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Sawan Ke Mahine Mein…

This article is written by Mr. Robin Bhat

Dear Fellow Rafi Lovers at “Meri Awaaz Suno”, (c/o Pradeep)

Another July is upon us. A month of dark, ominous clouds, which conquer the cerulean skies, and for days on end, shut out the sun itself. A month of little light, depressing overcast and like the torrential waters, bringing a swirl of memories of older, better days.

To Hindi music lovers, July is a similarly somber period. A month when we lost not one, but two suns. At the time, an eclipse of somewhat frightening proportions, all the more because it was sudden and irreversible.

It was a black Monday in 1975, when on July 14, while planning for a movie named ‘Salim-Anarkali’ at his friend Chetan Anand’s place, the legendary Madan Mohan left us, to never come back. Or, to come back only briefly and haunt us with his two final gifts – Mausam and Laila Majnu.

One man who must have suffered a heavy blow at the loss of Madan Mohan was Rafi. So many towering ghazals, soft romantic classics, heartbreaking emotional songs and the many, splendid faster songs from this incredible team! How sad he must have been to listen to his classics of Laila Majnu without the company of their creator.

Here is a quote from an article by Sanjeev Kohli –

” Whenever we asked him to pose with the harmonium for a photograph, he would play and sing the song ‘tumhari zulf key saaye mein’ from Naunihal and keep telling me that this was his favourite and why it was such a brilliant composition. It was my first encounter at being told by somebody I worshipped, that my father was way above the others. He also told me that MM had given him a new lease of life with Laila Majnu.

“At the time, everybody, including the hero of the film, wanted Kishore Kumar to be the male lead singer for the film. Rafi Saheb was not at the peak of his performing career, yet my father put his foot down, adamant that only Rafi should sing the songs or he would leave the film.. Of course, after Laila Majnu, Rafi became Rishi Kapoor’s voice in films like Karz., Amar Akbar Anthony, etc., etc”…


And five years after this fateful day, came that terrible, last Thursday and last day of July, 1980. No more Rafi !! To those of us who grew up in those wondrous times, it is still somewhat unbelievable that Rafi-saab is no more. Every time I hear a Rafi song, I feel that he is still with us. ….’tu kahin aas-paas hai, ae dost’…

Such is the permanence of this man’s voice.

Many charlatans have come, pretending to be like him. They have all been discarded into the dustbin of history. One has scampered up on the rungs of Rafi’s voice and may go far, but by his own admission, he is not a patch on the master. Dudh ka dudh aur paani ka paani hi rahega.

Long live Madan Mohan and Mohammed Rafi !!

As we go through July, we can think of them with these lines –

‘Tum jo mil gaye ho, to ye lagta hai, ke jahaan mil gaya..
Ek bhatke hue raahi ko, caravan mil gaya…
Tum kya jaano tum kya ho,
Ek surila nagma ho…

Best regards…..Robin

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5 Blog Comments to “Sawan Ke Mahine Mein…”

  1. kn gopinath says:

    madan mohan and rafi saheb, what a golden and everliving combination
    in the heart of music lovers. ToooooooooooooooGood an article………………..
    warmest regards,

  2. Anmol Singh says:

    Talking about his haunting tunes. They indeed contiune to haunt after 30 years of his death in the film ‘Veer Zara’. Unreleased tunes recreated by his son Sanjeev Kohli.

  3. Anmol Singh says:

    Composers like Madan Mohan can never bend down against quality. It is very sad and unfortunate that a composer much ahead of time left us so early. Possibly Madan Mohan could have dominated the scene of private Ghazal albums sung by Jagit Singh and other singers for the next 2 decades.

  4. Sobhan Datta says:

    The article took me for a while to those moments of life when one can not speak, just remember.

  5. Bonifacius says:

    Great article. I am just sad I dont know how to reply properly, though, since I want to show my appreciation like many other.

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