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The Rafi-Kishore saga

The following article appeared in The Statesman,Calcutta, on Aug.7 th 2005. It will give more food for thought to the ongoing debate about the Rafi personality and magic – Mohan Flora .

Mohd. Rafi was the greatest playback singer, asserts Ranjan Das Gupta as he pays tribute on the melody kings 25th death anniversary. Rafi was a classically trained singer while Kishore was naturally endowed with excellent resonance. The latter was a versatile genius, singer, music director, actor, writer and director all rolled into one. Both were proficient singers but had separate individual styles.

In the 1950s Rafi literally ruled the roost. He was the most favoured singer for veteran composers like Naushad, S.D. Burman, Shanker Jaikishan, Madan Mohan while Kishore was preferred by S.D. Burman and Salil Choudhury who was playback mainly for Dev Anand and his own films. Rafi on the other hand could balance his melodious voice for diverse stars like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor.

It is an astonishing fact that O.P. Nayar used Rafi to sing for Kishore Kumar the unforgettable tune Man Mora Bawra in Ragini in 1957. Shanker Jaikishan also had Rafi to sing Ajab Hai Dastan in Shararat in 1958. Says record museum owner Vinod Santhalia, It is simply amazing. Imagine Mohd. Rafi sang for Kishore Kumar in films Kishore himself acted.

Shanker Jaikishan commented, No doubt Kishore Kumar is a good singer. He sang beautifully for me in Rangoli. But Ajab Hai Dastan was simply not Kishores cup of tea. The mukhdas and antaras required a singer of Rafis range and classical background.

Although Kishore Kumar felt bad about this, he could only marvel at Rafis brilliant rendering of the two songs. Rafi characteristically remarked, No one else except Kishore could sing Dukhi Man Mera in Funtoosh so well.

Salil Choudhury was not favourably inclined towards Rafi at one point of time, but even he was compelled to use Rafi for the unforgettable Tootey Huey Khuabo Nay in Madhumati and Koi Soney Ke Dil Wala in Maya and confess that Rafi was indeed peerless.

It is generally known that Rafi and Kishore went through a bad patch in their relationship. Yet it is also true that both liked and respected each other. S.D. Burman openly admitted to Kishore that the three solos in Guide by Rafi could not be matched by any singer. On Dev Anands special request, he composed the Kishore-Lata super hit duet Gata Rahe Mera Dil for Guide. Similarly, Rafis numbers in Teen Deviyan and the haunting duet with Lata Mangeshkar in Jewel Thief were far superior to the Kishore numbers in these films.

In the late 60s when R.D. Burman composed the melody for Tum Bin Jaaun Kahan in Pyar Ka Mausam, he experimented the same solo with both Rafi and Kishore. True, Kishore sang this number by melodiously incorporating his inimitable yodelling. But in the romantic number, Rafi scored over Kishore in melody.

The 60s was also considered Rafis decade though Kishore matured considerably as a singer during this period. The Jungle Mein Mangal number Woh Din Ke Baat Sharan Karo had both Rafi and Kishore together but is somehow not remembered that well. But Shanker Jaikishans Hanste Gate Jahan Se Guzar in Andaz by Rafi quite eclipsed Kishores entire Zindagi Ek Safar in 1971.

Madan Mohan also used both Rafi and Kishore in the song Yu Na Sharma for Parwana in 1972. Kishore sang the happy rendition for hero Navin Nischal. But there was Rafi again to do full justice to the Are Hansnewale, the melancholic aspect of the same song for Amitabh Bachchan.

In the 1970s the Kishore Kumar wave took the Hindi film music by storm and was backed by R.D. Burman. Some critics felt R.D was partial to Kishore and avoided using Rafi. The Rafi Kishore duet Yaadon Ki Barat from the film with the same title in 1973 turned out to be a superhit. But it cannot be categorised either as an exclusive Rafi or a Kishore gem for both sang in perfect harmony.

Subsequently, R.D. Burman opted for Rafi again after four years as no other singer could have rendered so skillfully Chand Mera Dil and Kya Hua in Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin; that too in a film with many Kishore Kumar superhits like Mil Gaya and Aa Meri Jaan.

When Rafi sang Darde Dil for Laxmikant Pyarelal in Karz in1980 based on a single note, he proved melody was indeed God-gifted to him, remembers upcoming singer Sujan Bose. Kishores Ay Mere Umar Ke and Ek Hasina Thi could not touch that level. The same can be said for Rajesh Roshan’s Yarana where Rafi’s Aare Re Aisa Tarana completely surpassed Kishore’s Sara Zamana and Tere Jaisa.

