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Mohammed Rafi: The preliminary voice of superstar Rajesh Khanna

By Biman Baruah

Tribute to Rajesh Khanna(Shardhanjali to Rajesh Khanna)

This is the only Mohammed Rafi song aired when actor Rajesh Khanna passed way on 18th July, 2012 due to prolong illness and his funeral procession crowded by mourners in the street which made a mark after 32 years, last seen at the time of funeral of Rafi Sahab. The song created a history in Hindi Film Music. The producers and actor of the film Haathi Mere Saathi (earlier named as Pyar Ki Duniya) wanted all the songs are to be recorded in the voice of Kishore Kumar. But after several attempt, Kishore Kumar unable sing this heartbreaking song as desired by the composers then tussle begin between producer, actor and music director duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Pyarelalji not agreed to change the song and think about to eliminate the song from the film, but Laxmikantji, director M.A. Thirumugam and Rajesh Khanna in favour of keeping the song in the film. Finally, Pyarelalji invited Rafi Sahab to sing the song and audiences cried in the cinema halls due to his emotional singing in the heartbreaking lyrics by Anand Bakshi. Anand Bakshi won a special award from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for his lyrics with rest of the team of the song. This high pitch song was in background at the climax of the film and it totally supersedes all lovely Kishore numbers from the film. In this film, Salim-Javed first collaborated as a screenplay writer with the help of Rajesh Khanna. The film was a biggest hit of 1971 and Rajesh Khanna got a huge singing amount for the film from the producer Dever from which he completed the payment for his bungalow Aashirwad which he purchased from actor Rajendra Kumar. Apparently, Rajendra Kumar was the first undeclared superstar of Hindi Cinema who gave silver or golden jubilee hits in a row. As a box-office topper, he had six consecutive hits with not a single flop from 1963 to 1966: Mere Mehboob (1963); Zindagi (1964); Sangam (1964); Aye Milan Ki Bela (1964); Arzoo (1965) and Suraj (1966) greatly supported by golden voice Mohammed Rafi. But, he was felicitated with the name of “Jubilee Kumar” or “Jubilee Hero” instead of superstar by media.

Rajesh Khanna was born as Jatin Arora on 29th December, 1942 in Amritsar, further adopted by his parent’s relatives Chunnilal Khanna and Leelawati Khanna who lived near Girgaon, Mumbai. He joined Hindi Film Industry with screen name Rajesh Khanna in 1966 after winning an All India Talent Contest jointly organized by United Producers and Filmfare under selection by Panel of Judges: Bimal Roy, Chetan Anand, G.P.Sippy, Shakti Samanta and B.R.Chopra. His first film appearance in Chetan Anand’s “Aakhri Khat” (1966) was unnoticed, but it was selected as Best Foreign Language Film at the 40th Oscar Awards in 1967 as Indian entry. Although his first release was Akhri Khat, his first film debut as a leading hero was G.P.Sippy’s suspense thriller RAAZ (1967) was directed by Ravindra Dave. In RAAZ, the young Rajesh Khanna was looking very smart, handsome and charming with the magic voice of Mohammed Rafi in the solo, ““Akele Hai Chali Aao Jaha Ho Kaha Aawaz De Tumko Kaha Hoo”. In his debut film, he played double role followed in films like, Aradhana (1969), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Dard (1981), Hum Dono (1985) and Dharam Aur Kanoon (1985).

