This is the transcript of Naushad’s Jaimala Program aired on Radio many years back. It is written by Sami Mohammed.
Today, July 31, is the death anniversary of one the best singers (the best, acc. to me) ever produced by the Indian film industry: MOHAMMED RAFI. It’s been 14 years since Rafi Sahab left us, and yet his songs are as popular as they ever were during his lifetime.
As a tribute to my favourite singer, I am posting the typewritten version of a special Jaimala program presented by the Shehanshah-e-Mausiqui, Naushad Sahab, in the memory of Mohammed Rafi.
Jaimala is a popular Vividh Bharati program for “Fauji Bhai”s and the Vishesh Jaimala used to be presented by a famous (usually film) personality.
Although Rafi Sahab sang under the baton of almost all music directors of the Hindi film industry, his association with Naushad was special. Naushad was instrumental in grooming this highly talented singer, although he modestly says that he “merely showed Rafi the right direction”.
Here’s the special Jaimala program which I have translated into English from the original Urdu version. The beauty of Naushad’s refined Urdu is certainly lost in the translation, but I hope you will enjoy reading what the legendary music director has to say regarding Mohammed Rafi, the singer and the person. Portions which cud not be translated properly have been left in the original language. All errors in translation are mine.
May Rafi Sahab’s soul rest in peace.
Sami Mohammed (A MOHAMMED RAFI fan)
Fauji bhaion ko Naushad ka salaam!
[Unfortunately, the initial statements made by Naushad in the program got erased from my cassette by mistake. Naushad recollects the moment when Rafi Sahab had first approached him with a letter of recommendation from someone]
It was recommended that this young man, who possesses a beautiful voice, be given a chance to sing. I heard the young man sing a song or two and was highly impressed. I told him that one day he would become a great singer and asked him to keep in touch. During the initial stages, I let the young man be a part of a chorus, and I think one such chorus Hindustan ke hum hain, Hindustan humara…. might still be embedded in your memories. Later, in the film Dillagi, I had the opportunity to use his voice exclusively in a solo. As if it were predestined, this song became immensely popular throughout the country. This was my first song (solo) with him. With this song, Rafi Sahab not only carved a niche for himself, but also added a new dimension to my music.
Tere kooche me armaanon ki duniya leke aaya hun Tujhi par jaan dene ki tammanna leke aaya hun
After that, Rafi Sabab never looked back. He earned respect and his popularity touched the sky. The magic of his voice enthralled the whole world. His popularity, respect and wealth all increased tremendously, YET he ALWAYS remained modest. Like a fruit-bearing tree, the more he fructified, the more he bent in front of the world. His heart was filled with fear of God and the love for truth. Generosity and altruism were part of his system. God and truth were the only sources of inspiration for him. And he always used to say “Tum yahan jaisa karoge waisa bharoge, ye duniya ek mandir hai”:
Insaaf ka mandir hai ye, Bhagwan ka ghar hai…..
Here’s an anecdote which aptly desribes his altruistic nature. My relationship with him had grown from a professional to an informal one. Once he had to go to a foreign country for a live performance. He came up to me to seek advice: “Main bahar se koi aisi cheez lana chata hun jo GHareebon ke kaam aae”. I suggested that he bring a dialysis machine and donate it to a hospital for the benefit of poor kidney patients who could not afford the medical costs. He liked the idea, but the foreign trip did not materialize due to some reason. However, this incident left a permanent mark of his altruistic nature on my heart. I cannot describe how great a person Rafi Sahab was. These are the small things which make a man immortal. For instance, people may forget Shahjehan, but his legacy of love, the Taj Mahal will be remembered forever. Log Shahjehan ko bhool sakte hain, lekin uski mohabbat ki nishani, Taj Mahal ki soorat me quayamat tak zinda rahegi:
Ek shahenshah ne banwaake hasin Taj Mahal Saari Duniya ko mohabbat ki nishani di hai Iske saae me sada pyaar ke charche honge Quatm jo ho na sakegi woh kahani di hai…
Rafi Sahab adored Indian music (Bharateey Sangeet). He used to like singing semi-classical songs in his live programs. He always tried to make an attempt to propagate Indian music in foreign countries. For instance, whenever he sang “Madhuban me radhika nache…”, he ALWAYS used to mention that it is based on Raag Hamir. Similarly, Raag Darbari would be mentioned before singing “O duniya ke rakhwaale…”. In this manner, irrespective of whether the people understood the lyrics or not, they always appreciated Indian music. The following bhajan of his, which is based on Raag Malkaus, was admired throughout the world:
Hari Om…. Man tarapat Hari darshan ko aaj Man tarapat Hari darshan ko aaj…
Fauji Bhaio, it is your duty to safeguard the security of our country. In a similar fashion, it is the duty of us sangeetkars, to safeguard our traditional music and art. Not only that, it is also our duty to entertain you and raise your morale in times of crisis. In 1962, when our country was attacked by the enemy, a request was made in the presence of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, that a song be composed in order to boost the morale of our soldiers. So, Shakeel Badayuni Sahab penned down the lyrics, I composed the tune, and Rafi Sahab poured his heart out into this song in such a manner that whoever heard it was filled with patriotic fervour! Later, this song was included in the film, Leader:
Apni aazaadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahin Sar kata sakte hain lekin, sar jhuka sakte nahin Apni aazaadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahin…..