Mohd. Rafi left for his heavenly abode on 31 July, 25 years ago. Remembers author Nabaran Bhattacharya, The photo of a silent, sad and grief-struck Kishore in the newspapers portrayed very well that no one except him understood what an irreparable loss had taken place in Indian film music.

As Kishore himself said when Jagjit Singh criticised the Rafi gharana, How dare these so-called ghazal singers criticise an icon that Manna Dey, Mukesh and I dare not criticise. Rafi was unique.

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815 Blog Comments to “The Rafi-Kishore saga”

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  1. chaman bagga says:

    The reason why Lata Mangeshkar is so fond of KK is because he always considered her senior (and even charged 1 Re less than her fees always)…

    And she was not in good terms with Rafi over some stupid issues… and as long as Rafi was there, she was never considered No 1.

  2. Quddus Abdul says:

    Piyare Doston: Mausiqui Field ek us bohat bare Chaman ki tarha hai jisme sare Mausiqar, Gulokar aur Musicians apne apne rangon aur kushboo se fiza of mehkate rahe hain aur mehkarahe hain. Chaliey un phoolon he sey poochhtay hain keh aapka kiya khayal hai apne aapke bare main. Nazar daaltey hain unkay un statements per jo kay unhonnay khud jagah jagah per diey hain. Phir yeh kehna Rafi sahib ke liey ghalat nah hoga keh “Chaman key phool bhi tujh ko gulab kehte hain. Hum he nahin yeh sab he lajab kehte hain.” Lets go bhaiyon and take a walk in that Chaman and enjoy it as much as we can. Raha sawal Jagjitji ke Rafi saheb ko criticize karneka. Mera sirf ek sawal hai Jagjitji se. What have you been smoking, dude? Bahut se shubkamnaon ke sath, Amrika se , Quddus Abdul.

  3. chaman bagga says:

    Nonsense. This article is heavility biased towards Rafi Saheb.

    Though I have great respect for Rafi Saheb, Kishore Kumar sang superbly in 70’s, mostly because of two reasons.
    1. R.D. composed songs that were specially suited to KK
    2. Other directors also followed similar pattern of Music.

    Rafi, if would have sung these songs would not have sounded better than KK (in most of them). But surely, he would have sung them better.

    I still agree that RD created a bias against Rafi. He composed songs which were well suited to KK, but didn’t do so for Rafi… or he gave him somewhat slow songs (chand mera dil).. He kept Rafi and KK together in songs where KK could overpower him.

    If you carefully notice their duets, KK sings them with much greater amplitude (and no melody really) to suppress Rafi’s voice. (Tujhpe kurbaan meri jaan, or yaadon ki baarat or whatever).. Still see how rafi puts in a beautiful peace in the song “Yaadon ki baarat”

    RD even tried giving a few Rafi style songs to KK, but with not much success. I always feel he “wanted” to prove KK better than Rafi. Else why he didn’t give songs like for Teesri Manzil to Rafi…

    There were other factors too… Only exceptional music director pair surviving in 70’s was RD. I consider LP to be a bit average during that time. With the SJ pair going off (in 72), there was no one left exceptional.

    Hats off to Madan Mohan and LP, who got Rafi back!

    Just one more thing, music after late 90’s has again become complicated.. we need Rafi desperately..

    And one more, KK was a good singer, but well.. not as good as Rafi.

    And one more, this so called modern voice is a stupid offshoot of KK’s voice… because we don’t have any singers with a beautiful voice like rafi, and that’s a good bypass to survive. (well.. i’d support Udit narayan to a small extent)

  4. Ali Baluch says:

    Thanks Rajan,
    I think awards are not made for greatest Mohd rafi because he is and he will be AWARD for all music lover . Mohd rafi is award of God for all Music lover.