In 1969, Shakti Samanta produced Aradhana with Rajesh Khanna where he played double role of father and son, both as Air Force pilots. The film became a golden jubilee hit, which made Rajesh Khanna a star. There was a beating story behind the music recording of the film. After recordings of two duets, S.D. Burman became ill and his real life son and assistant, R.D. Burman took over the charge of recordings. He hired his friend Kishore Kumar in absence of Rafi Sahab from the city to sing the three solo songs for Rajesh Khanna in the film, “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani Kab Ayegi Tu” , “Roop Tera Mastana Pyar Mera Diwana” and “Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera” which proved super duper hits overriding the Rafi duets,“Gun Guna Rahe Hain Bhawarein” and “Baaghon Mein Bahar Hai” . The film also made Kishore Kumar the apex playback singer of Hindi Cinema competing with Mohammed Rafi. Since, then Kishore Kumar was also recognised as the voice of romantic icon Rajesh Khanna after debonair Dev Anand and himself till 1968. Thus, it was taken 23 years for Kishore Kumar to reach the height as a playback singer from 1947 to 1970.  After Aradhana, Khanna always insist producers and music directors to hire Kishore’s voice for him wherever possible. For instance, Kishore Kumar was very reluctant to sing “Waada Tera Waada” in Dushman and suggested Laxmikant Pyarelal it is to be sung by Rafi Sahab. Then Laxmikant made Kishore meet Rajesh Khanna who insisted Kishore, then Kishore immediately agreed to sing it by himself for Khanna. Thus Rajesh Khanna’s superstardom meant a curtailment of work for Mohammed Rafi to some extent due to Kishore Kumar’s fascination.

Though Kishore Kumar was the recognised the voice of Rajesh Khanna, least people know that the actor started his film career with golden voice of Mohammed Rafi in his initial films like AKHRI KHAT (1966), RAAZ (1967), AURAT (1967), DOLI (1969), DO RAASTE (1969) etc. After evergreen Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna films are also paramount for musical richness greatly supported by excellence music of Laxmikant Pyarelal and R.D. Burman, identical voice of Kishore Kumar and attractive lyrics of Anand Bakshi. As a universal voice of Indian heroes, Rafi Sahab voice greatly suite for soft spoken Khanna and he sung some incredible songs for the actor. The association of Mohammed Rafi with Rajesh Khanna along with different music directors are as follows:-

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer Kalyanji-Anandji:-

Kalyanji-Anandji composed music for Rajesh’s debut film RAAZ and SACHAA JHUTHA (1970). The music of RAAZ was penned by Kalyanji-Anandji and lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Qumar Jalalabadi, Gulshan Bawara, Shamim Jaipuri, Akhtar Romani & Noor Dewasi. In addition to the hunting Rafi number “Akele Hai Chali Aao Jaha Ho Kaha Aawaz De Tumko Kaha Hoo”, the other popular track from the film: “Sochta Hoo Ke Tumhe Maine Kahi  Dekha Hai Yaad Karta Hoo Magar Yaad  Aata Nahin Hai” by Rafi-Krishna Kalle, “Dil Sambhale Sambhalta Nahin Aaj Tu Paas Aane Ki Dedo Izazat Hamein” by Mukesh-Lata was picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Babita.

The most popular Rafi-Lata duet from Sachaa Jhutha “Yunhi Tum Mujhse Baat Karti Ho Ya Koi Pyar Ka Irada Hai” was picturised on Rajesh Khanna & Mumtaz. The other popular track of the film “Dil Ko Dekho Chehra Na Dekho, Chehere Ne Lakho Ko Luta”, “Meri Pyari Bahenian Banegee Dulhaniya” was sung by Kishore Kumar. Rajesh played dual role in the film under direction of Monmohan Desai for which he got his first Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1971 and the film was reprise in early 1990s as AFLATOON under direction of Gudu Dhanoa with his real life son-in-law Akshay Kumar.

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer Laxmikant-Pyarelal:-

Laxmikant-Pyarelal had composed music in the lyric of Anand Bakshi for this combination in the films: DO RAASTE (1969), AAN MILO SAJANA (1970), MEHBOOB KI MEHNDI (1971) and HAATHI MERE SAATHI (1971). Raj Khosla’s golden jubilee hit Do Raaste was a great musical of HFM, which was released in December 1969 and run in theatres with Aradhana simultaneously. The songs of the film “Yeh Reshmi Zulfen Yeh Sharbati Aakhen” by Rafi, “Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara Mulakath Ho Gayee” by Rafi-Lata was so popular which were picturised on Rajesh Khanna & Mumtaz, one of the best popular pair of Hindi Cinema paired in eight films together (Do Raaste, Bandhan, Sachcha Jhutha, Dushman, Roti, Prem Kahani, Aap Ki Kasam, Apna Desh, Aaina).

