Use of Mohammad Rafi by SD Burman in realistic films
By Souvik Chatterji
Sachin Dev Burman as a composer had a liking for folk tunes and the softness of sounds of nature was captured in his compositions. Whenever his compositions were studied in the commercial films there was limitation relating to the immense musical talent because there were preferences of the producers, actors and other groups of people.
But when it came to realistic films, probably SD Burman’s best tunes were created. Mohammad Rafi as a singer had the greatest range and modulation in respect of singing. So SD Burman’s songs in realistic films with Mohammad Rafi created magic.
In Dilip Kumar and Bimal Roy’s Devdas, SD Burman used Talat Mehmood for the song “mitwa”. It was probably one of the best tragic songs Talat Mehmood had ever sung. SD Burman was successful in extracting the pathos in a rural background.
Lajwanti, Bandini and Sujata were female-centric films. So SD Burman composed songs for the female singers. Talat Mehmood’s “jalte hai jiske liye” was impressive in Sujata.
Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa was a landmark film where SD Burman and Mohammad Rafi combination touched the souls of people. “yeh mahalaon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya” sung by Rafi and written by Sahir Ludiyanvi had philosophical dimension. Rafi’s s other songs in the film were masterpieces like “hum aapki aankho me”, “yeh hanste hue phool”, etc.
Rafi SD Burman combination followed the pathos andaz in Guru Dutt’s Kagaz Ke Phool. Rafi’s song “dekhi zamaane ki yaari, bichre sabhi baari baari” was one of the best songs speaking about the reality of life. Philosophy, pathos and passion got merged into one. The other songs “hum tum jise kehten hai”, “ulte seedhe dao lagae” were equally impressive.
In Bimal Roy’s Benazir, all the songs of Rafi SD Burman combination were very impressive including “dil me ek jaane tamanna”, “aaj shishe me baar baar”, “le gayi ek haseena”, “mai shola hoon”, etc. Ashok Kumar and Shashi Kapoor were very impressive in the film and Rafi’s songs were brilliant by musical standards.
Meri Surat Teri Ankhen was another film where SD Burman could display his classical talent. Rafi and Manna Dey were used to their potentials. Songs like “pucho na kaise maine rain bitayi” in ahir bhairav, “naache man mowra”, “tere bin sune” were masterpieces which showed the pathos andaz of Ashok Kumar in the film.
Rafi was used in immense numbers of films of Dev Anand, in Dharmender’s Ishq Par Zor Nahi, Joy Mukherjee’s Ziddi, Vinod Mehra’s Anurag and majority of them dominated the chartbusters in the 1950s and 1960s. Many listeners must have Rafi’s rendition of SD Burman compositions “yeh dil diwana hai”, “mehbooba teri tasveer”, “teri surat se na milti hai kisiki surat”, “janu kya mera dil ab kahan kho gaya”. The songs were very melodious. References had not been made in the article because the article was devoted to the realistic andaz of Rafi and SD Burman. All the films and the songs mentioned above require publicity and restoration.