  5. Rajan Iyer says:

    Dear Fans,
    Let us avoid unnecessary controversy in comparing Rafi Sab with Kishoreda. To me the never dying lovers of music like others Rafi Sab is the Badshah of Legends whose voice can make anyheart sing with joy,sorrow,compassion,courage,patriotism,lullaby,story telling, etc.
    Instead of comparing LET US ALL VOW TO GET RAFI SAB THE LIMELIGHT HE DESERVES SO RICHLY AND WHICH WILL PLEASE HIS LOVING FANS.It is futile to sometimes compare two heros from the time of mythology like Arjun or Karan, in cricket it was Sunil Gavaskar or Vishwanath, or today Sahcin or Rahul, in music Shankar Jaikishan or S.D.Burman etc.
    Instead let us leave what ohters have to say their opinion as some of them would not have the good fortune to hear Rafi Sahabs lilting Suhani Raat dhal chuki, Chaudavin ka chand ho,Pukarta chala hoon mein, Man re tu kahe na dheer dahre, Madhubein mein Radika, Dhin dhal jaaye,Chahoonga mein tujhe, Is bhari duniyan mein, Saathi na koi majhil, Ehsaan tera hoga mujh ko, Sukh mein sab saathi, Thujko ko pukaare ek bhar, Deevan mujhsa nahin etc and many more lilting evergreen songs only a true lover of music can enjoy.
    We are thankful to god to have made us enjoy good music thru the golden voice of Rafi Sahab. I do not know but on 24 th Dec AAJ TAK gave a live coverage in the prime news time of Rafi sab with interview with a great fan of Rafi Sahab from Ahmedabad who has converted his house as temple as a tribute to Rafi sab. In the same news interview with the current rage Sonu Nigam who considers Rafi Sahab as a demi-god from whose songs he has learned.Another famous singer Udit Narayan himself calls as a product of Mohd Rafi school of music.
    Hence I can only request all music lovers to refrain from comparing to our demi-god Rafi sab to anyone in future.
    After the postage stamp on Mohd Rafi we should put pressure on the Information ministry, authorities of Dada Saheb Phalke award trustee, various T.V. channels to initiate programme on Rafi Sab at the earliest.
    For anyone who can contact me my mail id is and mob num 09886779557.
    With best wishes,

  6. ASIM SALIM says:


  7. Emdadul Haque says:

    As a singer KK is not comparable with Rafi. Rafi is far ahead of others as singer even ahead of Manna Dey (admitted by Manna Dey in numerous occasions). KK was ahead of Rafi in terms of popularity in seventies and eighties. Needless to mention that singing quality and popularity are not comparable.

  8. Jay G says:

    I’m reading through the debates and I can’t help thinking how Rafi-saab or KK would have reacted to some of the statements. Dear Rafi fans — out of respect for the man who epitomized humility, let’s not put down other singers. Dear KK fans — out of respect for the singer who himself acknowledged Rafi-saab as his superior, let’s not pitch the two singers against each other. I’m sure we can all agree that, between the two, they have left behind a treasure of music without which we would all have been much poorer. Which Rafi fan is willing to pretend that KK’s soulful rendition of ‘zindagi ka safar’ doesn’t touch their heart? Which KK fan is foolish enough to challenge that Rafi did not do justice to light romantic tunes such as ‘maine poochha chaaNd se’?

    I say let’s unite the two camps and attack the likes of Abhijeet and Kumar Sanu 🙂

  9. Shahu says:

    checked all the comments, reading some of them brought tears of joy, read some ignorant imbeciles too who were clearly biased against Rafi saahab.
    Look you just cant compare a pop-singer with a guru of all guru’s. KK was a pop singer(POPular singer) no doubt he had a good voice. he sang them well because he was given easy songs, and dont forget we had master composers then. Kishore was lucky he sang in those days, give him todays composers and he will sound like any of todays singers. only his rich voice will keep him above our Udits and ‘whatevertheirnames’ . todays singers are a dime a dozen.
    Listening to Kishore’s songs, you are also listening to the lyrics, the music, the composition. all those things put together made him popular. Rafi sahab could sing equally amazingly without any accompanyments, or very few. when He sang you would be listening to RAFI SAHAB.
    I have only read in history books about Tansen and his wonders. I have actually felt the magic , experienced the emotions, known calmness , peace in my soul, felt the rush in my blood, aroused my romanticism. felt extremely devout, went on a trip back to childhood , fantasyland. etc etc. all thanks to Rafi sahabs Voice, his amazing talent.
    the bollywood bigwigs then in th 70’s have done a great injustice to music afficianadoes by playing politics and not giving those songs to Rafi sahab, which they let Kishore and others sing. we would have had that many more masterpieces. its a great loss.
    I appeal to all Rafi sahab’s Fans to protest everytime you see the T.V. channels / media ignoring Rafi sahab, this has gone on for too long. if Amitabh B. so much as sneezes its big news. a nobody like John Abraham is bitten by a mosquito , thats news. the Ingrates do not even care to mention Rafi Sahab’s anniversary’s anywhere in the media.

    I feel strongly about such issues.

    there be more later.

