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Rafi versus Kishore- The Rivalry That Never Was

By: Jagat Kant Choudhary

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

It was inevitable. The Comparison. With two phenomenal singers like Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar dividing the lion’s share of the male playback music industry between themselves, it was only a matter of time before the big question would crop up- who is the better singer?

The huge fan following, bordering on reverence for the two singers coupled with the alleged preferences of certain music directors for one over the other, often triggered this question. However and fortunately so, while the fans swore by their respective idols, and still do, there has never been a clear polarization either in the fan following or the music industry as a whole. Both were geniuses and produced one hit after the other. A listener could not completely side with one, without sacrificing gems of songs produced by the other. On the other hand a music director or a music company could fully side with either of them only at his or its own peril.

Rafi and Kishore share the microphone:

For all the debate that went around in the outside world, the relationship between Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar was amazingly healthy at professional level. In an era where some of the biggest stars of the film industry were hesitating or even refusing to stand in the same frame with each other, the Rafi-Kishore duo never hesitated to share the mike with each other.

The song “Bane chahhe dushman zamana hamara, salamat rahe dostana hamara” from the film Dostana in the year 1980, turned out to be a great hit. The song provided the film script with a perfect background to weave a story of fallout between the on screen characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shartughan Sinha.

Earlier in 1975 Rafi and Kishore produced the boyish and pacy duet “Chal Shuru Ho Ja…Sa Re Ga Ma” in the film “ Chupke Chupke”. The song was picturised beautifully by Hrishikesh Mukherjee on Amitabh and Dharmendra. The same stars were a hit together once again in Ram Balram in 1980, with the song “Ek rasta Aha Aha”, sung by Kishore and Rafi.

The K.L.Saigal influence

If there was one most important similarity between the two great singers, it was the fact that both were originals to the core. During the four decade long career neither singer was ever accused of imitation, nor did they ever cross into each other’s territories. This did not mean that they were never influenced by any singer, contemporary or otherwise. Like most singers of that time, this duo was also greatly influenced by the legendary Kundan Lal Saigal, who had already passed away by the time the two came to terms with the microphone.

While Mohd Rafi considered himself fortunate to sing just a couple of lines with Saigal, Kishore Kumar referred to Saigal as ‘guruji’ and would never sing his songs. Rafi for one, had a voice of his own and the little influence that Saigal had on him, showed only in the first few songs that he recorded. Very soon he would break away from the mould and take playback singing to a higher octave.

Kishore was younger of the two, born on 4th August, 1929 almost 5 years after Mohd Rafi. He, however, started his career as an actor in 1946, almost at the same time as Mohd Rafi launched his singing career. By the time Kishore Kumar recorded his first song in 1948 for Ziddi, Mohd Rafi had already established himself as an upcoming singer of great merit.

The maverick that he was, Kishore Kumar dabbled between singing, acting, writing and producing films and yet managed to keep himself aloft as a singer of great caliber and promise. Kishore Kumar tasted early success with “Qusoor Aapka” in 1951 with S.D.Burman. The song was a hit and was marked with the characteristic ” He He, Aha Aha, Ho Ho” that was to later become the Kishore Kumar trademark.

The Popularity Charts: Together on Top:

At a time when the radio was the king of entertainment, Radio Ceylon came up with the first ever countdown show of Hindi film songs titled  “Binaca Geetmala” with Ameen Sayani as the first and the most popular ‘Radio Jockey’ ever in India. The methodology of selecting the songs was quite transparent in the sense that the programme would take into consideration the sale of records of the song and also the number of requests by ‘listener clubs’ or the ‘shrota sanghs’. And week after week ,close to a million people would sit around their radio sets even as Ameen Sayani would take off with his customary “behnon aur bhaiyon….” No doubt, Binaca Geetmala was a pioneer in ranking the popular Hindi songs and therefore the popularity of the singers as well.

Between 1954 and 1976 a string of  Rafi/Kishore songs (solo/duet)  topped the charts.

Year Song Singer
1956 Aye dil hai mushkil Mohd Rafi
1957 Zara samne to aao chhaliye Mohd Rafi
1959 Haal kaisa hai janab ka Kishore Kumar
1960 Zindgi bhar nahi bhoolegi Mohd Rafi
1961 Teri pyari pyari surat ko Mohd Rafi
1962 Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par Mohd Rafi
1963 Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padega Mohd Rafi & Lata
1966 Baharon phool barsao Mohd Rafi
1971 Zindagi ek safar hai suhana Kishore Kumar
1974 Mera jiwan kora kagaz Kishore Kumar
1979 Khaike paan banaraswala Kishore Kumar
1980 Dafliwale dafli baja Mohd Rafi & Lata

If popular choice was any indication, the playback industry was ruled by these two prolific singers throughout the sixties and the seventies. Mohd Rafi stood the podium 8 times against the 4 by Kishore Kumar.

When it came to awards, and there were only a few in those times, the Filmfare Awards was the most coveted. It was instituted by the Filmfare magazine and had a mix of popular and critical flavor in it.

The category for Filmfare best male playback singer was introduced only in 1959 and upto 1968 it used to be a single award for both male and female singers.

Year Song Film Singer
1960 Chaudhvin ka chand ho Chaudhvin ka chand Mohd Rafi
1961 Teri pyari pyari surat Sasural Mohd Rafi
1964 Chahoonga main tujhe Dosti Mohd Rafi
1966 Baharon phool barsao Suraj Mohd Rafi
1968 Dil ke jharokhe mein Brahmchari Mohd Rafi
1969 Roop tera mastana Aradhana Kishore Kumar
1975 Dil aisa Kisine mera toda Amanush Kishore Kumar
1977 Kya hua tera vaada Hum kisi se kam nahin Mohd Rafi
1978 Khaike paan banaraswala Don Kishore Kumar
1980 Hazar Rahen mud ke dekhi Thodi si Bewafai Kishore Kumar
1983 Pag ghungroo baandh Namak Halal Kishore Kumar
1984 Hamein aur jeene ki Agar tum na hote Kishore Kumar
1985 Manzile apni jagah Sharabi Kishore Kumar
1986 Sagar kinare dil ye pukare Sagar Kishore Kumar

Again, between 1960 and 1980, Rafi bagged 6 awards against 4 by Kishore. In fact such was the rate at which Mohd Rafi was producing hits, that his own songs competed with each other at many annual awards.

Besides, with the exception of probably ‘Sagar Kinare’, the award winning songs between 1981 and 1985 were pedestrian by Kishore Kumar’s standards. Clearly the golden era of Hindi music was behind KK and in a world without Mukesh and Mohd Rafi, there was virtually no competition worth its name for Kishore Kumar to deal with.

Different Personalities:

At personal level, the two singers were very different people if not exactly the opposite. Kishore Kumar had the reputation of doing the unthinkable. He would tease a journalist by talking to the trees and plants, drive to a producer’s house and then shout at the top of his voice for the money that was due to him. He would invite a producer to have a chat with him inside a cupboard and then lock him inside because the producer had something to do with his income tax mess. In effect, he was such a busy man that one wondered as to how on earth he got the time to record those wonderful songs.

Kishore Kumar married four times and each one had a story of its own. Despite his so called miser and eccentric ways, the industry never doubted his tremendous potential to create hits out of the ordinary and to create master pieces out of the seriously good stuff. As many were the stories about him, name, fame and money came in equally good measure and Kishore lived life the way he liked and on his own terms.

