Remembering stylist ‘JAANI’ on his 20th Death Anniversary with spirit of Mohammed Rafi
By Mr. Biman Baruah
Third July, 2016 was the 20th death Anniversary of stylish and iconic actor Raaj Kumar. In Indian Cinema, Raaj Kumar is specially known as a king of dialogue delivery, he was famous for his unique style of speaking and dressing in films. In most of his films, he was best known for his famous slogan “JAANI” used in his dialogues and also addressing to his co-star. His famous dialogues are: “Aapke Paon Dekhe, Bahut Haseen Hain, Inhe Zameen Pe Mat Utariyega, Maile Ho Jaayenge” from PAKEEZAH, “Jinke Ghar Sheeshey Ke Hote Hain, Woh Doosron Ke Ghar Pe Patthar Nahin Phenka Karte” from WAQT and “Na Talwaar Ki Dhar Se, Na Goliyon Ki Bauchaar Se, Banda Darta Hai Tu Sirf Parvardigar Se” from TIRANGAA.
Actor Raaj Kumar’s on screen playback was done by different singers like Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, etc. However, he had a special bonding with Mohammed Rafi and Rafi Saab sung some bulbous songs for actor Raaj Kumar in films like GHAMAND (1955), MOTHER INDIA (1957), NAUSHERWAN-E-ADIL (1957), PYAR KA BANDHAN (1963) PHOOL BANE ANGAREY (1963), KAAJAL (1965), NEEL KAMAL (1968), MERE HUZOOR (1968), VAASANA (1968), HEER RAANJHA (1970), LAL PATTHAR (1971), MARYADA (1971), PAKEEZAH (1971), DIL KA RAAJA (1972), KARMAYOGI (1978) and CHAMBAL KI KASAM (1980).
Raaj Kumar was born on 8th October, 1926 as Kulbushan Pandit in Loralai, Belochisthan presently in Pakistan in a family of Kashmiri Pandit. In late 1940s, he shifted to Bombay to work as a sub-inspector of Mumbai Police posted in Mahim Police Station. Once a filmmaker visiting the police station pleased with his unique style of interrogating with criminals and offered him a film role. Then, he gave up his police job, changed his name to Raaj Kumar to work in Hindi films.
Raaj Kumar made his acting debut in the film RANGILI (1952) which was unnoticed by audiences. In next five years, he acted in few inconceivable films which failed to take-off his career. In 1957, Mehboob Khan’s Oscar nominated classic blockbuster film MOTHER INDIA where he played a small role of poor farmer, established him as an actor in Hindi Films. After that there is no looking back for him, he acted in more than 70 films in a career of four decades and played leading hero, central character or villain roles. His most notable performances were in hit films like PAIGHAM(1959), DIL APNA AUR PREET PARAYI (1960), GHARANA (1961), DIL EK MANDIR (1963), WAQT (1965), HAMRAAZ (1967), NEEL KAMAL (1968),HEER RAANJHA (1970), LAL PATTHAR (1971), PAKEEZAH (1972) and HINDUSTAN KI KASAM (1973), out of which he got Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for DIL EK MANDIR and WAQT.
Mohammed Rafi and Raaj Kumar association started with film GHAMAND, music composed by Gulshan Shafi in the lyrics of Kaif Irfani. The duets by Rafi-Asha “Saathi O Saathi Humne Tumko Kitni Khushi Se” and “Tere Dil Ki Dhadkane Mere Dil Mein Aaye” filmed on Raaj Kumar and Shyama not so popular. The first popular duet, “Matwala Jiya Dole Piya, Jhoome Ghata Sayee Re Badal, Karna Hai Tu Pyar Na Darr Biti Umar Aayeegi Na Kaal, Aaree Pagal Aaree Pagal” filmed Raaj Kumar and Nargis sung by Rafi-Lata came in MOTHER INDIA.
This Singer-Actor Combinations real association begin with NAUSHERWAN-E-ADIL means “Farz Aur Mohabbat”, an Urdu-Hindi royal costume action drama produced by Minerva Movietone and directed by Sohrab Modi. In this film, Rafi Saab sung three songs composed by C. Ramachandra in the lyrics written by poet Parwaiz Shamshi. The solo ghazal, “Yeh Hasrat Thi Ki Is Duniya Mein Bas Do Kaam Kar Jaate” sung by Mohammed Rafi for Raaj Kumar became so popular. The other two duets, “Taron Ki Zuban Par Hain Mohabbat Ki Kahani” and “Bhool Jaayein Saare Gham, Doob Jaayein Pyarr Mein” sung by Rafi-Lata royally filmed on Raaj Kumar and Mala Sinha.
