Remembering Rafisahab on his birth anniversary
By Souvik Chatterji
Music lovers all across the world remember, the unforgettable musical maestro Mohd Rafi, on his birth anniversary on 24th December, 2016. He had died in 1980 and 28 years passed after his death. Yet he had created an everlasting appeal during his 35 years illustrious career which has not faded away at all.
Whenever his reference comes music-lovers imagine about “do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan” composed by Naushad, “main gaoon tum so jao” composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “ab kya misaal doon” composed by Roshan, “chaudavi ka chaand” composed by Ravi, “mai zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya” composed by Jaidev, “janewalo zara” composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, “pukarta chala hoon mai” composed by OP Nayyar, “teri aankhon ke siva” composed by Madanmohan, to name a few.
Very significantly he was associated with all the leading actors of bollywood industry in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, which starts with Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Rajender Kumar, Raj Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, Biswajeet, Guru Dutt, Balraj Sahni and extends upto Big B, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, etc. Even comedians like Johnny Walker, Mehmood, Rajendra Nath were indebted to the maestro for his modification of the voice in favour of them which entertained the audience to a big extent.
Rafi Sahab had raised us from sleep, he had made us sleep too. Almost all emotions of human beings are captured in the songs of Rafi Sahab. Listeners hear Rafi’s songs to keep away from stress and strain. What is important at this point is to revisit his songs and help the new generation to hear his songs. A huge number of the Rafi lovers themselves had heard around 10000 songs and still require to hear his private albums, bhajans, ghazals, etc.
Rafi Sahab has sung 26,000 songs in 35 years and that covered the creations and compositions of the most talented composers and lyricists of India. Hardly any singer can be compared or equated with the giant singer. Audience of the modern generation is more used to hear fast numbers due to the trend of music available at this moment. If Rafi’s songs are prioritized in the media, the taste of melodious music can be revived, because Rafi had taken music to a higher dimension. Rafi had not been substituted. The sweetness of voice that God had given him was unparalleled.
17th September is remembered as the death anniversary of eminent poet Hasrat Jaipuri. 15th April is celebrated as the birth anniversary of great poet and lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri. Renowned poet and lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri was born on 15th April, 1922 as Iqbal Hussain. In 1940, Hasrat Jaipuri came from Jaipur to Mumbai. Prithviraj Kapoor heard him in a mushaira and recommended him to Raj Kapoor when he was making the film Barsaat.
The epic combination of Hasrat Jaipuri and Shankar Jaikishan started from Barsaat. The first 2 songs written by him became super hit namely “jiya beqarar hai” and “chor gaye balam”. The pen of Hasrat Jaipuri glorified RK Films and other bollywood films for the next 30 years.
Rafi Sahab, SJ and Hasrat Jaipuri was an equally brilliant combination like Shailendra, SJ and Rafi Sahab. Hasrat’s song sung by Rafi titled “teri teri pyari pyari surat ko” in Rajender Kumar’s film Sasural became super hit. In Shammi Kapoor’s Junglee almost all the songs sung by Rafi Sahab became immortal hits. In that list, Hasrat’s song “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar” touched the souls of music lovers all across India. The song was sung by Rafi Sahab and Lataji and both the versions were very melodious.
Hasrat’s lyrics for Rafi “tum mujhe yu bhula na paoge” became super hit in the late 60s. It was composed by SJ for Shammi Kapoor in the film Pagla Kahin Ka. Hasrat’s song “ajahu na aye balma” in the film Sanjh Aur Sawera was a sensational song. Rafi exhibited his classical andaz and tune of Shankar Jaikishan was excellent by every musical yardstick. Hasrat Jaipuri received the filmfare award for the best lyricist for Rafi’s song “baharon phool barsao” in Rajender Kumar’s film Suraj.
Rafi’s other songs written by Hasrat Jaipuri and composed by SJ included “unke khayal aye to” in Raj Kumar’s Lal Patthar, “badan pe sitare lapete hue” in Shammi Kapoor’s Prince, “awaaz deke hume tum bulao” in Shammi Kapoor’s Professor, “aji rooth kar ab” in Rajender Kumar’s Aarzoo, “dekha hai teri aankho mein pyar hi pyar beshumar” in Dharmendra’s Pyar Hi Pyar, “dhire dhire chal chand gagan me” in Dev Anand’s Love Marriage, “rukh se zara naqab utha lo” in Jitender’s Mere Huzoor, “teri zulfon ne judaai to nahin maangi thi” in Dev Anand’s Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, “kaun hai jo sapno mein aaya” in Rajender Kumar’s Jhuk Gaya Aasman, etc.
Hasrat Jaipuri contributed in Raj Kapoor’s blockbusters like Awaara, Shree 420, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, etc, Rajender Kumar’s blockbusters like Ayee Milan Ki Bela, Dil Ek Mandir, Humrahi, Sasural, Zindagi, etc, Shammi Kapoor’s hit films Janwar, Bhramchari, Raj Kumar, Andaz, etc., Joy Mukherjee’s Love In Tokyo, Biswajit’s April Fool, Uttam Kumar’s Choti Si Mulakat, to name a few.
Raj Kapoor’s greatest hit film in his illustrious career remained Sangam. In the film Hasrat Jaipuri’s words “yeh mera prempatra par kar” sung by Rafi and picturised on Rajender Kumar had remained immortal. Hasrat Jaipuri wrote it for a girl named Radha. Raj Kapoor kept the name of Vaijayantimala Radha in the film Sangam. Rafi’s voice at the end of the film brought tears in the minds of the audience with the words “kitum nazaar na hona” when Raj Kapoor and Vyjayanthimala immersed the ashes of Rajender Kumar in Prayag Sangam at the end of the film.
Hasrat Jaipuri died in 1999. One article is too small to highlight the works of the legends Hasrat Jaipuri, SJ and Rafi. In fact Hasrat Jaipuri worked with other composers of the golden age as well. But the songs written by Hasrat Jaipuri for Rafi Sahab which were composed by Shankar Jaikishan still stand out as the most romantic masterpieces in the history of bollywood cinema.
The media can devote separate programs on Rafi’s association with Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, Roshan, Khayyam, Madanmohan, Ghulam Mohammad, OP Nayyar, etc., and also his association with giants lyricists like Shakeel Badayuni, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi, etc. The landmark musical blockbusters like Taj Mahal, Jahanara, Baiju Bawra, Mere Sanam, Kohinoor, etc., are required to be shown in the popular channels and scanned. Any research on Rafi can only enlighten the listeners about rich music of different class including Hindustani classical, bhajans, ghazals, westernized songs, folk songs, etc. We all pay are best tribute to noble soul Mohammad Rafi.