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi in contrast, was all dedicated to his singing career. Life for him was limited, from home to the studios and back to home. He had an impeccable reputation in the industry and people swore by his name. He was known to sing for a token amount of one rupee for the producers who could not afford to pay his fees. Rafi was a happily married man with beautiful children in whose company he spent all the time outside of the studios.

As One King Treats The Other:

If Rafi and Kishore were the Lions of the music industry, they behaved like ones. Not only they respected each other but also never crossed into each others’ territory. Both were versatile and there were no limitations to their range and ability. While the producers and music directors did have their preferences for a particular singer, neither of them was ever accused of lobbying with them for work. Far from the one-upmanship norm of the industry, Kishore Kumar invited Mohd Rafi to sing for his directorial venture “Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi” and Rafi reciprocated the fraternal gesture by charging just a token rupee for the two songs that he sang for the film.

Interestingly, Mohd Rafi sang many songs for Kishore Kumar the actor. One of the most popular of these was the song Ajab hai dastaan teri aye zindgi from the film ‘Shararat’ wherein the music was scored by Shankar Jaikishan. The song which had two versions in the film became a huge hit and it once again underscored the superb control that Rafi had when he suddenly moved from the low to the high pitch.

When Rafi heard the song “Dukhi man mere sun mera kahna” he is said to have congratulated Kishore Kumar for doing such a fine job. Kishore Kumar was equally candid when it came to accepting his competitor’s prowess. On a number of occasions he is said to have remarked that only Rafi could sing the song. For instance, he sang all the songs for the film ‘Hathi Mere Sathi’, but when the climax song “nafrat ki duniya ko” came up for recording, Kishore Kumar put his hands up. “ Only Mohd Rafi and nobody else can sing this song”. So the song went to Rafi and it turned out to be the outstanding song of the film. In fact it was this climax song that gave the story line a meaning and offered Rajesh Khanna the opportunity to test his histrionics. The gentleman Mohd Rafi on his part, did not bother to know as to why only one song was given to him.

Rafi, the Yodeler

Kishore Kumar was a natural yodeler, having picked up the art as a growing-up boy, by listening to the Austrian records owned by his brother Anup Kumar. When he entered the arena of playback singing the music directors were quick to discover his potential and utilized it to the hilt. Kishore yodeled in the song “Piya Piya Piya Mora Jiya Pukare”  from “Baap Re Baap(1955)” under music director O.P.Nayyar and then in a number of songs from his home production” Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958), under S.D.Burman. Kishore went overboard with his yodeling in another of his home production Jhumroo (1961), for which he was the lyricist and music director and his fans loved it.

By this time he was established as the official yodeler of Bollywood not only because he was very good at it but because in most cases the songs were picturised on himself and he had no problems giving perfect lip service to his own songs, both comical and romantic. It is unlikely that any other established actor would have risked this much of yodeling lest he got typed. But Kishore was Kishore and he did what he liked.

Yet again, and as it would come as a surprise to many, if there was any competition to Kishore Kumar at yodeling, it was from Mohd Rafi. Mohd Rafi exhibited his yodeling skill in a playful song “unse rippy tippy ho gayee” with Geeta Dutt in “Agra Road” (1957). He then yodeled in a style of his own in few films including “hello sweety seventeen” (1959) with Asha Bhosle in the film Doctro Z.

If yodeling was an art, Rafi had a perfect hold on it. Take for instance the 1962 film “Reporter Raju” produced by Homi Wadia and music scored by S.Mohinder. The young khan, Feroze does a la-Shammi Kapoor as he jumps all over the heroine wooing her with the beautifully sung “Chale ho kahan kaho kuchh to meri jaan kaho”. Many more songs of Rafi in the same mood would follow in the next two decades but this was a very special song. Rafi does a wonderful yodeling in the song and when he ends the song with the yodel he sounds exactly like Kishore Kumar. The natural ease with which Rafi has yodeled in this song is marvellous.

It is strange indeed, that Rafi did not choose to yodel in more of his songs which had plenty of scope and situation to do so. Whether it was his own decision or the restraint put by the music directors, his fans definitely were deprived of a very interesting facet of this endlessly versatile singer. Or was it the “territory” that he willingly left for the others to explore and benefit from? The inimitable Rafi had a hundred different shades to add to the colour of his songs and yodeling was only one such shade which he used with brevity.

With Rafi opting not to, Kishore made yodeling his second nature and his fans loved it. Through the sixties and the seventies, Kishore Kumar moderated his yodeling and the actual “Yudl – Ay – EEE – Ooooo” was often replaced by yodeling of the lyrics itself. The result was magical and the fans were eating out of his hand. The yodeling start to the song ‘Ye dil, na hotaa bechara‘ from Jewel Thief (1967) ” gave Dev Anand just the right mood to create a perfect net for his lady love who drives the car slow enough to let him catch up with her, even as he merrily walks through the song.

Kitne Sapne Kitne Arman“, ‘Chala Jata Hoon‘ from Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972), and  ‘Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana‘ from Andaz (1971) gave Rajesh Khanna the perfect platform to generate a mass hysteria that swept the country and crowned him the first super star of Bollywood.

If Rafi gave up some ground to Kishore Kumar in yodeling, he more than made up else where. Quawwali for instance was Mohd Rafi’s forte. Rafi teamed up with his contemporaries like Manna Dey, to create the unforgettable “Na to Karwan ki Talash Hai”. And then came the ultimate grosser of all times “ Parda Hai Parda Hai” from Amar Akbar Anthony. From the word go, Rafi is all magic in this quawwali and the energetic and dashing Rishi Kapoor takes it to greater heights with his splendid performance on screen. No wonder when mid way through the song, Amitabh Bachchan pulls out  currency notes from under his jacket, many in the audience in cinema halls are said to have followed suit. Despite the presence of two other stalwarts like Kishore Kumar and Mukesh in the film, ‘Akbar’ walked away with most memorable song of the film.

The Charismatic Duo:

Kishore Kumar was a complete entertainer. He had a persona that the media loved to write about. He was a hit with his stage shows, not just for his songs but for his witty manners and the way he interacted with the audience. Rafi too drew huge crowds wherever he went. Only in his case, the greater reason for which people flocked from all over the place was slightly different. They came to ‘see’ him and to believe for themselves, that a man with the voice of God, actually existed on this earth!!!

Sri Pervez, the son-in-law of Mohd Rafi Sahab, narrated an interesting incident that occurred at a stage show of Rafi in Lucknow in the late sixties. Rafi was put up in the Clarke hotel there and when he came on stage, the crowd went berserk. One song after the other, and yet the appetite of the crowd was only growing. By the time the show came to an end the police had to resort to a mild lathi charge. Despite the lathi charge, however, the fans somehow managed to come up to the stage and mobbed a bewildered Mohd. Rafi. Suddenly a number of hands lifted Rafi in the air and for a while he literally floated in the air from one set of hands into another set of hands and he virtually went out of the hands of the organizers !

Fraternity wins over Competition:

The blank faced Kishore Kumar at the funeral of Mohd Rafi said the story of a lifetime bonding between the two legends of the music industry. For the pen crazy media that often mocked at his miser ways, Kishore Kumar was magnanimous with words when he paid tribute to his fellow singer. “ Rafi Sahab was a great singer. I stood no competition with him, he was a much better artiste than me. I sing in a couple of ways but he used to sing in hundreds of ways, that is why he will always be with us”.

