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Classical songs sung by Rafi and Manna Dey together

By Souvik Chatterji.

Mohd Rafi and Manna Dey

Mohd Rafi and Manna Dey

Music of bollywood films reached its zenith during the 50s and 60s. Composers, lyricists and singers of diversified cultures and came together and produced masterpieces. During that period the classical rendition of orthodox songs sung by Rafi and Manna Dey had made the listeners spellbound and still remain immortal more than 50 years after their creation.

Qawallies were composed in style during that period. In the film Barsaat Ki Raat in 1960, composer Roshan’s qawalli “na to karwan ki talash hai” started by Manna Dey and continued by Rafi with the lyrics “yeh ishq ishq hai ishq ishq”, was the major attraction in the film. Both Rafi and Manna Dey sang the qawalli in their own style and with their own harkats. Barsaat Ki Raat had other brilliant songs including the title song, but the qawalli stood as one of the superlative creations.

In the film Taj Mahal in 1963, the qawalli “chandi ka badan, sone ka nazar” composed by Roshan was another masterpiece. Rafi’s style of performance was as unique as Manna Dey’s one. The same was equally brilliant as the other songs like “jo wada kiya hai” sung by Rafi and Lata and “paon chu lene do” sung by Rafi.

Mohd Rafi and Manna Dey

Mohd Rafi and Manna Dey

In the film Bahu Begum in 1967, Rafi and Manna Dey probably competed against each other to prove their supremacy in the qawallies composed by Roshan. The song “dhoond ke layun kahan se mai” almost created an environment lying in a dargah. The individual classical touch given by Manna Dey was as brilliant as Rafi. The other song “waqib hoon khub ishq ke” sung by Rafi and Manna Dey made the audience speechless. Probably these songs were more difficult to sing than the solo songs like “hum intezar karenge” by Rafi or “duniya kare sawal” by Lata.

There were light songs sung by Rafi and Manna Dey together also. In Kalpana, their song “tu hai mera prem devta” composed by OP Nayyar was one example. In Parvarish, Dattaram composed the song “mama ho mama” for Rafi and Manna Dey. In the film Rustom Sohrab, Sajjad Hussain composed for Rafi and Manna Dey the song “phir tumhari yaad ayi”.

In the film Sachai, Shankar Jaikishan composed the song “ai dost mere” for Rafi and Manna Dey. Whenever Rafi sung duet with other playback singers the classical andaz could not be balanced by anyone. Whenever Manna Dey sang any duet with Rafi, whether a qawalli or any other semi-classical song, both the singers took their singing to a higher dimension, and the audience enjoyed the brilliant performances in the long run.

The songs and the films should be preserved.

Mr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Mr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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34 Blog Comments to “Classical songs sung by Rafi and Manna Dey together”

  1. hyderali says:

    I mad of Rafi how he sing the song in beautiful voice im gone cause mad about he songs oh… God …this is too much i can’t believe he sing like this

  2. Imrul Hossain Togor says:

    In results of all judgment Manna dey better than rafi shab in classical songs. But rafi shab had a god gifted voice!

  3. Raj says:

    wat can we say, wat a man ,and wat a voice. no one can ever replace his place in today music world.

  4. anurag says:

    Manna De sahab asked Rafi sahab” what do you do to make yourself 21 and me 19 in duets; ?”
    Rafi sahab replied” I listen your songs Manna Da”

  5. gokuldas Kumar.M says:

    My regards to all those Rafians, who are the true music lovers! One who does not rate Rafi as great cannot be a true music lover in my opinion!

  6. Imran says:

    A Very Beautiful & Nice Article on legends.

    All qawwalis sung by both the legends are immortal. While listening their qawwalis we just lost and wish that the qawwali can never be ended.

    I want to share only one of gem here, “tumhe husn de k khuda ne sitamghar bnaya bnaya”

    what a qawali this is.


  7. Narasimhan R says:

    Parminder Singh ji, Sat Sri Akaal. “Vanakkam” in Tamil (“n” as in Ganesh). Please re-type the website address. I am not able to find it.

    I am listening to Rafi saab’s songs all through the day today.

    Thanks, Narasimhan, Houston, TX, USA.

  8. Anil Cherian says:

    Remembering the colossus among singers with fondness and reverence on the 30th anniversary of the day when the Almighty decided to take him away from the mortals.

