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Rafi Duets with Lata and Asha

This article is written by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy.

Rafi Duets with Lata and AshaMohammed Rafi Sahab has sung plenty of duets with many female Singers, but quantity-wise, duets with Asha and Lata stand out. It is gathered that Rafiji has sung about 903 duets with Asha and about 447 with Lata. The huge difference was perhaps due to Rafi-Lata’s rift for about three years and consequently the higher number of duets of Rafi- Asha during that period. One more reason was the preference of MDs like OPN to have only Rafi and Asha.

Which duets were better, whether it was with Lata or Asha? A very difficult question to answer and the safest bet will be to say that both were equally good. But let us analyse.

Before any analysis is carried out, it is better to list out some of the duets of Rafiji with both Lata and Asha so that we do not miss out any significant aspect or Khubi in their duet songs. I have listed down some of the duets in the following paragraphs, not in any particular order, but definitely more importance given to soft and melodious songs and loud songs are ignored.

Rafiji and Lataji’s duets immediately bring to our mind songs like, “Yeh Dil Deewana Hai” (ISHQ PE ZOR NAHIN), “Tasveer Teri Dilme” (MAYA), “Dil Pukare” (JEWEL THIEF), “Tum To Pyaar Ho” (SEHARA), “Agar Main Poonchu” (SHIKARI), “Jeeta Hi Lenge Baazi Hum Tum” (SHOLA AUR SHABNAM), “Tere Husnaki” and “Ek Shahanshahne” (LEADER), “Yeh Parbaton Ke Dayare” (VAASNA), “Rim Zhim Ke” (ANJAANA), “Tuzhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se” (ASLI NAQLI), “Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya” (SUVARNA SUNDARI), “Woh Hai Zara Kafa Kafa” (SHAGIRD), “Rut Bekaraar Hai” (MAA AUR MAMTA), “Chaand Jaane Kahan Kho Gaya” (MAI CHUP RAHUNGI), “Humne Aajase Tumhe” (RAJA BABU), “Jo Vada Kiya Wo” (TAJ MAHAL), “Meri Duniya” (HEER RANZHA), “Sun More Sajana Re, Dekhoji Muzhko Bhool Na Zana”, etc. Well the list is endless.

Rafi, Lata and Dattaram

If the above songs are closely listened to and observed, it is revealed that both Rafi and Lata being supremely gifted matched each other especially when the songs were at lower pitch like that of IPZN, Leader, Heer Ranzha songs, etc. Melody was maintained throughout the song. The only negative point was, as clearly revealing in the song of Maya (Naino Ka Kajra, Piya Tera Gum), Lataj’s voice became shrill at higher pitches where as Rafi’s voice was rock steady at all pitches. But both were absolute masters when it came to classical, even Carnatic as in SS song. But we have not heard many qawali duets by these two great singers except perhaps “Kya Kya Na Sahe” from MERE HUZOOR, if this song can be considered as a qawali.

Another noticeable fact was that whenever it came to saying or speaking few words in-between a song, some how it always appeared odd (unlike in the case of KK or Asha), perhaps because we were only prepared to listen to their songs at which both of them were so good and melodious, but not spoken words, which always looked bit artificial and not as spontaneous as their singing. Of course, it is my personal opinion. Except OPN, this pair was used by all the MDs. But this pair was especially used in many songs by LP and KA.

As for as Rafi – Asha duets are concerned, one can easily recall “Abhi Na Jao Chodakar” (HUM DONO), “Yeh Dekhake Dil Zhooma” (KASHMIR KI KALI), “Chura Liya Hai” (YAADON KI BARAAT), “Main Soya Ankhiyan Meeche” (PHAGUN), “Main Pyaar Ka Rahi Hun” and “Bahut Shukriya” (EK MUSAFIR EK HASINA), “Maangake Saath Tumhara” (NAYA DAUR), “Hoton Pe Hasin” (SAWAN KI GHATA), “Pucho Na Yaar Kya Hua” (ZAMANE KO DOKHANA HAI), “O Mere Sonare” (TEESRI MANZIL), “Tumhe Mai, Agar Apna Saathi Banalun” (SHATRANJ), “Raat Ke Humsafar” (AN EVENING IN PARIS), “Sawan Aaye” (DIL DIYA DARD LIYA), “Muzhe Pyaar Ki” (PYAAR KA SAGAR), “Phir Miloge Kabhi” and “Aapse Meri Jaan” (YEH RAAT PHIR NA AAYEGI), “Panchi Re O Panchi” (HARE KAANCH KI CHOODIYAN), “Humne To Dilko Aapake” (MERE SANAM), “Jis Dinse Maine Tumko Dekha Hai” (PARWANA), “Suno Suno Ms. Chatterjee” (BAHAREN PHIR BHI AAYENGI), etc., the list is again long.