His own sky high reputation as one of the best singers in the industry not withstanding, it needed a lot of courage to say what Kishore Kumar said. His words reflected the genuine appreciation that one great artiste had for another, irrespective of the portrayal by the media and the fans.

In the so called lean phase of Mohd Rafi during the early seventies and when much was being seen into his non-existing rivalry with Kishore Kumar, the father-son duo of Kishore and Amit were on a singing tour to London. Incidentally, Mohd Rafi was also in London at that time with his son who used to live there. Rafi invited Kishore and Amit to his house there and served them an exotic home made dinner. Throughout the evening Rafi and Kishore sang and recalled their initial days in the industry. Two of the best singers and two of the most wonderful human beings had crossed close to three decades in the music industry in admiration of each other.

The seventies belonged to Kishore just the way the 50s and 60s belonged to Rafi. But the Hindi Film Industry has always had room for more than one, even if the top slot has often been restricted. So when Rafi was on top there still were equally great names like Mukesh, Talat, Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor contributing handsomely to the rich oeuvre of Hindi film music. The same was true when Kishore Kumar hit it big time in the 70s.

There is an interesting story that the industry people have to say and which scoffs at all the stories about so called rivalry between the two giants of playback singing. During the 70s when Kishore was going great guns, emergency was clamped in the country and unfortunately he fell out with the powers that be on the issue of stage performances. As a result, Kishore Kumar was banned at the Radio and Doordarshan and not only Kishore but the producers and music directors were also hurt very badly.

At the same time, the stars were turning favourable for Rafi and he started giving hits. As an exemplary gesture, Rafi offered to take the cause of Kishore Kumar to the powers at the centre and even offered to do stage shows on his behalf. The Industry was stunned. Rafi was asked as to why was he doing such a thing, when suddenly the wave was going in his favour. The innocent and gentle soul that he was, Rafi is supposed to have said “ he (KIshore) is a fellow singer, it is his profession to sing and so why should he be punished for no fault of his “

And just because for a while, one of them was singing a few songs less than the other, some people unhesitatingly chose to give it the name of rivalry.

Competition yes, and it ought to be, in order to bring out the best, even if the names in question are as big as Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar.

Rivalry, NO WAY, NEVER.

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148 Blog Comments to “Rafi versus Kishore- The Rivalry That Never Was”

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  1. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Post 42 and 44:

    Mr. Shikore Shumar,

    If only you had restricted you comments to just expressing your preference to Kishore Kumar, it was OK (after all everyone is entitled to his or her choice) but your continuance with the act of provoking the Rafi fans by using terminologies like ‘boring singer’ and ‘cure for insomnia’ for his songs under the garb of ‘comparing the two legends’ are sure indicators of sinister designs of your mind.

    Read again your post that was copy-pasted by Dr. Chandershekar. You start with nice words ‘hello all. Very interesting debate here. Read a lot of your comments. Some were absurd and some were good. i think we need to end this non ending debate and have some sanity. Firstly both kk and rafi were good singers with exceptional singing qualities and should be respected for this. We cannot just condemn a particular singer and run him down. Both did well in their respective era’s and have moved on with no successors. The new breed is just trying hard to follow their footsteps… etc. etc’. The bottom line (as I understood) of this being ‘Please do not compare the two’ and then you go on to do precisely the same.

    Are you not a bundle of contradiction? Till date you have not addressed this issue of king size contradiction that you have displayed.

    In fact you have not replied to any point raised by me and others. You are simply going on and on with your rhetoric without an iota of logic, just brushing aside all points ignorantly and arrogantly. With every post of you, our doubts about you possessing a trouble-making mindset increase. It only reinforces our impression of certain Kishore fans whose sole purpose of being here or at Kishore forum is to display their wreched anti-Rafi psyche rather shamelessly.

    As neither you know my age nor I yours, your advice to me to grow up peacefully is in a bad taste. Please do not write things filled with immaturities.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  2. Ali says:

    Dear Shikore ,I don’t think we have reply but I like to say one thing to you please click on the link of votes and you will find that there are 82 names from Indian music, count all votes for 81 singers and count votes of mohd rafi alone and you will find that mohd rafi votes more than all 81 singers together got…
    Please give me few big names who said I am because kishore da or who said kishore da is best singer in bollywood?about mohd rafi the list is endless.
    Rd who ignored mohd rafi he back to mohd rafi and he used mohd rafi voice more than kishore in his last film with mohd rafi(Shaan) rd is one of music directors who used mohd rafi voice on big B…jest count mohd rafi actors and kishore da actors or I can say ask actors who used both as Dev ji and Dharam pa….

  3. Mirza Irfan Baig says:

    Mr. Baghchadani, Mr. Vikram & Mr. Hans etc.

    Brothers, I feel your pain! It is hard to keep silent when someone comes to your home uninvited and starts bad-mouthing your most revered idol. But it seems like you have been goaded into responding to some ridiculous statements.

    Did you see the team effort here? One copies a post from another forum in which everything that has been said about Rafi Sahib by famous people has been copied but the name of Rafi Sahib has been replaced with another singer. With this replacement the statements become ridiculously absurd. Example, ‘his voice suited for every actor’. Really, for 23 years when the Bollywood music was at its peak, no music director thought so. The writer of this post does not have any imagination. He seems to have gone through this site and copied all those statements. He does not even have a real name. He just jumbles the letters of his favorite singer’s name to make up a name. No sooner the post has been copied to this forum, the writer of this nonsense appears amongst us. Sometimes some of our so-called friends bring a poodle that barks in its thin voice! No need to worry about it. Just disregard it.

    I totally agree with Mr. Hans that rivalry is amongst equals. Here in my neighborhood we have two high school teams. One regularly beats the other – but supporters of the second team call the games between the two schools as the ‘rivalry game’. This year the fans of the first school wore T-shirts that read ‘what rivalry?’ I think it applies here too.

    By publishing an article like this we unnecessarily invite such nonsense.

  4. vikram says:

    Mr. Shikore, I have no time to comment on your posts every now and then. As I said, you are entitled to your opinion and so am I.

  5. Vishakh Vardhan says:

    Mr.Shikore Shumar or Whatever your name is :

    I was going through the post for the past one hour and saw how this beautiful post turned into. What are you trying to prove here? Your comments are baseless. To be very honest, I thought your article will be interesting but boy you disappointed me. You should know that such kinda comments will make people laugh at you.

    Coming back to the point, I agree that today’s generation loves Kishore Kumar and they do term Rafi sahab as ‘Bore’. But do you think they have any idea about music? These guys love songs which they forget the next day. For them Old means KK and trust me these youngsters don’t even have the capacity of understanding what real music is.

    Oh yes! I remember some one pointed KK as Sachin and Rafi as Dravid. WOW !!! Hats off to him. This proves that forget about music, he has no idea even about Cricket. Can someone tell me how can KK be a Sachin?
    Let me give you few points which will prove at least something to the so called KK fans:-
    1. Rafi started his career in 1940s i.e. very very early, Sachin too
    2. Rafi is GOD of Singing, Sachin is God of Cricket
    3. Rafi can sing any song, Sachin can hit any ball
    4. Rafi is super versatile, Sachin too (Tests, ODI &T20)
    5. Rafi had a lean period (early 1970s), Sachin had it too (early 2000s)
    6. Rafi came back hard with a vengeance and proved who’s the boss, Sachin did the same in 2010-11
    7. Rafi has the maximum no. of awards, Sachin has it too
    8. Last but never the least, Both are wonderful person, humble and truly a gentleman. And don’t forget, GOD wanted to Play cricket, He came to this world as Sachin, God wanted to sing, he came as Rafi sahab.
    And he was comparing KK with Sachin. What a shame!