  10. Ali Baluch says:

    As mr Ravi said a lot comes down 2 your personal taste.i don’t know about music but what about the people like Lata,Asha,Manny Day,sb,Aziz,Anwer,O P N,Madan Mohan Shanker Jai k,LP and many more,
    Asha B said once that is she became great because of O P Nayar(MD) and O P Nayer said He is because Mohd rafi sahab.L from LP said that it is easy make song 4 Mohd rafi, Lata and Asha because they can do it as how we made it but other singer they can’t,Shamma K said that he became a good actor because of Mohd Rafi.If we go to 1970’s we will see that all song in the film singed by K K and there is one from Mohd rafi (some fims).In Tv programm on Zee I saw Amit kummar(son of KK)tried 2 sing a Mohd rafi but he singed it so bad the people on the stage said sing it again and he didn’t.
    Who can sing ghazal, geet, qawalli, naat,bhajan, pop n rock, desh bhakti and any more else Mohd Rafi jest give me one name dear Shanker,

  11. ravi says:

    Hi Shankar,

    You are right — a lot comes down to your personal taste. You mentioned yesudas, manna dey, SPB, bhupinder, and all 4 of these very accomplished singers consider Rafi to be so good that they think it is blasphemous to compare him with anyone. The biggest proof of Rafi’s genius is to hear what Manna Dey has to say about Rafi, and Manna has seen them all including KK himself. Manna has said that Rafi is so much better than anyone else that he held positions 1 to 10 in terms of greatness in the field of playback singing. As far as Kishore is concerned, Kishore was not superior than Rafi in any aspect of singing howsoever much the Indian media promotes Kishore. KK is pretty good in this own right and I like him quite a bit, but please listen to all Rafi’s songs and compare them with KK’s and then you will know how big the difference in quality is. And yeah, I have heard the rarest of KK songs, and they are good songs. At one time, I had almost 5000 of his Hindi songs.

  12. shankar says:


    for a layman who listens to music, the technical aspects of the singer are not obvious. the most redeeming quality, for the layman, is the ability of the singer to touch the heart, to bring out emotions. and in this aspect, KK is as good as any other singer, probably superior.

    when u r very happy or when u r very sad, u want to listen to KK. his ability to evoke pathos (without extra effort) is unmatched. songs like “woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi”, “teri duniya se hoke majboor chala”, “zindagi ke safar mein”, “badi sooni sooni hai” cannot be matched by any other singer. and neither can anyone bring out the energy he brings out in songs. no other singer can sing “mein hoon jhumroo”.

    and of course, even the most classically trained singer cannot yodel like KK. u can dismiss that fact but it stands.

  13. shankar says:

    dear ravi,

    you are bringing up an aspect of singing that is hard to define. “voice quality” is a vague concept. i’ve read so many articles on KK, and the only reason why MD’s refused him is because of his lack of classical training.

    going by your points, even manna dey shouldn’t have got any songs to sing since his voice was not as good as rafi’s. but what beautiful songs manna dey got to sing, during the so-called golden era – songs like “laaga chunari mein daag”, “kaun aaya mere man ke dware”, “ae mere pyare watan”, etc. And this is bcos of his classical prowess.

    also, what u call non-golden era of music is defined as the golden-era by some others. it’s a matter of taste. if you think KK over-achieved given his limited singing talent, u r vastly underestimating his potential, and u don’t know how difficult it is to sing like him.

    i remember in the TV program “sa re ga ma pa”, Ismail Darbar (who was the judge in that episode) asked one of the participants to sing a KK song, and the guy sang “Meri soni, meri tamanna …” from Yaadon ki baarat. This guy was classically trained, and technically probably superior to KK; and yet when he finished that song, it was obvious he was nowhere near KK. Ismail Darbar remarked that when the participant was singing the song, KK’s voice was actually ringing in his mind, and the participant couldn’t match up to it.

    in another episode, s.janaki was the judge and in the judge’s choice round, she asked the participant to sing “chingari koi bhadke” or “kuch to log kahenge”. the guy sang “chingari koi bhadke”, and it was pathetic compared to KK’s version. if u think KK didn’t have potential, i would ask u to listen to some of his rarer songs before making that statement. songs like “sachai chup nahin sakti …”. at the end of the line “… vaada tera vaada”, he twists that last “vaada” so well that it’s very hard to duplicate unless u r classically trained.

    if rafi’s voice was the only suitable voice i think singers like yesudas, manna dey, SPB, bhupinder etc., wouldn’t have cut it. but they did, and that’s only bcos they were classically trained.

  14. ravi says:

    Hi Shankar,

    Rafi was at a totally different level than Kishore, Mukesh and probably even Lata. And Kishore’s lack of classical training is not an excuse at all — even Kishore’s voice wasn’t really ideal for playback singing, and he was actually shunned by all the leading MDs during the golden era of singing. It’s only when the non-golden era started that KK got a break as a singer, though he did over-achieve given his limited singing talent. Just listen to KK’s songs and they pale so badly in comparison to Rafi’s — KK’s songs are too elementary, I liked them when I was a teen, but I can’t appreciate them as much anymore. Even if Kishore had classical training , he wouldn’t have been a singer of Rafi’s caliber — Rafi was naturally blessed, and was simply the best in almost all aspects of singing.