Mohdrafi with Prem Dhawan, Asha B, Rajkapoor and Shankar-Jaikishan

If these songs are observed carefully, melody was always maintained, whether it was at lower pitch (Hum Dono, Phagun, YKB, PKS) or higher pitch, but still there is a feeling that Rafiji was more steady at higher octave, as in the case of KKK song. Rafiji goes high in the first and third stanza (Dil Aaj Khushi Se Pagal Hai and Barson Se Phiza Ka Mausam Tha), but Asha at the same time in the second stanza maintains her low voice (Tinake Ki Tarah Main Beh Nikli), perhaps OPN wanted it that way. Similar is the case in YRPNA song. But Asha appeared to be ahead of Lata while singing at higher zone. The pair was also good while singing classical (DDDL) as well as qawalis. In fact in most of qawalis, the female singer was always Asha. The pair was also adept at singing comedy songs. This pair was also used by all the MDs but major percentage was by OPN, followed at a distance by RDB and Ravi.

As most of these duets were plain and simple romantic songs, not much of feelings were involved but having heard so many songs of all these Singers, we can safely conclude that Lata was ahead of Asha in this region of expressing feelings in the songs. Lataji’s songs always touched the heart where as Asha’s songs appeared more melodious and rhythmic perhaps due to OPN.

Of course, it should be admitted that we enjoyed both their duets and were lucky that their peek coincided with our time. Hence, my personal opinion is that both the duets were equally good. I personally would prefer to listen to both Lata and Asha duets, one song at a time, alternatively. In fact, there was a period especially in sixties when each film used to have duets of both Lata and Asha with Rafi.

Having sung so many wonderful songs with Rafiji, the alleged opinion or scheming of Lata and especially Asha is unbelievable. I personally feel that people have either misunderstood them or deliberately spreading false news. Such great artistes cannot have scheming or dirty mind. Some misunderstandings between two individuals can always be expected. Moreover, in the same web site, I read an article listing the condolence messages of different film personalities when Rafiji expired. Asha, it seems broke down in between and could not complete her statement where as Lataji’s words on Rafiji in the Shraddanjali cassette clearly reveals the respect she had for Rafiji. Perhaps, the sisters could have been more transparent and come out with rejoinders whenever they were misquoted.

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66 Blog Comments to “Rafi Duets with Lata and Asha”

  1. Binu Nair says:

    jaisa bhagwan ram ko ayothya se vanvaas beja gaya, waise hi industry ke music walle rafi saaheb ko “wanwaas” (exile) karna chaaha, 1970 ke baad.

    who were these people? what was the “grand design” for ? did some of the “legends” who did not see “eye to eye” with rafi saaheb involved and if yes, to what extent.
    and, was rafi saaheb suddenly lose his amar voice “so suddenly” and with it – the confidence to sing.

    the truth always prevails even though – belatedly like our judicial system. rafi saaheb had a short “vanvas” only and many a great music shows around the world during this spell of his “detractors” having the upper hand – thanks mainly to supporters of class music : usha khanna, l & P, madan mohan, rr and a host of mohd rafi loyalists.

    i expect my critics to “write” on these matters with a cool mind and without personal attacks for it will show – they do not have valid points.

    binu nair : mumbai,

  2. Ajay says:


    Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi Duets….
    Lata Mangeshkar and Mohamad Rafi have sung total 407 numbers of the duet songs, from 1947 to 1981. Lata-Rafi duets have maximum share with Laxmikant-Pyarelal (78 Songs). I am highlighting few of them…

    Let us enjoy Lata Mangeshkar – Mohammad Rafi & Laxmikant-Pyarelal, combination.

    Woh Jab Yaad Aaye Bahot Yaad Aaye
    ’’ Parasmani’’ (1963)
    The very fist duet of Lata-Rafi with LP. The song is based on Indian Classical Raag. The perfact sentimental love duet. It has a melody of 60s. The song is penned by Indiver.

    Bagh Main Phool Kisane Khilaye Hai
    ’’ Night In London’’ (1967)
    Typical LP style Dholak but very sweet song. The song is written by Anand Baxi.

    Woh Hai Zara
    Dil Bil Pyar Vyar Main Kya Janu Re
    ’’ Shagird’’ (1967)
    The first one is Foot Stepping western style song is Immortal Duet of Lata-Rafi. The other one is Most Popular Melodious song. Personal favorites of Lata. These songs are penned by Mazarooh Sultanpuri.

    Mizaje Girami Dua Hai Aap Ki
    “Jaal” (1967)
    This beautiful melodious song is written by Raja Mehandi Ali Khan.

    Ye Dil Tum Bin Kahin Lagata Nahin
    ’’Izazat’’ (1968)
    Based on Indian Clasical Raag ’pahadi’ is yet another sweet melody. The song is written by Sahir Ludhiyanwi.

    Badara Chhaye Ke
    Saathiya Nahin Jaana
    ’’Aaya Sawan Zum Ke’’ (1968)
    Typical indian folk dance songs. Sweet melody, excellent use of ’theka’ of ’dholak’. The songs are written by Anand Baxi. The first one being rainy song is still as fresh as ever.

    Ek Tera Saath Humko Do Jahan Se Pyara Hai
    ’’Wapas’’ (1968)
    This ear pleasing sweet song is also based on Indian Classical Raag. Excellent use of Tabala. Delicately sung by both Lata-Rafi. The song is written by Mazarooh Sultanpuri. This is a non star cast film the star cast are unknown

    Resham Ki Dori
    ’’Sajan’’ (1968)
    This Punjabi Folk song has a class of it’s own. Penned by Anand Baxi. .

    Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara
    ’’Do Raste’’(1969)
    This super hit song which has class and mass appeal. You can here the glimpses of Shiv Kumar Sharma’s santoor in between the song. The song is written by Anand Baxi

    Rim Zim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye ’’Anjana’’ (1969) Based on Indian Classical Raag, has sweet melody.

    Teri Haseen Nigahon Ka ’’Devi (1970)
    Marveleously sung by Lata and Rafi. Anand Baxi.

    Zil Mil Sitaron Ka ’’Jeevan Mrityu’’ (1971) Immortal song. One of favorite of all music lovers. Anand Baxi. Dharmendra-Raakhi.

    Aa Mere Humjoli Aa ’’Jine Ki Raah’’ (1970)
    Yet another folk song for mass and class. You excellent use of Santoor(Played by Shiv Kumar Sharma), Dholak. The song is penned by Anand Baxi. Picturised on Jitendra and Tanuja.

    Dil Main Kya Hai
    Phool Hai Bahron Ka
    “Jigari Dost” (1970)
    These are two beautiful melodies..The second one being fast track song. Lyrics Anand Baxi.

    Patta Patta Buta Buta Hal Hamara Jane
    ’’Ek Nazar’’ (1970) Typical Gazal song. But very well composed, penned by Mazarooh Sultanpuri. This song is picturised on Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri.

    Ye Zulph Kaisi Hai ’’Piya Ka Ghar’’ (1971)
    Melodious song. Anand Baxi. .

    Kuchh Kehata Hai Ye Sawan
    “Mera Gaon Mera Desh” (1971)
    Yet another Punjabi Folk song. Excellent melody. Anand Baxi.

    Tik Tik Mera Dil Dole
    Hi Re Hi Nind Nahin Aaye
    “Humjolo” (1972)
    The first one in spite of Cabaret Song, has melody as well as western style composition. The second one is sweetest melody of it’s own in LP style. Anand Baxi.

    Das Gayi Das Gayi
    “Himmat” (1971)
    Fast Track . Anand Baxi.

    Itana To Yaad Hai Muze
    “Mehaboob Ki Mehandi” (1974)
    The sweetest Melody. The dolak played on this song has a class. Anand Baxi.

    Koyal Kyon Gaye
    Muze Teri Muhobbat Ka
    ” Aap Aaye Bahar Aayiee” (1974)
    The first one fast track duet and the second one is serious song. Anand Baxi

    Tere Sang Jeena
    “Naach Uthe Sansar” (1974)
    Extremely high pitch, but nicely sung and composed on folk tune. Anand Baxi.

    Aaja Teri Yaad Aayi
    “Charas” (1976)
    Sung on very high pitch is yet another melody song.
    Anand Baxi.

    Dafaliwale Dafali Baja
    Koyal Boli and
    Parabat Ke Us Paar
    “Sargam” (1979)
    This film has three Lata-Rafi duets and all three are outstanding…all the songs have been written by Anand Baxi.

    Aadmi Musafir Hai
    “Arpan” (1979)
    Penned by Anand Baxi.

    Aasha O Ke Sawan Main
    “Asha” (1980).
    A very sweet melody. Anand Baxi.

    Attharah Baras Ki Tu Hone Ko Aayee “Suhag” (1980)
    Anand Baxi.

    Ladaki Pasand Ki
    “Ram Balaram” (1980)
    Anand Baxi.

  3. Binu Nair says:

    when i write a comment based on facts in this thread, why this gentleman is running away and posting his replies in other threads??? i cant understand this.

    also, why he is bringing “maa Saraswati” herein as rafi lovers are fully aware about the row this singer had with rafi ji – many a times. why is he defending the indefensible????

    as far as singing and talent goes we respect their voices and contributions but not their “behind the curtaint” talents and “special” skills -which are public now.

    binu nair.

  4. xxx says:

    ref to p 42 of binu nair sahab,

    sir, you are absolutely right regarding sonu nigam, he faced many difficulties bcoz of being rafi bhakt, here is link to the interview where he is mentioning that rafi name was taboo in the recording rooms::

  5. xxx says:

    ref to p 43::

    excellent choice of song by mr.haldar, “dekh humein aawaz na dena”, c.ramchandra was one of the best md from 50s, although he did only 20 songs with rafi ji, but all of them were gems… cr was very melodious::

    by the way here is one of the finest duet ever recorded in industry, music by roshan, sung by rafi ji and lata ji::

    here is another one by great naushad::

  6. anil cherian says:

    Thanx, Haldar sir for the duet. I haven’t heard it before, it is a fab. song. I feel Ashaji (no disrespect to her) couldn’t quite measure up to Rafisahab when it comes to conveying emotions and accompanied voice modulations (Just as the actress couldn’t when compared to Shammiji).

