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Rafi, Sharda and Shankar Jaikishan

This article is written by Mr. Souvik Chatterji

Rafi Sahab with Sharada on stage live singing Bakamma Bakamma

Rafi Sahab with Sharada on stage live singing Bakamma Bakamma

Rafi had sung many duets with all the leading female singers in the country during the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. He had sung around 440 duets with Lata Mangeshkar, who dominated bollywood music during the 50s, 60s and 70s. He sang duet songs with Shamshad Begum, Mubarak Begum, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur and others. During that period he sang many duets with Sharda as well, mainly in films composed by Shankar Jaikishan. Sharda won a number of filmfare awards for best singer for her performance in mainly the films of Shankar Jaikishan. Sharda is still alive and also has received the Rafi Memorial Award in 2007, from the Rafi Lovers Circle, Calcutta.

Most of those songs sung by Rafi and Sharda during the 60s and 70s did good business along with the success of the films.  In Seema the song “jab yeh dil udaas hota hai” became super hit. The duet song of Rafi and Sharda was appreciated by the viewers. In the film Gumnaam, the song “jaane chaman shola badan, pehelu me ajao”, became superhit. Rafi’s seductive andaz for Manoj Kumar thrilled the audience along with Sharda’s voice for Nanda. Sharda had a different type of voice in comparison to other singers, so her combination with Rafi was very unique. Besides in Gumnaam, SJ gave different types of songs including “hum kale hai to” based on comedy andaz, “jaan pehchaan ho”  based on rock and roll, “gumnaam hai koi” based on spooky flavor, etc. In that list “jaane chaman shola badan” appealed before the audience the most as it portrayed the romance between Manoj Kumar and Nanda in an uncertain atmosphere.

Rafi Sahab with Sharada on stage live singing Bakamma Bakamma

Rafi Sahab with Sharada on stage live singing Bakamma Bakamma

Shankar Jaikishan gave the song “sun sun sun re balam, dil tujhko pukare” in the film Pyar Muhobbat. The main song was sung was by Sharda, while Rafi finished it with the last line. The song was picturised on Dev Anand and Saira Banu, with one singing the song for the other over telephone. It created a very romantic andaz which was enjoyed by the viewers.  Shankar Jaikishan during the mid-60s composed music in films based on stories related to foreign countries. Pyar Muhobbat was also shot abroad, just like An Evening in Paris and Love in Tokyo. Sharda’s seductive andaz in “sun sun sun re balam” was matched in style by Rafi with just one line which provided the reply. There was a song in the film Shatranj, titled “bakamma bakamma” sung by Rafi and Sharda, having comedy andaz. Although the film did average business, the song did well.

Some of the other duets of Rafi and Sharda included “aap ki ray mere bare me” in the film Elaan, “aya kaisa zamana o baba” in the film Ramoo Ustad,  “pyar ka kar uran khatola” in Tumse Accha Kaun Hai, etc. Mehmood and Shubha Khote gave the lips in the song “pyar ka kar uran khatola” and the westernized flavor of orchestration of SJ bolstered the unique composition.  The song “jigar ka dard barta ja raha hai” in the film Street Singer had also innovative dimension but it did not receive attention as the other songs like “kaise samjhayun bari na samajh ho”, “cheherepe giri zulfein”, “baharon phool barsao” reached the audience in style.

The other duets included “chale pare jawan badan”. Besides Sharda sang many hit duets with Mukesh as well including “chale jana zarah thehero” in the film Around The World, picturised on Raj Kapoor and Rajashree, “duniya ki sair kar lo”, etc., as Mukesh sang many songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan.

Probably Rafi’s capability to adjust himself with any female singer including Lata, Geeta Dutt, Sharda, Asha Bhosle, Shamshad Begum, etc., showed the level of adaptability and effortlessness of the giant singer. Shankar Jaikishan always banked their resources on Rafi and for those reasons even the duets composed for Rafi and Sharda were melodious and evergreen. The songs should be preserved.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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17 Blog Comments to “Rafi, Sharda and Shankar Jaikishan”

  1. I don’t much more about Sharda’s singing career but RAFI SAHAB was born in form of ALLAH…. somebody has metioned above that Sharda and Rafi Sahab has won many title for their signings… i also also appreciate these words as i have been remained a regular listner of VIVID BHARTI… they have also never mentioned about popularity of this pair… but i will once again like to mentioned that “RAFI SAHAB IS DHARTI PAR ALLAH KE ROOP MEIN HI AAYE THEI

  2. Vijay Dave says:

    An excellent analysis. Very well appreciated. Keep it on. I am also a fan of Sharda and SJ and as well Mohd Rafi Saab.

  3. Mohan.V.M. says:

    Dear Mr.Chatterji,
    Thanks for the information on Sharda who predominantly sang for SJ. The experiences of most of these numbers were mesmerising and inexplicable. They haunt us even today voices of Rafi and Sharda as well as the immemorable background score of SJ.

  4. Radjesh says:

    Kya bakwas aap ne likha hai. You have written that sharda has won a numer of filmfare awards. That is NOT true! Why are you lying? Only once she got the award. And the song was a compel sorry hit. And then aap ne likha hai ke Sharda sung a lot with Mohd Rafi. Can yoo tell me exactly how much? Let me tell you – Not much! And only a few became populair. So I dont understand ke likhne se pehle aap sahi tarah se research kyon nehin karte. You belong to one of those who dont know anything and the lack of information you have, you believe in that and write about it to fool people with wrong infromation. I believe you are not a real fan of Mohd Rafi otherwise you would have written in all honesty about him. Please be sure that what you are writing is right other don’t! See Indians are living all around the world. And there are so many fans of Mohd Rafi. Rafi’s fans appreciate information about there idol. We are not in India to check what is right what is wrong. People in Suriname or any other country far from India doesn’t have Indian tv channel channel – nor magazine. So it is the duty of the writer to serve them with truth stories. I am really hate your writing. So on hebalf of all Mohd Rafi fans (and little crowd liking Sharda ) to write the truth!!!!!!!!!