  15. shankar says:

    dear ali,
    i’m sorry if u’ve misunderstood my post. i’m not claiming that kishore or manna dey are better than rafi saab. i said it’s unfair to compare on basis of classical knowledge bcos kishore da had 0 classical training. it’s his talent that without any training he can sing so well, and he can compose some really beautiful songs. if u listen to kishore da’s music for films like jhumroo, door gagan ki chaon mein, or door ka rahi, u’ll be amazed.

    also, i said classical training is not the only criteria bcos rafi saab is surely more versatile than manna dey, mukesh etc. but if u take only classical songs then manna dey is surely superior to rafi saab or anybody else.

    rafi saab – most versatile and probably greatest singer
    manna dey – better than anyone for classical songs
    kishore da – probably most naturally talented and a genius.

  16. Ali Baluch says:

    dear shankar,
    as you said that Mohd rafi well classical training,dear Shanker u r wrong because there are many other singer they sing every day but they can’t,If u go for remix dear shanker u will see that mohd Rafi Sound is more great but when u go 4 Kishore da remix sound like better as before as i think,mohd rafi was is and will be Magic and no one can copy that Magic as I think,Go and see what Manny day,Lata and Asha said about Mohd rafi sahab.Asha said once no one can win Mohd rafi sahab.
    dear shankar if u said that Kishore da is the best Actor i will be with u yes is one of the best Actor.Sorry dear if u mind

  17. shankar says:

    hi everyone,
    this is a very nice article. i’m a fan of kishore kumar but also love rafi and manna dey. i feel each person has his own preference for a particular singer.

    i’ve no doubt that rafi is technically a superior singer to kishore kumar, but most people who make the comparision forget that rafi undertook classical training, while kishore kumar had no formal training at all. so, it’s unfair to compare on that aspect. if u want to compare based on classical prowess, then manna dey is clearly superior to rafi or lata or asha. lata and asha, both mentioned how they were nervous when they had to sing classical songs with manna da bcos he was perfect.

    there is a famous saying, “You judge yourself based on what you are capable of doing, while others judge you based on what you’ve done”. this is very true with respect to kishore kumar and rafi. kishore kumar had the potential but no results (bcos of lack of training) while rafi had the results. so, we should judge kishore kumar based on his potential, and not just his results.

    so, the true comparision would’ve been possible only if both went through the same training. if kishore kumar had taken classical training for music like rafi or lata, then who knows how he would’ve turned out. sadly, it’s not possible now.

  18. Saifullah says:

    Yes, I do agree with this article. Mohammad Rafi is the ultimate singer and was and always will be the best playback singer and all around singer of all time. I think Kishore Kumar’s talents aren’t emphasized enough. Although no one can and in my opinion will ever be able to sing as amazingly, effeciently, and with as much emotion as Rafi, BUT I don’t think anyone can sing, direct, produce, act, and write (and much more) ALL IN ONE. Kishore Kumar has done that. In my opinion Rafi was and always be the greatest singer in Bollywood and Kishore Kumar was and probably will be the most talented person in bollywood. Both Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi are uncomparable in their own way. May they rest in peace….

  19. shambu says:

    hi friends,

    I dont no why jagjit critisized mohd rafi and what he said about him, maybe he wants to tell the people that he can sing ghazals better than rafi, but i tell you his best ghazals was for mirza ghalib and mohd rafi had already sang these ghazals in a better way in non-filmi ghazals. when rafi sang ghazals of mirza ghalib he was not comparing others,but others will come to compare rafi, I will say sorry, rafi is not comparable as our friend ALI BALUCH said. rafi is no.1 if you are worse than rafi you will be no.2 or 3,but if you wants to be better you will be zero.
    Now I think same story is going with jagjit, before I liked him but now he is zero to me

  20. Ali Baluch says:

    Dear friends I think we are wrong 2 compare RAFI SAHAB and KISHORE DA or M Rafi with any other singer becaue I think Mohd Rafi sahab is great because he was and will be greatest singer not becaue of a Music director or film star but we all know that who is hand back of Kishora da or 2 make him play back singer,there ia S D, RD,that time Super Star Rajesh Khanna and all time bigest super star Amithba the big B,Also himself as a great actor(kishore) and film maker.
    someone said that music born on 1950’s, was young on 1960’s became old 1970’s and died on 1980’s.Do u know WHY?I think becaue of Mohd Rafi sahab becaues when Mohd became 2 music it mean born of the music(1950’s) and when most of song singed by Mohd rafi Sahab it mean that music was young(1960’s),it became old because Mohd rafi didn’t sing much(1970’s) and died when Mohd rafi body went away from us and Mohd Rafi sahab voice with us untill there are human on the earth.
    Please don’t compare Mohd Rafi 2 any singer becaue as singer like Manny day said no Male singer can be mohd rafi,Lata ji said like Mohd rafi born once one earth,Asha ji said that No one can win Mohd Rafi and many more.

