. just then it rained, but in spite of the rain she stood up on the stage. taking the advantage of the scattering of the people i took the advantage of pushing my self to the stage & stood exactly in front of her. lo ! she looks just like rafi sahab with those plump cheeks, sparkling eyes, soft voice & benevolent smiles. I could not see rafi sahab in my life time, i felt like embracing her feeling as if i am seeing the great farishta in front of me.

  6. Dr. Khaja Aliuddin says:

    Janab Sandeep Nadkarni Saheb, Salam,
    You have to believe Almighty God. Every thing is controlled by him. You are always in my prayers. Be positive, InshaAllah, you will be with us for a long time interacting in our beloved Rafi Sahab’s web-site.
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  7. A S MURTY says:

    Sandeep Nadkarni Sahab,

    having read your comment (post 22) i felt very sad and pray to the almighty to restore your health and give you a very long life. your zindadili however is to be appreciated and we hope to get to read your next article as soon as possible. the moment your article reaches this website, i am sure it will be published to the joy of the multitude of rafi sahab’s fans who adore you.

  8. Raju Korti says:

    respected nadkarnisaab
    your’s is one of the few sane voices on this forum. as rightly pointed out by other well-wishers, we know so many people have emerged victorious from this malady. we all pray for your earliest recovery. and you also have the blessings of the almighty rafisaab himself. the harmony will remain with us.
    raju korti

  9. M V Devraj says:

    Sandeep Nadkarni saab:
    I fervently plead with the Almighty to give you a long life.
    I pray to Him to give you all the strength to continue to favour all of us Rafi Bakths,with
    all your knowledge and experiences.
    May the Lord bless you with his choicest Blessings.
    Warm regards.
    M V Devraj

  10. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Mr. Nadkarni,

    Like binu ji, I too believe in miracles. We have come to know you only recently and enjoyed the interaction with you over the last few months. I personally consider it an honour to have interacted with not only a great musician, but with someone whom rafi saab lovingly addressed as “beta”. I will pray for your recovery; believe me, several of my friends and relatives have recovered from this disease.

    Yours respectfully,

    P. Haldar

  11. Imran Rustam says:

    Very Nice Article…………….

    Really Rafi Sb is the voice of Masses………………… He made many short time actors worth remembering………

    Long Live Rafi SB.


  12. binu nair says:

    Post 22 : sandeep nadkarni saaheb :

    is duniya me aana aur jaaana, uppar waale ke haathon me hai. dor woh keechta hai aur chodtha bhi hai. aap kyon abhi se phikar kar raha hai??? jab waqt aayenge to dekha jaayega…..

    is duniya me gham kisse, kisse nahin hai……

    now please read this.

    mr. vijay nafde , a close friend of mohd rafi and a music collector was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder by doctors – some ten years back and written off.
    he is much alive even today. he attends music listening sessions in dadar, mumbai. “My music keeps me alive” he declares matter-of-factly to his close friends.

    i am too sure you know mr.vijay nafde.

    binu nair :

  13. Post 17 – Nitinbhanje,
    Shayad pehlee baar aapka comment is site mein padha aur laga ke aaj bhee is duniya mein chand dilwale rehete hai.

    Dear friends do you all ever think I have hidden somewhere and if so for what reason?

    Personally I do not like keeping a mobile with me and hence I have no cell contacts, as regards my e-mail ID, though I own a computer & internet facility I have yet to establish myself with a proper e-mail ID. The one and the only article which I had written & published in this beautiful site namely Mohammed Rafi – The Greatest Magician was arranged through my good old friend Mr Nitin D Dhareshwar and his counterpart Mr D P Bijoor. Friends these 2 personalities are presently holding the management positions in one of the popular & leading Scheduled Banks.

    Chupane kee aadat mujhe nahee hai dostoon, but the old age of almost 77 years makes me count my each day very minutely. Last month I was indeed in Mumbai and desperately wanted to meet the dearest Nitinbhanja, but my hectic & tiring schedule did not allow me the opportunity.
    For almost a weeks period I had to be admitted to the Tata Hospital for certain urgent check-ups and ultimately I was diagnosed as a prolonged & last stage of the dreaded disease Cancer.
    The signal has been given for only 5 to 6 months and thereafter “Kar chale hum fida jane tan saathiyon ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon”

    Doston hame marne ka gam naheee hai, ke hum jiye tho kis ke liye jiye? However these remaining few months left for me will be very crucial period of my life.

    Dear friends before my end day arrives I shall promise to try & write my entire life sketch of my being in this Industry which I have already started to pen down & hope to complete the same within a few days. I sincerely hope the Administrator Mr Pradeepjee of will cooperate & publish the proposed last article for me.

