Rafi with Music Composers â€“ Part 4
This article is by Mr. Anmol Singh.
Rafi with Laxmikant Pyarelal (LP)
Apart from SJ, LP are the second most successful music composers. Perhaps may be again both are from different cultures. Laxmikant Kudalkar is from Mumbai, Maharashtra and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma from Northern India. Both initially have worked as musicians and assistants to Naushad and Kalyanji-Anandji and many other music composers. Since Laxmikant hails from Maharashtra, the lezim drumbeats from Maharashtra folk music have been used very effectively for many backgroung score and song compositions. Success was not easy for the duo, since they had no Godfathers to promote them. They both started with B grade films, which were never released. Their first break through came via film â€œParasmaniâ€ and â€œDostiâ€ established them as full flagged music composers. The most unique aspect of these two films was that they had unknown actors for whom Rafi Saab gave A grade performance. The classics are â€œWo Jab Yaad Ayeâ€ a duet with Lata based on Raag Kalyan / Yaman and â€œChanhuga Mein Tujheâ€ based on Raag Pahadi, â€œJaane Walon Zaaraâ€ based on Raag Pahadi, â€œRahi Manva Dukh Ki Chintaâ€, â€œMera To Jo Bhi Kadamâ€. The song ‘Chahunga mein tujhe‘ for which Rafi Saab and lyricist Majrooh won Filmfare awards was to be scrapped from the soundtrack. It was Rafi Saab who insisted that LP retain the song and what a momentous decision that was from Dosti where there was no looking back. LPâ€™s association with Rafi Saab continued till his last day. During Rafi Saabâ€™s lean years in the early 70s apart from Madan Mohan it was LP who stood by him. Both where instrumental in bringing Rafi Saabâ€™s comeback in the mid 70s. Rafi Saab has sung maximum number of songs for LP.
For the jumping jack called Jitendra, Rafi Saab has given some mid blowing performances in the form of solos and duets with Lata and Asha under LP. To name a few solos â€“ â€œEk Banjara Gaayeâ€, â€œAane Se Uske Aaye Bahaarâ€, â€œO Meri Meheboobaâ€, â€œMast Baharon Kaa Meinâ€, â€œMere Des Meinâ€, â€œJane Ham Sadak Ke Logon Seâ€ and duets â€œAa Mere Hamjoli Aaâ€, â€œAashavon Ke Sawan Meinâ€, â€œTumse O Haseenaâ€, etc. In the duet â€œDhal Gaya Din Hogayi Shamâ€ the badminton beats are very well coordinated with rhythm of the song. Rafi and Asha give a super performance. Rafi Saab sings with great enthusiasm, perhaps badminton is his favorite sport. Another duet with Asha â€œTere Hathon Mein Peh Nake Chudiyaâ€ is also a classic from â€˜Jaani Dushmanâ€™.
For the Bollywood He-Man called Dharmendra (Paaji), apart from other singers Rafi has made the maximum contribution in the 60s & 70s. The solos sung for the Dharmendra are â€“ â€œAaj Mausam Badaâ€, â€œMaa Tujeh Dundun Kahanâ€, “O Maajhi Chaal“, â€œHuyi Sham Unka Khayaalâ€, â€œNa Jaa Kahin Ab Na Jaaâ€, â€œChalkaaye Jaam Aayi Yehâ€, â€œKya Miliye Aise Logon Seâ€ and later in the early 80s â€œKahaniyan Sunati Hai Pawanâ€. The song that defines Dharmendra the best is â€œMein Jat Yamlaâ€. Here Rafi Saab matches Dharmendraâ€™s body language the perfectly than any other singer. There are some great duets sung by Rafi & Lata under LP for Dharmendra â€“ â€œSaathiya Nahin Jaanaâ€, â€œBadra.. Ke Aya Sawan Jhoom Keâ€, â€œAaja Teri Yaad Aayiâ€, â€œJhilmil Sitaron Kaâ€, â€œKuch Keheta Hai Yeh Sawanâ€, â€œYeh Dil Tum Binâ€, â€œChanda Mama Se Pyaaraâ€ a duet with Usha Mangeshkar, etc. Paaji appeared very disturbed at Rafi Saabâ€™s dismissal during the tribute given at the Mumbai Doordarshan in 1980.