  7. P. Haldar says:

    In his article, guru murthy ji writes:

    “Another noticeable fact was that whenever it came to saying or speaking few words in-between a song, some how it always appeared odd (unlike in the case of KK or Asha), perhaps because we were only prepared to listen to their songs at which both of them were so good and melodious, but not spoken words, which always looked bit artificial and not as spontaneous as their singing.”

    Please listen to the following rafi-asha duet (or exchange of words?) from janwar and judge for yourself.

  8. P. Haldar says:

    If I’m not mistaken, mrs. hope sang her first song (could be her second) in Hindi films with Rafi saab. That was in the late 40s. Till around 1956, most of her songs would actually be duets with Rafi saab. In that period, there were many films where she would only sing duets with Rafi saab. That is not surprising given the popularity of geeta dutt and lata m. In 1957, she would make major breakthroughs as a duet singer in four films: naya daur and tumsa nahin dekha (o. p. nayyar), and nau do gyarah and paying guest (s. d. burman). The last two films would feature very popular duets with kishore da. With nau do gyarah, goldie anand and rafi saab would enter the navketan camp. Along with asha ji, rafi saab would sing one of the most sensuous duets in films, “aaja panchhi akela hai”:

    Dev anand is seen here with his would-be wife. There’s another rafi-asha duet in the film which didn’t become that popular:

    but the conversational style of singing that burman da set in this song would be put to devastating effect in the following year; here’s “achha ji main hari chalo”, one of the most playful songs ever:

    Along with this song, several other rafi-asha duets celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. I would like to pick a couple of them. Here’s “zameen se hame asman par” from adalat (madan mohan):

    and “dekh hamen awaaz na dena” from amar deep (c. ramchandra):

    But the mother of all duets was yet to come; that would come after around three years. In between, o. p. nayyar would slowly start swaying to mrs. hope’s tune, moving away from geeta di. And s. d. burman would also start using mrs. hope more and more, given that miss ivy had picked up a fight with the maestro and geeta di had started becoming unpredictable.

  9. Binu Nair says:

    jisko proof chaahiye pls meet sonu nigam :

    some people want proof : yes pls meet sonu nigam and ask for proof about what happened when he entered the music industry post 1980.

    sonu is on record saying that the name of mohd rafi was taboo in the recording rooms. pls take name of any singer but not mohd rafi. proof seekers pls write to sonu nigam and he will tell and bare it all. i admire people like sonu nigam and other rafi centric singers who have the guts to tell the facts as it comes. pls remember that rafi saaheb has “blessed” these singers. the so-called legends were jealous of rafi saahebs popularity and even today – it has not stopped. doubters pls read sonu nigams remarks in this site itself after doing some search.

    binu nair.

  10. Binu Nair says:

    Sanjay ji : i am with your observations. there are so many gems of rafi saaheb from the period 48 to 1960 which rafi lovers ought to listen to.

    at our saturday night rafi “fever” live programmes at mumbai, we take two songs repeatedly and these are rafi saaheb personal favourites.
    a. Jaayega jab yahan se, kuch bhi na saath hoga, do gaz zameen ka tukda, tera libaaz hoga from film moti mahal. the co singer madhubala jhaveri was the guest during the function.

    b the second song is : kehke bhi na aaye tum, chup ne lage taare – a c.ramchandra gem possibly the first song picturised on ashok kumar if i am not wrong. with this song, ashok kumar stopped giving playback – in 1948 itself as rafi the new singer of the block was creating musical “waves”

    binu nair : rafi foundation, mumbai : 9833 250 701.

  11. Binu Nair says:

    ignorance is bliss for many but remember that “nothing” can belittle rafi saaheb and his works. during his lifetime and even thereafter we find people finding faults with the genial singer. this people may live for a few years more but let me mention here a true rafi lovers words as told to me : “rafi saaheb will be worshipped for hundreds of years but these men and women will be forgotten once they leave this world”. this gentleman from delhi arranges a truly great rafi tribute programme in the month of july every year and takes out an advertisement in the newspapers on july 31 tributing bharat ka ratna – shri mohd rafi saaheb.

    binu nair….. the rafi foundation, mumbai :

  12. Binu Nair says:

    suraj ji : my sources are from the filmfare and screen magazines whose music critics are rafi saaheb lovers. they cannot open-ly tell things as they are in a profession. they have to sail with the current as its their living which will be at risk. but , remember , that every rafi lover has a heart and a bigger conscience than these two minute critics – who will doubt everything. they are too naive too to understand the dirty things some of the people play in the dirt infested music industry. they also stay too far to get to know about the “filth” about the industry. good luck to them and to their ignorance.

    binu nair.

  13. Dear Shri. Sanjay Aroraji,

    Please refer your Post No. 37. I would like to clarify as follows.

    The particular article was about Rafi’s duets with Lata and Asha and hence, only such duets were referred. In fact, I have written an article on “Rafis other duets” which was uploaded on the web site on 06.02.08 which covered Rafiji’s duets with Singers other than Lata, Asha and Suman Kalyanpur, like Geeta Dutt, Sharada, etc. In the article on “Rafi’s rift with Lata” (published on 18.08.07), Rafi’s duets with Suman Kalyanpur are covered. Rafi’s male duets are covered in the article “Mohd. Rafi with other male singers” (published on 10.05.07). Usually the articles are on a particular facet of Rafiji’s singing versatality covering different topics. Any how sir, I thank you for your valuable suggestions.

