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Mohammed Rafi’s association with most cultured comedian: Deven Varma

A personal tribute to actor and filmmaker Deven Varma by Biman Baruah

Mohammed Rafi’s association with most cultured comedian: Deven Varma

Mohammed Rafi was associated with Deven Varma as a singer, co-singer and filmmaker. Veteran actor Deven Verma passed away on 2nd December, 2014 at the aged of 77 in Kalyani Nagar, Pune due to heart attack and kidney failure. He was survived by his wife Rupa Ganguly, younger daughter of Ashok Kumar (Dadamoni). Though most people know him as a famous and refined comedian, but comedy was late entry to his film career. Initially, he was seen playing supporting roles as like friend and brother of lead actor or actress.

Deven Verma was born on 23 October in Kutchh, Gujarat to Sri Baldev Singh Verma who was in silver business and further shifted to film distribution. Deven was brought up in Bombay and done his Schooling in Panchgani and College in Pune. In college days, he used to act in dramas and participate in youth festivals. He got a change to act in a small role in B.R. Film’s DHARAMPUTRA (1961), second film directed by Yash Chopra which was based on partition of India and Hindu fundamentalism. It was followed by some bigger roles in AAJ AUR KAAL (1963), SUHAGAN (1964) and ANUPAMA (1966).

Movie Poster of Qawwali Ki RaatIn 1964, Deven Verma acted in a musical film named QAWWALI KI RAAT starring Mumtaz, Kanwaljit Singh, Kumkum, Jagdeep directed by P.L. Santoshi and Durgesh Kumar. The film did not click in the box but all the songs composed by Iqbal Qureshi in the lyrics of Shevan Rizvi were become very popular at that time. In this film, Rafi Sahab sung two duets for Deven Verma. The two duets, “Husnwaale Husn Ka Anjaam Dekh, Dubte Suraj Ke Waqt Sham Dekh” by Rafi-Asha Bhosle and “Jaate Jaate Ek Nazar Bhar Dekh Lo” by Raf-Shamshad Begum filmed on Deven Verma and Mumtaz. The famous title song of the film, “Kehene Waale Tu Bhi Kehle Jo Dil Ki Baat Hai , Qawwali Ki Raat Hai” also sung by Rafi Sahab with Manna Dey Talat Aziz, Asha Bhosle.

At the young age, Verma was looking very handsome in Black & White Movies and he had performed well with good body language and jazz in some songs. He performs very well in the comic song, “Baa Adab Baa Mulahisa Hoshiyar” from AAJ AUR KAAL sung by Mahendra Kapoor, Asha Bhosle, Deven Verma featuring Rohit Kumar, Tanuja and himself. He was seen playing piano and dancing with Shashikala and David in the lilting Hemant Kumar composed song, “Kyun Mujhe Itni Khushi De Di Ke Ghabrata Hai Dil” from ANUPAMA sung by Asha Bhosle. He was also seen sitting with Dharmendra in Tanga in the famous Rafi gem, “Kajalwaale Nain Milakar Kar Dala Bechen Kisi Maatwaali Ne Are Re Re Lutliya Jhanjarwaali Ne” from DEVER composed by Roshanlal Nagrath.

Movie Posters of Yakeen, Besharam and Dana Paani

Deven Verma was not an actor, producer-director too with his banner Navratna Films. He became producer with YAKEEN (1669) starring with his co-star Dharmendra in films like ANNUPAMA, BAHAREN PHIR BHI AAYENGI, DEVER, MOHABBAT ZINDEGI HAI all in 1966. Verma had also written screenplay and dialogue of the film with Javed Akhter. Rafi Sahab sung three fashionable romantic songs composed by Shanker-Jaikishan in the lyrics of Hasarat Jaipuri in the film. The title song of the film, Yakeen Karlo Mujhe Mohabbat Hai Tumse Tumse , Meri Yeh Duniya Hassen Jannat Hai Tumse” and two other solos “Gar Tum Bhula Na Doge, Sapne Yeh Sach Hi Honge Hum Tum Juda Na Honge”, “Baharon Ki Barrat Aa Gayee Khushi Ko Le Ke Saath Aa Gayee Suno Tu Mere Dil Suno Tu Mere Jaan Hootho Pe Dil Ki Baat Aa Gayee” are still among very popular songs sung by Rafi Sahab for Dharmendra. This crime thriller directed by Brij Sadanah featuring Dharmendra in double role with Sharmila Tagore was a semi hit in box office. He also became producer-director with NADAAN (1971) starring Asha Parekh, Navin Nichol and Madan Puri followed by BADA KABUTAR (1973), BESHARAM (1978) and DANA PAANI (1989). He directed Amitabh Bachchan in Besharam and Mithun Chakraborty in Dana Paani but not able to get much success.

