You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / If Rafi had sung these songs

If Rafi had sung these songs

This article is written by Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy

Mohd Rafi with other playback singers

Mohd Rafi with other playback singers

Just imagine if Mohammed Rafi Saab had sung “Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon” from ‘Mehbooba’ instead of Kishore. Well, this classical song was a Do Pehlu, sung both by KK and Lata. RD Burman, the Music Director of the movie had chosen these two Singers for rendering the song. Where as Lata excelled, in fact sung effortlessly, KK showed the strain and could not match Lataji in this round and RDB lost a golden opportunity to give one of the best do-pehlu’s of Hindi film industry. KK was not suited for this classical number and if only RDB had given this song to Rafi, the Farishta would have converted this song to a memorable one, matching Lata, step by step, sur by sur.

The magnum opus of Raj Kapoor’s ‘Mera Naam Joker’ had a Mukesh-Asha qawali “Daag Na Lag Jaaye”. Definitely this song perhaps was composed with Mukesh’s limitations in mind otherwise, SJ could have made a much better fast paced qawali if they had chosen Rafi. But the hero was Raj Kapoor for whom Mukesh was the voice but let us not forget in the same movie, he had Rafi singing for him “Sazde Heer”.

Similarly Mahendra’s “Tum Nacho Ras Barse” should have been by Rafi as the efforts of Mahendra looks very pedestrian in this classical song from ‘Naagmandir’. Mahendra, the self confessed ‘Shishya’ of Rafi, otherwise was a good singer with a remarkable capacity to raise his pitch as in ‘”Na Muh Chupake Jiyo” of ‘Humraj’.

There are umpteen number of songs which when played on radio, we felt like closing our ears as the songs did not suit the singers or the Singers were not able to do justice to the songs. Agreed, the lyrics of some of the songs were pathetic and some had poor music, but those singers could not lift the song, the way Rafiji or Lataji or Mannada could do.

Mohd Rafi along with Kishore Da, Mukesh Bhai, Talat Saab and other playback singers

Mohd Rafi along with Kishore Da, Mukesh Bhai, Talat Saab and other playback singers

For example, for songs like “Aji Ho, Taas Ke Bawan Patte”, “Bina Badarake Bijuria Aise Chamke” from ‘Bandhan’, “Barkha Rani”, “Mehnat Hamara Jeevan” from ‘Nadaan’, “Ye Tere Pyaar Ka Dar” from ‘My Love’, even “Taron Me Sajke” from ‘Jal Bin Machli Nritya Bin Bijli’, etc. Rafiji should have been chosen and definitely Rafiji would have made these songs sound much better. Mukeshji, otherwise, has given us umpteen number of wonderful songs especially for Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, etc. but he had his limitations and MDs who used Mukesh within these limitations were successful in getting hummable and memorable songs from him. If Rafi had sung the above songs, perhaps, the result would have been much better, though it should be admitted that these songs were not meant to be great songs.

Similar was the case with Kishore. KK was not suited for classical numbers, in fact, for hero Kishore, Rafi gave his divine voice in “Man Mora Bawra” in ‘Raagini’, because the song was slightly classical and the MD OP Nayyar felt that Rafi could do better justice. Similarly SJ chose Rafi to croon for KK in “Ajab Hai Daastan” in ‘Shararat’ because the song required singing at high notes, which KK was not adept at and which was Rafi’s forte.

I personally feel, songs like “Jara Nazaronse Kehdoji” from ‘Bees Saal Baad’, “Main Intezar Karun” from ‘Dushman’, “Jaise Ko Taisa Mila”, “Sala Main To Saab Ban Gaya” from ‘Sagina’, etc. would have been much better if the Music Directors had taken Rafi to play back. In fact, I read some where that KK was not ready to record the ‘Dushman’ song and suggested Rafi for the same, but the MDs LP forced him to record it, how I wish they had not done so.

The above mentioned songs neither were great songs nor made use of the strengths of the Singers singing them nor considered the weakness of these singers. No doubt, most of these songs were not meant to be great songs, but would have been made ‘passable’ by Rafi.

Agreed, singers like Talat, Mukesh, KK, Mahendra, Hemant, Mannada were all greats having given us very many memorable songs, but Rafi was the greatest, who could have done equal justice to any song sung by these great Singers apart from making some poor songs into passable numbers as he did for his own songs like “Ae Shukar Ke Tu Hai Ladka” from ‘Himmat’, “Aaaa, Lag Ja Gale Dilruba” from ‘Dus Lakh’, “O Jaane Jaan Chale Kahan” from ‘Gustaki Maaf’, “Chakke Me Chakka” from ‘Brahmachari’, “Ae Meri Jaane Chaman”, “Kauvan Chala Hansa Ki Chaal” from ‘Around the World’, “Main Hun Jaani Tera” from ‘Bhai Bhai’, “Jawani Mast Hai Dagar” from ‘Vachan’, “Dil Mera Legayi Lal Batuve Me” from ‘Rootha Na Karo’, “Ashiq Hun Ek” from ‘Pagla Kahin Ka’, etc. All these songs were so so, the only saving grace being Rafiji’s singing.

No doubt that the other Singers had their own strengths and when the MDs used these strengths, we got good songs. Mukeshji was very much suited for ‘dard bhare nagme’. Hemant was very much suited for songs of Mukesh type, and especially which were based on Bengal folk tunes and Ravindra Sangeet. Talat was king of gazal.

Mahendra was definitely a versatile singer, his forte being the effortless ease with which he used to raise his voice. He was also good at soft romantic songs. Kishore was another versatile singer who could sing any type of songs, especially he was very good for comic songs though he has also given us some soulful numbers in his career.

All these singers though had limitations while singing classical or qawali numbers or singing at high pitches or with much ‘alaap’. Also the ‘ada’ which Rafiji used to add in his numbers, the feelings, the trembling voice with which he used to sing the tearful numbers could not be found in the songs of most of these singers. Mannada was one exception, who was equally at ease in all type of songs like Rafiji, but some how, his voice could not be identified with most of the heroes except perhaps Raj Kapoor.