  14. SANJAY ARORA says:




  15. suraj says:

    binu ji: long ago i had advised you to use a small, cheap mp3 recorder to record your interview with people like shakti samanta, manohari singh, etc. people always want proof on statements and such a recording could provide that. of course, i know you weren’t present at the room where asha made her remarks. truth be told, i believe you. those people trying to deny this are being very naive. asha bhonsle is indeed very crafty. i too would be very interested in recordings of interviews with music personalities. i doubt they’ll object.

  16. sayyed says:

    this is sayyed .. a ardent of mohd rafi since childhood…
    by the grace of almighty i can sing any of rafi song ..
    can any one give me chance to sing any program..
    plz do help me in this regard.

    i love you all


  17. ramesh kumar says:

    dear salim bhai,
    i fully agree with you regarding the fake and almost rediculous sort of view expressed by binu nair sahib.HOW CAN HE SAY THAT SORT OF THINGS WHEN HE DONT HAVE ANY PROOF AT ALL I MYSELF HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT SORT OF DIRTY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED THING IN MY ENTIRE LIFE OF 40 YRS.

  18. Binu Nair says:

    Invitation: on may 18th a sunday, a programme : aasmaan se aaya farishta is being held at Mira road, next to dahisar, near mumbai at 6.30 p.m.

    already giant billboards have been put up by the organisers who are ardent rafi saaheb fans. the grand rafi musical is being held under the banner of rafi foundation and rafi lovers are welcome to attend it.

    the venue : gcc club ground; for members and invitees only.

    Singers : Kakaji Naushad, Fahad, Pallavi raghav, vohra ji, Kumar and others.

    for more details and a musical evening of rafi saaheb songs : pls contact :

    binu nair : + 9833 250 701 or write to

  19. Shad Khan says:

    What I meant to say in my previous post “When will we get to see a show on the Great Rafi Sahab….”. Sorry for the oversight.

  20. Shad Khan says:

    When will we get to see a TV show like the recent Sony TV show on Kishore Kumar (K for Kishore)? Also, in it, Asha Ji indicated that she sang maximum duets with Kishoreda and also kept praising him as the best singer ever. I wonder why?

  21. vikas sharma says:

    salim bhai,
    i agree with u .yeh site rafi sahib ke kiye hai paar kuch bevakuf log rafi sahib or dusare mahan singers ke baare main ulta sidha likh kar apne aap ko bahut bada fan dekhana chahte hai.Yeh saab galat hai sare singer jaise ki rafi sahib,mukesh ji,kishore da ,lata mangeshkar,asha bhonsle saab apas main bahut he mil jul kar raha karte the or ek dusre ki izzat kiya karte they .Competion apne jagah paar tha lekin yeh sabi ek dusre ki respect kiya karte the or ek dusare ko chahte they.

    Lekin kuch log apna aap ko rafi sahib ka bada fan mante hai or befajul politics ki baatein kar rahe hai .Unke paas na to koi proof hai or na he kuch or vo pagal hai jine pagalkhane bhej dena chahiye.

  22. Mehboob says:

    I think that Lata had one over her sister when it came to duets with Rafi saab.
    Lata duets that come to mind not mentioned in the article are as follows:

    Son of India –
    Ayee Milan ki Bela – O Sanam Tere Ho Gaye Hum
    Jeevan Myritu – Jil Mil Sitaro Ka
    Anjaana – Rim Jim Ke
    Haath Ki Safaii – Wada Karle Sajna
    Inteqaam –
    Zanjeer –
    Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai – Uff Yumma
    Jigri Dost

    and many many more that i cant remember at this moment.

    Rafi sahab was the GRAETEST EVER!

  23. we are really fortunate to have these great personalities singing their best with each other. Rafisahab sang maximum duets with mangeshkar sister’s approximately 1450 songs. Out of which hundreds of them are mindblowing masterpeice. Both the sisters gave their best to match with the vocal chord of Badshah and infact no one was less than other.I totally agree with Mr. Binu nair ji that some people are trying their level best to make forget SJ, Naushad sahab, raviji, chitraguptji, o.p. nayyar,l&p and others and almost all the f.m radio pvt channels throughout India are promoting only KK and Pancham. Of course they were the great combination but others contribution cannot be overlooked. Only Vivid bharati regularly plays all the combinations properly especially from vb i came to know from Ashaji herself that she had sung maximum around 900 duets with Rafi sahab in some interview program of Amin sayaniji. Sumanji had also sung maximum duets about 165 songs with Rafisahab. And ofcourse Lataji’s maximum duets are also with Rafi sahab. Infact Geeta dutt, Shamshad begum,Mubarak begum and others had maximum duets with Rafi saheb. In male category also Mannadey, Mukeshji, Talat mahmood, Balbir and even kishore kumar had sung maximum duets with Rafi saheb. In-fact the maximum duets approximately (2500 duets) overall has been done by our own RAFISAHAB.