    So, Mr. Shik&%&&@# whatever your name is, KK is like IPL or T20, fast, fun, lots of entertainment, IPL Nights, Parties, girls, hype, media. Rafi sahab is like 5 day TEST Cricket. The real cricket. Go and ask anyone what he/she likes and I bet they will not like TEST cricket at all. So, now you guys get why these stupid youngsters prefer KK over GOD???

    And finally “whatever ur name is”, I am just 23 and trust me One more about my God and trust me swear on God I won’t hesitate. Get the shit out of here! Shoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  6. Shikore Shumar says:

    Vikram, you are stating that I am imposing my views on KK. After analyzing your views, I am concluding that according to you:
    1. Rafi is beyond comparison
    2. Rafi’s body of work is too wide
    3. There is nothing he could not sing
    4. he transcended all kind of singing genres.
    5. You get goosebumps when you hear a certain song of Rafi
    6. I also have my favorite singer

    How different are your views from mine? You too are imposing your views on Rafi here and telling me and others that he is a better singer than KK
    Then you go on to say a good song is a good song whoever signs it
    So much contradiction in your write up is not right for us and does not make any sense. Be clear on your thoughts and writing.

  7. vikram says:

    Mr. Shikore, life is fun with a lot of things, including good music. It’s OK to like somebody, but it’s not OK to impose your views on others. In my opinion, Rafi sahab is beyond any kind of comparison with any other singer as his body of work is too wide. There is nothing that he could not sing. He transcended all kind of singing genres. You have every right to disagree with me.
    Kishore da no doubt was a great singer, but had some limitations. This in no way means any disrespect to the legent for I am too small a human being to be judging somebody like Kishore da. Some of his songs or for that matter the best works of Lata, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Asha, Suman Kalyanpur, Mahender Kapoor and others are equally good. I have come across so many scorned Kishore da fans that use choicest epithets disparaging Rafi sahab. When people start doing that they have actually already lost the arguement. I hope you can spread some words of wisdom among such fans and tell them that it’s all right if others don’t agry with you.
    Mr. Shikore, a good song is a good song, whether sung by rafi sahab or by Kishore da. Why are we wasting our energy and time in discussing someting to which there is no end. I enjoy Koi Humdum Na Raha as much as I enjoy Yaad na Jaaye Beete Dinon Ki. I get goose-bumps every time I hear Din Dhal jaaye and Kuchh To Log Kahenge. I like all good songs, irrespective of the singer who has rendered them. And yes, just like you I also have my favourite.

  8. Shikore Shumar says:

    Ha Ha Ha…. What a laugh.Thanks for all the jokes to keep me entertained. I am luving it
    Same old nonsense from JK. Just trying add fuel to the fire. His statements have no substance at all he is just trying to raise another non ending dispute with no quality evidence. There is no take home message at all. JK is not even close to convince me that rafi is better than KK. I am not going to bore him with my list of 5 best KK songs. It is too childish. My advise to him is to grow up peacefully and enjoy all the KK songs he has in his collection and then maybe he will understand me better
    Vikram, I have yet to read your comments on this forum. I sincerely hope you have some better comments to write on this subject and keep sanity on this topic
    KEEP KOOL GUYS. Life is fun with KK songs. (:

  9. vikram says:

    Mr. Shikore, to get a sensible feedback you have to write sensibly.

  10. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Post 39,

    Every time I write on the topic of fans of Rafi vs. Kishore, I feel that I am now done with this topic. But somehow someone instigates me to come back to the topic. It has happened again. After writing the post no. 34 in this trail I had the same thought but now I see that this guy Shikore Shumar has arrived to this forum to ensure that the topic keeps going.

    Since this guy has given himself plenty of certificates (like having an open mind, fully understanding the essence of both the singers Rafi and Kishore after ‘carefully’ listening to them etc. etc.), in the process declaring that we the Rafi fans are not ‘able’ to analyze his views properly, we are listening to only Rafi songs etc. etc., a reply to such provocation becomes inevitable.

    Mr. Shikore Shumar, unlike you, I would not like to make any tall claims. But let me assure you that my collection of Kishore’s songs will definitely outnumber your. I have such rare songs of Kishore that you may not even have heard those. Apart from Kishore I have a vast collection of all singers like Rafi, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, Mukesh etc. I have been listening to these songs since my childhood. So after listening to all singers for years, and considering the total picture, it is my considered view that Rafi is the best (repeat ‘the best’). Meanwhile I am giving you only 5 songs of Rafi, please give an equivalent song of Kishore (in terms of quality, singing, musical content etc.):

    (1) Man tadpat hari darshan ko aaj…. (Baiju Bawra)
    (2) Tera husn rahe mera ishq rahe … (Do Dil)
    (3) Kabhi khud pe kabhi haalaat pe rona aayaa… (Hum Dono)
    (4) Hai agar dushman dushman…. (Hum Kisi se kam nahin)
    (5) Dekhi zamane ki yari… (Kagaz ke phool)

    I can give you 100s of such songs, but for you I think 5 are enough.

    And let me tell you we are not upset by your so-called reasoning but are rather amused by the lack of it. My point in my earlier post (no. 34) was that copy-pasting of a post of another forum here is not a good idea. I stand by every word that said. Meanwhile if you care, do reply to all the points that I raised in my earlier posts. Just making sweeping remarks without substance is uncalled for.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  11. Shikore Shumar says:

    Thank you Dr Chandrashekar for posting my comments on this site. Looks like JK, santosh are very upset with my reasoning. They seem to be a hard core Rafi fans and very rigid in their views. They have to read and analyse all the comments I made with an open mind to understand the core message. As mentioned in my article, I have heard both these singers carefully and made my comments. Maybe these folks are just listening Rafi songs all the time and have not heard KK songs at all and hence this dispute.
    Take care and await a proper and sensible feedback

  12. tknandi says:

    rivalry arise btwn 2 eqals,but mr cud sing any song whereas 4 kk songs had 2 b tailormade i.e,no classical no high pitch etc.anybody can sing any kk number,whereas many of mr’s songs r very tuff & some r almost unsingable.if kk is legendary then all singers r legendary.even with bro like asok kumar &relative like sasadhar mukerjee,i’d ve surpassed kk.i respect kk not 4 his singing but 4 his talent as a music director,lyricist etc.

  13. santosh says:

    i fail to understand why these idiots like chandrashekar are allowed to post their rubbish comments.These so called expert does not have any knowledge of music.Had he some , he would not have stated that rafi saab voice a cure for isomania.He has some insomania because he cannot digest that rafi saab’s voice was the one with divinity.Unlike kishore’s whose voice was good but not of that level.So Mr. Editor pl do not allow such morons to post their rubbish analysis.