Of course, these are purely my personal views which some fans may not agree but, I am sure there will be some, who would think the same way.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

150 Blog Comments to “If Rafi had sung these songs”

  1. Salil says:

    Mr Chakraborty,
    Yes I am mad, mad about the reality. KK sung the song mentioned well (which was modified btw) but Lata’s rendition ultimately had more class, had RAFI rendered the song then he would have matched Lata inch by inch. You are another blind biased bengoli so it is hardly surprising that you have come to promote and defend your beloved KK at any cost on ‘’. It speaks volumes of how much confidence you hardcore KK fans really have of KK’s greatness. I know the truth is really bitter but it isn’t going to change just because you KK fans cannot digest it. KK was a great unique singing talent but you are right about one thing that you simply cannot compare RAFI and KK, there is no singer as versatile as RAFI and there never will be. He was/is the greatest singer ever produced.

  2. Salil says:

    Mr Chakraborty,
    Yes I am mad, mad about the reality. KK sung the song mentioned well (which was modified btw) but Lata’s rendition ultimately had more class, had RAFI rendered the song then he would have matched Lata inch by inch. You are another blind biased bengoli so it is hardly surprising that you have come to promote and defend your beloved KK at any cost on ‘’. It speaks volumes of how much confidence you hardcore KK fans really have of KK’s greatness. I know the truth is really bitter but it isn’t going to change just because you KK fans cannot digest it. KK was a great unique singing talent but you are right about one thing that you simply cannot compare RAFI and KK, there is no singer as versatile as RAFI and there never will be. He was/is the greatest singer ever produced.

  3. Partha Chakraborty says:

    Are you mad or what?!!
    People use to listen the song Mere Naina Sawan Bhadho which Kishore Da sang. Only few people know that the same song was also sung by Lata.
    Do you know what Kishore Da sung?
    Do you know the song Mere Naina Sawan Bhadho got its original meaning, original status or you can say dignity after Kishore Da?
    Do you know who is Kishore Kumar?!!!
    You can not compare Kishore & Rafi.
    However, Kishore Kumar is Kishore Kumar…
    World’s no.1 singer… !!

  4. Salil says:

    RAFI could to better justice to 98% of KK songs. Lets get clear about this. A versatile complete singer like him will never ever be seen again. All KK songs are simple to sing and in composition, therefore there are hardly any songs of KK that RAFI cant do better justice to. Most of us are used to hearing the songs in KK voice on the actor and his singing style, but RAFI would have ultimately rendered them better with more expressions and clear emotions.

  5. Salil says:

    KK was a multi-talented legend but a limited average singer. KK spoiled mere naina song and other classical numbers, you frustrated blind delusional KK fanatics should accept the reality and stop expressing frustrations/grudges here. RAFI is the greatest of all times and that is the way it is, he could have sung every song of other singers better than they already were coz he was the GOD of singing rest are human. There is no comparison with any other singer to RAFI!!

  6. Ramesh says:

    It’s absurd imagination that mere naina song could have been sung better than KK . The song was sung so beautifully and soulfully by KK and and no one can beat or better it’s just not possible .Period. Rafi Saab is a great singer but KK is no less. In fact without formal training in classical music KK belted so many melodies numbers which are pure gems which makes him very special and he is a natural talent for him and had a divine voice as well and those cannot be bettered by anyone including Rafi Saab. Likewise some of Rafi Saab’s songs are ultimate and KK or anyone else cannot better them. Let’s not compare these legends . Both are greatest and let’s leave it there.

  7. a c tuli says:

    There is disputing the fact that Rafi was a great singer. He was versatile. He could sing classical songs with elan. But I feel the writer of the above article is a little too partial to Rafi. The songs he has mentioned and which, according to him, would have suited Rafi’s voice better are quite popular as they are. Come to think of it, Rafi could not match Kishore when it came to singing comic songs. Kishore had an inborn talent for singing such songs.

    I remember that Bimal Roy’s ‘Sujata’ was in the making. Burman Da had initially wanted Rafi to sing, ‘Jalte hain jis ke liye…’, but owing to some preoccupation, Rafi could come for rehearsals. Burman Da then gave this song to Talat Mehmood. And lo! what a great job he did by singing this song. The pathos that we find in Talat’s velvet voice is not found in Rafi’s voice. So, according to me, every singer has his plus point and also his minus points. Take another example. K L Saigal sang, ‘Babul mora nahiyar chhoto hi jaye’ in ‘Street Singer’. and musicologists say no one could have improved uponhis performance. Now, imagine Rafi singing this song. No doubt he would have sung it in his own, but the song would not have attained immortality like the Saigal song has.

  8. Anil says:

    there should not be exaggeration. mere naina sawan bhadi is better rrndered by kishore and rRDB himslef prefrrred kishore version . also like kishore could not sing some rafi songs definitely songs like ” yeh jevan hai”, “o hansini”, ” zindagika safar hai ye kaisa safar “, ” aanewala pal “, ” koi hota jisko apna” are renderd buy kishore like great gems and one honestly feels rafi could not have given so much justice to these songs!

  9. saleesh says:

    @ Ali : it wasnt Manna day it was KJ Yesudas who sung the song for Raviji for the film Tansen .

  10. gokuldas kumar.m says:

    If only all the songs from film anad were to be sung by Rafiji!!! Just because Salil Chowdhary did not like him on certain personal level, Rafi was not invited to sing them. Because, no other singer, whether KK, Mannady or Mukesh cannot match Rafi in expressing pathos as in the case of anand songs.