  24. rafi ji ke baare mein ache kuch likiye. hum bahut kush rahenge basss

  25. salim says:

    Agar aapke paas proof hai tho aap youtube copy karke site mein dal dijye, agar sachi baat hai ki aasha bhosale ne ye sab kaha hai. rafi ke pyare fans tho suno kya baat hai. lekin ye baat hai ki lata aur rafi ke kuch royalty ke baare mein problem huve. ye sab baate hum sabke samne nahi kehna chaihye. bahut dukh ke baat hai ki haise baat kule aaam likte hai. nahi bahut ho chuka rafi ke baare mein ulta seeeda likte hai.

  26. myk says:

    Hi Mr. Haldar,

    Would you by any chance happen to know who was in Rajesh Roshan’s camp ?. I have read that Amar Haldipur used to arrange his music and play the guitar for him as well. I have heard from others that he was a top class arranger. Can you please throw some light on this fellow ?. I also have read that Basu Chaterjee from Pancham’s camp also arranged the music for RR. Do you know any more personalities that used to play for RR ?. Besides Amar Haldipur, who else were RR’s assistants ?. There is hardly any info about RR’s team. His orchestra was excellent and complete, and had magic of its own.

    Please reply either here or in the RD-Rafi thread. Mr. XXX and myself are having a great discussion about RR over there.

  27. myk says:


    Can you please elaborate on what you mean by Jaikishan was planning something big for Rafi-saab, would love to know more about it.

  28. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 8:

    mr. guru murthy, they are mehdi hassan, ghulam ali and nusrat fateh ali khan. Whenever a pandit jasraj or a ghulam ali or a nusrat fateh ali khan is quoted in the media, you’ll have to note which singers they keep talking about. Over the years, the names of these three singers (asha a little less than the other two) have been consistently mentioned by such knowledgeable folks.

  29. Binu Nair says:

    Jaikishan missed marrying the sweetest crooner on the words of his guru and in came Pallavi. Jai gave us great hits till andaz (72) and was planning something “big” for the badshah of playback singing : rafi saaheb until fate decided something else.
    Some of the present singers want us to forget Shankar jaikishan, L & P, omnath prasad nayyar, ravi, chitragupta and others.

    they would love us listening only to r.d.burman………for she says: he is the only great composer.

    binu nair.

  30. P. Haldar says:

    it was after many years that miss ivy entered the jet bungalow, thanks to pancham. And dada, the king of duets, was thrilled that he could use the badshaah of playback singing and the suron ki mallika together, after having using chhoti bahen almost exclusively for around five years. Little did dada know what was in store. Why blame him when the two went on singing “tujhe jeevan ke do se bandh liya hai… mujhe kitna pyar hai tumse”. But the clouds had started gathering in the distant skies. Chhoti bahen, never one to give up hope, was always looking for an opening. But the badshah warned her “aap yunhi agar hum se milte rahe…” Didi was not amused, to say the least, though he kept telling her “baar baar tohe kya samjhaun” and asking the chhoti bahen “tum meri tasveer lekar kya karoge”?

    The next year, despite him telling her “dekho rutha na karo”, all hell broke loose. “jhagre karne ki adat thi” didi would no longer sing with the badshah. And both would recede to their solitude thinking what had happened to their “jo wada kiya woh nibhana parega” promise, made only a few months earlier. In their loneliness, they would sing “tere bin sooni nain hamare” and “woh jab yaad aaye”. the badshah would go on to sing “mujhko apne gale laga lo” with another begum sahiba and “dil ek mandir hai” with the padmakar shivalkar of hfm.

    Three years later, thanks to jai, the rift would come to end. Their emotions would come pouring out with “dil pukare aa re aa re aa re”. But the relationship would never be the same. The badshah would never again rest his hand on the suron ki mallika, like in the picture at the top.

  31. Rafifan says:

    What about “teri bindiya re”? I love this song. Very well sung by both Rafi sahab and lataji.

  32. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Rafi Saheb sang countless duets with Lata and Asha, and it is not possible here to mention the best! Each duet from them is a gem.

  33. Binu Nair says:

    Post 6 : suman-rafi ji duets, they are marvellous.
    hear this : parbvaton ke pedon se, shaam ka basera hai, champai ujala hai,
    great tunes by khayyam, written by sahir saab…..

    binu nair… mumbai.

  34. Dhani Ram says:

    Some of the finest duets are:

    1.Teri dunya se door chale ho ke chale majboor hamein yaad rakhna

    2.Tere bin soone nayan hamare

    3.Dheere dheere chal chand gagan mein

    4.Kaise samjhaun bare na samajh ho

    5.Neel gagan par udte badal ja ja ja

    6.Lagi choote na ab to sanam chahe jaye jiya teri kasam

  35. unknow says:

    Mohd Rafi was great with any one he singed with,I think it is not easy to compare who was the best with Mohd Rafi Lata or Asha or Suman or Geeta ect..
    same with male singers as I think Lata was the best with Mohd Radfi in Romantic songs after lata I think Suman.Asha had her best songs with Mohd Rafi I think under OPN.

