Chahoonga Main Tujhe Sanjh Savere…
By: H.A.K. Walijah
Many songs of Rafi Saab are ceaseless but some have achieved the status of immortality, means it can be heard million of times even though it does sound fresh and vibrant. You may call it the miracle of the singer’s voice or the marvelous composition or the magical words embedded in the lyrics that suited the mood of the song. Rafi saab had sung thousands of songs which are considered now as milestones in film singing profession. Some have achieved the status of evergreen and all time greats, in which some are solos and some are duets (sang with both male and female singers). During the 50’s and 60’s Rafi saab ruled the Hindi film industry as the most sought-after playback singer, 70-80 percent of songs composed by the music directors during those years were sung by Rafi saab along with two major female singers – Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The songs had sung in maximum genres with colorful versatility which was the lion’s share of Rafi saab, no other singer even comes closer in that range. Mohammed Rafi’s songs ranged from traditional classical melodies to patriotic songs, artistic Ghazals, sad and romantic melodies, traditional qawwalis, ghazals and bhajans… like that you may go on counting various genres and what not? Rafi saab bagged 6 Filmfare Awards in his lifetime for his excellent and magnificent singing and had 22 nominations between 1960 -1980.
Dosti (1964) a classic Hindi film was a story focused on the friendship between two boys, one blind (singer) and one crippled (Mouth Organ Player). While both boys realize that they are lonely in this world and they had no choice other than to help each other in order to survive in this cruel world. Thus the true bond of their friendship surfaces. While the blind boy is also looking for his sister (Baby Farida), his friendship with crippled boy gets stronger each passing day. Dosti fetched the Filmfare award for best picture; and almost all the songs in that movie were super duper hits. There was a song Chahoonga main tujhe which bagged the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer award to Rafi Saab. Now I speculate that the Mukhda (opening line) of that song Chahoonga main tujhe sanjh savere has become the anthem of all Rafi lovers, they proudly pronounce that line Chahoonga main tujhe sanjh savere to express their immense love & passion towards Rafi Saab.
Listen to Chahunga Mein Tujeh
The Filmfare award in 1965 went to Dosti for five categories including three categories namely – music director, singer and lyricist gone to Dosti for the song Chahoonga main tujhe sanj savere –
Best singer – Mohammad Rafi
Best music directors – Laxmikant Pyarelal
Best lyricist – Majrooh sultanpuri
Chahoonga main tujhe evokes lots of emotions to the listener. Touchy lyrics were penned by great Lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri. Most importantly, this song was brilliantly rendered by Melody King Mohd. Rafi Saab and was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
The music is exceptional with Rafi Saab at his very best with as many as five great solos to his credit. This movie gave a lot of boost to the careers of the Music directors – Laxmikant & Pyarelal who did take a lot of credit for the brilliant music. The songs were the best part of movie depicting various shades of life (mood and emotions). I consider the five songs are the marvelous and precious gems in Hindi film music which will be heard many many years to come.
- Chahoonga Main Tujhe Saanj Savere
- Mera To Jo Bhi Kadam Hai
- Jaane Walon Zara
- Rahi Manwa Dukh Ki Chinta
- Meri Dosti Mera Pyar
No wonder the film won all five best Filmfare awards of 1965. There couldn’t be a better lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri and better voice – Mohd. Rafi . What is best about Dosti is the music — just mesmerizing — even after forty five years since it was heard first time. Once one hear those songs can understand very well the mood of the each song that was sung in the best mood and superb emotions applied to the situation in the film. Rafi Saab had given his golden voice to many unknown actors, even in Dosti two boys played the part of friends were Sudhir Kumar and Sushil Kumar. All of the songs lip-synced by Sudhir Kumar (Mohan), the blind boy. Even as a unique coincidence Dosti is the only movie in Hindi Cinema which made a record for the biggest hit without heroine. The song – Chahoonga main tujhe sanjh savere was picturised on the blind boy played by Sudhir kumar as Mohan. The emotions he portrays and the feeling of comradeship which it brings out are simply a work of pure class. It’s a story about friendship and in many ways dignity and self-respect. It is one of the best movies because of the classic music by Laxmikant Pyarelal with the soaring voice of Rafi Saab make this movie a top classic hit. The strange fact about the movie was that, it was low-budget and no major actor was ready to act in the movie. It was expected to undergo a huge flop, but due to the soulful songs rendered by Rafi Saab and its brilliant acting and awesome story it went a major hit.
As there are many interesting anecdotes connected with this song Chahoonga main tujhe which have been well preserved & archived in mohdrafi.com as a precious memorabilia.
When both Laxmikant Pyarelal and Majrooh Sultanpuri sat together to compose the songs and the result was history. Rafi Saab song “Chahoonga main tujhe saanj savere“, and other songs moved the hearts of the audience. Rafi Saab was very much impressed with the compositions of Laxmikant Pyarelal that he had taken just one rupee for singing the song because it was the custom of a singer to take something in return for a professional song and the rest of the money he handed over to Pyarelal ji to share with Laxmikant ji. This one example shows the generosity of Rafi Saab.