  14. Dr.Chandrasekhar says:

    Dear Bhagchandani ji and Ahmed kutty ji,

    I never meant to project kishore as superior to rafi, only thing I wanted to highlight was sentiments of kishore fans and nothing else, in response to Mr. Hans post here. Definitely, there are some off track comments in the kishore fan’s post – which no one agrees- but that was not my intention. I wanted to just tell Mr. Hans regarding the sentiments of kishore fans – that is all. And both of you are well aware that I am a per se ghantasala lover and in hindi rafi as well, and but not a kishore lover in those lines, but only wanted to tell Mr. Hans that what he wanted to convey on this detailed article was not correct in my view.

  15. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Dear dr.chandrasekhar saab,

    post 32

    …..and moreover,kishore kumar continous to have a vast
    following even today…..

    if we read this comment and go to the respectful site of
    kk we will activities in that site now.first the
    articles about kk stopped.then the comments.the only
    activity was in the article “the fued between the fans of
    mohamed rafi and kishore kumar.”it could go to
    some extent since the topic changed to rafi saab vs.
    gantsala saab as there was no subjects about kk
    and his qualities are that also in a

    in one of my comments i have requested the kk fans
    to write something about kk saab in his respectful site
    instead of putting unnecessary comments is
    so pathetic and people will laugh at you,gentlemen.

  16. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Posts 30, 31 & 32:

    To a large extent I agree with Abhishek ji views. But Dr Chandrashekhar ji, I don’t think it is good idea to copy-paste an ‘unwanted’ post of a Kishore fan from Kishore forum on this forum. I did not understand the purpose of such a post being reproduced here. The point you want to make is well known. Anyway, the content of the copy-pasted post only vindicates my understanding of some Kishore fans (and their forum) that I highlighted in 15 & 22 in this thread.

    Let us analyze KK fan’s copy-pasted post. It starts with some nice words ‘……firstly both kk and rafi were good singers with exceptional singing qualities and should be respected for this. We cannot just condemn a particular singer and run him down. Both did well in their respective era’s and have moved on with no successors……’ and then goes on to contradict himself by:

    (1) Comparing KK with Sachin Tendulakar and Rafi with Dravid and then concluding that Rafi a boring singer. He has gone on to say that Rafi’s songs are cure for ‘insomnia’
    (2) Declaring that “kk’s voice quality and singing will fit any era of music compared to the other singer (meaning Rafi) whose voice will not fit even today’s era.”
    (3) His point No. 11 almost is satirical in nature which in simple words mean that Rafi toiled so hard but could not achieve the heights of KK.
    (4) His point No. 12 implies that ‘Rafi is not a legend’.

    Will any person with normal mental faculties ever call Rafi’s songs boring? Will anyone with slightest sense of music ever conclude that Rafi is not a legend? His statements “…..we have tons of rafi clones in every town and village around the world. please show me a proper kk clone…………”, “……….his (KK’s) voice modulation suited all the hero’s he sang for…….” are not merely laughable but are outright canards.

    How many Rafi’s clones does this gentlemen know of that are even half as good as Rafi was? It is well a well known fact there are hundreds of Kishore’s clones around and can be found in many bylanes of Kolkota. Rafi’s ability to mould his voice to suit the actor (for whom he is singing) is so well known, applauded and celebrated, well discussed and concluded attribute that, not recognizing this and attributing this aspect to Kishore will be a height of travesty.

    The coterie of Kishore fans greatly rejoice such posts and justify the same under the gerb of ‘technical comment’. They are actually not Kishore fans. They are anti-Rafi brigade.

    I request all readers to read ‘between the lines’ of the Kishore fan’s post. In my posts 15 and 22 I had made the same point that these Kishore fans exhibit their anti-Rafi psyche in a very systematic and sophisticated way. That stands proved. The mask of sophistication has slipped and the real face is out.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  17. Abhishek says:

    Hans sahab – 30

    The article does not project any rivaly, rather it is beautifully written. Any rivalry, that has to arise, might be from your post among fans of both singers. I hope you understand.

  18. krishnarafian says:

    Dear Friends,

    An excellent article which clearly explains the friendship b/w two golden greats. While Rafi was naturally one either singing or being a great human bieng, KK was a made to order product. My only doubt arising at this point of time is, did rafi saab really yoodle in the song unse rippi tippi hogai or it was somebody else like Junglee yahoo song. Request clarification and if possible i dont have this song. Can anybody provide a link to it.


  19. Dr.Chandrasekhar says:

    Mr. Hans – 30

    I seem to not to subscribe to your analysis as I feel, it does not exactly catch the essence of the article which has been written after careful thought. In my view, the writer was analysing the skills and talents plus contributions by the great singers rafi as well as kishore in hindi film music world. There does not seem to be any disputed comparative analysis in the above article. But, I feel, your post puts the analysis in a different way, thus giving a picture of creating a rivalry (more so might be among fans of respective singers), though the article does not seem to convey such type of meaning in a stricter sense. Of course, these are my views please.

    Regarding your comments on kishore kumar, I feel the views are subjective. Yodelling genre – kishore was special and kishore’s style of singing was also quite attractive, it is like another corner of bollywood, like mohd rafi ji. This is exactly what the above article wants to convey.

    And moreover, Kishore kumar continues to have a vast following even today and I am putting up a post here from one Mr. Kishore fan from the neighbouring site. You will know by this post, that how kishore kumar too like rafi continues to have hardcore fan following

    Shikore Says: post 2049 in kishore forum (an endless fued col.)

    March 18th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Hello All. Very interesting debate here. Read a lot of your comments. Some were absurd and some were good. I think we need to end this non ending debate and have some sanity. Firstly both KK and Rafi were good singers with exceptional singing qualities and should be respected for this. We cannot just condemn a particular singer and run him down. Both did well in their respective era’s and have moved on with no successors. The new breed is just trying hard to follow their footsteps
    I have been listening to all the melodies of Indian and English music from the 50?s to date music and have heard all the renowned singers. I have spent a lot of time listening to KK and Rafi and after careful analysis and understanding music, I have come to this conclusion that out of these 2 singers, I think Kishore Kumar is the best Indian Singer to date.
    I would like to state some reasons as to why I have come to this conclusion and would like to have some feedback on this
    1. KK came on the scene during the 50?s when we had qualified singers and MDs. KK with his type of singing was a total misfit. He was ridiculed and teased, but this legend carried on with his unusual type of singing and acting stood out from the mob
    2. KK is a natural singer and was not bound to any rules or regulations.
    3. He is highly versatile and has a tremendous range in his singing. Most of his songs have a different octave
    4. His voice modulation suited all the hero’s he sang for
    5. KK sang to ENTERTAIN not to show he is highly trained or is a better singer. He is the Sachin T of singing. The other singer is like Dravid who can be a bit boring at most times. The world will stop to see Sachin and KK sing. But for Dravid, its a different story. Can we replace Sachin????????
    6. I think 85% of KK songs have repeat and entertainment value compared to around 45% of Rafi songs. Most of Rafi songs were too technical and boring to hear after some time. KK’s voice is so different, that its motivating and energy boosting. Most of Rafi songs cure Insomnia (disorder where one cannot sleep)
    7. KK’s voice quality and singing will fit any era of music compared to the other singer whose voice will not fit even today’s era
    8. KK’s singing is so unique that even now we do not have another KK clone (we will never have a clone anyway) compared to the other singer who has such a common singing style that we have TONs of Rafi clones in every town and village around the world. Please show me a proper KK clone.
    9. Although KK was not a trained singer, his songs have perfection, clarity, modulation, range, pitching, very clear vocabulary, soul rendering, passion, entertaining, etc……….
    10. Although Salil C was known to be a challenging MD, KK sang some of his best songs for this composer. Please listen to the song “Guzar Jaye Din” of Annadata. This song sounds simple but is very complicated. Salil C commented that only KK could have sung this song
    11. I hope the Die Hard Rafi fans are not upset by my comments. I do respect this singer who has toiled hard to reach to the top and left a mark. But in terms of public entertainment, fan following, mass hysteria there is no Indian Singer apart from Kishore. This is what makes a True Legend
    12. Finally I hope I have given some valid reasons and clarified why I rate KK so high and look forward to your feedback. All the talk of Rafi’s technical singing, highly trained does not make him a legend. Kishore Kumar is truly a Legend.
    Everyone say ” Hail Kishore Kumar”
    Take care and give us constructive feedback”

    Hans ji, that was the post. Hope you will note about the sentiments of hardcore kishore fans similar to the hardcore rafi fans.

