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Ravi sahab and Chitragupt ji gave brilliant tunes to Rafi Sahab

By Dr Souvik Chatterji

Ravi sahab and Chitragupt ji gave brilliant tunes to Rafi Sahab

Chitragupt gave very melodious tunes in the 50s and 60s and as most of his songs were sung by legend of legends Rafisahab, the songs became immortal after creation. Just because the world of music in 1960s was dominated by giants like Naushad Ali, Shankar Jaikishan, Roshanlal Nagrath, Madanmohan Kohli, less known composers like Chitragupt did not receive the recognition he deserved. Rafi’s song “chal ur ja re panchi” composed by Chitragupt in the film Bhabhi in 1957 brought tears in the years of numerous viewers. Rafi used his emotions towards fulfillment of the literary value of the song and Balraj Sahani’s lips in the song also require special mention. In the same film “chali chali re patang” sung by Rafi Sahab and picturized on Jagdeep was require mention.

Chitragupt Srivastav, better known as Chitragupt, was born in Karmaini, Bihar in 1917, and due to his experience in the hindu heartland most of his tunes had the fragrance of folk songs. Besides as he was a lecturer in Patna, his academic brilliance did blend with his musical excellence which was given expression by Rafi. Rafi’s song “chaand jane kahan kho gaya” in the film Mai chup Rahungi, composed by Chitragupt, written by Rajinder Kishan, and picturised on Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari showed the use of light music as well from Chitragupt. Lata Mangeshkar sang the duet song with Rafi. The other hit duet in the film included “koi bata de dil hai kahan” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film.

Rafi’s song “itni nazuk na bano” in the film Vaasna composed by Chitragupt created a very romantic appeal. The song of Rafisahab “aaj ek darja pila do” in somber mood flabbergasted the audience. It was picturized on Raj Kumar and used in the film Vaasna. Also Rafi’s song “yeh parbaton ke dayre” became a big hit in the late 60s. Besides Chitragupt gained attention in the late 1950s with the songs of Rafi “chupakar meri aankhon ko” and “chali chali re patang” in the film Bhabhi which were very impressive. Chitragupt’s compositions in somber mood for Rafi had a great impact. One example is “mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha” from the film Akash Deep in 1965. It was picturized on Dharmender. In Sunil Dutt’s film Nartaki, Chitragupt Rafi combination provided the song “zindagi ke safar me akele the hum”, which became hit. The song “raste me hai tere kab se khare” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film Opera House require special mention.

In Jeetender’s film Aulad, Chitragupt and Rafi combination produced timeless romantic song “aabke bahar ayi hai tere hi naam ke”, and “aarman tha hume jinka” which became super hit. In Feroz Khan’s film Oonche Log, Rafi’s song “jag dil-e diwana” became super hit. It was very romantic. There was hit song in the film Pyar Ka Sapna titled “ae meri zindagi” sung by Mohammad Rafi.

There were other hit songs of Rafi for Chitragupt including “yeh mana ji dil se” in the film Zimbo, “chand kitne door tha” in the film Afsaana, “itni badi duniya” in the film Toofan Me Pyar Kahan, “o duniya ke malik” in the film Shiv Bhakt, “ek baat hai kehne ki” in the film Samson, “mujhe apne sharan me” in the film Tulsidas, “aap moujud yahan” in the film Baaghi, etc.

Although Chitragupt gave landmark music in films like Oonche Log, Ganga Ki Lehre, Zabak, Bada Aadmi, etc., he did not get recognition during the golden age due to dominance of Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad, Roshan and others, and may be due to his composition of music in less significant films. He hardly got an opportunity to compose music in big banners like RK or Guru Dutt, otherwise his contribution was very grand during the golden age.

Rafi’s songs composed by Chitragupt should be restored and revisited.

The lovers of music remembered music director Ravi on his death anniversary on 7th March, 2015. Renowned music director Ravi Shankar Sharma died on 7th March, 2012, at the age of 86 years. His music had remained immortal over the years.