  14. Jae-Bee says:

    You are very welcome Mr. pmc thangal and you can get that song from you tube by just typing O meri baby doll.
    Also, to all rafi fans in this coloumn how can we forget one of the best gems(rock & roll) picturised on an unknown from the movie Gumnaam md. sj ” Jaan pehchaan ho, jeena asaan ho” the song was also used in one hollywood movie.

  15. pmc thangal says:

    mr.jae-bee,thanks a lot for mentioning the name of the filim o..meri’ baby doll.i will have to search and find out it to downlord that song.

  16. Narayan says:

    Post 17 Nitinbhai,
    We all at Baar Baar Rafi Fan Club, Bangalore fully endorse your heart to heart comments and we would like to do Charan Vandan to Sandeep Uncleji…
    Please provide us ur mob numbr to contact you which you can sms at 9886779557 or email at

  17. Jae-Bee says:

    Another Rafisahab’s gem picturised on comedian Brahmachari from the movie Adhikar(1971) md r.d.burman and song is Rekha O Rekha jabse tumeh dekha. The song was very popular even during the wave of kk sahab. There is one more picturised on comedian Rajendranath from movie Mela md r.d.burman and song goes something like Meri Maatao, Meri Behno.

  18. We sincerely appreciate and thank all the erstwhile writers from this great site for their beautiful views & suggestions posted in respect of our article Mohammed Rafi – The Voice of the Masses published on 17/05/2009.

    However while closely monitoring the comments of our dearest Mr. Sandeep Nadkarni the undersigned would like to reiterate that we still & shall forever remember those golden days when we frequently used to visit the small restaurant situated in Matunga and the other one being in Colaba besides the Regal Cinema. Those were the days when we normally used to be in the August Company of our dear friend Peter who was amongst one of the great artists from the R D Burman Camp and one of the ardent admirers of our beloved king of melody Mohammed Rafi Saab.
    Sandeep Uncle such memories can never ever be forgotten so easily as you have elaborated in your comments mainly since they are still in-fact very close to our heart & soul and hence most difficult to erase so easily.

    Uncle it has almost been the other way round where we in the best of our ability and above all patience have tried to locate you & meet you in person but we are extremely sorry to say that our all round efforts in searching you have totally gone in vain and hence we are left with no other alternative than to simply recite a small verse from the beautiful rendition by Rafi Saab who truly said “Chupane wale saamane aa chup chup key mera jee na jala”

    We all sincerely hope for better things to prevail upon you Unclejee, if you can arrange to come out of the hidden shell and let us all have your brief bio data including your complete residential address & indeed contact details like telephone, cell and e-mail address which will enable all of us to have an glimpse & insight of that beautiful world in which a human being of the excellence of Mr Sandeep Nadkarni is indeed still running very strongly & living so peacefully.

    I on behalf of all the dear fans & admirers of Rafi Saab pray to the Almighty to usher on you his choicest blessings and may you continue to entertain all of us with that equal love & affection for several more years to come.

    Jate Jate Rafi Saab ka ek khubsoorat sa naghma yaad aya Sandeep Unclejee jo main aapke shagird mein pesh kartna chahata hoon “Tere Naam Ka Deewana Tere Ghar Ko Dhoondtha Hai”

    Mr. Nitin D Dhareshwar

  19. Jae-Bee says:

    Mr. pmc thangal
    The song you are referring O meri baby doll – is from the movie Ek phool chaar kante *ing Sunil Dutt-Waheeda Rehman md. SJ

  20. Narayan says:

    Dear Bijoor bhai and Nitin bhai,
    Adaab Rafi !
    Once again you have touched our love for Rev Rafi sahab in a unique way. For our Guruji the hero can be anyone but he puts his full soul to each of the songs sung for Hero to beggar to background to character artistes…
    My hearty congrats to both of you.
    Girish Prahladji..
    Thanks for the input on rare songs one more instantly comes to mind is “tu Hindu bangega na Musalaman banega ” for Manmohan Krishna.. which became a Cult song..

  21. Utthara says:

    Bijoorji and Dareshwarji, a fantastic article. Rafi saab sang with same dedication irrespective of artistes, music directors and lyricists. Most songs became famous though movies flopped. Your well-researched write-up is a collector’s delight . One more song that comes to mind is the beautiful Meri zindagi tere pyar mein hum kahan kahan se guzar gaya sung by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur and picturised on Rajendranath for Jee Chahta Hai.



  22. pmc thangal says:

    dear bijoorji & nitinji, thank you both for having written this informative article-even though little, it is precious one.there are melodious songs in the filims like fashonable wife,miss india,miss bombay chandini chowk and dhosti. sung by unfamiliar actors .mention me if u know in which filim the song “o..o..meri baby doll..” belongs .rafi saab had sung this song very sweetly.those who know about it pl. write in this colm.

  23. Dear Mr D P Bijoorjee & Mr Nitin Dhareshwarjee,
    Great write-up as usual and the subject indeed marvelous mainly since there always have been the closer moments of life and something beyond the horizon which I personally presume you both feel & write so eloquently. And this aspect I have noticed in almost all of your articles.