For the super star of early seventies Rajesh Khanna, Rafi Saab has delivered some mind blowing performances under LP. This was during the Kishore Kumar dominated era, where Rafi could create such an impact through hit songs picturized on Rajesh Khanna â€“ â€œChup Gaye Saare Nazaareâ€ based on Raag Tilang, â€œYeh Reshmi Zulphenâ€, â€œRang Rang Ke Phool Khileâ€, â€œYeh Jo Chilman Haiâ€, â€œEtna To Yaad Hai Mujheâ€ based on Raag Tilang. But there is one song from the film â€˜Haathi Mere Saathiâ€™, â€œNafrat Ki Duniyaâ€ where Rafi Saab puts great emotions into the mind-blowing lyrics provided by Anand Bakshi. This song is a tribute to animal cruelty and is considered as the signature tune by animal rights organizations and activists. Anand Bakshi has been awarded by the RSPCA for his excellent lyrics.
LP have been instrumental in some great compositions sung by Rafi Saab for none other then the Star of the Millennium, The Big B i.e. Amitabh Bachchan. Kishore Kumar perhaps is more suited for Big B, but Rafi Saab provides a different dimension. This can be seen from the song â€œJohn Johnny Janardhanâ€ where he matches Big Bâ€™s personality perfectly. For the song â€œMere Dost Kissaâ€ Rafi gets a film fare nomination. Other songs include â€œAtrah Baras Ki Tu Honeâ€, â€œTeri Rabh Ne Banaadi Jodiâ€, â€œMere Desh Premiyonâ€, â€œAye Yaar Sun Yaari Teriâ€, â€œPatta Patta Buta Butaâ€ and about all a devotional number based on Gujarati folk music â€œKaal Ke Panje Se Maata Bachavoâ€ can be heard through most of the Dandia festivals in Mumbai. Big B does an excellent job on screen.
Another star of the 1970s the handsome Rishi Kapoor, Rafi Saab provides his youth full voice through the songs (Duets & Solos) which were great hits â€“ â€œParbat Ke Is Paarâ€, â€œDafli Wale Dafli Bajaâ€, â€œHum Tho Chale Pardesâ€, â€œRamji Ki Nikli Sawaari â€, â€œDard-e-dil Dard-e-jigarâ€. In the song “Koyal Boli Duniya Doli” the singing of the birds is perfectly co-ordinated. Rafi Saab sings along with his favorite actor Amitabh Bachchan in Naseeb for Rishi â€“ â€œChal Mere Bhai Tere Hath Jodâ€. It is believed that Rafi Saab was the most exited during the recording. Who can forget the unforgettable Qawaali from Amar Akbar Anothny â€œPardah Hai Pardahâ€ and the devotional song â€œShirdi Wale Sai Babaâ€, both picturized on Rishi Kapoor. In the history of Indian Music there is only one song where the three icons of music Rafi-Kishore-Mukesh along with Lata have sung together â€“ â€œDekh Ke Tumko Dilâ€. Again Rafi sings for Rishi here. Full credit goes to LP for this unique creation.
For the multi dimensional Sanjeev Kumar again Rafi Saab provides some great numbers under LP â€“ â€œAaya Re Khilonewalaâ€, â€œKhush Rahe Tu Sadaâ€, â€œShaadi Ke Liye Razamand Karliâ€, â€œTere Naam Ka Diwanaâ€ and â€œO Firki Wali Tu Kalâ€. For the song â€œKhilona Jaan Karâ€ Rafi Saab sings for the mentally challenged character played by Sanjeev Kumar. Both get Film Fare nominations here.
In the mid 60s and early 70s LP have given some great numbers sung by Rafi Saab for many other actors. To name a few â€“ â€œNazar Na Lag Jaayeâ€, â€œBa-Hosh-o-hawas Mein Diwanaâ€, â€œVoh Hein Zara Khafaâ€, â€œPatthar Ke Sanam Tujehâ€, â€œSaajan Saajan Pukaarunâ€, â€œHam Tumhare Liyeâ€, “Reshman Ki Dori“, â€œMujeh Teri Mohobbat Kaâ€, â€œAap Aaye Bhaar Ayeeâ€, â€œMein Ek Raaja Hoonâ€ based on Raag Bhairagi Bhairav, â€œNa Tu Zameen Ke Liyeâ€. Later in the mid and late 70s â€œAadmi Musaphir Haiâ€, â€œYeh Khidki Joâ€, â€œKaali Ghata Chayiâ€, â€œChalo Re Doliâ€, â€œTere Sang Jinaa Tere Sang Marnaaâ€, etc. SJ were compelled to change their music orchestra, due to LPâ€™s remarkable compositions in the 60s.