From the film Vachan and Albeli in 1955 he started his musical journey. In 1960, Mohammad Rafi’s soft ghazal “chaudavi ka chand” in the film Chaudavi Ka Chand made him a musical star. Guru Dutt’s picturization was as outstanding as the lyrics and the brilliant performance of Rafi Sahab in both the songs “chaudavi ka chand ho” and “mili khak me muhobbat”. Even Rafi Sahab’s songs for Johnny Walker in the film namely “mera yaar bana hai dulha” and “yeh duniya gol hai” caught the attention of the music lovers. From that time it was magic been created whenever Rafi Sahab and Ravi Sahab combined together. In Rajender Kumar’s film Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan in 1959, Rafi Sahab’s song “ajab hai maalik tera jahan” was very impressive.

Ravi Sahab used Rafisahab in films of Raj Kapoor also namely Nazrana in 1961. The song “baazi kisi ne pyar ka” stood out among the other hit songs of the same film including “bikhrake zulfen’ sung by Mukeshji and Lataji.

In 1961, Rajender Kumar’s Gharana stormed bollywood with the soft music in the songs “husnwale tera jawab nahin”, “jab se tumhe dekha hai” where Rafi’s velvety voice made the audience spellbound. Ravi Sahab and Rafi Sahab created in Rajender Kumar’s other film Pyar Ka Saagar in 1961, where the song “mujhe pyar ki zindagi denewale” made viewers spellbound. In many of the film of Ravi Shankar Sharma, Shakeel Badayani wrote the lyrics.

In Shammi Kapoor’s China Town, Ravi’s music for Rafi had loud numbers like “baar baar dekho”. The magic combination did magic in Biswajeet’s film Shehnai. Rafi’s song “na jhatkon zulf se pani”. Although Ravi created majority of songs for Rafi, he composed lots of successful songs for Mahendra Kapoor like “chalo ek baar phir se” in Gumrah, “neele gagan ki tale” in Humraaz, especially in the films of BR Chopra.

The sarengi that had been used by Ravi had been excellent. No other composer other than Roshanlal Nagrath had used sarengi, the way Ravi used in the film Kaajal in 1965. Rafi’s songs for Raj Kumar namely “ye zulf agar khulke” and “chulene do nazuk hotonko” had made the audience intoxicated. Rafi Sahab’s song for Raj Kumar Nai Roshni in 1967, “kis tarah jeeten hai yeh log” really enchanted the audience. The 2 other songs composed by Ravi Sahab for Rafi Sahab were impressive “garibon ka jeena hai koi jeena” and “teri ankh jo ishara”. Biswajeet and Ashok Kumar played important roles in the film.

All the songs of the film Do Badan in 1966 were smash hits. Rafi and Ravi were unparallel in the songs “bhari duniya me akhir dil”, “raha gardishon me hardam”, “naseeb me jisko jo”, etc., which were picturized on Manoj Kumar. Shakeel Badayani’s lyrics were meaningful and soulful. Even in Joy Mukherjee’s film Door Ki Awaaz, Ravi Rafi combination gave all super hit songs. They included “muqaddar azmana chahta hoon”, “banake mera muqaddar”, “dil mera aaj kho gaya hai kahin”, “husn se chand bhi sharmaya hai”, to name a few.

The combination created magic in the films Ankhen, Do Kaliyan and Neel Kamal in 1968. Biswajeet’s song “tumhari nazar kyun khafaa ho gayi”, “yeh samaa yeh rut yeh nazaare” sung by Rafisahab had brilliant romantic andaz. All the songs in the film Neel Kamal were touchy including “tujkho pukare mera pyar”. It became a cult song. Rafi’s song “babul ki duyayen leti ja” had become a cult song during the marriages of daughters in India. It was also a gift of the Rafi and Ravi combination.

The magic continued in the film Ek Phool Do Mali. Rafi’s songs “o nanhe se farishte” and “aulad walon” made the viewers and listeners mesmerized. In the 70s, Ravi faded out of the industry and made a comeback with the film Nikaah. Although Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle made notable contribution in Ravi’s songs, his magic of soft romantic tunes could be given right expression by Mohammad Rafi.