  36. K.J.Ravi says:

    Admittedly, the duets of Rafi and Lata and Rafi and Asha are numerous. However, I would like to point out two fabulous melodies. First, ‘Zara saamne to aao chalye…’ (Rafi-Lata, film Janam Janam Ke Phere, music S.N. Tripathi, lyrices Bharat Vyas, year 1957). Second, ‘Door bahut mat jaao…’ (Rafi-Asha, film Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, music Onkar Prasad Nayyar, lyrics Majrooh, year 1963).

  37. jasbir singh zando says:

    rafi lata asha duets r wonderful n loving evergreen they hv permanant appeal n sweet melody… most of the duets rafi did better as he could as usual keep his in control whether high or low pitch….rafi lata n rafi asha duets r divine blessings on all of us…there can never be such melody in future….becoz we dont hv md,lyricists n singers of calibre of those greats we had before 1980….todays cheap md n songwriters…n bathroom singers can not creat that magic n melody…today generation watch songs(no poetry nor singing talent) while we listen to old melodies…we r lucky to hv greats md,lyricists….and mohd rafi….my jaan…he is god to me….his voice is medicine for me…he should hv been honoured with bharat ratna while alive…sorry he is still alive….kudos to rafi foundation…salute to their efforts … MOHD RAFI IS GREATEST….

  38. siva says:

    ref my post 5–small typographical error–read “kabhi in fizaon mein pyaas thi…ab mausam-e-barsaat hai” instead of what I typed–sorry for error.
    Whatever may be the difference between the two giants -Rafi & Lata , but as singers this combination is the ultimate in duets-especially in romantic songs. You can really feel the romance when both of them sing. Next would be Rafi-Suman, Manna da-Lata .

  39. xxx says:

    here are two more rafi-lata duets

    1. raat rangili mast nazare, movie name-dulari(1949), music by naushad

    2.ek shenshah ne banva ke hasin tajmahal, leader(1964)

  40. xxx says:

    duets ki baat chal rahi hai magar “wo jab yaad aaye, bahut yaad aaye” ka kahin zikr nahi!!!! , anyways, here is link(having comments by lata) to this masterpiece composition by l-p from parasmani(1963)::—Mohd-Rafi—Wo-Jab-Yaad-Aaye

    and here is youtube link to masterpiece rafi-lata duet by jaidev, movie-kinare kinare(1963), feel the range and melody of rafi ji::

  41. Anmol Singh says:

    Gurumurthy Ji,

    Great article!

    This is a great topic, where discussions will be endless. The use of Rafi with female counterpart on higher scale has been witnessed in many songs right from the 50s.

    Perhaps there is one duet where the female counter part and Rafi Sahab have almost sung the song on the same scale. The song is “honth hain tere laal heere inhein kholna tu” sung by Rafi & Dilraj kaur under O P Nayyar.

    Perhaps there are many solos sung by Rafi and Lata with same lyrics almost on the same scale. “Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujhe par” from Junglee; “Aji Hum Se Bach Kar” from Arzoo; etc.

    There are many Rafi-Lata classic duets under LP. “Yeh Dil Tum Been Kahi Lagta”; “Ki Aaja Teri Yaad Aayee”; “Dafli Waale Dafli Bajaa”; “Koyal Boli Duniya Boli”; “Parbat Ke Us Par”; “Adami Mussafir Hai”; “Aashaon Ke Saagar Mein”; “Aa Batade Ki Tujhe Kaise Jiya”; etc.

  42. anil cherian says:

    Nice article Guru Murthy sir. Let me add here that Rafi sahab was the best co-singer one could ever hope for. With his huge vocal and moods range, he could gel well with anyone sharing the mike with him. He also had this uncanny ability to compliment his co-singer and make up whatever is lacking in his counterpart’s voice/ rendition. A knowledgeable gentleman in Rafi sahab’s orkut community terms Rafi sahab as a ‘goal keeper singer’; someone who provided a safe platform on which his counterpart could do their own things. I’d also say he combined the best qualities that are there in both Lataji and Ashaji. Voice quality/clarity, technical finesse and range of expressions of one and the verve, versatility, flexibility and adaptability of the other.
    @Haldar sir: Nice to see you back in action. You (as always) raised a very
    valid point here.



  44. AHAMED KUTTY says:

    Dear Sri.Gurumurthyji,
    In this divine site after Mohamed Rafi Saab,it is the most important
    topic.The duets Rafi saab with Lataji and Ashaji.As you told in the song of
    “Maya” lataji’s voice became shrill at higher pitches but Rafi saab’s voice
    steady at all pitches.There are so many reasons for the superiority of
    Rafi Saab on these sisters.Even Mannadeyji once told in some songs
    lataji’s voice is not suitable to match Rafi saab’s voice.Still some people
    are of the opinion lataji is more popular than Rafi saab.We are nothing
    infront of these veterans but the man who deserve it should get it.
    Once the south indian singer Mr.Jayachandran told Rafi Saab – Lataji
    combination is the best in Indian Film Industry.