Tribute to Rajesh Khanna

The title song of film Aan Milo Sajana, “Rang Rang Ke Phool Khile Mauhe Bhai Mere Angana, Aab Aan Milo Sajana” by Rafi-Lata was picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh and the solo by Rafi “Koi Nazrana Lekar Aaye Hoon Main Deewana Tere Liye” is one the best and deliberate party song of Hindi Film Music. The other popular track of the film, “Achha Tu Hum Chalte Hain” and “Jawani O Diwani Tu Zindabad” was sung by Lata-Kishore & Kishore Kumar respectively.

The songs of Mehboob Ki Mehndi, “Yeh Jo Chilman Hai Dushman Hamari, Kitni Sharmilee Dulhan Hamari”, “Pasand Aa Gayee Hai Ek Kafir Hasia Umar Uski Soolah Baras Aur Say Mahina” solos by Rafi and “Itna To Yaad Hai Mujhe Ki Yunse Mulakat Huee” a duet by Rafi-Lata was also popular which were picturised on a rare pair of Hindi Cinema, Rajesh Khanna and Leena Chandravarkar, again they paired up in a TV serial “Bhabhima”. The other popular track of the film “Mere Diwanepan Ki Bhi Dawa Nahin” and “Jane Kyon Log Mohabbat Kiya Karte Hain” was sung by Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar respectively.

Above all the stand out high pitch song “NAFRAT KI DUNIYA KO CHOD KAR PYAR KI DUNIYA MEIN KHUSH REHNA MERE YAAR” from Haathi Mere Saathi which totally supersedes all lovely Kishore numbers from the film with emotional singing by our all time  great  Mohammed Rafi Sahab.

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer S.D.Burman:-

Dada Burman had composed music for this combination in only one film that is Rajesh’s first hit “ARADHANA” which made him a star. He recorded two popular Rafi-Asha duets for the film, Gun Guna Rahe Hain Bhawarein” and “Baaghon Mein Bahar Hai” were picturised on Rajesh Khanna & Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna & Farida Jalal respectively. The theme song of the film, “Sapna Hogi Teri Aradhana” was sung by S.D. Burman himself which was in background. The other three solos from the film, recorded by his son and assistant, R.D. Burman in the voice of Kishore Kumar for Rajech Khanna.

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer R.D.Burman

R. D. Burman had composed music for this combination in the films: BAHARON KE SAPNE (1967), THE TRAIN (1970), SHEHZADA (1972), HUMSHAKAL (1974), BANDALBAAZ (1977), and KUDRAT (1981).

The theme song “Zamane Ne Mare Jawan Kaise Kaise” from Baharon Ke Sapne is the beginning of Rafi-Rajesh-R.D.Burman combination which ends with the title song of Kudrat, but both the song was in background.

Rose Movies’s The Train is the best film of this combination and romantic number “Gulabi Ankhen Jo Teri Dekha Sharabi Yeh Dil Ho Gaya” by Rafi & “Mujhse Bhala Yeh Kajal Tera Nain Base Din Rain” by Rafi-Lata was so popular, which were picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.

The Rafi-Lata duet “Kahe Ko Bulaya Mujhe Balama Pyar Mein Naam Se” from Humshakal was superb. Rafi Saheb was also the voice of Rajesh Khanna in the duet with Lata “Naghma Hamara Gayega Yeh Zamana” from the film Bundalbaaz, the second and last film directed by Rebel Star Shammi Kapoor after Manoranjan.