  9. parminder singh says:

    sat siri akal, asalam valakoom, namastay to all my friends, who respect, prays, and devoted to rafi saab,melodious , immortal voice, today is 31 st of july, the 30th death anniversary of our beloved guru ji rafi the great, i am short of world for that man who devoted his life for music, rafi saab will remain in our hearts for ever,ever and ever, today on his 30th death annversary my brother is launching his first album called vichora, seperation, you can listen to this single o http://www.peet,i will appreciate if download,this single, its a tribute to rafi saab on his death anniversary from all our family thanks a lot.

  10. MR D P BIJOOR says:



    MOHAMMED RAFI, a voice that thrilled and entertained millions of music lovers around the world was a humble and kind hearted soul who rose to unmatched popularity as a playback singer in his relatively short span of life but ruled over the hearts of countless music lovers across three successive generations.

    He was gifted with a sweet & enchanting voice which enthralled his fans for over three and half decades in his short life of 56 years. There is hardly anybody in the Hindi film industry who had ever thought of disliking RAFI SAHAB. His detractors if at one may call them so, could not but agree that He was the undisputed King of Melody had a larger following than any other playback singer in the golden era of the Hindi film music.

    RAFI SAHAB had a vast repertoire of songs in more than a dozen Indian languages apart from other languages and rendered songs in all of them with his customary ease and excellence thus winning over many hearts in the process.

    His philanthropic activities were never revealed unlike the present generation of celebrities and he went about helping the needy in his own quite and unassuming manner making sure, that no one got a whiff of it. To his family and many of those benefited immensely from his magnanimity, He was an ANGEL sent down by the Almighty to bring succour to troubled souls on this Earth – a task which he performed dutifully and beautifully with his magical and nectar-filled voice. The renowned late music composer Naushad Ali had rightly said about RAFI SAHAB: “ Amironke Mehelon main teri goonj hai aur garibonke zhopadi main bhi teri awaaz hai “!! His resounding voice was heard in Palatial Villas as well as in the shanties of the homeless with the same euphoria and continues to be heard in every nook and corner across the Seven Seas and yonder !!! He would have lived longer had it not been for some Divine Interference on 31st July 1980 when He was cruelly snatched away from millions of his fans and left behind sorrowful and indelible memories of that black day as it were.

    Today, on his 30th anniversary we his innumerable fans & admirers pay our loving and humble tributes to this Great Singer par excellance who has inspired music lovers across every strata of civil society with his inimitable and incomparable Art of Crooning

    The uncrowned king of the melodies, the true owner of the Golden Voice and indeed a human being par excellence has never left a single day nor a minute in our busy lives where on Earth we have ever thought of forgetting a Genius and a shining personality like Rafi Sahab’s caliber, for we fervently believe beyond doubts – that the day we ever forget Mohammed Rafi Sahab even for a fraction of a second – that day will automatically freeze the World of the Music Universe.

    “ Caravan Gujar Gaya Hum Gubar Dekhate Rahe Gaye”

    Yes how rightly and confidently RAFI SAHAB has said “KYA TUM MUJHE KABHI YOON BHULA PAAOGE”

  11. P. Haldar says:

    Rafi saab, you are in the thoughts and prayers of millions of bhakts around the world. You are with us every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Nothing is as precious to us as you are.…/653921/1

  12. H.A.K. Walijah says:


    Aaj Rafi Saab ki teesveen Barsi Hai, iss mauke par meri tarf se Marhoom Rafi Saab ko Nazrane Aqeedat pesh e khidmat hai –

    Log chale jaate hain, yaaden chhod jaate hain
    Zinda rehna walon ke saath rishta todh jaate hain
    Jo chale gaye woh to chale gaye
    Jo rah gaye woh guzree huyee yadon se jud jatee hain
    Faqt ek aah nikalti hai dil se mere
    Kuch din aur zinda rehte to tumhara kya jaata
    Muqaddar hai muqaddar se kaun lade aye doston
    Hum majboor bebas pe jo guzarti hai who hum hi jaane.

    Aye Rafi tujh ko bhulana na-mumkin hai
    Tere geet jab tak bajte rahenge
    Tere suron ka jaadu fiza mai bikharta rehage
    main doob jaoon tere geeton main phir se
    Bas yehi ab dil chahata hai


    H.A.K. Walijah

  13. vitthal says:

    Post -16 Binu nair ji,

    good post sir, A person leaving with fame at peak, leaves everlasting effect. Rafi was one among such kind of personalities.