LP have composed few marvelous Kishore-Rafi duets. To name a few â€“ â€œEk Rasta Do Rahiâ€, â€œChal Shuru Ho Ja Oneâ€, â€œHum Premi Prem Karnaâ€, etc. Perhaps the most memorable is the song â€œBane Chahe…Salamat Rahe Dostanaâ€ is a tribute to both Rafi-Kishore association with Bollywood. From the film â€˜Badalte Rishteâ€™ in the song â€œNa Jane Kaise Pal Meinâ€ the duet sung with Kishore & Suman K, Rafi Saab makes a late entry and turns the song towards a positive node. Full credit goes to LP here.
The last song, which Rafi Saab sang for LP, was â€œTu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dostâ€ for the film Aas Paas. The very same evening Rafi Saab leaves us forever. Since then and for many centuries to come Rafi will always be â€˜Aas Paasâ€™ – â€˜Some Where Near Usâ€™.
A tribute from Pyarelal
“What can I say about a man jo tareef se bahut hi oopar hai, and had countless golden qualities? I am only able to feel my deep regard for him, not to express it. Rafisaab aisi sargam thi jisse koi bhi raag ban saktaa tha. He could sing in any range or octave. If today’s composers are to flower, the Almighty should create nine Rafis more! Can we find even a single song of his that is badly rendered? Of course, he had a major role in our career, and yet I would single out one song to show his greatness as a human being – Kalyanji-Anandji’s ‘Sukh ke sab saathi…’ (Gopi). How much apnapan is there in the rendition of this bhajan though Rafisaab belonged to a different mazhab!”
A tribute from Shailendra Singh
“A matchless singer, he was an even greater human being. He would call me ‘Kaka’, and I had the privilege of singing so many hits with him in films like Chacha Bhatija, Suhaag, Parvarish, Dada, Humse Badhkar Kaun and others. There was a qawwali that we recorded in which I felt that I could simply not match the high note he was taking, but he coaxed me and I did it! Since my father was working for a film company, I had the privilege of attending his recordings from my school days.” “I remember the recording of “Hum premee prem karnaa jaane…” from Parvarish where he was amused that Laxmikant-Pyarelal had made me sing for his hero Shammi Kapoor and he sang for Vinod Khanna! He said, “They have made you sing for an old man and me for the young one!
Rafi with R D Burman(Pancham)
Apart from Dada Burman, R D Burman popularly known as Pancham has also been instrumental in promoting Kishore Kumar. Pancham is the son of lengendry composer Dada Burman. Pancham started his career as an assitant to Dada Burman. His first assignment as an independent music composer was for Mehmoodâ€™s, â€˜Chote Nawaabâ€™, with all songs sung by Rafi. In â€˜Teesari Manzilâ€™ all the songs sung by Rafi Saab for Shammi Kapoor were mind blowing. The rock-n-roll Rafi & Asha number â€œAaja Aaja Mein Hun Pyaar Teraâ€ is unforgettable. Both sing with tremendous versatility and Shammi Kapoor alongwith Asha Parekh do a marvelous job on screen. Other classics include another Rock-N-Roll with glass beats â€œO Hasina Zulfon Waaliâ€, romantic solos â€œDiwana Mujhsa Nahiâ€ & â€œTum Mujhe Dekhaâ€ another duet with Asha â€œO Mere Sona Re Sonaâ€ and above all a fun song â€œDekhiye Sahebonâ€. In fact this film played a vital role in launching Pancham as a full-fledged composer.
Pancham was the main composer for most films under the Nasir Hussian banner. Their association continued for almost two decades from â€˜Teesari Manzilâ€™ in 1966 to â€˜Zabardustâ€™ in 1985. Rafi Saab sang some ultimate numbers for Pancham consisting of both Solos or Duets. His duets with Asha, â€œYeh Ladka Hai Ye Alaaâ€, â€œPucho Na Yaar Kya Huvaâ€,”Haiya Haiya Bolo Bolo Kuch“,”Ham Jab Ek Saath Hein“, “Dekhen Hazaaron Mehefilen” and â€œChuraliya Hai Tumne Joâ€ based on Raag Pilu are all just ultimate. Above all the famous Qawaali â€œHai Agar Dushman, Dushmanâ€ based on Raag Kalavati between Rafi and Asha is also remarkable. The most unique aspect about this song is that it conveys a direct message to the world of music that Rafi Saab is ultimate, who can never fade with changing scenarios from different times. Again Pancham uses Rafi Saabâ€™s voice for an in between narration instead of using Rishi Kapoor. But the song â€œKya Hua Tera Wadaaâ€ is the best song of the 1970s, where Rafi Saab manages a film fare and National award for a single song. No singer has won two different categories of awards for the same song till date. Rafi Saab indeed won many nomination in the 70s, got awarded only once but in an ultimate style. It can be best defined from the saying in Hindi, â€œSau Sonar Ki, Ek Lohar Kiâ€.