  11. Priya Sanyal says:

    ….Rafi sahab not just touches our heart but he lives with our soul there is a proof for sure,when I mentioned the blssed event when Rafi sahab touched me as a child had moved my heart towards divinity of this man,..see all of u felt that touch…how??because he didn`t touched child-me as physical sense,but he show unbounded infinite love to a young child n touched the soul…n that soul have touched u all….so its not just me only who is blessed by Rafi sahab`s blessings but u all feel him with soul…everyone is blessed for God`s gift to us as voice of Rafi in the body of a person who was divoted to singing like ibdat n hmself was man strangly purest heart.,,I`m once again in tears by reading so many entries over the divine touch of Rafi sahab…..
    its also a very emotional event for the honour u all show on my destiny for which I every moment thank to God..
    Plz never mind my delay in replying u plz,sir,Mam,,,as we tribute here Rafi sahab who is “eternal” in himself so lets never judge our love for this finnest of finnest with context of time….I work in standford university lab,n also working with few Rafi lover friends on remastering Rafi sahab`s record or cassette song to digital voice so in lab we r not allowed to use public site…n we donate for free these songs to leading music company in India for we want this divine voice to reach all…
    Now after reading so many post I don`t know how can I bear so much thankfulness in my heart why God is so much happy with me….I`m not writing these names just to say thanx,,but to feel presence of all of u in my heart as heart can feel heart n I know sure that these r the names of someone in whom Rafi sahab still breathes life……….
    My heartfelt thanx to….J.K. Bhagchandani ji for excellent poemn sory I saw ur msg late,,Sanjeev Kumar Dixitji for cherishing the emotion of Rafi s` innocence,,,GURU MURTHY ji what to say of u n ur contributions,,just thanx..!!ramesh narain kurpad ji I can feel the truth n goodness in ur heart that u saw in me,thanx,,,,Narayan Ji adab rafi,,see rafi sahab himself couraged to be in u with u and unless u were Rafi sahab own how come u would have felt his voice so devoted n so intimate….achal rangaswamyji I envy u too for ur love for Rafi sahab is so much..u r here n Rafi sahab is with all of us,he is eternal,,,A.T.M. SALIM ji its greatness of Rafi sahab he never consider his voice his own,rather it was that of allah`s blessing n he dedicated it completly to all those who loved him,,,shashank ji u r never little contributer ur words for music thats such a vast in itself can never be little,rather i`m thankful to u extremly for ur love 4 rafi sahab!….M V Devraj ji ur cry me made me cry,I say this in name of God that its true…Plz love Rafi sahab same way he is such a affectionate singer n person both,,,,,,dear Ali Rashid,Rafi sahab`s greatness is incomplete with love of listener,as he was never professinaly materilist but inspired to fascinate his fans with loving feeling of adoration, I`m feeling even luckier this time 4,there r people like u who recognize him as ‘Saatwan Sur’,,,,P. Haldar ji u must have read my silence,thanx for ur presence on this site,,,I would like to say who am i,its in fact great Rafi whose “bhav”(feelings) u felt beautiful,,thanx…..SaminaJi ur intelligence is illumined by true but original realisations,ur words r that of real wisdom,this world need person like u,,n yes,I`ve met many rafi lovers who r inclined to obervse the purity of this complex life,Yes person behind the voice is really important n also person behind the words r also impt hence,plz keep on posting here,thanx!!,,,,,,,Sorry if I missed someone as I know many people read post but don`t comment,thanx to all…….Binu Nair Ji should I say u thanx?? can I?? no way,,,ur divotion to divinity is so much for rafi sahab that I really feel,,That even rafi sahab would go in tears thinking of ur divotion…Plz keep on tributing Master,,,I`m indebted for as rafi sahab is so is one who love him,,,this site is like heaven to me….Thank you very much moderatorji! Namaste, adab rafi!..

  12. Sanjeev Kumar Dixit says:

    priya ji, really u r very lucky that u met RAFI saab, what an emotional incident that was?I salute to RAFI saab’s never quit from here becoz we all needs a good person like u here in this forum.RAFI saab said in his song-”Jo thokar na khaye nahi jeet uski,jo gir ke sanbhal jaye hai jeet uski..”so pl. stay with us.
    best wishes 2 you.

  13. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Priya Sanyal ji,

    Echoing same thoughts as conveyed by Gurumurthy ji (post 137) and many others, I wrote a couple of lines for you:

    Aapne to zindagi ka ek behatareen lamha hai jiya,
    Phir kyon chhoti chhoti baaton ko aapne dil se lagaa liya,
    Us pal ki hanseen yaadon ko yaad karke,
    Is mehafil mein laut aao Priya.

    Yaad karo Rafi saab ka woh sparsh paawan,
    Jab tumhari aankhon se barsaa tha saawan,
    Kaise bhar aayaa tha tumhaaraa jiya,
    Usi ahasaas ko hamse baantne laut aao Priya.

    Hum to yoon hi kar lete hain thodaa tez taraar tarq,
    Aapki lagan pe iska nahin padnaa chahiye farq,
    Yaad karo rafi saab ko, jisne mausiki kaa khajaana hai diyaa,
    Us khajane kaa lutf lene laut aao Priya

    Insaan hain hum aam se, karte hain khataaen,
    Par aap to humen sahi raah dikhaaen,
    Ki humne kya sahi aur kya galat kiya,
    Isiliye iss mehafil mein laut aao Priya.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  14. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    Kishore Kumar says “Kuch To Log Kahenge, Logon Ka Kaam Hai Kehna, Chodo Bekar Ki Baton Mein, Kahin Beet Na Jaye Raina”. Our own Rafi Saab said, “Acho Ko Bura Sabeet Karna Duniya Ki Purani Aadat Hai”. Well, all of them are expressing their opinion and you are expressing your opinion. Nothing wrong with it. We definitely need you in the web for your meaningful contribution.