  20. Hans says:

    i have serious objection to the article including its title. rivals means persons competing with each other, which the writer admits is the case between rafi and kishore, so they were naturally rivals. rival does not mean enemy, which they were not. they were not friends either. after losing battles to prove kk better than rafi, one school of kk fans have been trying to project them as friends, which was never the case. whatever stories have been planted to achieve this goal, even if true, suggest of a simple social interaction between the two. the praises by film industry people of the others, whether contemporary or not, are just skin-deep in most cases. it is true that kk, rdb and a few others indulged in negative propaganda against rafi to dislodge him from his lofty position. i have seen that happen and i would not believe stories (later plantations) which try to prove otherwise.

    this article seems to be part of that series. in this article, the writer has tried to prove kk equal to – if not better than – rafi. kk was in the film music line since 1946 but till 1969 ( 23 years ) he was not even considered fit for no. 2 spot. till that time he did get just a few films outside films where he was acting and there too just sdb – the bengali connection – was giving him work. golden mds of the goldern period of hfm did not consider kk a worthy singer. during this golden period singers like talat, manna dey, mukesh, hemant and mahendra kapoor were all considered better than kk by various mds. and kk is the only one who is considered worth a comparison with rafi. that is a shame. a person who could not produce even 100 good songs during his whole career, is being compared with the one who produced hundreds of gems each year during his peak.

    and one of the trademark arguments of such people has been yodeling. to me kk did not even know what yodeling is. what he has been doing all the while has been pronouncing some words in a peculiar way, which a singer blended with abilities of a comedian can easily do. the writer discussed rafi’s yodeling. from the songs which i have listened, the only song which contains yodeling is ‘unse rippi tippi ho gayi’ by rafi. the other songs in which rafi yodeled as per the writer, rafi was only pronouncing words in a peculiar way, perhaps to show that kk was not doing anything special. could kk have done the yodeling rafi did in ‘unse rippi tippi ho gayi’? the answer is a big NO.

    i am surprised that some genuine rafi-fans are lavishly praising the article which is openly singing praises of kk in the garb of healthy comparison of their singing abilities. kk has even been put on the same pedestal as rafi as a great human being by the writer.

  21. Harvinder says:

    I have always stated that Asha has been promoting RD Burman and in turn Kishore da – though Kishore da does not require either Asha or RD’s endorsements.
    She has encashed the new trend at yesteryears music.

    However, let us give devil her due. I watched her live here in Vancouver 5 years ago and watched her interview on TV. Only comment she made about OPN was that he had advantage over other MD’s of his era was his understanding and appreciation of Urdu and Punjabi besides Hindi which gave he utilized and took full advantage of. For Rafi Saheb, she did appear to shed tears simply remembering him for his voice and simplicity.

  22. your last sentence – andrea correa – is a clincher – very well expressed – totally agree with you. keep writing.

  23. tknandi says:

    thnx 2 u kurpad fact kk cudn’tsing classical,quali,bhajan,high pitch & patriotic songs where as mr was master of master of comparison of d 2 wishes

  24. Andrea Correa says:

    One singer who has some of the Best songs with mohd rafi saaheb is asha bhosle.

    but alas, she will never ‘say’ she enjoyed singing with mohd rafi saab. and, she was brought in to limelight by op nayyar saaheb. she will never, never acknowledge about opn too.

    she has given a host of pedestrian flop songs with her rd burman. a prominent journo told me once : for her utterances about rafi and opn, rdb and kishore would have disagreed with her and also slapped her.

    Is she praising rdb to gain maximum royalties???

    how i wish she had a better “pr”…..

  25. post 23 takes the cake

  26. Abhishek says:

    Dear J K Bhagchandani ji

    My deep respects and regards for you. I agree with your points. Each forum there are some mischief makers and in fact at times, we too showed our anger in form of some posts, but without compromising decency, – only to counter such nonsense posts and not with any other intention. People can clearly know that we put such posts only to counter the “intruders” and not to show any legend in a wrong way – never.

    The musical legends produced by indian industry are all wonderful and they have entertained the masses like anything. Cheers.

  27. tknandi says:

    There cant b any comparison.KK has many limitations which MR didnt.KK’s songs can b sung by anyone.

  28. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Abhishekh ji (Post 20):

    You say: “kishore fans never disputed rafi’s superiority over kishore in an overall manner and on technical terms.”

    You may be right in case of some Kishore fans. But, with due respect, your observation can not be generalized. There are a couple of Kishore fans about which my observation in my earlier post is absolutely true, and for those, I stand by each word of what I wrote. They do the Rafi bashing in a rather ‘systematic’ and pre-determined way. To dub their utterances to ‘honorable comments’ would be refusing to read between the lines. But yes, as I said earlier, they do wear a façade of decency.

    Coming to the post of Narain Shekhar in True Voice column, it is indeed a real non-sense. Highly condemnable. My not responding in that trail is mainly because I go that trail very very less. I read that only after you pointed out. I totally condemn such posts and reiterate that there is no place for such posts in any forum. I request the administrator to device a mechanism that such posts are not allowed on this site. But Abhishekh ji, I have a point here also. People like Narain Shankar are like intruders on this site, kind of ‘hit and run’ characters. On the hand the Kishore fans whom I targeted are the regulars, forming the core group of that site. Hope you understand the difference.

    Lastly Abhishekh ji, I have no issues with you. I respect you tremendously for your wonderful, balanced and to the point comments. Let us agree to disagree on a few matters. Incidentally you responded only to one aspect of my view point of my earlier post. Any comment on my other observations that I posted?

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  29. Anoop says:

    Hi All Music Lovers.

    I love and respect Rafi Saheb too much for His great singing ability and versatility. Whenever I want to hear Old hindi film songs I hear 99% of time Rafi Saheb. But I always respect Kishore too. There is no doubt about his great singing ability. I always believe a person who can not enjoy the great songs sung by Rafi will not be able to enjoy Kishore and vice versa. We must not be biased towards our choices and show other as inferior. Was kishore not able to match the Rafi’s ability that was shown in Pyasa, Guide while singing the songs of Amar Prem? The three songs sung by Rafi in Guide like Teare Mere Sapne, Din Dhal Jaye and Kya se Kya Ho Gaya were marvellous. In the same way in Amar Prem Kishre has managed the Karishma of Rafi Saheb in singing three songs like Chingari Koi Bhadke, Kuchh to log Kahenge and Ye Kya Hua Kab Hua. I request you all to please not disrespect music by disrespecting the Singers like Rafi and Kishore. They were great and will remain great. Individual’s choice can be different but we should not add the tag of “Better” with anyone. I always had inclination towards Rafi’s voice and songs in the same way other’s can have for Kishore. I always maintain the dignity of both Singers and also expect the same from others. Please don’t make groups on the name of Rafi and Kishore. Please make group for the SOULFUL and lovely songs and music. Long live Rafi and Kishore.