Once, while Rafi Sahab and I were discussing a song, we were informed that Mukesh had breathed his last in America. Rafi Sahab was stunned. The only words which he uttered were Hai kitna achha gayak, kitna achha insaan, kitna pyaara saathi chala gaya. Some child switched on the radio at that time, and can you guess the song which was on then ?:
Chale aaj tum jahaan se, hui zindagi paraaee Tumhe mil gaya Thikaana, hume maut bhi na aaee…. O door ke musafir, humko bhi saath lele re Humko bhi saath lele, hum reh gae akele……
Rafi Sahab had gone through a lot of trouble and had made countless sacrifices on his way to the top. But, alas! He had attained a position at which death itself envied him and wanted to make him it’s own:
Mushkilen sangeet ki woh muskurakar jhelta
Tairta raagon ki lehron me, suron se khelta
BaRke Ganga jal se bhi pakeezah tar aakar thi
Uski har tarkeeb mausiqui ka ek shahkaar thi
Gayaki me uski beshak ek niraali shaan thi
Saaf pani ki tarah behti hui har taan thi
Dekhkar ye kaamyaabi muskura uthi ajal (ajal = death)
Pargae sab raag pheeke, ho gaya funkaar shal (shal = silent, still)
Gir para chashm-e-falak se sitara Tootkar
Ek naqsha ranj-o-Gham ka khinch gaya pesh-e-nazar
Bujh gaee phir shamma mehfil me andhera ho gaya
Zindagi ka taar Toota aur taraana so gaya
One day we received the shocking news of Rafi Sahab’s demise. The sad news spread like wild fire throughout the country. Songs turned into a dirge. The angels wept in the sky and tears were shed in the form of raindrops over his namaaz-e-janaza (funeral prayer). His funeral procession started amid heavy rain and thunder. People gathered on the top of buildings, trees and in windows to catch a last glimpse of their favourite singer. The procession reached the Juhu graveyard. Many famous film personalities were trying their best to control the crowd which had gathered to pay it’s last respects to the voice which had warmed their hearts for decades. A voice which had become a part of their lives. Millions of eyes were watching one single glowing face; eyes which belonged not to any religion, caste or creed. And perhaps, that glowing face was saying this:
Main TooTi hui ek nayya hun, mujhe chahe jidhar le jaao Ji chaahe dubodo maujon me, ya saahil par le jaao Main TooTi hui ek nayya hun, mujhe chahe jidhar le jaao..
Finally, the mortal body was interred in the same dust from which it was initially made. Log keh rahe the ek achha gayak chala gaya; ek achha insaan chala gaya. Koi keh raha tha ek achha dost chala gaya, aur main quabrastan (graveyard) ke ek hisse me sonch raha tha:
Kehta hai koi dil gaya, dilbar chala gaya,
Saahil pukarta hai, samundar chala gaya,
Lekin jo baat sach hai, woh kehta nahin koi,
duniya se mausiqui ka paembar chala gaya !!! (paembar = messenger)
Dust had returned to dust, and all that we were left with were sweet memories.
Har dil me bhaRakta hua woh saaz hai baaqui Woh jism nahin hai magar aawaaz hai baaqui !!
Ohoho, ho ho ho Aaj puraani raahon se, koi mujhe aawaaz na de Aaj puraani raahon se, koi mujhe aawaaz na de Dard me doobe geet na de, GHam ka sisakta saaz na de Dard me doobe geet na de, GHam ka sisakta saaz na de
Swargeeya gayak Mohammed Rafi ki yaad me, aaj ka vishesh Jaimala prastut kar rahe the, film jagat ke suprassidh sangeetkaar, Naushad.
Sami Mohammed (A MOHAMMED RAFI fan)
Article: 16257 of rec.music.indian.misc
From: sm0e@Lehigh.EDU (SAMIUDDIN MOHAMMED)
Subject: YAAD-e-RAFI: Naushad’s Jaimala
Date: 31 Jul 1994 06:46:17 GMT
Organization: Lehigh University
Keywords: Rafi, Naushad, Jaimala