  21. adnansajid says:

    friends iam vry much happy to read all this mails
    about rafi saab who’s song line’s “mujhko mere bad zamana dhoondega”is getting truly,rafi saab hamare dil mai the ,hain ,aur rahenge inshallah
    hyderabad india

  22. Shuaib Harunany says:

    Hi dear friends. I dont have much to say about Mohammed Rafi’s great golden voice that was given to him by the ALMIGHTY ALLAH. I feel sorry for those people in the Indian film industry who ignored him by giving him less awards then other singers. Frankly speaking, his each and every song was an award winning song. He has even given playbacks to Kishore. He could sing any type of song without any difficulty. Its in the year 1980, when the indian film industry lost its GOLDEN voice. I know people can spend days talking about him. There is no doubt that he was a great singer of all times without going for training.

  23. Zullfiqar Ali Gill says:

    Before going to work,Listen a Rafi Sahib song every morning ,your day will be very fresh.
    I can not help listening his song every day. Kishore Kumar Ji has his own style. But as far as singing range, voice pitch is concerned, Rafi sahib can never be compared with any one.If you have to compare with Rafi sahib with some one that is only NOOR JEHAN. Both are equally blessed.Both have full command of singing in ‘OUNCHAY SUR’.
    Rafi jee May your soul rest in eternal peace.

    Zulfiqar Ali Gill(M.B.A. Marketing)
    Lahore Pakisstan.

  24. Jahed Sarwar says:

    i’m a very young guy when Rafi sahab died i was born that time……but in so called society, i dont like any of singer except Mohd Rafi. and i’m listing his song all most every day. thanks

  25. Imran Makhdoom says:

    Tujhe Nagmo Ki jaa Ehle Nazar Yu hi Nahin Kehte
    Tere geeto ko dil ka hamsafar yuhi nahin kehte
    Dukhi the laakh phir bhi mutmaeen (satisfied) the dard ke maare
    Teri Awaaz ke shabnam se dhul jaate hain gham saare
    tere taano mein husn-e-zindagi leta tha humrahi
    tujhe allah na bakhsha tha andaaz-e-masihayi
    tu hi tha pyar ka ek saaz nafrat ki is duniya mein
    are ganimat thi teri awaaz nafrat ki is duniya mein

    how true are those lines from naushad saab who paid a great tribute to the legendary singer. i remember once when someone asked manna-da if he had to rate top 10 singers in the film industry to which he replied “pehle das to rafi saab ke liye hain ginti to 11 se shuru hoti hain (somewhat of this kinds)” . i think that speak enough about rafi saab being number uno after which any kind of debate is irrational.



  26. Khalid Rashid says:

    Thank you for that wonderful comment Tripathy saab.

    Khalid Rashid

  27. D.P.Tripathy says:

    The beauty of a rainbow is due to the combination of all its colors, we may prefer one color or other at different times. We have had a lot of highly talented singers, great musicians and a wide range of lyricists and everyone contributed to the wealth of Indian film music.

    I hear most singers including Mukesh, Kishore, Lata, Talat and even Kundan Lal Saigal. I love them all, but the only voice that touches my soul, the only voice that mesmerises me irrespective of the type the song, is that of that of Mohammad Rafi. You need the ears to understand this. And every individual is entitled to his preference.

    Very few can do justice while singing Rafi songs. Try ‘Jaane Kahaan gayee,
    Dil Mera Legayee’ OR ‘Barbaade Mohabbat Ki Dua Saath Liyw Ja’.

    There actually is no reason to compare, just enjoy the rainbow.


  28. Abhijit Roy says:

    Both Kishore and Rafi were unmatchable in their own arena. Therefore we are not the right person to judge Who’s the best.

    so just enjoy good song.

  29. P.Narayanan says:

    Dear Sanjay Gupta,
    It gives us pleasure to all Rafi Sahabs fans that u are planning to organise and produce documentary film of the greatest in indian film industry Rafi Sahab the Badshah of melody.
    I would also like to join you in this noble endeavour and for this you may pl note down my mob numb 09886779557 and email id
    In fact I got in touch with Rasheed Khan mob numb o9869030908 who is based in Mumbai who with his friends are organising special magazine feature on our beloved Rafi Sahab during the 26 th anniversary in July06. He also informed me that some one from the Film Institute Pune are trying to make doc film soon.You may get in touch with Rasheed Khan for more details.
    Also all Rafians should send email to Sahara,Sony and Zee channel to telecast special programme on Rafi Sahab on 31st July and 24th Dec by calling on the current leading singers like Sonu,Udit,Shaan, Abhijit,K,K,Kumar Ganjanwala, to name a few and their female co singers to pay tribute to legend of legends Rafi Sahab. Only viewers can put the right pressure to these channels.
    In Dec05 Aaj Tak had aired very unique programme on Rafi Sahab and taken interview with a sindhi fan based in Ahmedabad by name Talreja I think who has converted one part of his house as a monument to Rafi Sahab which was simply amazing.
    We should come together on a common platform to bring joy to all the music lovers living today by HONORING RAFI SAHAB AND BY GIVIGN AWARDS TO THE BEST TALENT IN RAFI SAHABS NAME.

    P.Narayanan Bangalore . Requesting all Bangaloreans to come together for a common cause Rafi Sahabs legacy to continue forever……………………

  30. Sanjay Gupta says:

    There is not a day that goes by without thinking about Mr. Rafi. I don’t know where to find that voice but I believe in reincarnation and I think that someone somewhere in the remote villages far from the city lights that we will find him there. A raw talent waiting to be discovered.
    I would like to pay a tribute to Mr. Rafi by organizing and finding finance to produce a documentry on him.

    If you feel the same as I do then do something! This void is killing me.

  31. Razaul Hassan says:

    Nice article,its really annoying when people compare RAFI SAHAB and KISHORE DA.When someone compares them it brings grin on my face,it simply shows how much that person knows about music.No doubts that RAFI SAHAB is the only KOHINOOR this world has ever got.I would say that RAFI SAHAB sang songs of all genres.Even THE BEATLES song that RAFI SAHAB sang was better then them.”I wanna hold your hand-The Beatles, RAFI SAHAB-dekho ab to kisko nahin hai khabar (janwar 1965)”

    JAAN PEHCHAN HO JEENA AASAN HO-Gumnaam is an open challenge not only to all Indian singers but also to all english singers.This song is used in the english movie GHOSTWORLD,they just praised RAFI SAHAB.

    As long as people love melody RAFI SAHAB will not be forgotten.

  32. Asif Majeed says:

    No one will ever be like Mohd Rafi. He was and is the greatest singer of all times. Kishore Kumar was simply not in the same league. In my opinion the seventees was an era of loud music and a lot of Raa Raa Raa. Kishore did well with this of music, as it did not require the range that Rafi had. Compared to Lata, Mohd Rafi was also superior. Songs such as “Ehsaan Tera Hoga” for Junglee, “Jab Pyar kisi say hotahai” from the same film, “Mere Mehboob” title songs, sung by both Lata and Rafi, the version by Rafi was a bigger hit. Will Lata fans agree?

  33. Harshita says:

    A very good informative article for someone like me ………who was not much aware about Rafi Saab even though i am his fan. Thanks a lot Sir for increasing my knowledge about a great legend like Mohd. Rafi.


  34. P.Narayanan says:

    Dear friends,
    I think it must be a mistake about Jagjit Singh criticising Rafi gharaana because he himself
    has paid rich tribute to Rafi sab in the Legends cassette and CDs of Rafi sab where all his living colleagues like Lata di,Manna da,Naushad sab pay homage n tribute.
    If we get an opportunity the same can be clarified with Jagjit Singh especially Mumbaikars can do this as he is based there.

    Thanks to this unique website for airing our views freely,

    Bangalore 09886779557.

  35. Anmol Singh says:

    It’s very surprised to know that Jagjit Singh criticized Rafi Saab, when Ghazals singers like Gulam Ali, Mehndi Hasan, Begum Akhtar, etc always appluaded Rafi Saab for his greatness.

    I heard that Jagjit Singh criticized India in one of his concerts held in Pakistan, not sure to what extend it is true.

  36. Khalid Rashid says:

    Yes that is true as well Manish.

    Kishore Kumar saab was a good singer but for me Rafi saab was the ultimate.

    This is the first time I have heard of Jagjit Singh critising Rafi saab. Not very professional is he I mean what did he say. Sorry dont tell me as anything bad heard or said against Rafi saab is a sin.

    He was the best

    Khalid Rashid

  37. Khalid Rashid says:

    Yes that is true as well Manish.

    Kishore Kumar was a good singer but for me Rafi saab was the ultimate.

    This is the first time I have heard of Jagjit Singh critising Raf saab. Not very professional is he I mean what did he say. Sorry dont tell me as anything bad heard or said against Rafi saab is a sin.

    He was the best

    Khalid Rashid

  38. Manish Gokhale says:

    well, i am total BHAKTA of rafi sahab. i love him and his voice.
    but kishore kumar is also not far behind. There is slight marigin between them. Margin of excelance.
    i recon kishore was total artist and rafi was total singer.
    we know rahul dravid is very good batsman but we love sachin.
    we know kishore kumare was very good singer but we love rafi sahab.