  15. post 104,

    priyal sanyal jee,

    a true lover – a true rafi bhakt – a true rafi fan – will never quit – any rafi forum – especially this forum.

    aap rooth gayi hain. woh hum sab jaantey hain. aur hum sabko bahut buraa lag rahaa hai.

    priyaaji is zaalim duniyaa main acchhey log aur burey log – sab tarah key log rahtey hain. lekin sabhi toh khudaa key bandhey hain.

    the so called terrorist is also god’s own creation.

    imagine priyaajee, kaliyugaa has to cross many thousands of years, we have not even lived to cross the century and are already tired of it.

    good people like you always get mauled in todays world – where people hurt you by their loose talk – that is what i mean by ” maul “.

    now coming back to your post – 104 –

    yes every word of what you said is divine and accurate – it definitely makes one weep as you would have done while writing it. i can well understand your feelings.

    priyajee – you are a winner and =

    winners are

    too busy to be sad
    too positive to be doubtfull
    too optimistic to be fearful
    and too determined to be defeated. – hence

    a quitter never wins

    you are a winner and hence

    a winner never quits.

    if it suits you and you feel better to remain quiet for a while – do so and you will feel better by just reading some very good writers – writing poetries on our dearest rafi sahab.

    i suggest – do read the articles presented on 29th of november 2009 – one of them would definitely make you cheerful and you will reply to that article.

    we all will wait to read your views – your opinion on that article on our dearest rafi sahab which would appear on the 29th of november 2009.


  16. abhishek taparia says:

    dear murty ji,

    one song which i strongly believe should have been sung by rafisaab was’ mana janaab ne pukara nahi’ from the movie paying guest. during that period rafisaab was the main voice of dev anand and he had sung many a similar track for dev sahab(though all of them were beautifully sung) i also believe that rafisaabs voice and mannerisms suited dev saab far more. the songs like ‘aachaji main haari’ and ‘gori zara hansde tu’ were suiting dev saab to the core. dev saab might have had personal preferences but if someone ever makes a list of 5 best dev songs it would have atleast 4 songs by rafisaab if not all the 5.

    the other song would be ‘chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaye’ by mahendra kapoor how i wish to hear this song in rafisaabs voice but mahendra kapoor did full justice to the song for me its the best song of his career…

  17. Narayan says:

    Post 104
    Adaab Rafi !
    Your heartful comments of meeting with the farishta and the badshah of bollywood deserves a separate article by itself.
    You as a true Rafi Devotee made us cry with happiness that you could meet the legend in flesh and blood.
    I have attended two live-concerts of Rafi sahab in Mumbai but couldnt gather courage to meet him.
    This is the only regret in my life .. How wrong I was ?

  18. Curtly says:

    I am also a fan of Rafi Sahab..Request somebody to mail me the song list of Rafi Sahab..Please..


  19. rafi fan says:

    When Sachin was called Rafi;

    read this story from The Hindu newspaper:

  20. binu nair says:

    POST 128… ITS A FACT THAT EASY SONGS LIKE GAATA RAHE MERA DIL AND SIMILAR ONES went to kk whereas the difficult songs tuned by composers sd burman and his son – went to mohd rafi.
    think about the three songs from guide. think about the song from teen deviyan “kahin bekhayal hokar, mujhe choo liya kisine” : why it went to mohd rafi??

    the mukti song is high pitched and the voice needs to be even hence rafi was chosen. listen to the gem from mohd rafi in muqadar ka sikander, the slow version of the title song. ask anandji bhai why he did not use the services of kishore kumar in the slow version. u will get the right answer’s.

    meanwhile, today i was hearing vivid bharati and olden goldies were on air. suddenly, there was a song in which there was more of shouting and involuntary-ly my hand went to the off switch.

    no. i won’t name the song or the singer – only for the sake of guests who claim to be “impartial”.

  21. Vitthal says:

    Post 127 – Mr. Vitthal

    I think Mr. Vitthal in post 127 is another Mr. Vitthal other than me , who is another fan of the great rafi. It would be great, vitthal ji, if you could kindly (a earnest request) to put some initial for your name, as people may get confused with me, as I have been posting for long in this forum and sister kishore forum also these days. NO offence pl.

  22. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Vitthalji (Post 127),

    Your point is well taken and I agree with it in principle to an extent. But would like to add:

    Sometimes we as music lovers come across a song and feel that it has been composed wonderfully by the music director, has great lyrics and it needed a voice that not only does justice to the song but also enhances its aesthetics further through that something ‘extra’. The song in question (Mere naina sawan bhadon….) is a brilliant composition of RDB. It required a voice that is high on melody and softness and also having a classical background. If you listen to the song carefully, when it touches the lower octaves the voice becomes extra bassy and looses out on ‘melody’ and ‘feel’ (or the theme of the song). Similarly intermediate lines like ‘…..rut aaye rut jaaye de kar jhootha ek dilaasaa… or ‘………. Man sang aankh micholi khele aaha aur nirashaa…… phir bhi mera man pyaasaa…’ required a more melodious voice and bit of acting out the words like ‘jhootha ek dilasa’ and ‘aasha aur nirasha’ with appropriate voice modulation to convey precisely the ‘feel’ of the words to bring out the nuances of the overall theme of the song. In this context I feel that Rafi with his melodious and classical trained voice would have done wonders with the song. Kishore has sung the song ‘correctly’ but the song required more than just that. I do not possess great ‘technical’ knowledge of music but these are my ‘feelings’ about the song.

    It is not merely Rafi-fans here, but I have talked to many knowledgeable people (not necessarily Rafi-fans), and they have echoed similar opinion about this song.

    There is no disrespect intended for Kishore Kumar, whom we all respect. Past can not be changed and hence these are all theoretical (not necessarily undesirable) exercises of music lovers and should be taken in right spirit. Thanks

  23. Rakesh Sharma says:

    Undoubtedly, almost all past and current singers are great. However, the divinity of Rafi Saab’s voice was and is unsurpassable. Case in point, hear the rare gem “Kahin ek masoom, nazuk si ladki” from Shankar Hussain composed by Khayyam and rendered by Rafi Saab. All the 4 antras are different and last antra is just sublime i.e. zabaan se kabhi uuuf nikalti toh hogi…” The melody, romance and feelings in the song are something I have never heard before and unlikely to ever hear again. This is a true collectors item. I don’t think anything can come close to it anymore given the kind music being churned out today.

