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Magic combination of Guru Dutt and Mohammad Rafi

By Dr. Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi and Guru Dutt

Eminent director, actor and producer Guru Dutt had a great relationship with legendary singer great Mohammad Rafi Sahab. Just because the relationship lasted for 14 years till the sad death of Guru Dutt in 1964, Rafisahab did not get an opportunity to contribute in more than 100 songs for Guru Dutt. But majority of the songs were masterpieces which adorn the golden music of the 1950s and 1960s.

Rafi’s songs in Guru Dutt’s Aar Paar, released in 1954, composed by OP Nayyar became super hit. On one hand Rafisahab reflected the andaz of Guru Dutt in the songs “sun sun sun sun zalima” and “mohabbat kar lo jee bhar lo”, on the other hand sang with comedy andaz for Johnny Walker for the song “na na na na nan a tauba tauba”. Geeta Dutt did a great job in the duet songs opposite Rafi Sahab. In the film Baaz released in 1953, Rafisahab’s song “jo dil ki baat hoti hai” became very popular. It was followed by Mr and Mrs. 55 released in 1955. Songs picturized on both Guru Dutt and Johnny Walker had melody and sweetness. Rafi’s songs like “idhar tum jawan ho” for Guru Dutt composed by OP Nayyar had romantic andaz, while the song “jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji” for Johnny Walker had comedy andaz, most of the songs created landmark in the mid-50s and Rafi emerged as the greatest singer of bollywood films during that time.

The same combination of Guru Dutt, OP Nayyar and Rafi gave everlasting hit in the film 12 O Clock with songs like “mai kho gaya”. Even Rafi Sahab’s song “tum jo hue mere humsafar” had romantic andaz which mesmerized the audience. When Guru Dutt used SD Burman for composing songs in the film Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ka Phool, Rafi was used brilliantly for the legendary music of those films. Both the films won national and international awards and remain a landmark in the field of story-telling. Rafi’s songs “sar jo tera chakrae” picturised on Johnny Walker and “hum aapke aankho me” and “yeh mahalon yeh takhton yeh taajon ki duniya” picturised on Guru Dutt had emotions, passions, comedy, tragedy everything embedded in them. Rafi’s duet combination with Geeta Dutt was bolstered in the film. The lyrics were outstanding as well. The films marked the best music given by SD Burman in his entire lifetime.

Guru Dutt can boast himself to have given lips in one of Rafi’s best ghazals sung in the history of bollywood films titled “chaudavi ka chaand”. Guru Dutt picturised the song sequence with color, showing his passionate relationship with Wahida Rehman in the film Chaudavi Ka Chand. Ravi’s music in the film showed the pardanashin culture of muslims in India during the early 60s. Most of the songs had very strong urdu lyrics of Shakeel Badayani. Rafi Sahab’s song “mili khak me muhobbat” was sang in an outstanding way. Other songs of Rafisahab in the same film included “yeh duniya gol hai”, “mera yaar bana hai dulha”, “yeh lucknow ki sar zameen”. Johnny Walker gave lips in a number of songs of Rafisahab in the film.

Rafi also sang songs for Guru Dutt in the film Saanjh Aur Sawera, composed by Shankar Jaikishan. The title song “yehi hai wo saanjh aur sawera” sung by Rafi became very popular. The duet song of Rafisahab and Suman Kalyanpur in the same film titled “ajahu na aye, balmaa sawan beeta jaye”, had brilliant classical andaz. Meena Kumari balanced the powerful performance of Guru Dutt in the film. The other films where Rafi had contributed for Guru Dutt include Bharosa, released in 1963, where Ravi composed melodious tunes including “yeh jhuki jhuki naina” picturised on Guru Dutt and Asha Parekh. The other good song of Rafi Sahab included “is bhari duniya me” in Bharosa. In Guru Dutt’s film Suhaagan in 1964, Rafisahab’s song “tu mere saamne hai” was very sweet.

Mohd Rafi and Guru Dutt

Guru Dutt’s music in the film Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi composed by OP Nayyar, created sensation in the mid -60s. It was a tragedy, that Guru Dutt died before the release of the film and could not see the success of the film. The songs sung by Rafi and picturised on Dharmender mesmerized the audience and still haunts people all over the world. One of those brilliant songs include “aap ki haseen rukh me aaj naya nur hai, mera dil machal gaya to mera kya kasoor hai”.

The uniqueness of Guru Dutt’s relationship with Rafi lies in the fact that whether the composer was OP Nayyar or Shankar Jaikishan or SD Burman or Ravi, the music composed for whom had philosophical thoughts embedded in them and Rafi gave expression to the mesmerizing lyrics of evergreen tunes which had become immortal over a period of time. The films and the songs should be preserved and restored.

Dr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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13 Blog Comments to “Magic combination of Guru Dutt and Mohammad Rafi”

  1. Sakir says:

    When i saw ‘dil pe chala aisa jadu tabiyat machal giyi’,i shocked what combination of picturisation ,lyrise ,guru dattji& jonny walker’s acting & ofcourse rafi sahab’s voice..

  2. shammi says:

    Dear Souvikji,
    A great write up as usual, thank you for all the research you do in order to provide us fans with the information we all love to read.
    I wasn’t even born when a lot of the Guru Dutt films were made but love them. Unfortunately a lot of situations and pain in the films really reflected what
    he was going through in reality, and who better than the Great Mohd rafi to bring the emotions of the songs to life.

  3. Dr. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Bimanbabu,
    One of the great aspect of Rafisahab, OP Nayyar and Guru Dutt combination is that the romantic peppy numbers of OP Nayyar created attention under the production, direction and acting of Guru Dutt.

    There was a time when OP Nayyar gathered more fame in mid-60s. The Rafisahab OP Nayyar combination contributed in super hit films like Biswajeet’s Mere Sanam, Joy Mukherjee’s Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, Manoj Kumar’s Sawan ki Ghata, Shammi Kapoor’s Kashmir Ki Kali.

    Someway down the line the relationship of Rafisahab with Guru Dutt faded away. The new generation dont know about OP Nayyar’s beginning of success story in competitive scenario when Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, Roshanlal Nagrath were dominating bollywood music.

    Had the Rafisahab Guru Dutt combination not being there, OP Nayyar’s rise to fame would not have been that smooth.
    Warm regards


    Dekh idhar ye haseena is one song from 12o clock which is very is with geeta dutt.o.p.naiyyar saab was very close to rafisaab.he had said about rafisaab”kanch ke tukde jawahar ban nahi sakate,chahe bane kucch,rafi ban nahi sakate

  5. anil nakra says:

    fond the memory when melody was queen, good very good . rafi sahib is great will remain always great
    thanks for your melodies article

  6. K P Hassan says:

    Dear Souvikji,
    Excellent write up. we the Rafians always are very keen to know about the our beloved Rafisahab more and more just like a greedy student who want to know everything about this world. It is very pleasure to note that you people from young generation is having vast knowledge about music and want to study, listen and enjoy the real music of our country. You tried to make a detailed research on the artists of our golden era and found a perfect singer like Rafisahab and became his true fan, because you got everything from this legend singer that you sought through this research.

    May God bless u to carry out more more research on the life and career of Rafi saheb so that we the Rafians can read the same through your articles.

  7. Sare Jahanme esa na Peda hua na hoga.

  8. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Sear Souvik ji,

    The song “Chadwee ka chaand” will be an ever green song
    of Indian Cinema.One of my first comments in this divine
    site was about this song.I have wriiten like this “this song
    is telling about the full moon and if we hear it in a black
    moon day we will feel it is a full moon day.That was the
    effect of the rendition of Rafi Saab and the music of Ravi

    On hearing this song, the veteran Malayalam Director
    approached Ravi Saab to give music to his films and
    Ravi Saab had done brilliant music for about 14 films in
    Malayalam and he got National and State Awards for
    some of the songs.In Kerala je is being called as
    “Bombay Ravi”

  9. u.k.achan says:

    Lovely write up;I also consider Rafi Saab’s “mili khak me muhabbat” as non repeatable along with numbers like “zindagi ke safar me akhele the hum,mil gaye tum to hame kinara mila”,”tukade hain dil ke he yaar teri aansoo”,”aaja tujh ko pukaare mera pyar”,”ehsaan tera hoga mujh par dil kehta hai to use kahne do”,”yeh diwwane ke zid hai”,”tum jis pe nazar dalo us dil ki khuda hafiz”,
    …………the list can go on…no one else can do justice than the farishta.

  10. Dear Souvik ji, thanks for this beautiful article. Rafi saab was always superb with every composure,lyricist, producer, director or actors. Rafi saab was genious.Also thank you Biman Baruah ji for information shared about Guru Dutta saab which i/we were not aware.
    Jiyo Rafi saab hazaorn saal, saal ke din ho pachaas hazar.
    Birendra Singh


    very powerful

  12. Ali says:

    Pick up any name(Dilip Kumar,Shammi Ji.DevJi,Naushandji,SJ,OPN,Asha Ji,Lata ji…….) with Mohd Rafi there be Magic combination ……….

  13. bimanbaruah says:

    Souvik Ji
    Great Article with great combination. Mohammed Rafi was major voice of actor, producer and director Guru Dutt and songs are everlasting. Rafi Saheb won his first Filmfare Best Playback Singer Award for the song “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Ya Aftab Ho” picturised on Guru Dutt composed by Ravi in lyrics of Shakeel Badayun.

    Guru Dutt was born in Bangalore as Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone who spent his early childhood in Calcutta and he grew close to Bengali culture also adopted Bengali surname Dutt. Also followed by his three younger brothers, Atmaram, Devidas, Vijay and younger sister, Lalitha mother of film director, Kalpana Lajmi. In 1946 he started his film career as an assistant director and choreographer to director P. L. Santoshi in film Hum Ek Hain where Dev Anand was hero.

    His early unnatural death was a great setback to film industry as well as for this combinations. At the time of his death, he was involved in two outside films : PICNIC with Sadhana and director K. Asif’s epic, LOVE AND GOD. Picnic remained incomplete and Love and God was released after two decades later with Sanjeev Kumar where Rafi Sahab sung. His own production’s BAHARE PHIR BHI AAYEGI re-shoot with Dharmendra where also Rafi Sahab was major playback voice. In addition to Rafi’s solo duet with Asha “Dil To Pehle Se Madhosh Hai” (Dharmendra) and “Sunu Sunu Miss Chaterjee” (Jhoney Walker) very memorable composed O.P. Nayyer.

    Warms Regards to All Rafi Lovers
    Biman Baruah

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