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Mohd Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur Duets

This article is written by Mr. R.Padmanabhan

Mohd Rafi and Suman KalyanpurThe dawn of independent India saw the blossoming of, perhaps the greatest singer this country has produced who answered to the name of Mohammed Rafi. Even to this day the vocal magic of Rafi Saab is embellishing the musical shelves of Rafi Saab’s aficionados. Why is he rated the greatest is a matter of conjecture, but the fact cannot be gainsaid that he had done full justice to any song we were and still are privileged to hear. The myriad moods and emotions every song requires are best brought out by the vocal genius of Rafi saab.

Even diehard fanatics of Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood, great singers as they were would grudgingly agree that Rafi Saab was the cock of the walk as far as playback singing is concerned. In fact one can easily visualise who the artiste is from the style of rafi saab’s rendering. Meherbaan Likhoon is the song of Rajender Kumar, koi sagar dil ko is the lament of Dilip Kumar, Sar jo tera chakraaye is the comic voice of Johnny Walker and Chahe koi Mujhe Junglee is the typical outburst of Shammi kapoor. There are many other examples but the paucity of space limits the numbers.

Mohd Rafi with Suman Kalyanpur, Hasrat and Jaikishan on Harmonium
Mohd Rafi with Suman Kalyanpur, Hasrat and Jaikishan on Harmonium

Though Rafi Saab’s solos are precious gems and his duets with the sisters, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle far outnumber those duets with another talented singer, Suman Kalyanpur, the latter also find a pride of place in the hearts of film music lovers. I list hereunder some of the gems:

1. Ajahun aaye Baalma, a classic from Saanjh Aur Savera, a Shankar-Jaikishan composition.
2. Aaj Kal Ter Mere, a lilting melody from the same composers.
3. Dil-e-Betaab ko seene se Lagaana hoga, a melliflous composition from the rich repertoire of Naushaad Saab
4. Chand takta hai Idhar, from Doojh ka chand by Roshan Saab.
5. Itna hai tumse pyaar mujhe, a romantic song from Suraj-another S-J contribution.
6. Baad Muddat se yeh ghadi aayee, a song based on Chaaya nut raga from the ghazal maestro Madan Mohan from Jahan Ara.
7. Ke jaan chali jaaye, from the film Anjaana, a Laxmi-Pyare composition.
8. Maine ae Jaane Wafaa Tumse Mohabbat ki hai from Bedaag-Roshan Saab.
9. Tumse O Haseena Kabhi Mohabbat, from the film Farz, another Laxmi-Pyare contribution.
10. Na Na Karte pyaar tumhin Se kar Baithe, from Jab Jab Pjool Khile,a Kalyanji-Anandji composition.
11. Thehriye Hosh Mein Aaloon , a beautifully romantic contribution Of Khayyam Saab from Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain.
12. Mujhe yeh phool na de tere dilbharon ki kasam from Gazal-a Madan Mohan product.

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53 Blog Comments to “Mohd Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur Duets”

  1. Amogh says:

    One song that has been missed out in the comments so far is the classical number ‘Man Mohan Man Mein Ho Tum Hi’ based on Raga Adana from the film ‘Kaise Kahoon’. Here Suman almost outdoes Rafi and that’s no mean feat!

  2. Suresh says:

    Well said Mr. Padmanabhan !

    Suman Kalyanpur never got the acknowledgements that her talents deserved. In fact I personally feel that the monopolistic stranglehold exercised by the Mangeshkars has come at a cost. Deserving singers like Suman never really got the entertain us to the extent they could and should have.

    VS/France

  3. sa says:

    If Suman’s singing style is monotonous as compared to Lata. then what is Lata’s compared to Asha.: The Enchantress?? Asha can sing any number in any style. Lata’s songs can be heard only when you want to sleep not otherwise. Asha deserves Bharat Ratna to her sister.

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