    Also hear the song “Pyaar hai ek nishaan kadmon ka” from Mukti (another rare Rafi Saab gem) composed by the RD Burman. I was wondering why KK did not render it, or why Pancham da did not utilize KK’s voice to render it? Why chose Rafi Saab, when all along in the era of Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan later, it was KK all the way? I think in our heart of hearts we might know the reasons.

    Truly, the least Rafi Saab deserves is a Bharat Ratna. Isn’t there a void, vaccum even today 29 years after the his departure? He has a great fan following even today!!!!

  24. Vitthal says:

    Mohammed Rafi was a god gift to all of music lovers like us. He is best among all till now and I am sure there will not be singer like Rafi in future also ( not only in next thousand years bu forever). and i agree to Usman. We should not compare Rafi with KK. KK haad definitely given Justice to mere naina sawan bhado. He was not a classical singer that every body (including KK himself) agress. Considering this fact if we look at KKS list then its amazing. It will be unfair with KK (to that matter with every other singer mentioned above) if it isa said that he has not given justice to the song. Its like comparing mango with other fruit and saying its not like mango. Every singer had their own quality and given justice to the songs they sang in their capacity.

  25. santosh says:

    Dear all rafi fans,

    I am a small drop in the ocean of rafi saab fans.I am a pujari of rafi saab.But my personal opinion is that kk has sung this song better than lata.Also the his high pitch is let us not ciritisize kk.Rafi was 1 & rest all are after that.This point need not be discussed at is crystal clear to people with some music sense left in them.

    Meanwhile I wanted to share a great emotional moment for me which happenned on 4th of Nov 09.I always dreamt of visiting rafi saab’s grave in Mumbai.this time I made sure I go there.As soon as I entered the masjid a man took me to the grave.He told me how great rafi saab was and the whole world loves him.I was shocked to see a grave which was very normal and similar to all the other graves .There was no name , no flowers nothing.I was shocked to think that is the same grave where the best indian playback singer rests .I then folded my hands and bent down on my knees.MY eyes were moist with the tears of love for rafisaab.I took some dust from the grave packed it in a small peice of paper .I keep it with me and whenever my feelings for rafisaab flow over I just take a look at the dust and rafisaab is with me.I shared this with Mr.Narayanan from Banglore ,He envied me as to how lucky I was.

    Rafi saab was and will remain the best indian playback singer, so there is no point of discussion.May his soul rest in peace and let us enjoy the magical waves of his vocal chords forever.

  26. Samina says:

    @post 119
    Ali Bhai,

    Thanks for introducing me to the wonderful song of Kudrat. I never heard it, not even on radio (Vividh Bharti). Such a melodious full song of 4+ minutes and it didn’t get a place in lp. Shocking. No doubt there is something fishy here, some dirty politics… How sad!!!


  27. achal rangaswamy says:

    truly touching tale. speaks volumes about the greatness of the man himself. and the story is very well told. priya ji, i envy you. i wish i had been there. but then you were destined to be there. one regret that i shall always carry with me is that i never met the great man. but one great solace will be- i heard so many songs of his that i feel truly blessed.

    great write up priya ji. please do keep writing like this


  28. A.T.M. SALIM says:

    REF: POST-104





  29. shashank says:

    Priya Sanyalji.

    Ref 104: Thanks for telling us this ancedote. Really lucky u are. But what to say about this legend, I am just a small contributor to this respected personality. I missed him alot if i could have met him I would have taken lot of photographs from my camera of this legend. The fact is if i hear any song of rafisahab i feel how much dedication he have taken for each song. whtever will be. Priyaji, I feel Rafisahab is there with us and will be there forever.


  30. M V Devraj says:

    Priyaji: (post 104): Your writing made me cry. How beautifully you have poured forth your emotions over an unforgettable event in your life. Oh! I am stunned for words.There have been many singers in our film industry, many memorable singers at that,but none can match the humility,simplicity and magnanimity of the one and only God of music Rafisaab.Priyaji you must be truly a blessed person to have experienced what you have written about.Please continue writing as much as possible and whenever you can.This forum will always await for more of such compelling posts.
    Best regards.
    M V Devraj

  31. Ali Rashid says:


    That was a beautiful heartfelt story. Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories about your meeting with the greatest singer of all time. You are one of the lucky souls to have met ‘Saatwan Sur’.

  32. Ali Rashid says:


    Can I please have your opinion on the following two RD-Rafi songs:

    Champa khili daar – Aaj Raat Ko

    Hum jab ek saath hai – Bulandi

    “Dukh sukh ki har ek mala” from Kudrat is certainly a brilliant composition. Chetan Anand used it as the soul of the film Kudrat. It’s a do pehlu sung by Rafi and Chandrashekhar Gadgil.

    To me, if you compare both versions, Rafi brought the melody out more effectively. His rendition was soulful and had more emotion. RD also varied the rhythm in both versions, for CG he had the bass guitar accompanied by a side rhythm, and for Rafi he brought in the tabla (plus side rhythm), to give it more of a classical flavour, accompanied by a haunting electric guitar (plus the bass guitar). The guitar tune alone is haunting, and together with the rendition and orchestration make this a gem.

    Another interesting point is that the lyrics of this song were written by famous Pakistani poet Qateel Shifai, whereas the rest of the Kudrat songs were written by the great Majrooh.

    It’s a shame that the Rafi version was never released on any Kudrat LP, and can only be found in the film.

