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Rafi – Lata Misunderstanding

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

Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar misunderstandingMohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar have perhaps sung the maximum number of duets as compared to any other Singers, which was even admitted by Lata in her SHRADDANJALI. Those days, the MDs used to get the complete Royalty for any record sold. In the mid sixties, these two great Singers had a rift due to which they did not sing together for about three years. Officially it was given that Lata wanted a higher Royalty for the Singers, and thought that with Rafi’s backing, as he was the most popular singer during that period, it could be achieved. But Rafi’s contention was that once the song is recorded and money paid to the Singer, the Singer does not have any further business to claim Royalty. Well, there can be arguments against both the stands, but both stuck to their principled stand. In fact, Lata in her SHRADDANJALI has admitted to this fact, though she appreciated the stand taken by Rafi. I personally thought both were right in their stands, though the perspective with which they viewed the particular issue was different.

Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi
Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi

The three years hiatus resulted in Lata singing more duets with Mukesh and Mahendra. But the real gainers were Asha Bhonsle and Suman Kalyanpur who got the opportunity to sing maximum duets with Rafi. Of course, Rafi – Asha duets were always there thanks to O P Nayyar. In fact, in the Rafi duets during this period, no body felt the absence of Lata.

Asha Bhonsle and Mohd Rafi
Asha Bhonsle and Mohd Rafi

Rafi and Asha had “Kaise Samazhaun” and “Ho Ek Baar Aata Hai” both from SURAJ, “Raat Ke Humsafar” from AN EVENING IN PARIS, “Ae Chaand Zara Chupza” and “Tanme Agni Manme Chuban” both from LAAT SAAB, title song of CHOTISI MULAQAT, “Sawan Aaye” from DIL DIYA DARD LIYA, “Kabhi Tera Daman” from NEEND HAMARI KHWAB TUMHARI, “Na Yeh Zamin Thi” from SAGAAI, “Gori Chalona Hans Ki Chaal” from BETI BETE, all duet songs of TEESRI MANZIL, “Yeh Parda Hatado” and the medley of parody songs from EK PHOOL DO MALI, title song of APNA BANAKE DHEKHO, title song of PYAAR MOHABBAT, “Jidhar Jo Main Dekhoon”, “Kisiki Mohabbat Me” from KAISE KAHOON, “Sadiyon Purani” from SHAHNAI, “Panchi Re O Panchi” from HARE KAANCH KI CHUDIYAN, “Hathon Me Haath” and “Ham Bhi Agar Bache Hote” from DOOR KI AWAAZ, “Tum Ishq Ki Mehafil Ho” and “Pyaar Ki Raah Bahar Ki Manzil” both from SAANZ AUR AWAAZ, title song of SAANZ AUR SAVERA, “Neel Gagan Par Udate Badal” and “Aa Daance Kare” from KHAANDAN, “Dilruba Dilse Tum” from RAAJ KUMAR, “Dekho Abto” from JAANWAR, “Bhari Mehafil Me Cheda” qawali from PALKI, “Ek Chameli Ke Manve Tale” in CHA CHA CHA, “Dayya Re Dayya” from LEADER, “Aapko Pyaar Chupane Ki Buri Aadat Hai” and “Tere Paas Aake Mera Waqt Guzar Jaata Hai” from NEELA AKASH, “In Baharon Me Akele Na Phiro” from MAMTA. PYAAR KA SAGAR had Rafi-Asha duet “Muzhe Pyaar Ki Zindagi Denewale”, BAHU BEGUM had a duet of Asha – Rafi “Hum Intezar Karenge”. Well, the list is endless.

