Rafisaab,The Mood Maker
This article is written by Mr.M.V.Devraj
In film music there has always been an endless and inconclusive discussion as to who contributes the most, the Music Director, the Lyricist or the Singer. A non-controversial surmise would be that it is the collective and combined efforts of all these participants that make or mar a song. Be that as it may, it is my submission that Rafisaab, by his voice modulations and immaculate diction has always elevated the songs sung by him to another level.
Not only that, in some of the songs, with his fantastic rendition of the pre-mukhda lines Rafisaab creates the mood of the song, he enhances the specific mood and elevates the mood to an altar which no other singer can ever match. It is again my humble submission that these creative contributions by Rafisaab were much beyond the effects envisaged by the Music Composers and have converted these compositions into everlasting diamonds.
I would like to take you all through a few examples of different mood-setter-songs to substantiate my submissions. Readers can add on many more such songs under this category and continue the discussion.
Romance by the riverside
Akele mat jayiyo ooooooo, radhe….., jamuna ke teer
O ji o oooo, tu ganga ki mauj mein…..
The initial alap and these lines by Rafisaab take one straight to the shores of Jamuna River and the romantic mood of the scene in the film is brought alive even before the actual song starts. The song, with Shakeel Badayuni’s excellent poetry and Naushadsaab’s classic Bhairavi composition, touches the ultimate pinnacle only due to this mesmerising mood enhancer by Rafisaab. Now listen to the song and experience this Rafi Effect:
Loss of the loved one
Chale aaj tum jahaanse
huyi zindagi paraayi
tumhein mil gaya thikana
humein maut bhi na aayi….
This is another classic from the stables of Naushadsaab and Shakeel Badayuni from the film Udan Khatola. The moment Rafisaab starts ‘chale aaj tum’ we are moved to solemn and tragic surroundings of the protagonist about to lose his beloved. The effect of Rafisaab singing these lines before the start of the song is just stunning. No human being can remain unmoved by the pathos in the song. If one listens to the song without these pre-song lines then the Rafi Impact will come through like a shot.
Saga of separation
Bikhr gaye bachpan ke sapne
Armanon ki sham dhale
Kahin saje baaraat kisikiiiiiiiiiiii
Kahin kisika pyar jale….
This song from film Goonj Uthi Sehnai with music by Vasant Desai and lyrics by Bharat Vyas reflects the condition of the hero who is separated from his lover. How beautifully Rafisaab captures this mental pathos of the hero when he starts with ‘bikhar gaye bachpan ke’…! The effect on the listener is instantaneous and incisive. Try it out at:
First love letter
Meherbaan likhoon, haseena likhoon, ya dilruba likhoon
Hairaan hoon ke aapko is khat mein kya likhoon
A very romantic set up from the film Sangam, where the hero is desirous of expressing his new found love to his heart-throb and he is trying his hand at putting down his thoughts on paper. The setting is a lovely lawn full of greenery around and this song is penned by Shailendra and composed by Shankar Jaikishan. Are we not simply transported to this kind of a romantic ambience and mood as soon as Rafisaab so mellifluously commences ‘meherbaan likhoon’? The song’s immortality is entirely due to the impact of these two pre-mukda lines.
Kar chale hum fidaa jaan-o-tan saathiyon
ab tumhaare havaale vatan saathiyon
This fantastic song by Kaifi Azmi and composed by Madan Mohan from the film Haqeeqat is picturised with a battlefield background. The hair raising impact on the listener when Rafisaab starts these lines in a slow and soft tempo can only be experienced and is beyond words. The entire gamut of patriotic passion is brought out by Rafisaab in these two lines and how! When the song actually starts, we are all in an emotionally charged environment. That is Rafi Impact for you!
Lastly I would like to take two examples where Rafisaab creates the mood, he enhances the mood and he reaches you to a crescendo and leaves you there from where it is tough to return to normalcy.
The first one is the famous ‘O duniya ke rakhwale’…. The devotional atmosphere is automatically created the moment Rafisaab says ‘bhagwaan…, bhagwaan’ in the beginning. The mood is elevated to the devotional platform and maintained and then he reaches the climax with ‘rakhwale, rakhwale’. These two aspects of this song are the most critical features which lingers on and on with the listener for ever. Sensational singing indeed!
The second one is the title song from Dil Ek Mandir.
Jaanewale kabhi nahin aate
Jaanewaleki yaad aati hai
Hasrat Jaipuri has written the beautiful lyrics and Shankar Jaikishan have breathtakingly composed the song in raag jogiya. But the core contribution for converting this into an unforgettable song comes from the one and only Rafisaab. The start is so sensitively sung that we are into a scene of death even before the actual song starts. And at the end Rafisaab with his high pitched aalap simply leaves us at the crescendo. Aren’t our eyes misty and moist? It will take a long time to come out of that summit point.
Friends, these are some gems with full Rafi Effect, the mood creator par excellence. It is not possible to list and discuss all songs of this genre, since that will be a long list.There can never be a doubt that Rafisaab is HIndi Film Music’s Pride.
“Goonjte hain tere naghmon se ameeron ke mahal
Jhopdon mein bhi gareebon ke teri awaaz hai
Apni mausikee pe sabko fakhr hota hai magar
Mere saathi, aaj mausikee ko tujh par naaz hai”
Lekin wo naaz kahaan hai? Wo tho ab phir aayenge nahin. Unhone hi gaaya tha na,
Jaanewale kabhi nahin aate,Jaanewaleki yaad aati hai?
Rafisaab ke yaadon mein khoye huye unka ek bhakth.