Moving ahead some mind blowing Solos have been sung by Rafi Saab for Pancham, â€œChand Mera Dilâ€, â€œRut Hai Milan Kiâ€, â€œGori Ke Haath Meinâ€, â€œGulabi Ankhen Jo Tuneâ€, “Chekush Nazare“,”Mujh Se Bhala Yeh Kaajal“, “Janam Diya Jinko Tumne“, “Ham Ko Bhulaavo Ya Na“, â€œKaun Kisiko Band Sakaâ€, â€œMaine Puchha Chand Se Keâ€, â€œPyar Hai Ek Nishaanâ€, â€œWadiyan Mera Daamanâ€, â€œYa Aliâ€¦Aate Jate Hue Mein Sab Khabarâ€ and many more. Pancham did compose a patriotic number for Rafi Saab in the film ‘Balika Badhu’, “Apani Maavon Behnon Ko“.
Apart from the above-mentioned Qawwali there are two more where Pancham provides a classical touch, one is from â€˜Aandhiâ€™ along with Amit Kumar â€œSalaam Kijiye Aali Janaabâ€ and the other one is from â€˜The Burning Trainâ€™, â€œPal Do Pal Kaâ€ based on Raag Kedar. Once again Rafi â€“ Asha steal the show. Pancham is at his best in this Qawwali. On screen the Jumping Jack and Neetu Singh do an excellent job.
With Kishore, Rafi Saab has sung some superb duets under RD. â€œYaadon Ki Baraatâ€, â€œJaanu Meri Jaanâ€, “Seedhi Raaste Chalogi Tho“, â€œMileh Jo Kadi Kadiâ€ based on Raag Bhairavi. There is one duet sung with Pancham also â€œYaama Yaamaâ€, one sung with Amit Kumar â€œBade Bade Logon Ke Yaarâ€, one sung with Manna Dey “Ik Shok Haseena Se” and one with the bad man of Bollywood Danny Dengzongpa â€œMujeh Doston Tum Gale Seâ€. It is believed Danny came to the Film Industry to become a singer initially.
Indeed Pancham has used Kishore more than Rafi Saab in the early 70s, which encouraged the media to write a lot of baised comments like “I recall Pancham, in his Santa Cruz music room, pointedly telling me that he never really cared for Rafi“. His westernized rythmic tunes were the turning point in the Bollywood music which brought Kishore into limelight to such an extend that most film makers favoured Kishore over Rafi in the early 70s. In the late 70s with the trend had changed towards Rafi Saab, Pancham used Rafi Saab for many excellent compositions. Below is the tribute which Pancham is given to Rafi Saab (Courtesy:Yahoo Groups – Pancham)
A tribute from Pancham
In one of Ameen Sayani’s programmes Panchamda recalled his association with Rafi Saab. He said that Rafi saab was a very simple man who never had any ill feeling towards others. He said “unke saath kabhi koi badmazgi nahin hoti thi” (I was quite surprised to hear the word badmazgi used by him as it is an Urdu word not usually used by people who are not very fluent with the language. But then VN’s book says that Pancham da did learn Urdu) Pancham da also said that when he was in the mood after singing, Rafi Saab used to say “ho jaaye” and then we used to go to Bhendi Baazaar and get jalebis and devour them. Remembering the song “Yamma Yamma” he said that I told Rafi saab that ek gaanaa hai aap ko mere saath gaanaa hai…aur ussmein aawaaz kuchh badal kar gaanaa padegaa. He said “Thiik hai ham gaaenge”.
A tribute from Amit Kumar
“He was a wonderful human being, and so were my experiences with him in the many songs we sang together, beginning with Aandhi’s `Salaam kijiye…’. I recall his dropping me all the way home after a recording that was very near his house because my car had broken down. He had once watched me backstage at a show at which both of us were performing. After I had belted out 12 songs at a stretch, he complimented me on my singing, but advised me to take breaks after every 3-4 songs in a very caring, fatherly way. My dad and I had the highest regards for each other and would talk on the ‘phone
frequently. He refused to take more than a token one rupee as payment for singing two songs in dad’s film ‘Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi’. In 1972, when the media was highlighting the rivalry between dad and him, we were in London for a show and he invited us over to his home there and served us an exotic home made meal. It was a great evening with both Rafisaab and dad also singing and recalling their days when my father would sing in the chorus of a Rafi song! Dad and Rafisaab were so similar in their simplicity and genuineness as human beings.”