  33. Samina says:

    Priya Ji,

    What a touching story! I felt every bit of what you were trying to convey. People say ‘talk about music, it doesn’t matter what sort of a person the singer is’. In fact it matters the most. It creates the difference between a religious ritual follower and the enlightened. Riyaz can make you technically correct but only a true spiritual soul can manifest itself as the sensation of ECSTASY and Enlightenment. It requires far more than years of technically correct meditation to reach God. Likewise it requires far more than a perfect singer i.e. a saintly soul like Rafi saab to transform plain technically correct MUSIC into MAGIC. This is where the so called best female singer takes a beating from Rafi Saab. She can gather appreciation but not LOVE that we share with our master…

  34. P. Haldar says:

    Ms. Priya Sanyal,

    Apnar post pore khub bhalo laglo. Mon khule koto sundar bhabe likhechhen. Apni sotyi-i bhagyoboti je Rofi saheb apna’r saathey kotha bolechhen. Ekta proshno chhilo: Is your family by any chance linked to Anthony? If so, you’ll understand my question. Silence on your part will be interpreted as a “yes”. I’ll not ask you further questions on this topic.

    P. Haldar

  35. H.P. says:

    Post No. 106

    It is not a crime to dream about something. Lata was far far ahead in singing Mere naina…KK was not competition for her. I truely don’t want to hurt your feelings. When I was watching mehbooba (when it was released), I had to walk out of the hall when kk version started. Too much shouting. if you like the shouting style ..good for you (please enjoy by all means). With all the fairness there was not competetion between lata and kk. My college time friend happened to be rafisaab’s fan used to sing “mere naina..” effortlessly. Listen to pagla kahika “tum muje yu..” no wonder why lata played politics against rafi saab.

  36. P. Haldar says:

    post 103:

    Dear Ali,

    Jab bhi ye dil udas hota hai, I listen to the man who once said:

    “mere liye aati hai sham
    chanda bhi hai mera ghulam
    dharti se sitaron tak hai mera intezam…”

    P. Haldar

    “Jungal mein mor nacha kisine na dekha”

  37. BINU NAIR says:



  38. P. Haldar says:

    post 107:

    mr. indranil mitra,

    If you are a true kishore kumar fan and I’ve hurt your feelings, I am genuinely sorry. I like kishore kumar a lot; the only point I was trying to make is that he was not suited for some of the songs. But that’s my opinion and it could be a minority opinion.

    If you are unbiased, you should also object to the way Rafi-Kishore comparison has been done by the mainstream media based on just one song. And as for Rafi-Lata comparison, a whole industry has sprung up with the intent to malign Rafi. No one seems to object to that. Everyone believes everything that Maharani Saraswati Devi says. Something that should have been a closed chapter after 46 long years is being constantly revived by the Maharani with newer and newer flavours. Again, no one seems to mind. For those of us who lived through that period, we know the truth. But again, no one seems to care about the truth. Once in a while, we point out those unpleasant truths in this forum.

  39. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Mr. Bhagchandani and Mr. Nitish Sinha,

    Your points are well taken.


    P. Haldar

  40. sudip_dat says:

    This is not from any newspaper or magazine. Ravi (on the phone) informs that the title song of “Ek Mahal ho sapnon ka” was first recorded by Kishore and then discarded and re-recorded by Rafi.

  41. sudip_dat says:

    One song that compares with “Dil aaj Shyar hai” in terms of style and composition is “Dil ne pyar kiya hai” from Shararat. Though the tunes are different, both have similar transitions.

    I think Rafi was absolutely flawless in “Dil ne pyar kiya hai” while Kishore was at his best in “Dil aaj Shyar hai” yet fell slightly short on melody…

  42. Nagesh Sidhanti says:

    Hello Gurubhai,

    Thought provoking write up. This is something I would have
    considered on a regular basis. Swapping songs both ways.

    There are a few I would like to think of. Sorry if there is any
    duplication as I am entering late.

    a) Chalo ek baar phir se
    b) Poocho na kaise
    c) Dil dhoondta hai ( slow version)
    d) O hansini kaha ud chali
    e) KK’s part in ‘saregama masarega’ duet 🙂
    f) aa aarey mitwaa
    g) is pyaar ko main kya naam dun
    h) rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaaye
    i) duniya o duniya tera jawaab nahin

    Having said all this, each singer is inevitable to Hindi music
    in their own ways and on a personal note, I respect all of
    them for their immense contribution.

    Different people like different genre of music at different points of
    their life, as the musical preferences gets more and more refined,
    with age. I was a die hard Kishore fan in college and used to
    categorise Rafi sab as a great singer meant for sad songs. It
    however didn’t take too long to realise that Rafi sab was light years
    ahead of the rest and that he was a master of all moods. Nowadays
    my play list has mostly Rafi and Lata and few selected songs from
    the rest. Unlikely that these two legends would be surpassed.

    Once again, Thanks for posting.

    Nagesh Sidhanti

  43. sudip_dat says:

    Rashid bhai:
    Thanks for commenting on “pyar hai ik nishan qadmon ka”. Rafi saab indeed brought out the nuances. One problem with title songs like that is that music directors often used those during the casting, or split those up into parts played all over the film. That’s why lot of these songs go unnoticed. Same happened with Rafi’s title song in Kudrat, another brilliant RD composition.

    I am usually very critical of the “1942, a Love story” music. But I agree with you and Haldar-ji that the instrumentation and composition are great. The reason that I am not too fond of overall music of this movie is that ‘it fails to bring out 1942’. That was something that Naushad/Shakeel Badauni possessed. When you listen to Mughal–Azam or Baiju Bawra songs, your mind is migrated back to the Mughal era, right in the middle of the courtroom. The lyrics and music of ‘1942 , a Love Story’ do not take us back to 1942. I cannot imagine Gandhiji or his contemporaries referring to someone as “ek ladki”. I think Santanu Moitra did a better job in ‘Parineeta’.

    Anyway, my 2 cents.