  5. A.T.M. SALIM says:




  6. Jae-Bee says:

    Dear Souvikbhai
    Great and very informative article as always..keep it up for us.
    It would be a great relief to know from you or any fan of Rafisahb that who sang the duet from Naya Daur picturized on Dilip-Ajit “Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka” I think it was our Ustad only who gave playback for both the actors.
    The great one has done in Bhagam Bhag under OPN when he sang for Bhagwan and Kishore Kumarsahb.
    Can anyone please shed some light on this? thanks a lot in advance.


    Dear Souvikji,

    Very nice article and have max. informative about their singing era this information was exanxiously awaiting to all Rafi ji’s lovers specially Sharda’s entry in bollywood was outstanding when her songs were popular from Film Suraj, Harey Kanch Key Churian etc, under the Music Direction of Shanker Jai Kishan Sahibs, thanks alot for this nice article.

  8. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Mumtazji, Sudershanji, Binuji, Ashishsahab and others,

    I am indebted to all of you for reading my articles and recollecting the experiences relating to Rafisahab. I humbly apologize for making the mistake relating to the song “jigar ka dard”. Yes it is from the film Street Singer.

    I also want to add the humility of giant singer Mohammad Rafi. With even junior singers like Sharda and others he cooperated like a fellow friend and they felt elated and motivated to sing along with Rafisahab.

    In many songs Rafi’s expressions persuaded the co-singer to bring more emotions in the duet songs sung with him.

    Souvik Chatterji.

  9. Mumtaz says:

    Hi Souvik

    I am an ardent fan of Rafi and I was very lucky to have seen him in Mauritius on 3 occasions. I was still very young but I remember him very well. My dad was given the responsibility to decorate the cinema halls and I used to go with him and stayed to watch Rafi sahab afterwards. On his last performance the crowd wanted him to sing the Haqeekat patriotic song and as Mauritius was not independent (gained independence in 1968) Rafi sahab was reluctant to sing this song. However, in the end he obliged as the audience did not give up with their shouting and screaming. I enjoyed any article written about our great Rafi Sahab. Thank you very much.

  10. binu nair says:

    Post 6 : Ashish JI : Rafi saaheb ke fans har duniya ke kone, corners me hai – including Bengal. there are thousands or more of them.

    IN kerala and in many world capitals there are men who do not speak hindi – but they follow mohd rafi songs and sing them.

    in short mohd rafi songs have no geographical or any other barriers.

  11. Lt Col Javed Sayyed says:

    Dear Souvikji, nice article. I had seen a photograph of rafi sahab with a quote from the celebrated SJ “humen to rafi sahab ki awaz mein khuda mil gaya!!!” what a compliment from such a great musician duo! Manmohan desai, the cherubic film maker was an ardent rafi fan. He is known to have placed a photo of rafi sahab in his mandir at home. All his films were dedicated to rafi sahab! Such a personality-our rafi sahab! words can never be enough to describe this great personality, his deeds, simplicity, & his talent! Only we know what we miss after his departure. well, he will always remain in our hearts!

  12. Dear Souvikji,
    Hats off to you. You are so profoundly knowledgeble about the genius ‘ rafi saab ‘. However I always wanted to mention one thing. This is without any bias or comparison about anybody and with due respect to everybody. My general observation about Bengalis was that they always are the true sons of their soils. They love there state, city, culture and thereby their cricketers,singers,actors and in a way absolutely bigoted towards their own people. There is nothing wrong in this. But you come as a pleasant surprise to me and also a heartening exception as I have many Bengalis as my friends and I have a tough time with them when I say Rafisaab is the only complete playback that I have ever heard . You would by now know that this is the age old comparison between two of the greatest as far as filmy music is concerned. Kidhoreda and rafisaab. But I am really happy to know that a knowledgeble Bengali gentleman has really changed the course of thought as far as this comparison is concerned. I really respect you as I have always maintained that Rafisaab could never be touched. He is ,and not was a ‘True Genius’ of all times.
    Ashish Pradhan ( humble Rafian )

  13. Good article by Souvikji,

    Rafi Sahab was capable of adjusting any singer and his presence and behaviour always made his co-singers free from tension. Sharda once during her programme in Kolkata which was organised by Rafi Fans’ Circle in memory of Rafi & Shankar Jaikishan narrated how Rafi Sahab became so mischievious and begun the song, “Jaane Chaman, Shola badan” with giving punches on specially “Jaane Chaman….” What a person and what an artiste he was. It is very hard to be like Rafi. Aise log milte kahaan hai aajkal.

    Thanks again to this forum and Souvikji.

  14. S kumar says:

    Good article on rafi n sharda duet

  15. Khaja Aliuddin,MD says:

    Janab Souvik Chatterji Saheb,
    Great article as usual. One correction, the duet “Jigar ka dard badhta jaraha hai” is from movie Street Singer, music was given by Sooraj (Shankar), picturised on Chander Shekhar and Sareeta.
    One more duet I want to include from movie “Tu Meri Mai Tera”- Chal pade jawan badan, Raahen ban gayi chaman, music was conducted by Sharda herself.
    Long live Rafi Sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  16. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Nice article on Rafi Saheb and Sharda. Please note that the song “Jigar ka dard badhta jaye..” is from the film “Street Singer” and not “Suraj”, further more, there is a full stanza sung by Rafi Saheb in the song “Sun sun sun re balam…” from the film “Pyar Mohabbat” and not just a line as mentioned in this article. Otherwise, the article is nice.

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