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer Ravi:-

Ravi composed music for S. S. Vasan’s AURAT (1967) and A. Subba Rao’s DOLI (1969) starring Rajesh Khanna. Rafi Sahab sung a solo, “Shola Ulfat Ka Bhadka Ke Naja” for Rajesh Khanna in Aurat. In Doli, the Rafi-Asha Bhosle duet “Sajna Saath Nibhana” was picturised on Rajesh Khanna, Babita & Prem Chopra and solo by Rafi “Danton Tale Dabakar Hooth Aakhen Karke Bari Bari Kha Jayeegi Mujko Aise Dekh Rahi Hai Khadi Khadi” was picturised on Rajesh & Babita. Mahendra Kapoor sang the title song of the film “Doli Chadh Ke Dulhan Sasural Chali” and “Aaj Pila De Saqi”.

Rafi-Rajesh Khanna and composer Naushad :-

Naushad used the voice of Rafi to playback for Rajesh Khanna in K. Balachander’s AAINA (1974) and Sultan Ahmed’s multicast film DHARAM KANTA (1981) starring Raaj Kumar, Waheeda Rahman, Rajesh Khanna, Reena Roy, Jeetendra, Sulachana Pandit and Amjad Khan in dual role. The Rafi-Lata duet from Aaina, “Jane Kya Ho Jaye, Jab Dil Se Dil Takraye” picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz where Khanna has a special appearance. The songs from Dharam Kanta: “Yeh Gotey Dar Lahenga Nikele Jaab Chaal Se” by Rafi-Asha was picturised on Rajesh Khanna & Reena Roy in a train and “Duniya Chhoote Yaar Na Chhote Dil Ki Dharam Kante Par Dekha Pyar Ka Palla Bhari Hai” by Mohd. Rafi & Bhupinder was picturised on Rajesh Khanna & Jeetendra riding horse. Another Rafi-Asha duet from the film “Tera Naam Liya Dil Tham Liya” was picturised on Jeetendra & Sulachana Pandit. It was the last notable film of Naushad-Rafi matchless combination which was started with film the Pehle Aap (1944) and conceivably the last film of Rafi-Rajesh combination.

When actor Rajesh Khanna passed way, in TV Channels, WebPages, Newspapers listed only Kishore Kumar songs as hit songs of the actor which disappointed Rafi Lovers like me. Therefore, here I am presenting a top ten list of hit songs sung by Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar for the actor from which music lovers and generation can compare the music, quality and depth of the songs sung by both singers for the actor.

An account of popular Rafi gems from different films picturised on RajeshKhanna

SLNo. Year Film




1 1966 Akhri Khat Aur Kuch Der Theher Aur Kuch Der Na Ja Khayyam Kafi Azmi
2 1967 Raaz Akele Hain Chale Aao Jahan Ho Kalyanji Anandji Shamim Jaipuri
3 1969 Do Raaste Yeh Reshmi Zulfen, Yeh Sharbati Aanken Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
4 1969 Doli Danton Tale Dabakar Hooth Ravi Rajinder Krishan
5 1969 Aradhana Gunguna Rahi Hain Bhawarein S.D. Burman Anand Bakshi
6 1970 Sachaa Jhutha Yunhi Tum Mujhse Baat Karti Ho Kalyanji Anandji Indeevar
7 1970 The Train Gulabi Ankhen Jo Teri Dekha R.D. Burman Anand Bakshi
8 1970 Aan Milo Sajna Koye Nazrana Lekar Aaya Hoon Main Deewana Tere Liye Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
9 1971 Mehboob Ki Mehndi Yeh Jo Chilman Hai, Dushman Hamari Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
10 1974 Humshakal Kahe Ko Bulaya Mujhe Balma R.D. Burman Anand Bakshi


An account of popular Kishore gems from different films picturised on Rajesh Khanna: –

SLNo. Year Film




1 1969 Aradhana Mere Sapnon Ki Raani Kaab Aayegi Tu S.D. Burman Anand Bakshi
2 1970 Sachaa Jhotha Dil Ko Dekho Sehra Na Dekho Sehera Ne Lakho Ko Luta Kalyanji Anandji Indeevar
3 1970 Aan Milo Sajana Yahan Wahan Sari Jahan Pe Teri Raaz Hai Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
4 1970 Kati Patang Yeh Shaam Mastani Madhoos Kiye Ja R. D. Burman Anand Bakshi
5 1971 Andaz Zindegi Ek Safar Hai Suhana Yahan Kaal Kiya Ho Kisne Jana Shankar-Jaikishan Hasarat Jaipuri
6 1972 Mere Jeevan Saathi Chala Jata Hoon Kisi Ke Dhun Mein, Dharak Te Dil Ke Taranee Liye R.D. Burman Anand Bakshi
7 1973 Daag Mere Dil Mein Aaj Kiya Hai Tu Kehe Main Batadoon Laxmikant Pyarelal Sahir Ludhiyanvi
8 1974 Aap Ki Kasam Jai Jai Shiv Shankar, Kanta Lage Na Kankar Ke Piyala Tere Naam Piya R. D. Burman Anand Bakshi
9 1976 Mehbooba Mere Naina Saawan Bhadon Phir Bhi Mera Dil Pyasa R.D. Burman Anand Bakshi
10 1981 Kudrat Humein Tum Se Pyaar Kitna Ye Hum Nahin Jante, Magar Ji Nahin Sakte Tuhmare Bina R. D. Burman Majrooh Sultanpuri
9 1982 Jajput Mere Sang Sang Aaya Teri Yadoon Ka Mela Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
10 1983 Souten Zindagi Pyar Ka Geet Hai Ishe Haar Dil Ko Gana Parega Usha Khanna Sawan Kumar

In addition to Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar, their contemporary singers also sung for the actor. The actor’s intermittent playback done by Mukesh (Raaz, Bandish, Anand, Kati Patang, Maryada), Mahendra Kapoor ( Bandish, Doli), Manna Dey (Annad, Bawarchi, Aviskaar, Mehbooba) and Anwar (Janta Hawaldar, Babu).

Mohammed Rafi and Rajesh Khanna both were the ICONS of Hindi Cinema born in Amritsar district of Punjab in the month of December, 24th & 29th and departed in Mumbai in the month of July 31st & 18th respectively. The former one was the first recognised playback singer of Hindi Cinema who dominated Hindi Film Music from 1949 to 1980 and later one was the first officially declared superstar of Hindi Cinema who had 15 consecutive hit films in 3 years from 1969 to 1971 ( Aradhana, Do Raaste, Bandhan, Doli, Khamoshi, Ittefaq all in 1969, Aan Milo Sajna, Safar, Kati Patang, The Train, Sachcha Jhutha all in 1970 and Haathi Mere Saathi, Anand, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Dushman all in 1972). Rajesh Khanna acted more than 150 films from Akhri Khat (1967) to Wafaa (2008) and paired with more than 20 actresses from Indrani Mukherjee to Laila Khan.

Rafi Sahab playback for Rajesh Khanna in countable songs with limited films: Akhri Khat, Raaz, Aurat, Baharon Ke Sapne, Do Raaste, Doli, Aradhana, Sachaa Jhutha, The Train, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Shehzada, Humshakal, Bandalbaaz, Suraag and Dharam Kanta. Though Rafi-Rajesh Khanna version is very little but too rich and wealthy in regards to piece of music and the work of composers like Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, S.D.Burman, R.D.Burman, Ravi and Naushad are everlasting.

Mohammed Rafi sung about 15 solos and 15 duets for superstar Rajesh Khanna, but their success account was more than 90%. Whereas, Kishore Kumar sung about 300 songs in more than 90 films for Rajesh Khanna, but their success story was only about 75%. Even though number of popular songs picturized on Rajesh Khanna were sung by Kishore Kumar, his best romantic songs like, “Akele Hai Chali Aao Jahan Ho Kaha Aawaz De Tumko Kahan Hoo” from RAAZ “Yeh Reshmi Zulfe Yeh Sharbati Aakhen” from DO RAASTE, “Gulabi Aakhen Jo Teri Dekha, Sharabi Yeh Dil Ho Gaya” from THE TRAIN, “Koyi Nazrana Lekar Aaya Dewana Tere Liye” from AAN MILO SAJNA and “Yeh Jo Chilman Hai Dushman Hamari, Kitni Sharmilee Dulhan Hamari” from MEHBOOB KI MEHNDI sung by Rafi Saheb are more harmonious in terms of music and lyrics. The illustrated songs will immortalise Mohammed Rafi-Rajesh Khanna combination together with popular Kishore Kumar-Rajesh Khanna combination.

Biman Baruah, the author of this article

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23 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi: The preliminary voice of superstar Rajesh Khanna”

  1. nag shankar. says:

    The great legendary singer Mohammed Rafi has also rendered a song for rajesh khanna in the film chakravyuha released in 1978-79. The song is chal chal aage nilkal – It is also a great song. May be it has not become so popular because it was a background song with the Super star rajesh khanna in the picture. The article is a great combined research on MR and RK. I also agree with the writer of this article that succes ratio of songs between MR and RK is more as compared to RK songs with Kishore Kumar although MR has sung less number of songs in lesser films as compared to KK.


  3. Ayaz Ahmed says:

    Mr.Biman, It is nice to like someone but it is also not fair to minimize the competency of Kishore just to produce weight in your comments. I am a dyeing hard fan of music of 70s. I f I have to give numbers to the singers of that era according to technicality I will place Kishore after Mannadey, Lata, Rafi, Mahendar Kapoor and Asha. But can u imagine that Kishore was not a trained singer and even he is considered as a legend and maintained his place among trained singers. Kishore took 21 years to become a play back singer not because he was not a good singer but because he was busy doing acting and producing movies as well. In 50s he sang for the Showman Raj Kapoor in movie “Pyar”, Raj Kapoor was a man, while recording of a song “Sun Sahiba Sun” he rerecorded song for 16 times and satisfied at 17th time, how could he take a voice of Kishore if he were not satisfied with him. Dev Anand was a man who used to insist producers to take kishore’s voice for him. You have given an example of a song of “Haathi Merey Saathi” but kindly listen song from Anurodh “Jab Dard Nahee Tha Seeney Mey”, and specially listen to the line “Meri awaaz pyari hae to dosto”. You did not mention a song from “Pyar Ka Mausam” that is “Tum Bin Jaoon Kahaan” that had two versions, one was sung by Rafi and second was sung by Kishore, You better know that Kishores version became more popular than rafis version. I just want to repeat my beginning words to praise some one but do not degrade some one who is a proved legend and he does not require your analysis.


    Ayaz Ahmed

  4. harish agrawat says:

    rafi was a great singer,but after aradhana it was only kishore kumar.rafi is the greatest hindi playback singer, but look at kishore 1-producer. 2-director 3-lyricist. 4-music director and last and most an actor and comedian, and a bit mad. real character who even didnt bother to criticise indira and sanjay during emergency.

  5. Mohammed Ali Sheriff says:

    Best work done on world’s most popular singer Mohammed Raffi saheb.

  6. anil says:

    please do not publish false impressions. pyarelal has clearly mentioned in his interview available on net that nafarat ki duniya me was a song desgned right from begining with afi in mind and only rafi was considered. kishore knew it but he did not object. rajesh khanna wanted kishore but composers explained him that song is esigned for rafi.
    the same compse duo insisted kishore tosing ” wada tera wada” rom dushman when kishore refused said it is for rafi.
    please do not ublish false stories.also another false stry in circulation that r. d burman wanted the voice of kishoe for teesari manzil or lp anted rafi for all songs of such thing hapened.

  7. Vijay Singh says:

    Its a fact that Rafi sahab was the “Greatest Singer” of all times ,and its also a fact that Kishore Kumar was also a fine singer,but one thing is body can match the highs and lows of Rafi Sahab’s voice and the versatility he had.

  8. gitaro says:

    I don’t think thats it’s fair to mention RK name with Rafi Saheb. He prefered KK and didn’t like Rafi Saheb. So I’m not so glad with this article on Rafi Saheb’s Website.

  9. Jehangir E says:

    Am a die hard fan of Md Rafi and as per me he is no less than Tansen, songs like bhari duniya mein Aakhir dil…. or say chal ud ja re panchi….or …Duniya na bhahe mujhe ab toh …are songs which only Rafi could have done justice to these lovely songs..Though KK was also a good singer but there is no comparisium between Rafi saheb and KK…

  10. Binu Nair says:

    Lata Mangeshkar has done a grave error by talking about mohd rafi saaheb at this age on her birthday eve.

    that people have understood now that :

    a She needs to be in the news and lime light

    b that she is speaking some ‘fiction’ about mohd rafi giving her an apology letter on her demand for singing again with him after the royalty issue.
    People now say that mohd rafi is a clean gentleman and he will never give a letter to lata as it was she who was losing songs to asha, suman and others.

    c. mohd rafi saaheb should have asked the letter from letter and insisted on that . lata then would have gladly given the letter as she was desperate to sing again with rafi saaheb and did’nt want to lose songs to female singers who were giving hits along with rafi saaheb.

    d. some say that even if rafi saaheb has indeed given the letter, he is the hero.
    and even if he has not given the letter to ‘egoistic’ lata, he is the hero.

    now, lata mangeshkar must furnish the so – called rafi saaheb written letter or else she may be dragged to court by the rafi saaheb family for defamation and telling lies.

    she has take back her statement about the fictitious/non-existent letter or else furnish it.

    she is in a big pickle for putting h er foot in her mouth.

  11. Johny says:

    Dear Biman Baruah

    I too am a great lover of Rafi’s voice, and i thank you so much for collecting so much informations about Rafi’s voice for Rajesh Khanna, It was good and great on your part to send out all these informations to the lovers of Rafi’s voice.

    Thanks and best regards

  12. RIYAZ says:


  13. sagar says:

    friends article is very good and extensively written the fact is that kihore kumar was untrained singer while rafi saab was trained singer i think that voice or both kishore and rafi suited on late rajesh khanna but i would also say that rafi was versetile singer could sing all types of song he even sang some marathi songs very well

  14. sunil kumar says:

    All such songs where you have variation of notes from high to low or vice verse kishore used to make excuses some reason or the other.It is evident from many such songs one example is of course “Nafrat ki duniya”. one more example is from the movie “Hum kisis se kam nahin”. the song in fact it was a qawwali ‘ Hai agar dushman zamana gham nahin”. All the songs of Rishi kapoor in this movie were sung by kishore annd all songs for Tariq were given to Rafi saheb, But when this qawwali was given kishore as mentioned by Biman ji in his article he was reluctant to sing “wada tera waada “. He told R D that he is not comfortable with this Qawwali. Now R D was in a fix because he had told Rafi Saheb That you will sing only Tariq songs and Rishi songs kishore will sing. Kishore used leave his Music Director in such a condition that he had left with no option and go to Rafi saheb and such a humble person he was he never refused. Such people are not born again.

  15. Ali says:

    Mohd rafi was a god gift singer, when even mohd rafi sang for none mohd rafi actors the song became super hit that was magic of his voice. Once on tv show asked dev ji that kishore da gave you great sons but dev ji answer was mohd rafi gave me hit songs. I don’t know why people speak about kishore when the show is on rd ,dev ji and Rajesh khanna ji!! Only singer in Bollywood who voice made superstars that was only mohd rafi, only voice which made film super hit,…..

  16. Girish Masand says:

    What an article. Great.

  17. Binu Nair says:

    Post 3: contd….

    about aradhana songs, i reproduce the words of Shakti Samanta, the producer of the movie.

    ” Mohd rafi was away on a tour and the songs for aradhana had to be recorded urgently. I requested s d burman to take the voice of kishore kumar but the later turned it down. on pursuasion kishore agreed and sang the three songs and the movie was completed “.


    when the film was announced, all the male songs were to be recorded in mohd rafis voice. this was a term of the contract agreed between the financiers and the producer.

    recently, at a musical concert we played the hit song from Haathi mere saathi. the rendering of ” naftat ki duniya ko chodkar ” by 17 not completed vaibhav vashista was outstanding.

    mohd rafi’s one song Nafrat ki duniya…………was the pearl in the musical haathi mere saathi.

    unforgettable and un-renderable by any other singer of the day to this effect.

  18. Ahamed Kutty says:

    the song from the film “aakhri khat” sung by rafi saab
    ‘aur kuch dher na jaa, aur kuch dher tahar’ recently
    only i could hear.the rendition is touches
    our heart and take us to somewhere.

    congradulations to baruahji for such a nice article.

  19. Binu Nair says:

    Rajesh Khanna would have persisted with mohd rafi had it not been for the latters haj trip . since the movie would have been delayed due to rafi saahebs absence, shakti samanta roped in a reluctant kishore kumar to sing for yet raw rajesh khanna.

    meanwhile, mohd rafi stopped singing for movies on his haj return and wanted to migrate to london. so, there was dearth of mohd rafi songs for a year during the early seventies.

    eventually, mohd rafi faithfuls prevailed upon rafi saaheb and he started singing once more.

    unfortunately, by then rajesh khanna’s tenure was getting over in the industry and mohd rafi rendering for all top heroes of the day once again. hence, we see lesser number of songs of rafi saaheb for rajesh khanna.

    but, what he sang for kaka remains as fresh as a rose – even today as rightly pointed out by biman baruaha.

    a insightful article – i must say.

  20. The song ” Nafrat ki duniya ko chod kar” is still a great song rendered by the great Mohamad Rafi. I still remember 40 years back, the audience in the cinema hall were weeping. Rafi had a magic voice. He is the GURU of all. I am an ardent Rafi fan from NepaL

  21. vinod mehru says:

    dear biman baruah ji,

    a great observation and analysis between rafi sahab and rakesh khanna , biman bhai i just invite your kind attention on the climax of film amardeep where the character played and performed by rajesh died and in background a song duration of 1min and 18 sec played duniya mein aise jaata hai koi by rafi sahab, rest of the song with kishore ji only . if you want to see the song you may go my timeline in face book and see your self. no body thought this clip may be used by us as a tribute to rajesh from rafi sahab almost 36 years, for this song rafi sahab refused to accept any fees, and producer and unit display their appreciation towards rafi sahab in the begining of the film.

    biman ji kya aap bata sakte hai ki rafi sahab aur rajesh ka last song kaunsa hai.

    with regards

    vinod mehru


  22. Rajiv m nair says:

    fantasitc article Mr Biman. The songs sung by Rafi saab to an extent made Rajesh khanna the rising star. And the culmination of his superstar status was you can say Kishore kumar who took the baton from Rafi saab. The greatest thing about the whole essay is also the camaradiere between both Rafi saab and Kishore da, unarguably the greatest and most popular singers in the Hindi film industry. Rafi saab and kishore kumar were good friends who respected each other. They were singers with the right spirit and attitude. Mohd Rafi here was a blessed soul with god-given talent. Whereas all other singers in our country had to toil and practice to reach the high.

  23. Jae-Bee says:

    Yes, rafi sahab is the one who brought the self proclaimed “superstar” till Aradhna. There is nothing wrong in kk being the voice of rk after that. KK is my # 2 singer after rafi sahab who is A-1. There is a really great romantic song by rafi sahab that is never talked about or listed for rk. It is from chhoti bahu and the md is ka the song is “yeh raat hai pyasi, pyasi” and is on you-tube. I am sure everyone will enjoy.

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