    Mr Nitin Dhareshwar especially since I have met him on several occasions when I and my dear friend Mr Peter used to frequent a small restaurant situated in Matunga and Nitin used to be one amongst us, though he might not remember me and those days very clearly. This was in those days when I was settled in Mumbai and was still a very much a part of the industry

    Nitin Saab altogether had a different attitude and respect for the greatest and he was also amongst one of those very few who thoroughly enjoyed Mohammed Rafi Saab, the golden voice and human being of the greatest values.

    “Jiske Dil mein itna pyaar ho wohee is duniya ko aur khoobsoorat banata hai”

    Please maintain the spirit continuing and let us have some more such beautiful articles from both of you.

  24. mohamedparvez says:


  25. girish prahalad says:


    Here is one rare gem – Rafisaab singing for Dadamoni

    If anybody needs the crystal clear audio version of this song
    please mail to


  26. Very nice article Bijoorji and Nitinji.

  27. girish prahalad says:

    Bijoor saab

    A very nice write-up on a very nice topic. It is indeed Rafisaab’s greatness that he never allowed his voice to be stereotyped for a particular class / genre of movies nor reserve his voice only for topflight heroes /popular artistes .

    Some songs that readily come to mind that he has sung for
    lesser known heroes / characters some of whom are popular and some not so –

    all the songs of Dosti – sudhir & sushil kumar
    nanhe munne bacche – david – boot polish
    agar me poochoon jawab – ajit & raagini – shikari
    dil ka na karna aitbaar – ajit & meena kumari – halaku
    aaja ke intezar mein – ajit & meena kumari – halaku
    mohabbat zinda rehthi hai – premnath – chengiz khan
    taqdeer ka fasaana- prashanth – Sehra
    mast nazar ki kataar – prashanth – Sehra
    tum to pyaar ho – prashanth & sandhya – Sehra
    ja ja jaare – prashanth & sandhya – Sehra
    deewana aadmi ko banati hai – agha – kali topi lal rumal
    ya kehde hum insaan nahin – nirupa roy & a beggar in the movie – Chhaya
    tujhe kya sunaon mein – shekhar – Aakhri Dao
    chun chun karti aayi – yakub – ab dilli door nahin
    bina tumhare mazaa – chandrashekhar – street singer
    mile na phool – parikshit sahni – anokhi raat

    and the list goes on……

  28. A S MURTY says:

    thanks for the info Gurumurthyji. I had seen the movie very long back and hence could not recollect the character of jhonny walker.

  29. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    Murthy Saab,

    The song “Tu Hi Meri Lakshmi” was picturised on Jhonny Walker in the film DUNIYA starring Dev and Vyjayanti.

  30. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Dear M/s Bijoor and Nitin,

    Very very informative article, as I did not know some of actors name you have mentioned. Many many thanks for providing such valuable information.

    Thanks and best regards.


  31. N.MURTY says:

    Bijoor sahab,excellent topic.well written.Enjoyed it thoroughly.A.S.Murty sahab the song you mentioned:tu hi meri lakshmi is from film Duniya,1969,picturised on Johniewalker and Lakshmi Chaya.

  32. Gan Sharma says:

    Dear bijoor saab and dareshwar saab,

    Thanks for a thoroughly researched article on an excellent topic. Very relevant, sicne Rafi saab gave a 100% irrespective of who he was singing for, and your piece on Rafi saab’s singing for lesser-known artists proves the point.


  33. biman baruah says:

    respected bijoor sahab great write-up on rafi saheb and least known actors who gain popularity because of hit rafi gems picturised on them. i would like to add two more great songs picturised on Chandrasekher, “Bombay Hamari Bombay , Yeh Raaj Dulari Bomay” and “Ghar Ka Murgi Dal Barabar” from Street Singer.
    “Yeh Zendegi Ke Mele, Duniya Mein Kaam Na Hoonge” from Mela , “Chal Udd Ja Re Panchi, Ab Yeh Desh Huwa Begana” Bhabhi and “Aadmi Musafir Hai, Aaata Hai Jata Hai” from Apnapaan are greatest rafi gems ever picturised on least known artist and are my personal favorite too.

    awaiting for more write-up from you again & again . with best wishes & warm regards to all rafi lovers.

    biman, sivasagar, assam

  34. A S MURTY says:

    bijoor sahab, once again you have come up with astonishing topic and a well researched one too. great work as always. like you wrote towards the end, most of us indeed do not remember any of those artistes now, but the songs that rafi sahab sang for them live for ever. I faintly remember one more song : tu hi meri lakshmi tu hi meri chhaya is duniya mein aaya to teri khatir aaya, o lakshmi chhaya” picturised on perhaps rajendranath the comedian. please correct me if i am wrong about the character, but that song too was a big hit in those days.

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