  44. Indranil Mitra says:

    I also wanna state here that I really like many of Md. Rafi songs. But it made me pretty sad the way Md. Rafi n Kishore had been compared here by the fans. I think both had their unique style and way of singing. Both had huge amount of respect for each other. Both were legends. We fans often tend to pull one down for the other, thus showing our biasness and immaturity. Mr. Haldar has good taste of music I gather but is also driven by personal likings. Quizing on trashable songs of a great artiste or which song would have gone to which singer doesnot show much appreciation to music. I thought that music composers were the best judge to do so, or else if we were to compose songs, then most of the songs would have been sung by either Rafi or Kishore, depending on our choice of singer. All singers had many trashable songs along with many many songs which they carried on their shoulders alone. Its sheer immaturity and biasness to even discuss about those songs and singers, as NONE of the singers have all songs which are superhits and are great. Hope I have not hurt sentiments here and let’s all join hands and appreciate good music. May all of you be victorious and happy in your lives. Mr. Halder and Mr. Murthy pl don’t take my comments to heart as I don’t intend to hurt you or disrespect you. Luv, Indranil

  45. Indranil Mitra says:

    Mr. Guru Murthy as you personally feel that many songs of the other singers could have been sung my Md. Rafi, in the same way fans of other singers may think that songs of Rafi could easily have gone to other singers too. All classical numbers by him could have been sung effortlessly by Manna Dey. Many of his fun songs as well as romantic numbers could have made way to Kishore Kumar. Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon was sung in an outstanding manner by KK. I for the first time saw someone criticising the way kishore sung. Its unfortunate as Md. rafi has there at the time of recording waiting for his turn to record some other song. He ran upto Kishore and hugged him after hearing the way he had sung the song. I personally feel that Kishore raised his voice to such an extent where even lataji couldn’t match him.

  46. Usman says:

    Wel M Rafi Sahabwas and M Rafi Sahabone 1 singer of indian films…But I dont Agree that Kishore Kumar didnt make justice to song mere naina sawan bhaa do…I think Only KK can sing that song and he done a super job although he is 2nd best to after M Rafi Sahab

  47. Priya Sanyal says:

    WHEN I MET MOHAMMED RAFI JI(in person),the physical COMPASSIONATE touch of his hand is THE BEST GIFT OF GOD TO ME…

    its never like quitting Binu ji,Narayanji,Bhagchandani ji,shashankji,n every Rafi sahab`s lover……….till u all r here with us can we quit ever?.. how can we tolerate absurd comments against our Farista?..But on my part,I`m slightly weak,I`ve felt me not so efficient enough to potrait Rafi`s divine persona n sometime I go harsh,n Rafi in my heart cry to see me fighting…But I will always read u all n feel ur words as tribute to Rafiji…however,my prayers r always with u all,Shashank ji,I say everything for me n me alone,not for any other person,n at the time of farewell, I`ve no blame for anyone,u all r lovable,as Rafiji lives in u all n also in them in critics who visit here now n then but they don`t know that person like Rafi is only a matter of adoration n out of jelousy they talk of hate….I share little incidence of my life with Rafi ji,I know not,if its one moment or some eternal moment….
    Sir/ma`m, I`m from a family who lives with music,,my grandfather worked with SD burman n in many bangla film with music,,my mother was a classical dancer…and my father(though not famous) but was inherited with great musical strength…n yes I belong to kolkata n I myself is a bengali,,I don`t know if I`m confessing or regretting,,none of my parents is alive now,,n I love them n miss every moment yet sharing this fact,,,in my family where music is somewhat worshipped,,,I`ve witnessed great impartiality as far as Rafi ji is concerned….My parents has SD burman as their favourite,,,but hardly I could ever listen Rafi song played in my home when I was child…..later,,,when I was still growing up,,,,,in late 70s n 80s,,,,I could see bengal dancing with Kishore kumar ji voice,,,but with somewhat “repulsion” for Rafi sahab,,,only becuase they wanted a bengali hero,,,….I was still the same,,,I also liked Kishore kumar more,,,,,I think its only because I`ve never heard Rafi ever….but its just one part of story,other side is that immense r lover of music in Bengal who consider Rafi ji as voice of God,,,,,,,..once I got chance to listen Rafi live in kolkata concert,,,,,…n as my parents r from musical background,,I was familier with many musical organisers of Kolkata,,,n they knew me,,so what if I was just a school student…….so even after the show was over,,I could see Rafi sahab so close,,,,,in room..
    I was there with Rafi ji,,,,but I was not interested,,I was thinking only If I could have meet kishore da instead………………..
    But what I felt that day I can`t explain,,,,,rafi sahab made people go crazy that day in the show,,,,,,,even if a person make noise,,what is real noise ,,only a person can feel with Rafi sahab`s yell,..n melody was beyond this world,,,,,even if he say,,,”arey” with a pause,,it becomes an “adaa”,,,,,if he says,,,,nasha,,,whole room go intoxicated,,for he say nasha with such a style as he has himself lost in “bekhudi”……earlier he sang many joyful songs,,,but later he sang few gazals,,,,n audience lost in peace…….but I was not in peace,,,for I were not liking it out of jelousy that people loving him so much n they r not missing,,bengal hero,,Kishore kumar… matter even if I admit or not,,,but I fel in love with rafi that day…but I had heard of Kishore kumar so much that I couldn`t accept rafi……
    ……………..when in dressing room,after the show,,they served Rafi sahab some sweets n few milk,,,he took milk,,n left sweet,,,,he called me,,for I was continuously stairing at him,,,,,he asked,,,,”gaana achha laga,,betey”,,,I answered,”nahi utna achha nahi laga par thik-thik thha”…
    The organiser pinched me from back for what I was saying,,,,I also didn`t know why I told “nahi or no”,,,perhaps I was still a child n told something that I`ve learnt from my family n friends that Rafi is no Good,only kishore,hemant n manna de is good,,,,,Rafi sahab smiled ,,,n asked me who is my fav,,I answered Kishore kum best n also Manna de,hemant kumar,Sachin da,n RD etc,,,,,,Rafi sahab Laughed a loud n gave me the sweet,saying,,,,”tab to aap aur ham dost huey`n kyunki jo aapke fav hain hamare bhi wo hi fav hain”…i wondered if he is just a singer or some saint that he has become happy when I praise other n inderectly insulted him…then I said I like ur “Parda hai parda” of urs,,he smiled again,,n told attendents present there pointing towards me that I was quite sweet n truthful..n its the truthfulness thats tapasya of modern age……,then he sang a few line for me saying,,,,”ye apke liye,aap apne fav singer ko dil se pyar karo,hamesa,,aise me jab bhi aap gaana sunogey aap is pyar ke sahare achhe insan banoge bare hokad”,,,the song was from movie tapasya,n originaly sang by Kishore da,,,,”Jo raah chuni rahi usi rah pe chaltey jaana,”…..then he touched my cheeks with such a motherly affection,n then left the room with his usual smile,saying that he liked me very much n asked me to be a good person always……