In fact, all songs of Dosti were very melodious and were brilliantly composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. In fact, the music was so good that Laxmikant Pyarelal won the most coveted Filmfare Award for Best Music for 1965 against the stiff competition from the Film : Sangam composed by Shankar-Jaikishen and another Film :Woh Kaun Thi composed by Madan Mohan. All 3 films were nominated for the year 1964 for the Best Music and finally “Dosti” music edged out to win Filmfare award beating both Shankar-Jaikishen and Madan Mohan. It was a shocker to Shankar-Jaikishen. Laxmikant-Pyarelal won their first Filmfare award for Best Music and they deserved it.
The song Chahoonga main tujhe sanj savere tune was composed much earlier than any Parasmani song by the duo. Many of the films that they signed before Parasmani failed to be made and they were dejected with the hindi film industry. They could not find a situation in their early films to use the song properly.
The song was composed with Lata Mangeshkar in mind. They had such reverence for her that they wanted all their songs sung by Lata. During the musical sitting of Dosti, Laxmikant sang this song out for Rafi at the very tail end of their session before departing Rafi’s house as a song they kept in their pocket as a reserve. Majrooh Sultanpuri and Pyarelal were present. They were very apprehensive when they drove to Rafi’s mansion early that day not knowing if the great singer would agree to sing for a low-budget movie and for such young, struggling music directors such as LP. As soon as they entered, Rafi put them at ease and was very cordial. Having already been blown away by the Dosti numbers he had just heard, Mohd Rafi who was thrilled that he had three full solos that he agreed to sing for a small fee was completely bowled over by Chahoonga main tujhe. He took this song and superbly rendered it for LP and told them that this song would be a big hit in Dosti. LP replied that there was no situation in the movie for this song. They did not want to use it. Rafi insisted persistently (while making the song greater every time he rendered it) and said that he would sing all the songs for free if Chahoonga main tujhe was included in the film. LP returned back and had to make the writer, producer, director re-write the story to include Chahoonga main tujhe as a primary song in the film.
R.D. Burman played all the mouth organ pieces for Dosti. For playing mouth organ in the interlude of the song “Jaanewalon Zara”, Laxmikant-Pyarelal invited R. D. Burman who did full justice to the song by playing very beautifully his most favorite instrument that is mouth organ. R.D.Burman also played mouth organ in few other songs of Dosti. R.D.Burman came to play only because of his friendship with Laxmikant Pyarelal.
The songs of Dosti were recorded including Chahoonga main Tujhe. LP concentrated on all their other numbers in Dosti and did not give any special care for this song. As we all know Rafi sang all these songs superbly, and Dosti is considered to be a landmark in Hindi Film music.
When Rafi Saab was told that he has to give playback to two young teen-aged boys, he was confused on how to match his rich voice to suite two young boys. With other heroes, he always knew how to modulate his voice to suit a particular hero say Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand or Shammi Kapoor so as to be in sync with their style. So Rafi had to work very hard before rehearsals of Dosti Songs so as to match his voice match those two young boys. As we all can see, Rafi succeeded in his efforts and whenever we listen to any of Dosti songs picturized on those two young boys, it fits them very well as if they are singing themselves.
The movie was released and took India by storm in 1964. It was not just Mumbai (Bombay), but all across the country the songs of Dosti swept and swayed the masses. All the way from East-to-West and North-to-South, people would stand by radios just to hear the songs of this film. During the same year, Raj Kapoor’s prestigious Sangam was released with music by Shankar Jaiksihan. People liked the Sangam songs, but the songs of Dosti overtook every other film. Rafi Saab’s prediction had come true. He moved even higher up in popularity and Laxmikant Pyarelal where catapulted to the forefront of popular Hindi film music and never looked back.
LP won Filmfare Best Music Director Award for Dosti in 1965. Mohd Rafi won the best singer award. The award was conveyed to them during the early morning hours on announcement day by music director C. Ramachandra (one of their gurus) who banged on their door and called out get up you donkeys. You have won !!!. They were bewildered! won which award and from whom ? When they were told, they could not believe their ears. Shankar Jaikishan was their favourite MD and they had won over SJ. They had really arrived in the music scene. Laxmikant emulated Jaikishan in every way. He was in awe of Jaikishan for many years. He dressed like Jaikishan (flashy expensive shirts, tight pants, collar up all the time), talked like Jaikishan and wore his watch on his right wrist.
It is a coincidence that in the same year 1965, Rafi Saab was honored by the Government of India with the coveted Padmashri Award as well as National Film Award for the Best Male Playback Singer for this song “Chahooga main Tujhe“. I believe this great song will never be outdated even after forty five years it sounds fresh and melodious it is because of sheer magical voice of Rafi Saab and beautiful composition of LP and wonderful lyrics of Majrooh Saab.
Finally I would like to acknowledge my gratitude & thanks to writers and readers alike to borrow most of the anecdotes written above from the earlier write-ups appeared in this forum to suit the milieu of this article.