In early 1960s, Raaj Kumar was growing star of Hindi Cinema, he was doing role of leading hero, central character and villains in films. He was playing lead hero as a Taangewala in Naresh Saigal’s PYAR KA BANDHAN (1963) and as an Army Officer in Suraj Prakash’s PHOOL BANE ANGAREY (1963). Rafi Saab sung, amusing Tonga song,“Ghora Pechori Mera, Tanga Lahori Mera, Betho Miyaji Betho Lala, Main Hoon Albela Tangewala, Main Hoon Albela Tangewala” for Raaj Kumar composed by Ravi in words of Sahir Ludhiyanvi. In PHOOL BANE ANGAREE, Rafi Saab sung the patriotic gem,“Watan Pe Jo Fida Hoga, Amar Wo Naujawaan Hoga, Rehegi Jab Talak Duniyaa Yeh Afsana Bayaan Hoga” for Raaj Kumar composed by Kalyanji-Anandji in words of Anand Bakshi.
From KAAJAJ (1965), Mohammed Rafi and Raaj Kumar became very popular singer-actor combination where Raaj Kumar played a grey character of tanked-up husband of Meena Kumari and Dharmendra playing brother of Meena, paired opposite Padmini. The songs of the film written by Sahir Ludhiyanvi and are composed by Ravi in voice of Mohmmed Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle. Rafi Saab sung three solos and one duet for Raaj Kumar, all are drunken numbers which made the actor’s character famous one. The songs like “Chulene Do Naazuk Hoton Ko”, “Yeh Zulfe Aagar Khulke”, “Mehfil Mein Teri” and “Zara Si Aur Pilado” became signature of tunes of the actor.
In NEEL KAMAL, the hunting solo, “Tujhko Pukare Mera Pyar, Aaja Main Tu Mita Hoon Teri Chah Mein” sung expressively by Rafi Saab made the Raaj Kumar’s small guest appearance as famous in a film starring titans like Manoj Kumar, Waheda Rehman and Balraj Sahani.
Rafi Saab sung single gloomy songs for Raaj Kumar in films like MERE HUZOOR, VAASANA and LAL PATTHAR, but all of three from different ragas. The songs were “Woh Khushi Mili Hain Mujko Main Khushi Se Maar Na Jaao”, “Aaj Iss Darja Pela Do Ke Na Kuch Yaad Rahe” and “Unke Khayal Aaye Tu Aake Chale Gaye”.
This singer-actor combination gifted film-goers three hit films in early 1970s like HEER RAANJHA, MARYADA and PAKEEZAH. The Chetan Anand’s film HEER RAANJHA was poignant for the famous Rafi gem “Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil, Mere Kaam Ki Nahin” composed by Madan Mohan in the lyrics of Kaifi Azmi. The other two songs from the film, solo “Tere Kooche Mein Tera Diwana” and “Meri Duniya Mein Tum Aayee” duet with Lata also became popular due to Punjabi folk accent. In MARYADA, composer Kalyandji-Anandji assembled three great singers of Hindi Film Music, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. Rafi Saab sung one despondent solo, “Mohabbat Ke Suhane Din, Jawani Ke Haseen Raatein” and dreamy duet with Asha Bhosle “Tu Bhi Aaja Ki Aa Gayee Rut Mastani, Oh Dhol Sajna Tu Dhol Jani, Meri Gaali Aa Teri Meherbani” for Raaj Kumar.
Raaj Kumar played duel role in two films DIL KA RAJA (1972) and KARMAYOGI (1978). In first film, Rafi Saab sung four songs for Raaj Kumar composed by R. D. Burman. The solos, “Jaao Jaao Tum Bhi” is so sad and “Sundar Ho Aise Tum Jidhar Chalo Ek Baar” so romantic. The two duets with Asha Bhosle, “Rajeshwari O Parmeshwari” was comic romantic and “Jinke Pass Haati Ghoda” was socially encouraging. In second film, Rafi Saab sung few lines for the actor at the end of qawwali, “Aaj Faisla Ho Jayega, Ho Jayega, Tum Nahin Yahan Hum Nahin” mainly sung by Kishor Kumar-Asha Bhosle for Ajit and Rekha. Raaj Kumar made late and arresting entry to song with Rafi Saab’s lines, “Tum Aurat Se Takrate Ho, Yeh Mardoon Wala Kaam Nahin”.
Director Ram Maheshwari’s CHAMBAL KI KASSAM is the last film of this combination and film’s music was penned by Khaiyyam in lyrics written by Sahir Ludhiyanvi. The Rafi solo, “Sher Ka Husn Ho” and duet with Lata Mangeshkar “Simti Hui Hain Ghadiyan, Phir Se Na Bikhar Jaayein” were so haunting.