  30. Abhishek says:

    Post 15 & 16 – Mr. J K Bhagchandani and Mr. Ahmed kutty

    Kishore fans never disputed rafi’s superiority over kishore in an overall manner and on technical terms. The dispute and the posts were for different issues. For that matter, many have told that (including kishore fans) rafi was indeed superior as a playback singer when compared to others (excepting ghantasala in some genres)

    “the terminologies they use for Rafi fans… the lesser said the better”

    What about one Mr. Narain Shankar and others who have posted all nonsense in true voice col. in rafi site ? The comments are more than degrading than the honourable comments of kishore fans. One need not worry regarding the comments there such as al qaida of music or terrorists – in fact more bitter terminologies have been used by rafi fans – the evidence is true voice col. – it can be checked. Sadly, Shri Bhagchandani ji is no where available to condemn such comments.

  31. dear chowdhry sahab,

    a great effort by you – leaves the reader fully satiated.

    i fully agree with nageshbhai siddhanti and he has ec hoed my sentiments.

    i am writing this with a smile on my face

    fans of both these legends are normally like ” women ”

    you cant praise one woman in front of another.

    though the world knows which of these two was truly superior

    i would not like to talk like the ignorant fan.

    both were legendary singers and great humans.

    lets have more from you chowdry sahab.

    ramesh narain kurpad

  32. Rajesh Mehta says:

    hazaro gaane rafi saab ne hindi me gaye, mujhe taras aata hain aap sabhi par ki saare coments english main kyo? kya wo hindi nahio samajhate?

    rafi saab aur kishore kumar ki tulna karna beimani hain, phir wohi baat kaha raja bhoj aur kaha gangu teli ?

    agar main sach kahoo to 70-80 ke dashak main rafi saab ke jo sur the wo sur keval rafi ki hi baat thi kisi aur ki baat nahi thi, aur rafi saab chahte to lata-asha jaisi monopoly bhi chala sakte the, lekin nahi, kyo? kyo ki wo khuda ke sachche bande the, gayaki ke sachche pandit the.

    aur pandit ke samne koun tika hain? kyo nahi noushad saab ne kk se gana gawaya? kyo ki we jante the use sur ki pakad thi hi nahi.aur aiso ke sathwe apna sir khapana nahi chahte the.

    77-80 ke bich rafi saab ne kamal kiya hain,dhyan do………

    (1) maine sau baar khayalo ke banaye khake………………….
    (2) hosh ke sahil pe mujhko ab na aane dijiye…………………..
    aise anginat gane hain…………

    ant main…………………


  33. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Rafi saab had performed so many live programmes in
    various places of calicut he had live programmes
    few occassions. once in calicut he started with the song
    “madhubhan me raadhika naachere” and after the
    programme press to asked rafi saab since he is a muslim why
    he started with a song which is related to “god sree krishna.”
    rafi saab replied “we should respect all relegions.”

    as far as jelousy is concerned, it is a sort of mental illness.
    once yesudasji was telling when he was a student of a
    musical college in trivandrum he used to participate for
    various music competetions and when ever ho got first
    place,he used to go to one of his teachers to inform it.
    that teacher was not in a position to accept him as a
    carnatic musician and treated him very badly.once the
    teacher used a very bad and yesudasji run away by

  34. Ahamed Kutty says:

    the greatness of rafi saab in various aspects we can see
    through his songs,the comments about him told by various
    co singers,various musicians and music directors.the anti
    rafi attitude by some people is merely because of jelousy.
    the most painful thing is these people tried to bring innocent
    giants such as ghantasaala and others to defend their own
    preachings which was not successful.because of the popularity
    of rafi saab this divine site is flourishing at the same time we
    can see the situation of the site of thir idol.

    i think each rafi fan is loving rafi saab above their beloved one
    and the energy and spirit each one is getting from the critics
    of rafi saab.

  35. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    On this subject of Rafi vs. Kishore many articles have been written, umpteen number of comments have been posted on this forum, on Kishore forum and elsewhere too. But I guess that this write-up should be ranked right at top. It is very apt, analytical, unbiased and objective.

    But I have a point. Not everything is wrong in comparing the two greats. When two contemporaries have remained at top at one or the other time, comparison by respective fans becomes inevitable. It is also true that such comparisons are mostly started by fans only. The phenomenon is common among fans of top artists of all fields, and it is not restricted to playback singing only. But one has to do it in an unbiased manner (free from regional fixations) without hurting the feelings of fans of one or the artist. While there have been a handful of fans on this site who sometimes go overboard on this matter, the situation at the other forum (Kishore’s) is far too worse. Only thing that governs that site is anti-Rafi-ism. Though it must be admitted that they present a façade of ‘decency’ but that façade or mask slips many a times exposing their reality. Consider the following:

    (1) More than 90 percent of their posts are posted in the thread ‘An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar’ where they fully vent their anti-Rafi psyche. In the process some wonderful write-ups on that forum ‘Woh Meri Taraf Yun Chale Aa Rahein Hain’, ‘Kishore Kumar-Gulzar : Deep Voice in Deep Poetry’ etc. have gone un-noticed with non of those self-proclaimed gyanis of all forms of music even bothering to comment. Obviously they are very busy with their favourite activity of Rafi-bashing on another above said thread.

    (2) Any article/ write-up anywhere that is even remotely critical of Rafi is gleefully lapped up by them, and soon they are seen in a huddle eager to declare ‘I told you so’. This is what happened one Mr. Raju Bharatan wrote some non-sensical stuff about Rafi saab.

    (3) They often bring Ghatansala into the discussion, not because they are knowledgeable about him, they merely use him to ensure down grading of Rafi.

    (4) Terminologies like ‘Ordinary Singer’ (for Rafi saab), pedestrian (for Rafi’s rendering of Kuhu Kuhu bole koyaliya….) have been used by these people in various posts. About the terminologies they use for Rafi fans… the lesser said the better.

    (5) Opinion of 2-3 music directors (for example Salil Chawdhary, Anil Biswas) about Rafi saab is highlighted out of proportion and conveniently ignoring the opinion of many fold number of music directors who opined that Rafi was the ultimate in playback singing.

    (6) They have never acknowledged the stunning come back of Rafi saab in 1977 and the fact that afterwards till his untimely demise in July 1980, the momentum was with him.

    (7) They have never acknowledged the fact that supremely talented R.D. Burman ruined his career (or should we say wasted his talent) by being over-dependant on Kishore.

    (8) They never like to believe that Dev Anand’s downward slide began when he almost completely ignored Rafi saab.

    And so on so forth… it can go on and on.

    So in the above background, this article comes as a wave of fresh air. Hope those fans read this article and learn a thing or two.

    Yes, I fully agree the rivalry was not there between the two giants… it exists in the minds of some fans only.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  36. Lt Col Javed Sayyed(Veteran) says:

    Congrats for this beautiful piece which is extraordinary, pleasingly refreshing & is very lucid in its flow. I agree with all in this forum-there is no comparison of rivalry of any kind. Lets enjoy music of all greats-singers, MDs etc & let Rafi sahab & his true fans float in the clouds high above in divinity. That says it all. Such writeups must be published in the leading newspapers-for a wider reach.