Movie Poster of Aadmi Sadak KaThough in MAALIK (1972), Kishore Kumar sung the naughty marriage song, “Khana Milega Pina Milega Baiya Ki Shaadi Hai Saab Kuch Milega” for Deven Verma, he became co-singer with Mohammed Rafi in the most famous marriage song in AADMI SADAK KA (1977). Verma lent his voice for two multi-singer songs composed by Ravi Shanker Sharma in lyrics of Verma Malik in AADMI SADAK KA produced and directed by Devendra Goel. Verma sung following four lines in the famous marriage song, “Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, Yaar Ke Shaadi Hai Dildar Ki Shaadi Hai, Lagta Hai aaj Saari Sansar Ki Shaadi Hai” :-

Khushi Se Kiyu  Yatrayee
Aaj Tu Humein Nchayee
Waqt Who Aanewala
Dulhaniya Tujhe Nachayee

It was a multi-singer song by Mohammed Rafi, Ravi Shanker Sharma and Deven Verma. Rafi Sahab sung for Shatrughan Singha, Ravi Sahab for Sujit Kumar and Verma for himself. In an another multi-singer song, “Bura Na Mano Yaar Dosti Yaari Mein, Gaali Mein Hai Pyaar Dosti Yaari Mein” sung by Mohammed Rafi, Anuradha Pardwal and Deven Verma featuring Shatrughan Singha, Vikram Mandekar, Zaheera and Deven Verma. In the song, Verma sung for himself following two lines:    

Lo Badla Hai Sansar Dosti Yaari Mein
Ghera Hua Hai Pyaar Dosti Yaari Mein

Deven Verma also sung for himself in DOOSRA AADMI (1977) in another marriage song “Angana Aa Aeyenge Sawariya” composed by Rajesh Roshan with Pamela Chopra and Chorus.

Deven Varma’s sense of humour and laugher came to his career in Asit Sen’s film KHAMOSHI (1970) as a Patient No. 22 followed by BUDDHA MIL GAYA (1971) and MAALIK (1972). He was fully recognised as a comedian in CHORI MERA KAAM (1975) produced by Chander Sadanah and directed by Brij Sadanah for which he won Filmfare Best Comedian Award. His Filmfare Best Comedian Award follows in CHOR KE GHAR CHOR (1978) directed by Vijay Sadanah and ANGOOR (1982) directed by Gulzar.

Movie Posters of Chori Mera Kaam and Chor Ke Ghar Chor

Deven Verma’s comic timings followed in further films like BEMISAL (1982), NASTK (1983), RANG BIRANGI (1983), SAAHEB (1985), PREM PRATIGAYAA (1989), DIL (1990), CHAMATKAR (1992), DEEWANA (1992) and ANDAZ APNA APNA (1994).

AngoorDeven Verma acted with all leading actors like Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Shahrukh Khan and Amir Khan in about 150 films. As a refined actor he was a regular insider in films of directors like Yash Chopra, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chaterjee, Gulzar and Asit Sen. He was last seen in CULCUTTA MAIL (2003), a film directed by Sudhir Mishra starring Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Manisha Koirala. In addition to Hindi Films, he also acted in some Bengali and Bhojpuri Films. He will always be remembered as a most gentle comedian of Hindi Films, especially as Bahadur in ANGOOR.

Biman Baruah, the author of this article
Biman Baruah, the author of this article

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7 Blog Comments to “Mohammed Rafi’s association with most cultured comedian: Deven Varma”

  1. sayyed mohd saqlain says:

    Allah ne shayad sahi waqt par Rafi sahab ko bula liya.Aaj ke kalakaron ne to hindi songs ki melody ki qabr hi khod dee hai. Mere malik ne Rafi sahab ki izzat rakhni thhi.

  2. Ali Akbar says:

    Legend Rafi Saab <3 <3

  3. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Biman ji,
    Very informative article.It is a fact that Rafi Saab and his
    songs are the parts of our life without which we cannot
    survive.The peace and satisfaction we cannot get from
    any type of Art in the world.It is true after the basic needs
    such as food, shelter and clothing, Rafi Saab’s songs are
    a must.

  4. Jagdish Bolur says:

    Biman ji ,

    Aap Aye Bahar agai, Please keep on writing on Parama Rafi SAAb.

  5. Sharad Desai says:

    Biman ji ,

    Very good write up about Rafi & Deven Verma team. I expect similar about Rafi-Jagdeep, Rafi- Agga, Rafi-Anwer Hussain etc

  6. vinod mehru says:

    Biman ji ,

    Thanks for giving valuable information about deven ji and rafi sahab.

  7. r l arora says:

    Dear Baruhaji
    Bundle of thanks for the knowledge your goodsellf has shared. I am a Rafian fan right from my childhood. Today I am 69 and I hv been enjoying the unparallel pleasure by listening the unmatching voice of our beloved Rafi Saab right from age of 10. Getting such knowledge which geuntle people like you share with a person like me is a big boost to the soul.

    Kindly keep sharing the knowledge about our beloved Rafi Saab.

    Thanks once again,

    r l arora

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