Raaj Kumar was always favourite actor of director Ram Maheshwari and he worked with Raaj Kumar in half dozen films. Though, actor Raaj Kumar was best paired with Meena Kumari and Mala Sinha in on- screen, in real life he married an Anglo-Indian airhostess Jennifer whom he met on a flight. Later he changed her name to Gayatri as per Hindu customs and they had two sons Puru Raajkumar, Panini Raajkumar and a daughter Vastavikta Raajkumar. He was last seen in GOD AND GUN (1995) before his death at the age of 69 on 03rd July, 1996.
Raaj Kumar was a king of dialogue delivery, nevertheless a usual proficient in singing and dancing in films. But as an actor his fondness and demand for music had created some popular songs and song sequences in Hindi Film Music. In late 1950s, he was a rising star and unhappy with director Naresh Saigal playing as a villain “Kaalu” in UJALA (1959), since all songs of the film were filmed on hero Shammi Kapoor sung by Manna Dey and Mukesh. Then, director sorted out the dispute by creating a situation of friendship song between two male stars. The song was “Yaaron Surat Hamari Pe Maat Jao, Yahan Bhi Dil Hain, Yahan Bhi Dil Hain Yu Hamse Na Katrao” sung by Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh. In this male duet, Rafi Saab sung for Shammi Kapoor and Mukesh Saab sung for Raaj Kumar under composition of Shanker-Jaikishan in the lyrics of Hasarat Jaipuri. In mid 1960s, Producer-Director, B. R. Chopra was shooting his suspense thriller HUMRAAZ in Darjeeling with Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Mumtaz and Vimi, during which Raaj Kumar told his director he is not feeling romantic in a picturesque place without a song. Accordingly, the filmmaker sent a telegraphic message to his office in Bombay for a romantic song. Then, composers Ravi composed a romantic song in the voice of Mahendra Kapoor in the lyrics of Sahir Ludhyanvi within a week time and send the record to Darjeeling. The song, “Hey Nele Gagan Ke Tale, Dharti Ke Pyar Pale” filmed on Raaj Kumar and Vimi in background in scenic Darjeeling was become so popular beating the other four songs sung by Mahendra Kapoor for Sunil Dutt in the film. Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar worked together in S.S.Vasan’s film PAIGHAM (1959) for first time playing role of brothers. After three decades, filmmaker Subhash Ghai signed the both actors for his film SAUDAGAR (1991). Initially, Raaj Kumar was not co-operating with the filmmaker keeping in mind that his character will not get much importance in the film in presence of Dilip Kumar. Then, Subash Ghai encouraged the actor stating that both the character had equal importance and tactfully filmed the song,“Imli Ka Boota, Beri Ka Ped Imli Khatti Meethe Ber, Iss Jungle Mein Hum Do Sher, Chal Ghar Jaldi Ho Gayee Der” first on Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar sung by Mohammed Aziz and Sudesh Bhosle. After the song, Raaj Kumar whole heartedly co-operated with the director and the romantic drama film became a silver jubilee hit of 1991.
Mohammed Rafi and Raaj Kumar were kings in their respective fields. This singer-actor composition made popularised by the composers like Naushad Ali, C. Ramachandra, Ravi, Shanker-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, Kalyanji-Anandji and Khayyam. Mohammed Rafi sung maximum popular songs of the actor and the actor was a diehard loyalist to Mohammed Rafi. Raajkumar had always outlooks for the singer in the lifetime of Rafi Saab, even in his lean phase in early 1970s. Rafi Saab sung about 30 songs for Raajkumar, however songs like “Ghora Pechori Mera, Tanga Lahori Mera, Betho Miyaji Betho Lala, Main Hoon Albela Tangewala” from PYAR KA BANDHAN “Choolen Do Naazuk Hothon Ko” from KAAJAL, “Aaja Tujhko Pukare Mera Pyar” from NEEL KAMAL,“Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil, Mere Kaam Ki Nahin” from HEER RAANJHA, “Mohabaat Ke Suhane Din, Jaawani Ke Hassein Raatein” from MARYADA and “Simti Hui Yeh Ghadiyan, Phir Se Na Bikhar Jaayein” from CHAMBAL KI KASAM will commemorate this singer-actor combinations forever. In conclusion, again remembering the actor’s another famous dialogues,“Khudi Ko Kar Buland Itna, Ki Haar Taqdeer Se Pehlee, Khudaa Bande Se Khud Pooche, Bata Tere Raaz Kiya Hai”.
Author Mr. Biman Baruah with a friend
(Yaaron Surat Hamari Pe Maat Jao)
Author can be find at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org