  14. varun says:

    My dear friends
    & respected BInu SIr ji

    Jaise aachie kabhi nahin marti waise aache insan nahin marte

    rafi saab miss u lot
    bhagwan kare aap jha bhi hoon bhagwan ke oot main hoon

    miss u & love u

    aap ka bhakt

  15. Rajkumar Akela says:

    My Dear Friends,
    Today is July 31st…the most inauspicious day for music-lovers and the music world. This is the day when Rafi Sahab left us 30 years ago.
    He was no doubt a boon from the God to mankind.
    He himself was not less than a saint…perhaps the noblest man on earth.
    Nobody is been remembered and loved after 30 long years of his death.
    But the entire world still remembers him and loves him.
    This is not less than a miracle…miracle of his golden voice.


    Rafi Sahab, apko ta-qayamat sara zamana dhoondta rahega !

    Plz pray for the divine soul…may his soul rest in peace !!!


  16. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Respected Binuji,

    Please put some flowers on behalf of me too. May be some of the sins of my life can get washed away by the blessings of Mohammad Rafi, the noble soul. His godliness reached him to heaven very early in life.

    But for his admirers like us, he should had survived another 50 years, God is also partial, he hardly sends genius people Rafi on and often. Music had suffered the greatest loss in 100 years on 31st July, 1980, due to Rafi’s death.

    Souvik Chatterji.

  17. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    Your article brought back memories of the bygone era of Hindi Film Music. Rafi Saab and Mannada were two of the greatest singers, who could match each other sur for sur, taal for taal. Both had immense respect for each other. Whenever they sang together, it was just heavenly. Some other duets of these two stalwarts,

    1. Kuch Aur Nahin Bas Dhyan Tera – Heera Moti.
    2. Palki Chali Gayi – Palki.
    3. Ek Shok Hasina Se – Chandi Sona.
    4. Hindusthan Ki Kasam – Title osng.
    5. Taqat Watan Ki Humse Hain – Prem Pujari.

  18. BINU NAIR says:

    SOUVIK JI : permit me to write about mohd rafi a bit more…….

    there are 9000 musicals to pay homage to mohd rafi in july – all around the world.
    on many occassions mohd rafi would give away his recording earnings to deserving musicians, liftman, struggling composers and even singers. one mohd rafi lover even told me that on 30th of every month, mohd rafi would not record songs.
    mohd rafi would be making packets to be given as aid to allah ke bandhe, his friends and colleagues in need.
    another mohd rafi neighbour tells me that at the back of his mansion his staff would cook food. this was for the sake of people who visited the mansion who could not afford a meal.
    such persons go straight to the gods – all religious texts say in absolute terms.

    mohd rafi – mortal man taken away by gods from the earth for the pleasure of listening at early age of just 55 years and some months.

    binu nair .. rafi foundation, mumbai : cell + 0 9833 250 701

  19. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Resp. Binu ji,
    Thanks a lot for placing the flowers on the behalf of many Rafi Sahab’s fan who is unable to come there.
    You are doing a great job.

  20. BINU NAIR says:

    POST 12 : NARAYAN JI… FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS, since i am in mumbai we have been assembling at the rafi saaheb graveyard at juhu. we join the huge number of rafi lovers who gather there to pay homage.
    people come from far and wide – from within the country and outside too.
    but, so many of mohd rafi lovers cant come there. we will place flowers on their behalf on this holy 6 x 3 feet land on their behalf. mohd rafi would bless his admirers – one thing i am sure of.

    another set of mohd rafi lovers will be on duty at bandra’s mohd rafi chowk near lucky restaurant. they would be decorating the chowk with flowers with emotions- as usual. these are hard core group of mohd rafi lovers who have been doing these for years to gether.

    there are hundreds of musical programmes to remember mohd rafi saaheb in july. one of them will be arranged by rafi foundation at mumbai – borivli’s probodhan thackaray hall at 8.30 pm.

    briefly said, on july 31 , lots of remembrance and emotions will be shed and immortal mohd rafi remembered.

  21. Zorawar says:

    Nice article. Thanks Mr. Souvik.
    There cannot be a better jodi as competitors. What a contradictory statement? But they were the best as a jodi in a duet and had the healthiest competition amongst them. They were definitely competitors but they were best in complementing each other,even today.

    Friends, I take this opportunity to inform everybody that Rafi Foundation Memorial Society (RFMS), Delhi is organizing “Chale Aaj Tum Jahan Se, The Rafi Magic” on 31-07-10 at Pearelal Bhawan, New Delhi. Interested people can call me for passes.
    I also wish all the best for all the shows happening in memory of Rafi Sahab. May Rafi Sahab bless you all.
    Long Live Rafi Sahab !

