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Remembering Naushad on his birth anniversary

By Dr Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi and Naushad Ali

The audience of film music in India remembered dignified composer Naushad Ali on his birth anniversary on 26th December, 2017. He was a genius composer and shaped Indian film music with his classical gharana in the 40s from where it just grew with variety and innovation.

Naushad Ali is remembered for his brilliant tunes over a period of 50 years down the memory lane. In the 40s, he composed music in many films including Anmol Ghadi, but he stormed bollywood with romantic songs in Dulari, including “suhani raat dhal chuki” sung by Rafi, all the songs of Andaz, where he composed Rafi’s songs for Raj Kapoor and Mukesh’s songs for Dilip Kumar.

In the 50s, Naushad’s composition in Baiju Bawra made the listeners speechless. He won filmfare award for the best composer for his brilliant classical presentation in songs like “o duniya ke rakhwale”, “man tarapata”, “tu ganga ki mauj”, etc., sung by Rafi and Lata. Rafi’s range was used to perfection and from that time the Rafi Naushad combination provided gems after gems. The different ragas and their timings were explained by Naushad in the film. Bharat Bhushan and Meena Kumari gave able lips in the songs composed by Naushad. Songs of Uran Khatola, like “wo dur ke musafir” sung by Rafi for Dilip Kumar also shook bollywood in the mid-50s.

In the 60s Naushad was unstoppable. His composition in Kohinoor for Rafi titled “madhuban me radhika nache re” and “do sitaron ka zameen” picturised on Dilip Kumar displayed the brilliance of Hindustani ragas. Naushad’s composition in Rajender Kumar’s Mere Mehboob, Naushad displayed the ghazal culture of Lucknow and Aligarh. The songs “mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam”, “ai husn zara jaag”, etc. sung by Rafi and picturised on Rajendra Kumar was per se excellent. Naushad composed light songs in Mughal-i-azam for Lata including “pyar kiya to darna kya”, “mohe panghat pe nandlal”, and again composed thumri sung by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in the same film.

Naushad also composed Bhojpuri music for Dilip Kumar in the film Ganga Jamuna. The songs “nain lad jai hai” sung by Rafi was one of the examples of Naushad’s control of Bihari folk tune. Naushad was at his best in Dilip Kumar’s Leader. All the songs in the film sung by Rafi and Lata flabbergasted the listeners, including “ek shahenshah ne banwa ke haseen taj mahal”, “tere husn ki kya tareef karu”, “mujhe duniya walo”, etc. Naushad was excellent in Dilip Kumar’s Ram Aur Shyam. All the songs sung by Rafi and Lata in the film including “aaye hai baharen dekho”, “yeh raat dulhan ban gayi”, “main hoon saqi”, etc.

Critics consider Dil Diya Dard Liya as one of the best creations of Naushad. All the songs in the film became super hit including Rafi’s “dilruba maine tere”, “koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi”. Naushad Rafi and Dilip Kumar continued with their level of excellence in the film Aadmi, with Rafi’s songs like “na aadmi ka koi bharosa”, “aaj purani rahon se”, etc. Besides, Naushad composed excellent music in Rajendra Kumar’s Palki, Saathi, Ganwar, etc. Rafi’s hit songs in those films included “dil-e-betaab ko seene se lagana hoga” sung with Suman Kalyanpur.

Naushad faded away from film music in the 70s, causing huge loss to the film industry. The classical gharana related to thumris, kajris, ghazals, etc., faded away with Naushad. Music became popular, but lost its class. Naushad received Dadasahab Phalke for his excellent contribution to bollywood music. His songs and the films should be preserved and restored.

Tujhe naghmon ki jaan ehl-e-nazar yun hi nahin kehte..
Tere geeton ko dil ka humsafar yun hi nahin kehte…..
Dukhi thae lakh, phir bhi muthmayeen thae dard ke maare….
Teri awaaz ki shabnam se dhul jaate thae gham saare..
Teri taano mein husn-e-zindagi leta tha angdaaii…
Tujeh Alaahne baqsha tha andaaz – e – maseehaaii
Tu hi tha pyar ka ek saaz iss nafrat ki duniya mein
Arey ganeemat thi teri awaaz iss nafrat ki duniya mein………….

Rafi Sahab ki awaaz ta-qayaamat humaare dilon mein mehfooz rahegi..
Mehfilon ke daamanon mein, saahilon ke aas paas
Yeh sadaa goonjegi sadiyon tak, dilon ke aas paas…………..
Muhammad Rafi, Muhammad Rafi…………

– A tribute by Naushad Sahab at the namaaz- janaaza of Rafi Sahab on 1st August 1980

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4 Blog Comments to “Remembering Naushad on his birth anniversary”

  1. Dr Souvik Chatterji says:

    Along with pure classical numbers Naushad sahab experimented with Rafisahab in many folk songs like “nain lad jaihe o manwama kasak oi bekari”. The Avadhi language was pronounced very well by Rafisahab. The ghazals of Mere Mehboob and Palki were also outstanding.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Naushad ji referred to Rafi saab as ‘Composer’s Delight’ – that is the composer never had to doubt if the singer could do justice to the melody composed by him / her. Compose any demanding tune and Rafi saab would be able to sing it.

    Naushad ji gave Rafi many numbers in vilamb kaal, which is very difficult to sing.
    It was Naushad ji who made people sit up and take notice of Rafi, by composing songs which were sung by Rafi saab beyond their imagination.

  3. Bhargavaram says:

    It was Great Naushad who understood the depth and greatness of Rafi Sahab and picked up a rare GEM OF GEMS. ” Naushad saheb RIP. you gave us a most eximious and celestial gem like Rafi saheb who has enthralled millions by his singing quality”.
    Bhargavaram

  4. Rahat Bakht says:

    Dr. Chatterjee Thank you so much for your ecellent write up. I am an avid fan of Rafi Saheb and Naushad Saheb.

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