  37. Ali says:

    Kishore da was a great actor and good singer as I think.
    The thing I don’t agree that 1970’s was kishore da as we know that mukesh ji was there and mohd rafi gave many super hit songs to c grade films and music directors but kishore gave songs to supers star like Rajesh Khanna and mr Bachchan,in 1980 mohd rafi sang only for 8 months but If am not wrong he sang more than any other singer and mohd rafi…..

  38. vikram says:

    What an article! The best till date on Rafi and Kishore. They were definitely honest competitors but not rivals. It is heartning to read an article praising Kishore da on Rafi forum. That’s the way it should be. On the other hand so called kishore fans do not miss any opportunity to go after Rafi sahab on their forums. These ignorant fans should take a cue from this article about the positives of common sense. They belong to us all. We are nobody to restrict them to a particular fan base.

  39. anurag says:

    As far as singing is concerned, Rafi has no match. He is no. 1 to 10.
    The fine and expressive way he sang different songs can not be attempted by other singers including Kishore.
    kishore was a good singer with rich voice but had a limit.
    Popularity and quality of singing are two different things.
    When rafi sahab was more popular, he was not better singer than he was less popular.
    Rafi, with his soft velvet voice takes you to a dream world, in any kind of song he sings whether it is bhajan, ghazal , qawwali or a non film geet.
    He has no match in male playback singing, also confirmed by Manna-De.
    Only one who can come near to him is inimitable Lata Mangeshkar, though she also stands 19 and Rafi 21.

  40. SalRafi says:

    Great article very much analyzed. I enjoyed it. A lot of information you provided Keep up the good work.
    I do not agree with all that is said in the article. For one, Rafi Sahib was and will be a singer non-comparable. My point is When someone do compare singers leaving Mohd Rafi alone.
    I agree with post 3 Venkatagiri and post 8 Rajesh. Kishore is a fantastic singer and I enjoy most of his songs. There ends his quality. Rest everything he did (he struggled for so long) was like “jack of all trades master of nothing”.
    To be a true divine, gifted an artiste must match equal character qualities with him/her. That divinity was there with Mohd Rafi in every aspect of his life, to prove that he is God Sent. And you rightly mentioned the bad qualities of KK in the beginning. So I beg to differ on the statement “two of most wonderful human beings” doesn’t fit for KK.
    Anyways, thanks for bring up a great article.

  41. Narayan says:

    J.K Chowdhary saab
    Superb article and the best one which brings out the best in both the legends..
    Congrats ! I have never read such a well analysed article
    Kindly send this article to leading newspaper like Times Of India, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, Deccan Herald to name few english daily……for a larger wider audience of music lovers..

    Baar Baar Rafi Fan Club

  42. A very well analysed and researched article.. The writer is at his best when he writes….”They came to ‘see’ him and to believe for themselves, that a man with the voice of God, actually existed on this earth!!!”…. Truly speaking there could be no competition between the two as Kishore was a good singer whereas Rafi was the Greatest of all is in this context that i recall a song from “pyar ka mausam” –Tum bin jaoon kahaan..sung by both kishore as well as rafi, the kishore version picturised on bharat bhushan and rafi version on handsome and talented shashi kapoor..kk’s version became a hit because of yoddlings whereas rafi’s version had pain, sorrow and yet romance, all clubbed together and toaday if you listen to this song you would conclude rafi was far better than not only kk but all other singers of his time namely mahendra kappor, talat, mukesh and even the nightingale lata..

  43. Nagesh Sidhanti says:

    Dear J.K. Choudhary sab,

    Thanks very much for clearing the air for the ignorant. A thorough and detailed write-up like yours should be flashed on the face of sensation
    seekers, who built this so called rivalry out of thin air.

    We all know that our voice of the millenium was unmatched and unsurpassed in every aspect in the singing dept., and it was gracious of Kishoreda to have
    publicly acknowledged that. Having said that Kishore’s collective brilliance and all-round contribution to Hindi Cinema as an actor, dicrector and singer, demands a very special place for him too.

    Healthy competition is a key determinant that helps bring the best in a professional and to the joy of music lovers, the golden era music was well
    spread out in different genres, had many high caliber composers challenging
    each other with great compositions. We are just fortunate to be in an era
    to appreciate that.

    The point I take home sir, is that one could remain a true Rafi fan
    and still eulogise other singers in deserving instances, without the fear of losing one’s own identity.

    Haven’t you just demonstrated that in your brilliant essay?


  44. jayarajt says:

    Beautifully written piece.Every aspect was covered.I like to add two other hits,favorites of mine,sung by the duo-one from KHOJ and the other one from AKALMAND-

  45. Man Mouji says:

    J.K. Choudhary saab,

    A well written write-up on two legendary figures in music world. Also your analysis recalls the fued going on in Kishore site where there are many fans of both the legends spent relentless efforts proving the supremacy of kishore over Rafi Sahab vice versa, in that sense all were broke down the pens and dried up the inks, written volumes of information which is enough to saturate this rivalry. Your article ensnares from all corners the information relevant to the subject you have chosen, not only that but for some extent you did propagate that both were great friends as well as rivals (professionally).

  46. A S MURTY says:

    One of the most comprehensive and best written articles that I have read in recent times. Many congratulations Jagat Kant Choudhariji for this master stroke. You have written with a very free hand, words flowing as though you were speaking your heart out. You have left nothing, nothing at all for anyone to add more to it. Such great articles prove time and again that the genuine music lovers and fans of Rafi Sahab are themselves crafty and can come up with some of the best essays ever. A million thanks to you. I would not like to pin point anything that you have missed, since you have not. On the contrary, such an exhaustive article has to be read again and again. One yodeling song of Rafi Sahab however is one that I would have added : DIL KE AAIYENE MEIN TASVIR TERI REHTI HAI from the film “aao pyar karein” where towards the end there is extensive and very lovely yodeling by Rafi Sahab.

  47. b.venkatadri says:

    Who ever said that there is a rivalry!!!
    Rafi was crystal-clearly the best singer of all times!!!
    For that matter, KK, though a very good singer, does not figure in my first 5 ranks of best singers!!!

  48. Ashok Parekh says:

    hats off jagat kant choudhariji for bringing out such a master piece. an absolutely well analysed article. great.

    ashok parekh

  49. Ahamed Kutty says:

    rafi saab was the mix of so many extra ordinary qualities
    which an ordinary man cannot possess.the unmatchless
    combination is the cause of his ever green popularity and
    the existence of his voice which no body can dream of it.

    once rafi saab performed a live programme in calicut and
    the first song he sung was “aaj mausam badaa bai maana”.
    somebody record the songs and in the next day morning
    it is plyed in the street and the result was traffic jam.i think
    in addition to his various qualities,he was a crowd puller just
    like a film star and no other play back singer in india male
    or female other than rafi saab.

    his various qualities are discussed here in so many
    of his qualities “generosity” is well known.when he received the
    “padmashree” he told let all get “padmashree”.

    kk slapped the guy who said against rafi saab also told rafi saab
    can sing in hundred ways which he cannot.i think this topic will be
    discussed like the topic “voice of Mohammed rafi”

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