The list of Rafi songs for Ravi is so long that it cannot be covered in several articles together. Even then the films and the songs should be restored. Although Ravi did not get the same honour as Shankar Jaikishan, or Naushad Ali or Roshan Lal Nagrath, his contribution in bollywood films cannot be ignored and he is one of the 10 best composers India had produced during the 50s and 60s and his combination with Mohammad Rafi had been unique.

Souvik Chatterjee
Souvik Chatterjee, the author of this article

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13 Blog Comments to “Ravi sahab and Chitragupt ji gave brilliant tunes to Rafi Sahab”

  1. Mirza Irfan Baig says:

    Re: September 14, 2015, 8:53 a.m. Post

    Comments from one of the “common people”.

    Naushad Sahib and Shankarji (of SJ duo) did not have melody. Hard to accept. Their melodies have endured more than 70 years. Copied by several over the years.

    “Geeta Dutt and Manna Dey, who did not get the due justice to their unique talent due to the louder cacophony around them – the insecure peers who made a lot of noise but had much lesser substance.”

    Rafi Sahib and Lataji were the peers of Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt. Were they a part of the louder cacophony who were insecure and had much lesser substance?

    “Shikwah beja bhi karey koi to lazzim hai shaur.”

  2. Dr Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Vijayji
    My email address is
    Anyone is welcome to communicate with me
    Thanks Sayyedji and Sharadji, for your valuable comments. Actually 1950s and 1960s were marked by presence of outstanding composers and lyricists having styles of their own, Shankar Jaikishan’s style of western songs never matched with ghazal andaz of Madanmohan, Naushad Ali’s hindustani classical ragas were different from OP Nayyar’s east-west blend music. The great factor of Ravisahab and Chitraguptji was their loyalty towards Rafisahab. They had given their best tunes and Rafisahab reached the tunes to different dimension. The soft romantic numbers like ‘mujhe dard-e dil ka pata na tha” or “zindagike safar me akele the hum” still haunts us.
    Happy ganesh chaturthi to everyone.

  3. Sayyed Mohd.Saqlain says:

    Dr.Souvik Chattreji
    After along time you have posted the article which is very informative about Chitragupta ji ,i always wait for your article.No doubt Chitragupta had same caliper as SJ,SDB,Roshan,Naushad,Ravi and LP etc,but asyou rightly pointed out he could not gain big budget-films.Our all music directors are brillient its very difficult to say who is No.1but Ravi sahab gave comparetively more melodoius tunes to industry.On the saddest day of Indian music ,the headline of Delhi newspapers was” Chal ud ja re panchhi” composed by Chitragupta ji and sung by greatest singer of world VISHWA RATAN ”MOHD.RAFI SAHAB”.Thanks a lot for your article, live a long life.

  4. Hashim khan says:

    very nice article souvik bhai God bless you

  5. Sharad Desai says:

    Rafisahab with Ravisahab see two songs one for Shammi-Jane bahar husn tera and second one for Joy- Husn se chand bhi, both are romantic songs but Rafisahab could justify both heros to match their style/acting/body movements etc.

  6. Vijay Lazarus says:

    Souvik, I would only like to communicate with you – not with the common people.

  7. Vijay Lazarus says:

    Dr,Souvik Chattejee, I read all your posts – always…but today’s post was very special to me. My heart cries for Chitrgupt jii, that he was another one, like Geeta Dutt and Manna Dey, who did not get the due justice to their unique talent due to the louder cacophony around them – the insecure peers who made a lot of noise but had much lesser substance. I would like to point out few facts:

    Unlike Naushad and Shanker, of Shanker Jaikishen duo and Kalyanji-Anandji duo, Chitragupt had the melody. Though the tunes were very simple, but remember the fact: only the masters can produce the profound in total simplicity – that was our beloved Chitragupt, M.A. in Economics! Right? All his compostions were total melody – like C. Ramchandra.