  45. SANJAY ARORA says:


  46. siva says:

    Nice article. Although it is impossible to cover all the good songs in a short article, I would like to add two duets of RAFI SAHAB-one with Lata & one with Asha which are masterpieces :
    1) With Lata-Kahin raat din hum door the, din raat ka ab saath hai-music by Kalyanji Anandji-this is one song where Lata ji had almost reached Rafi sahab’s singing nuances. I can listen to this song 10 times continously without getting bored. The typical Rafi’s touch somes in the lines(Rafi fans would be able to understand if I mention about the typical way in which he used to sing “nigahen” in many songs:
    a) teri aankh mein hai khumaar sa , meri chaal mein hain suroor —the way sahab sings “chaal”
    b) kabhi intizaon mein pyaas thi , ab mausame barsaat hai—the punch is in “intizaon”
    c) Lata matches this typical Rafi sahab’s style when she sings “teri shaoukh nazaron se poochkar” with the punch in “shaukh”

    2) With Asha -Ek chameli ke mandve tale, do badan pyar ki aag mein jal gaye. music by Iqbal Quershi-basically a poem by the Urdu poet Maqdoom Moiuddin-Film Cha Cha Cha. This song may be rare but it is ultimate in defining the form of duet singing as both Rafi & Asha sing the lines together for most part of the song-perfectly matching each other-I cannot think of any other duet in this way to the best of my knowledge

  47. P. Haldar says:

    As mr. a. s. murty has rightly remarked, rafi saab has sung hundreds of great songs with the two sisters. The quality of those duets is of the highest standard. The nightingale has said that she keeps listening to her duets with rafi saab over and over again. The pair has been used successfully by so many md’s — from husnlal bhagatram to rajesh roshan — that it’s almost impossible to list them all. But here are a few special ones: sj, sd, naushad, lp, madan mohan, roshan and ka. To start a discussion on some of the greatest duets that the pair has sung, let me start with a few immortal ones:

    jeevan mein piya tera saath rahe (goonj uthi shehnai) composed by vasant desai:

    chalo dildar chalo (pakeezah) composed by ghulam mohammad:

    tere bin sooni (msta) composed by s. d. burman:

    do ghadi woh jo paas aa baithe (gateway of india) composed by madan mohan:

    do sitaron ka zameen (kohinoor) composed by naushad:

    paon chhoo lene do (taj mahal) composed by roshan:

    awaaz deke hamein tum bulao (professor) composed by sj:

    and the hit duet that heralded the 70’s, aaja tujhko pukare mere geet re, composed by ka for geet:

  48. Dr. Khaja Aliuddin says:

    Janab Guru Murthy Sahab, Adab Araz Hai,
    As usual superb article, Congratulations. After reading this beautiful narration, I remembered this sher of Sahir, which suits perfect on you. I admire you, I adore you.
    ” Duniya ne tajrubath woh hawadis ki shakal men
    Jo kuch mujhe diya hai woh lauta raha hun main ”
    With regards to all Rafi lovers,
    Long live Rafi Sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  49. P. Haldar says:

    guru murthy ji, you have addressed an interesting topic. Despite some of the biases we rafians have, let me tell you that the three singers you mentioned in your article are considered by many — including well-known classical singers/musicians and the three giants across the border — to be the greatest singers of all time. It is true that Miss Ivy crept up much higher than Mrs. Hope, but here’s a thought to ponder on. If both of them were singing now, catering to genX folks, who don’t have the hangups about “a virtuous indian nari”, wouldn’t asha have had more hope? After all, isn’t she the second-most versatile singer in hfm?

  50. A S MURTY says:

    Excellent article by h v gurumurthyji once again. A topic that can be discussed and debated for ages is difficult to be written about. There are as the author himself pointed out close to 1450 duets that rafi sahab sang with Lata and Asha and except for a few hundred mediocre songs, the rest of the thousand and odd duets that Rafi paired with either Lataji or Ashaji can be rated as the best that the indian cinema has given to our musical taste-buds till date. these duets, apart from the solos of these singers, were the hallmark of hindi film music and therefore, however much one tries, it is not possible to encompass them in one single article. the articulate writer that mr gurumurthyji is, he has clearly and cleverly not trodded on the ‘comparison’ front but only tried to highlight the basic differences in the style of singing by the distinctive duet-pairs. lists from readers pointing out their favourite duets will start pouring in. asha as her wont was, came a distant second when it comes to sad songs and that reflected in her duets too. she was better in the party-based songs and western instruments based music where lata came a close second. however as an exception and not as a rule, ram aur shyam had two lovely duets of rafi sahab, one each with lata and asha. “main hu saaki tu hai sharabi sharabi” with lata was more of city-based song than the village belle “o balam teri pyar ki thandi aag mein jalte jalte” with asha. besides the hundred of very romantic duets, some of them mentioned in the article, the two sisters also provided with the best of chorus songs with rafi sahab separately. they say there is no smoke without fire, but i do agree that a hype has been created about the attitude of the mangeshkar sisters towards rafi sahab and their tributes on his death are a pointer in case. but instead of drifting on that subject, we would do better to comment on the wonderful duets that rafi sahab sang with lata and asha and which form the greatest tribute to the high standards of music creation.

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