Suman Kalyanpur, Hasrat Jaipuri, Mohd Rafti and Jaikishan on Harmonium
Suman Kalyanpur, Hasrat Jaipuri, Mohd Rafti and Jaikishan on Harmonium

But personally I feel Suman Kalyanpur was the maximum beneficiary and could give plenty of hits with Rafi during this period. Suman, though was a good Singer, was always in the shadow of Lata. Here was her chance and she grabbed with both hands. The Rafi – Suman duets included “Baad Muddat” from JAHANARA, “Tuzhe Dekha” from CHOTTISI MULAQAT, “Na Na Karte” from JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE, “Woh Jab Yaad Aaye” from PARASMANI, “Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche” from BRAHMACHARI, “Itna Hai Tumse Pyaar Muzhe” from SURAJ, “Tumse O Hasina” from FARZ, “Tuzhe Pyaar Karte Hain” and “Kehdo Kehdo Jahan Se Kehdo” both from APRIL FOOL, title song and “Meri Zindagi Tere Pyaar Me” from JEE CHAHTA HAI, “Aise To Na Dekho” from BHEEGI RAAT, title song of DILNE PHIR YAAD KIYA, “Dile Betaab Ko Seene se Lagana Hoga” from PALKI, “Maine Ae Zaane Wafa Tumse” from BEDAAG, “Tumne Pukara Aur Hum Chale Aaye” from RAAJKUMAR, “Aja Huna Aaye Balama” from SAANZ AUR SAVERA, title song of DIL EK MANDIR, “Phir Aane Laga Yaad Wahi Pyaar Ka Alam”, “Oye Tu Raat Khadi Thi” in HIMALAY KI GOD ME, “Raat Suhani Jaag Rahi Hai” from JIGRI DOST, etc. Perhaps some of the songs in the above lists might have been recorded before or after the rift, but majority of the above songs during the period were due to the Rafi – Lata rift.

In fact, Suman also got some good solos during this period like “Mere Sanga Gaa Gunguna” a classical song from JAANWAR, “Paradesiyon Se Na” from JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE, “Dil Jo Na Keh Saka” from BHEEGI RAAT, “Nanhi Si Kali Meri Laadli” from DIL EK MANDIR, “Mere Mehaboob Na Za”, etc.

Even Sharada got a chance to sing with Rafi though only in SJ movies like “Jaane Chaman” in GUMNAAM, Shamshaad Begum in “Muzhko Apne Gale Lagalo” in HUMRAAHI and Aarti Mukherjee in DO DIL – “Kara Mora Kazara Churaya Toone”. But surprise of surprises, Music Directors completely forgot Geetha Dutt, with whom Rafi had given so many wonderful duets especially under OPN and SDB.

Perhaps, it was a blessing in disguise that in the absence of Lata, Suman got a chance she so richly deserved and also the number of Asha – Rafi duets increased. The rift ended only when SJ and I read some where Nargis, compromised between the two Icons and they sang together in GABAN that wonderful duet “Tum Bin Sajan Barse Nayan” and the Lata – Rafi duets continued there after to thrill us for the next nearly one and a half decades.

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59 Blog Comments to “Rafi – Lata Misunderstanding”

  1. There are many wrong information in the post above. Dil jo na kah saka and Pardesiyon se na akhiyan milana were sung by Lata, and not by Suman Kalyanpuri . Mujhko apne gale laga lo is by Mubarak Begum and Shamshad Begum.

  2. There are many wrong information in the post above. Dil jo na kah saka and Pardesiyon se na akhiyan milana were sung by Lata, and not by Suman Kalyanpuri . Mujhko apne gale laga lo is by Mubarak Begum and Shamshad Begum.

  3. shammi says:

    There’s only one reason why Lata always refers to Kishore Kumar because it makes her feel better because mentioning Mohd Rafi’s name fills her with jealousy. I personally feel the duets with Mohd Rafi was better with her sister Asha and Suman and in films where Lata and Rafi sang the same song individually it goes without say that Mohd Rafi nailed the song each time and his version was always more popular (hardly surprising). As far as Kishore Kumar goes he was willing to change his name/religion for his own personal gain and never gave poor mudhuballa the support she needed in her time of need. The man always demanded money upfront in comparison to Mohd Rafi who helped so many needy artists and people out. All that aside he shouldn’t be compared to the Great Mohd Rafi as the two are poles apart. No one compares to Mohd Rafi after all he is the legend of legends.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s only one reason why Lata always refers to Kishore Kumar because it makes her feel better because mentioning Mohd Rafi’s name fills her with jealousy. I personally feel the duets with Mohd Rafi was better with her sister Asha and Suman and in films where Lata and Rafi sang the same song individually it goes without say that Mohd Rafi nailed the song each time and his version was always more popular (hardly surprising). As far as Kishore Kumar goes he was willing to change his name/religion for his own personal gain and never gave poor mudhuballa the support she needed in her time of need. The man always demanded money upfront in comparison to Mohd Rafi who helped so many needy artists and people out. All that aside he shouldn’t be compared to the Great Mohd Rafi as the two are poles apart. No one compares to Mohd Rafi after all he is the legend of legends.

  5. neeraj anand says:

    listen to the title song of film jab pyar kisi se hota hai in the voices rafi and lata.you will discern the difference between the two.lata is a legend but rafi a legend of legends

  6. Mohit says:

    awesome singer nd awesome song by a great person…

  7. sanjay bhalerao says:

    listen these songs sung by both but seperately:
    dil ka bhanwar kare pukar, ehsan tera , tum muze u bhula na pawonge , teri akhonke ke siwa ,aji hum se ruth kar o mere shahekhuba o meri jane janana ,wadiyan mera daman mere mahebub tuze tum kamseen ho nadan ho etc etc
    and tell who sung better or whose version more on radio/fm etc

  8. ARVIND says:

    RAFI SAHAB MODERN DAY TANSEN.

    Frnds…..its true that Lata is too good in her divine voice but she has money lust in her too… while rafi sahab was a messiah and used to go out in night on sly to help poor people. I once listened to Baiju Bawras interview where he told how in the film Zanjeer the duet by Lata & Rafi….Diwane hai diwano ko na ghar chahiye was to be recorded again as the song was not of music directors liking n Rafi sahab though Asthamatic agreed silently to record again without a murmur….though his health never permitted.

    And then Naushads interview whre in he told how in a public performance Rafi Sahab sang song of Baiju Bawra in octaves higher than he sang for in the Film shows the genious of Rafi sahab.

    Some of the songs like ei muhabat zindabad from Mughal e Azam, Subah na aayi from film Cha Cha Cha, Jane kya dhoondti rehti hai yeh ankhen mujh main, Film pyasa’s song yeh mehlon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya has diving octaves of his voice….lata ji being a female has a limit as her voice gets cracking….while rafi sahab knew no limit….

    On a personal not i just saw film Muqqadar ka Sikandar coz’ i saw that rafi sahab sang in it and for macho vinod khanna. I waited for whole film to hear Rafi sahab but he sang in the last scene of the film hats off to my patience n the heart rendering paragraph he sang ……woh muqadar ka sikander……

    And one more aspect of rafi saheb he sang with Eunuchs ! and the songs became instant hits and even today they r popular….tayed ali pyar ka dushman from Amar Akbar Anthony and Saj rahi gali meri ma from Film Kunwara Baap…..god ! the songs r so good that i still listen them.

    Any faith song he could sing….be it Shirdi wale Sai baba, Naam re sab se bada tera naam from film Suhag, Ram ji ki nikli sawari from Sargam, many songs on lord krishna, n even of his faith etc.

    Lata ji inside her heart still say very less about Rafi sahab hut admire that Chichora & promiscuous Kishore kumar who married 3 times changed religion to suit his desires………..

    Man Rafi Shahed was a Gandharva who came to earth to fulfill his curse n in turn benefitted earthly humans with is voice n deeds…..

    Arvind Kr.

  9. Ahmad says:

    Hmm I lata gee was great but if you hear the song dil tera dewana hai sanum Rafi sahab hits the higher notes with more ease and sweetness than lata.

    GOD bless Rafi sahab

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