  39. Chhavi says:

    OH CMON! it wud b unfair to compare rafi ji n kishore da…they both r the gr8est music legends… our music industry is incomplete widout both of em… they both had different styles…bt two things in common..THEY BOTH WERE PERFECTIONISTS…N THEY BOTH ROCK!!! *~*lEt D mUsIc pLaY*~*

  40. Amit says:

    I liked the Article.I regard Rafi’s, Kishore’s and Mukesh’s voice as God’s voices.They should not be compared among themselves.Its simply foolishness to do so.
    The only thing I could not tolerate in this article was Jagjit singh’s criticism on Rafi.I think he is not even comparable to the dirt of Rafi sahab’s feet and so for him to criticize Rafi is nothing but height of unashamedness.(Nirlajjata ki parakaashtha)
    His(Jagjit Singh) all Ghazals will simply fail to excel in front of one single Ghazal of Rafi Sahab “Tumhari Zulf ke saaye me shaam kar lunga”. Not to speak of other Ghazals of Rafi sahab.

  41. Faiz Ahmed says:

    it was very sad to learn that jagjit critised The Mohd. Rafi. how dare he do that?

  42. Ali says:

    Hi friends,
    Great article but not everthing in it, there are some songs should be sing by K K but it (songs)singed by Mohd Rafi from Laxmikant Pyarelal , RD, madan mohan.
    K K is a great singer but to be honest that no one can be better than Mohd Rafi,Mohd Rafi I think he have got 100% vote and no one can get more than 100%

  43. Ali Baluch says:

    Kishore was a great singer but Mohd Rafi is the only singer all said about him good things as Actor or singer or music D or ect….
    Manny day(singer) said once that Mohd Rafi is the best male singer and we other fighting 4 no two.
    I can say that Mohd Rafi is No 1 and before one it is Zero and after one it is two.

  44. majeed says:

    the article written on Rasi sahib is much amazing, this should be noted that india has produced so many singers that can never be forgotten, it will be a great injustice to rank one singer on other, if we think that it was not only Rafi sahib, who brought fame to indian music, but all singers of his time which we can name like Mukesh jee, hemant kumar,Talat mahmood, manadey,Kishore kumar shortly all have played thier best part in popularizing indian music worldwide.

  45. Chirag Patel says:

    No question that Rafi saab was one of the best singers Indian Film Industry ever had. Even Mr. Bachchan (Big B) said him self that “… Khuda bhi vo aavaz bana na bhul gaya…” on Rafi Saab’s dath. I love M. Rafi and his songs, his voice – he was truly just imparrell. Yet, Kishore Kumar was just simply the Genious. Lata Mangeshkar said once “… I call Kishore Kumar, a sampuran kalakar… Indian Version of Dany Kay… His voice was next to God.. He was truly a MASTER…” I love Kishore Kumar’s songs – I love Kishore Kumar – Each and every songs of his is like… its next to GOD.

  46. Iftikhar Ahmed says:

    Mohammed Rafi is no doubt the best singer ever and I think no one has been able to match his excellent God Gifted voice. Kishore Kumars voice again was good but even now you hear any of Rafi Saabs songs they sound so fresh and you can listen to them again and again One of my Fav RAFI-KISHORE song is from Dostana – Bane Chahe Dushman Zamana Hamara salamat rahe dostana hamara – Their duets were the best…I cannot go any day without hearing Rafis voice. Rafi saabs voice has touched millions and I can say that it will continue to touch music lovers whatever their age may be.

  47. Sarvesh says:

    Rafi jee and Kishore jee both were great and had different style. and it depends on the inndividual’choice wich style he likes more . according to that he compares these two greats. but Rafi jee certainly had far more range than any singer that i have ever heard and i rate him the best.

  48. M says:

    Fantastic article. I am an big fan of Rafi saheb and everything what is written in this article is correctly. Can somebody put some songs of Rafi saheb on this website for download? Especially love songs of Mohd.Rafi.
    Thank you.

  49. Ruhi Khan says:

    I got goose pimples just by reading this article. Kishoreji was a brilliant singer no doubt about that. Rafi saheb was the uncrowned king, simply incomparable. I must share this with all.
    When you enter Kishoreji’s Bungalow in Bombay, the 1st thing which hits you is a huge portrait of Rafi saheb. Hows that ?
    Ruhi Khan- Rafi Lovers Circle, Calcutta

  50. Sajid Hassan says:

    Congratulations! Great article. I am an avid fan of Rafi Sahab and believe every single word of this article. Can some body send me the songs featured in this article. Moreover I would appreciate if somebody can send me links to download Rafi Sahab’s songs especially rare songs. Please keep up the good work.

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