    If you study the whole carrier of Lataji, you would come to the startling fact that only under the batton of Chitragupt Lataji had delivered the best tonal quality of her voice. Check on this fact yourself. And the same could be said about Rafiji! I feel it is a fact that what we hear of the singer in the recordings is a shadow of the composer’s own voice; for example I can hear S.D. Burman’s voice when Latajii sings “Mora gora ang laile…” I can hear Hemant Kumar’s voice when Ashaji sings, “Meri baat rahii mera mann mein…” We got the best voice of Ashajii in O.P.Nayyar’s compositions, “Yahii woh jagah hai…” The voice of C. Ramchandra in Talat’s rendering, “Dil dil se keh raha hae…” So coming back, could it be the voice of Chitragupt that Lataji is unconsciously reproducing – and we are getting the best voice of Latajii, just as we also got the best voice of Latajii when she sang the songs of C. Ramchandra in her earlier years?

    Next, Chitragupt was very precise in his orchestration, as well as in the tchnique of the counter melody – very balanced and very well recorded – just like that of the orchestration of O.P.Nayyar and C. Ramchandra. It is quite possible that Nauashad was very systematic and organized in his production, but the results were quite different; while Chitragupt was always sweet to hear no matter what had been the challenge: His use of violins, accordion, clarinets and saxophon, and that unique accompanying rhythm made up of balanced guitar and dholk/drums and the double bass – no instrument robbed another in his orchestration – like O.P. Nayyar. Of course Chitragupt was of the same school in this field as that of C. Ramchandra.

    So, no doubt about the fact that our stalwart in this field, I am referring to Latajii, knew all these facts thoroughly and had told Chitragupt, “Whenever you would call me I will be there – even if you do not have the money to pay me, I will sing for you.” And the proof is before us today.

    But Alas! people still count him a C-grade music director! When my wife and I are hungry for good music to listen to, we like to listen to the songs by Chitragupt and get lost in the beauty of the gems he gave us ungrudgingly. And remember: There were those years when Chitragupt and O.P. Nayyar were the two, who were delivering around ten films every year!

    I can’t but appreciate the law of Gresham: When you release the bad money in the market, the bad money puts good money out of circulation. I feel so very sorry that Shankar has produced so much of cacophony and destroyed the beauty of our music by focusing on the wrong goal and also by being crooked in buying votes for the Filmfare Awards. Don’t you agree that he was the most insecure one of the whole lot?

    Thanks, Souvik jii, for this journey down memory lane. I am with you.

  8. Sayed M. Irfan says:

    Very good article Dr Chatterjee. I agree with you that Chitragupte never got the status he deserved. Somehow, the greats seem to carry away the share of the other talented ones too. There are many more Lata’s songs as well that are attributed to Chitragupte. Guest House, Akash Deep, Mera Qasoor Kiya Hai, Barkha, etc.

    There is just one error in your recap here. The film ‘Nartaki’ was Ravi’s composition, not Chitragupte’s.

  9. Well written article. Thank you Mr Souvik Chatterjee and through your write up
    we are rembering the great works of Ravi, chitraputa. As you said these two
    composers deserved more appreciation and awards and ofcourse recognition.

    There are music directors who can be categorised Melody makers and cetainly Chitragupta, Ravi will be a part of that club and others like Salil Chowdhry,
    Khyam just to name some.

    I enjoyed reading your article and keep up the good work.

  10. Israr Khan says:

    Many Many thanks for Souvik Chatterjee ji. Aapse ek Iltaja h Rafi Sahab ke kuch Incident ke baare me bhi Article likhe aur live rare videos bhi upload kijiyega. Thanks a lot sir.

  11. An error has occurred in this write-up. Chitragupt did not give music for the Sunil Dutt-Nanda starrer film “Nartaki”. Music director of that film was Ravi.

  12. Dr Souvik Chatterji says:

    Thanks Davenji for the wonderful comments. Chitragupt’s major contributions were catered towards Rafisahab. The songs were very melodious and required huge skills to sing.

  13. Mercy Daven says:

    Thank you Souvik Chatterjee for the immense effort you put in to research and write this article. Well written, well balanced and very informative. Now I wish I have enough time to search the web to find and listen to the songs you have mentioned some which are not familiar to me.

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