    Zorawar Chhugani
    Gen. Secy (RFMS)
    # 9810224991
    I also

  22. Narayan says:

    thanks Binu.. Entire team of Rafi fans in Mumbai are doing a wonderful job..
    Kindly place on behalf of all devotees from Blore who cannot make it

  23. BINU NAIR says:


    mohd rafi is a music gharana said manna dey, not once but in hundreds of public platforms.





    09833 250 701

  24. Jae-Bee says:

    One more from the duo + kishoreda, film Nanha Farishta picturised on pran, ajit and anwar husain. “bachhe mein hai bhagwan…”

  25. Samina says:

    Dear Sauvik ji,

    Nice article indeed!! After Rafi saab, it’s Manna da I adore so much. I am also reminded of some songs where besides Rafi saab and Manna da there were other singers too….
    1) Sarfaroshi ki tamanna (Shaheed): What a song!!! Even if it doesn’t fit in the article’s context just assume that I am looking for an excuse to discuss this song 🙂 . Mindblowing!! Superb!!!
    2) Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga…. I am speechless..
    3)Dukh bhare din beete re bhaiya..
    and the list is endless


  26. BINU NAIR says:

    lovely article on the legends…. they were big competitors in the singing field. manna dey dada is an ex footballer. he looked like an english professor with his chaste english during his early days.
    manna dey used to have kite fly-ing competions with mohd rafi – from their bandra homes. mohd rafi would often visit manna deys house where he would be served with sweet delicacies.
    at a musical concert manna dey saab was chewing paan at the interval. was asked : dada, what this paan does…
    it keeps the throat wet said dada.
    recently, manna dey gave a three hour programe in mumbai without an interval. dada would always speak of great things about mohd rafi saaheb…

    great men. great works… legends for-ever

  27. girish says:

    a few numbers that i can instantly recall and not all of them are classical

    ek janib shamm-e-mehfil – abhilasha
    nir ta dhang – chandan ka palna
    pyar ka maara hoon mein julie- private secretary
    dekho dekho madam – pyar mohabbat
    aao aate kyun nahin – around the world
    mehfil mein shama chamki – gunahon ke devta
    muh se mat laga cheez hai buri – johnny walker
    mein ravan lanka naresh – insaniyat
    o babu tel malish – baraat
    ye do diwane dil ke – johar mehmood in goa

  28. mohamed parvez says:

    dear souvik chatterji as usual you have chosen great topic about kings of classical songs ,rafi saab and mannada are the kings of classical songs in hindi film industry,iam inviting you and every body to visit rafi saabs blog,total over 300 pages are there,for kind information of visitors of rafi saabs blog,to go to next page,kindly click older posts,you will find bottom of every page,take care

  29. Hussein Sheikh says:

    A short but interesting article. Ek Jaanib shamm e mehfil…. this is another nice duet sung by both legends from the film “Abhilasha”.

  30. snigdha Kemkar says:

    How about SUDH BISAR from sangeet samrat Tansen!!A wonderful example of the duet by Manna de and Md rafi at their classical best..

    RJ Snigdha

  31. vinod mehru says:

    pyare sauvik bhai,
    bahut achcha article hai ,kafi dino baad auch achchi yaaden samne aayee hai, bahubegam film ke poore gaane to nahin sun paya hoon lekin jaldi hi sunungaa.
    kuch non classical bhi hai jaise comedy type i mention one of the song from film shaagird bade miyan deewanw aise naa bano by majrooh, and lp with our duo in question. yaar khazaana to bahut hoga lekin samunder mein dubki lagane wale chahiye, unko kahan se le kar aa jaon samajh nahin aatta.
    aap ko thank u bolane ke liye bhi shabad nahin hai mere pass .
    with love
    vinod mehru

  32. Jae-Bee says:

    one more qawwali from the duo + asha; film:palki; md:naushad; song: main idhar jaoon ya udhar jaoon. a very nice song indeed

  33. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Dear Souvik ji,
    Very nice and Informative article.Rafi Sahab sang highest no of his duets with Manna de sahab than any other male singer.I think he sang approx. 58 duets with manna da.After Manna da Rafi sahab sang 34 duets with Kishore da which is second highest no. of duets with male singer.
    Thanks for sharing this article with us.

    Request- Pls send letters to authorities regarding BHARAT RATNA as soon as possible & don’t be late. Letters are available on-

    -Sanjeev Kumar Dixit

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