    I can`t explain,,what happened with me by just one touch I started crying,n kept on crying for hrs..even I brust into tears when I remember Rafi sahab`s prophetic voice with this realistic song,,,,,..the Rafi whom I hated earlier,,,in his divine voice,,jo raah chuni is forever in my remembrence,,,,every cell on my body felt the sensation in the form of blessing of this realisticaly holy live voice of Rafi ji…

    I`ve also met Kishore da,,Asha Bhosle etc,,,,but none could create such a hypnotising effect on audience as Rafi sahab used to create magic even with the person who hated Rafi…..every singers r proffessional…n only concerned about themselves as priority n used to talk only with vvips,,,but,,,,To rafi sahab,,even a beggar was as impt as the prime minister…..

    Today,I can`t live a moment without Rafi sahab`s presence,n when I miss him,I listen his songs…was he just a playback singer,or a divine person,an angel,who came on earth in the guise of a singer….or was he simply a human like we all,,,,who proved the world the highest secret that we can be perfect in whatever we do as was so perfect with his voice yet used to do so much Riyaz n ,in whatever profesion we r,,,n can reach a divine personality as Rafi sahab did best with voice,singing n humble n orginal human even being living in glamour world,,,,of lust,greed n envyness……
    Many Many thanx to all of u….plz….keep on tributing This voice of truthfulness n genious style of singing with extraordinary voice of Rafi ji…
    Bye n namaste!

  48. Ali Rashid says:

    Dear Haldar-ji,

    “Ek ladki ko dekha” is a beautiful composition from Pancham’s last years. Had Pancham created this composition with Rafi, you are right, it would have been another landmark creation from this team. I believe the sound in question is a sitar, Pancham went back to his melody roots and created a stunner.

    Have a listen to the beautiful “Hum jab ek saath hai” from Bulandi composed by RD for Rafi in 1980. Doesn’t it remind you of another beautiful gem that the Great One sang for one of our most talented composers in 1971 ?. The song in question is filmed on Kabir Bedi and Simi, and Rafi is accompanied by a singer who composed the beautiful “Acha hi hua dil toot gaya” for him.

    “Pyar hai ik nishan qadmon ka”, the brilliant composition from Mukti composed three years earlier, was true to its words. “Modhumash jaaye modhubaas nai je bandhu” (Spring time passing with the fragrant breeze, my soul-mate is not around), the Bengali version of this composition sung by Pancham, is a treat. But how Rafi brought out the nuances of the tune in his rendition, turned this creation into gold. One of Pancham’s finest creations of the 70’s.
    Our friend “Sudip_dat” wrote about this song in a post on another forum, mentioning that it would arguably be among RD’s Top 5. Then again, many Rafi creations can merit a spot in Pancham’s Top list. Sudip, if you get a chance, please elaborate on this gem.

    I would also like to mention another gem of a composition, “Likhar tera naam zamin par” from Laila Majnu composed by Jaidev, after Madan Mohan’s death. One of the countless number of Rafi songs that set the benchmark high. A beautiful combination of amazing rendition, emotion, lyrics and melody. The final alaap is out of this world. It’s as if Rafi had a direct line to the Almighty. Lata must have just marvelled yet again at Rafi’s matchless talent in the studio when this song was being recorded. Rafi also must have been remembering Madan Mohan when singing this soulful tune. I have yet to come across any singer with such “out of this world” songs, as Rafi-saab. His repertoire, talent and so much more is truly beyond words.

    I feel the score of Laila Majnu deserved the award for best music of 1976 (over Kabhi Kabhie which won it), and it was also one of the best albums of the 70’s decade.

  49. Ali(unknow) says:

    Hi fans
    there are stories and most of stories not true as said by Ravi)music director)that mohd Rafi came to him and was upset by medai they asked mohd rafi which songs you was not able to sing and it sang by KK,Ravi said there is no song in which m rafi was not able to sing but there are many songs KK was not able to sing it and that songs went to Mohd Rafi……
    Once opn said that he asked mohd rafi to sing record the song which sang by Mannay day to replace his song to Mohd rafi but Mohd rafi said to OPN that I will be not be able to sing it better as sang by mannay day,that was the greatness of mohd Rafi

  50. Hashim Khan says:

    Debajyoti. Ref yr post No 52 made very sad reading.

    If some of today’s youth are missing gems of Rafi, it is because media? supports the big 4 (kk, rdb, lata, asha) and for them it is “rafi who?”

    Do you know that your idol, Kishore Da was himself his ardent admirer, If anyone in the history of Hindi Film Sangeet deserves the Bharat Ratna it is surely Rafi Saheb.

    Unfortunately, now even politicians are trying to get their hands on the ratna… dunno if he’ll ever get it 🙁

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration