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O Duniya Ke Rakhwale

This article is written by Mr. Shashank Chickermane.

Rafi Sahab singing O Duniya Ke RakhwaleThis marvelous song was written by Shakeel Bhaduyani, music direction by Naushadsab and sang by none other than Rafisahab. This three muslim personalities have given us lot of songs with Bhajans & classical songs also. Now, in this song one sentence is there “Aab tho Neer Bahale”, but I want to point out that in the Kannada language “Neer” means “Water”. What an word has been used by Mr.Shakeel Sahab, perfect one. Hear this song and you will find this word in the sentence.

Rafi Sahab with Naushad and Shakeel
Rafi Sahab with Naushad and Shakeel

The genius Mohdrafisahab in his usual smile in the photo. The Alap he has taken in the song “O Duniya Ke Rakwale”, feel Tansen is singing infront of us. He sang many songs but this song is a marvelous song which cannot imagine.

Here is live rendition of O Duniya Ke Rakhwale by Rafi Sahab. Courtesy: kjaan@Youtube


Rafi Sahab
Rafi Sahab

Rafi Sahab singing O Duniya Ke Rakhwale
Rafi Sahab singing O Duniya Ke Rakhwale

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44 Blog Comments to “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale”

  1. sonukumar says:

    the rafi sah. iam big fan rafi sah. the greatest Indian singer rafi sah. all the song very very evergreen song rafi Sahab …….!………. sonukuamr gzb

  2. Wahid Ullah says:

    Hello Rafi Fans,

    I am a big fan of Rafi Sahab as well! I have a decent collection of Rafi music on CDs. When I was growing up as a teen ager in the 80’s, my dad used to have an album in cassettes that was from the live programme at the Royal Albert Hall in which he started the programme with the song “Badi Door Se Aayehen”. I used to love this album and made a copy for myself when I was coming to north america in the late 80’s. But somehow I lost it and want to get a copy of it in either CD or LP. If any of you could please tell me a site or store in India that I can purchase it from, it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

    Wahid Ullah

  3. Rahimoddin shaikh says:


  4. Vickash Ramsurrun (Mauritius) says:

    This song, as sung by Rafi sahab, is the nectar which flows out when you put all the songs of the world, churn them and squeeze out the juice! Rafi sahab is my GOD!

  5. milon das says:

    is it the most difficult song sung in a bollywood movie?

  6. Naushad Makbul Mujawar says:

    Rafisahab ALLAH ki bemis den mousiikiki duniyako
    .Al Humdulillah

  7. VEERANKOYA C says:


  8. One of the best songs I have ever heard! Alhamdulillah.

  9. Sanjeev Kumar Dixit says:

    its avery nice song sung by Rafi saheb.this song was also sung by him Live on stage in Karachi(Pakistan), and the line “MAHAL UDAAS AUR GALIYAN SOONNI CHUP-2 HAIN DEEWAREIN, DIL KYA UZDA DUNIA UZDI RUTH GAYIN HAIN BAHAREIN… HUM JEEWAN KAISE GUZAAREIN…..” Repeated by him in so many different mood & RAAG Which really touches deep in the heart of audience.
    This song was recorded after 14 days of RIYAZ of Rafi saheb, although this song was okayed by music director Naushad on the very first day but Rafi Saheb was not satisfied by himself so he decieded to do more practice on this song & recorded it after 14 days of hard practice and made this song as KOHINOOR of indian songs.

  10. anil says:

    I beg to differ. O duniya ke drakhwale is not very god. madhuban me radhika nache re is good. but naushad s best compositions i feel are with mukesh and talat. his music in ram aur shyam, was average, gawar was pathetic.
    rajesh roshan(son of rroshan) was in a way totally tendsetter. he gave a music different from rest of the music directors and not based on so much of theka. his musical prodigy is not recognized as he was too ahead of his times and had a very different approach. some scores “dil kya kare, “”logo ka dil”, “kaha tak ye manko”, “my herat ois beating”,”thoda hai”, “yado me “, “kya kary sajani”, “chookar mere m,anko”,”koi roko na”, “nahi nahi”, ” meri yaad ab ke koi gul naya khilayengi”, ” sare gama re ga”, “kabh khushi kabhi gum”, “kaho na pyar hai”, ” aapko dekkh ke …”, “ik raasta hai”, “oonche neeche raste”, “teri narm sanse”, “koi roko na”,”o yara tu yaro se hai pyara”, “lehro ki tarah yade” are all very refreshingly different melodious and bring a style which was never utilized in pastr and nevr utilized now in hindi film music! he is not given his due! people spot sj, sd and rd as trend setters, opn as trend setter. but here was a silent trend setter.

  11. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 33:

    xxx, naushad did not usher in tanga rhythm into film music. OP got the idea from someone else whom Naushad admired.

  12. xxx says:

    naushad was greatest trend setter we have ever experienced in the hfm, his association with rafi was amazing and far more divine than others with lots of quality…

    today peoples may put the shankar-jaikishan & sachin dev burman on their highest esteem and truly sj and sdb were most versatile and best , but i think naushad let the others to move in his way, the singer whom he promoted later became 1st choice of everyone was not at all coincidence(heere ki parakh sirf johari ko hi hoti hai), actually he was the first who birngs the freshness to hfm with “suhani raat dhal chuki”..he never sailed with the trends and norms, for what he really bothered, was always the quality music..

    by the way op nayyar is credited to bring the tanga rhythms into the hfm but i think naushad brings this rhythm first with “dil mein chupake pyar ka toofaan le chale ” from aan(1952), pardon me if im wrong, here is the link to the song::

    talat,manna, kishore,hemant,mukesh all were the gems but rafi was kohinoor, all the indigenious composers and trendsetters were using the others in early 50s, sdb-talat,hemant,manna,kishore sj-mukesh,lata roshan-talat, mukesh
    madan mohan- used rafi ji for his very first movie but madan got recognition in late 50s…
    by the way here is my most fav dev-rafi-madan classic::

    now just look at the naushad’s genious he completely changed the mind set of every genious composer, rafi was not the dada’s fav in early 50s but after baiju baawra equations changed but surprisingly it took four more years after baiju baawra for him to become rafi loyalist, from 1946-1956 dada used rafi ji only 6 times and notable songs among them were one duet with geeta dutt & devdas solo, but after ndg rafi became his fav…roshan,madan & sj immediately moved to rafi after baiju baawra…
    1949-1969 known as the most melodious period and actually naushad based the foundation of this golden era by promoting lord rafi, talat & hemant were well known already and kishore and mukesh were also had great source as a dada muni and raj, but rafi ji who was very shy continuously ignored by musical greats but at last naushad bangs with baiju baawra and proved everybody wrong
    here are some magical scores by naushad having rafi from 1949-55–
    6.baiju baawra(1953)
    8.udan khatola(1955)…….

    all these movies were revolutionary and changed the face of the hfm, golden era started with these movies only … now iam ending up with song from udan khatola having pivotal role on rafi ji’s career…–g

  13. Ranjit S. JOhal says:

    Dear ztas 77

    I was at the 77 concert,we were right behind the stage
    in the nose bleed seats but we had a better view then
    half of the hall,Rafi Sahib was awesome,fantastic and the
    he sang O Duniya ke rakawale” in his own version and
    the notes he sang on the “galan sonne”> was unabelievable,I still get goosebumps 31 years later.
    Keep up the good work

  14. Satish Juware says:

    Neer means water in Sanskrit and commonly used. Neeraj means “Neer-aj”
    lotus born in water.

  15. Narayanan says:

    Bharat Ka Ratan Rafi saab is unmatched,incomparable,immortal and Emperor of melody. No one current or past singer can emulate Rafisaab’s best song

  16. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 25:

    Yes, it was a live program on tv; forgot to mention that rafi saab also sang “madhuban mein radhika”. kolkata’s streets looked much less crowded while the program was being broadcast.

  17. PS Chakrabarty says:

    A great job indeed in putting the live rendition on the net. only Rafi fans can understand the value. The present generation needs to understand what a genius rafi was. please continue with this kind of work. only fans like you can keep the rafi flame alive in this world.

  18. ahamed kutty says:

    Hi rafians,
    There is another great rafi saab song the title song of ‘chadwi ka chand’.
    I don’t think there is any other song which is so close to the nature.
    The voice of rafi saab and music by ravi saab is perfect combination
    and the result is something for which i don’t have any word to say.

    If you hear this song in a dark night and you close your eyes you will
    feel that it is a full moon night.That much rafi saab touch the nature in
    this song.

  19. ztas77 says:

    I don’t quite understand some of the comments regarding the lack of heaviness in Rafi’s voice in his later years. As far as I’m concerned his voice had the pure clarity and range as ever until his last day. He was ready for was to come for the 80’s which he would of delievered to the fullest. What I do agree with as mentioned earlier Rafi saab should have kept a careful eye on his weight & diet which probably of contributed to his early demise. However saying this the other two main male singers of those days, Kishore & Mukesh had also passed away in their 50’s.

    Rafi’s performance of ‘o duniya ke rakhwale’ in London in the late 70’s was mind blowing and the audience’s reaction had showed this! I wished he would have lived longer for me to see him sing this all time great classic on stage.

  20. Anil Cherian says:

    Ref: post 14
    Dear Haldar Sir:
    This programme is a live concert? In that case it’s simply mind-blowing. Such a level of excellence in a live programme, I dare say it’s unthinkable.

  21. vikas sharma says:




  22. Anil Cherian says:

    Ref: post 10
    You are spot on wrt Rafi Sir’s voice during 75-80. It lacked a bit of heaviness (At times, at least) but still was melodious.

  23. Rafi saab, you are too good. i love u rafi saab for wht u have in terms of music, singing. rafi saab, u r god so far as singing is concerned. you are ahead of everyone and will remain ahead. we will remember u rafi sab till eternity. i miss u a lot. u needed to be here for long time.

  24. Rajvir kalariya says:

    If we hear the song “Oh duniya ke rakwale” in rafi saabs “royal albert hall stage programme” in London that song is enough to hear for any of the music lovers.The way he was singing as well as the audiances responding and in the end it is just like the end of a heavy rain with thunderstorm.Who else in India to have a song other than rafi saab with such a high pitch and voice control as well as the support of such a huge fans.According to me if i hear the song once in a day is enough for me to have cheerful for the full day.
    i love u rafi saab for wht u have in terms of music, and singing. u r god so far as singing is concerned. we will remember u till eternity.

  25. Rajvir kalariya says:

    If we hear the song “Oh duniya ke rakwale” in rafi saabs “royal albert hall stage programme” in London that song is enough to hear for any of the music lovers.The way he was singing as well as the audiances responding and in the end it is just like the end of a heavy rain with thunderstorm.Who else in India to have a song other than rafi saab with such a high pitch and voice control as well as the support of such a huge fans.According to me if i hear the song once in a day is enough for me to have cheerful for the full day.

  26. rafians74 says:

    hi rafians if u want to download this song than plz contect me
    my mail

  27. rafians74 says:

    dear shashank ji great work .

  28. mansoor says:

    O’ Duniya ke rakhwale’ is a hallmark of Indian music, which could never be matched by any one anywhere. This is a gem of a song. But, he had so many gems. This along with other songs will never ever be matched. But, I agree with posts about Rafi sahib’s voice changing during 70’s. Could it be because he went to the holy pilgrimage of Hajj during that period? Since Hajj is attended by millions and millions, and people suffer exposure to the elements, most people return with respiratory problems. That may have affect Rafi sahab’s voice in that period. It was little bit flat for a short while, but he came back with full vengeance in Laila Majnu released in 1976. In that film you can’t distinguish between Rafi sahab of 60’s and Rafi sahab of 70’s. After that he had many gems. Keep in mind MD’s and music style changed that too may have something to do with Rafi sahab’s delivery. Any way even his not so good songs are still better than many songs by other singers.

  29. RAMAKRISHNA says:

    ref post 15

    ahmed kutty ji,

    i agree with you 100%.

    i have the bhajan cd ‘ tere bharose nandlal ‘ .

    i am requesting each fan of rafi sahab to please possess it. its a treasure.

    i listen to this cd everyday before i proceed to office. it creates such a spiritual vibration which keeps me fully charged for the entire day.

    ramakrishna, hyderabad, 09949509592

  30. ahamed kutty says:

    If we hear the song “Oh duniya ke rakwale” in rafi saabs “royal albert hall stage programme” in London that song is enough to hear for any of the music lovers.The way he was singing as well as the audiances responding and in the end it is just like the end of a heavy rain with thunderstorm.Who else in India to have a song other than rafi saab with such a high pitch and voice control as well as the support of such a huge fans.According to me if i hear the song once in a day is enough for me to have cheerful for the full day.

  31. P. Haldar says:

    This song was aired live as part of the “aarohi” program of doordarshan sometime in 1976, probably just before hkkn and aaa hit the market. The program was compered by Shahid Bijnori, who used to accompany Rafi saab for his concerts during the 70s; before that, johnny whiskey used to compere rafi saab’s programs. In addition to “duniya ke raakhwale”, rafi saab delivered “hari om”, “suhani raat dhal chuki”, “meri kahani bhool ne wale” and another patriotic song. They also played the clip of “o door ke musafir”, during which Naushad saab and rafi saab took a break. In my life, I’ve watched many live programs, but I have never seen any program that comes anywhere close to this.

  32. Anmol Singh says:

    I don’t think Rafi’s voice quality dropped in the period of 75 to 80. Yes voice changes with age. This is the case with all singers.

    Listing to songs like “Parda Hai Parda”; “Hai Agar Dushman”; “Pal Do Pal Ka”; “Maine Puchha Chand Se”; “John Janny Janardhan”l; “Pucho Na Yaar Kya Hua”; etc. one cannot say that Rafi’s voice quality as dropped. His voice is as young as before will slight change. He could have easily continued for another 5 years at least.

  33. Nitish Sinha says:

    I think there is an another person who should get special mention apart from the golden triangle ,that is,RAFI-NAUSHAD-SHAKEEL , and that person is assistant director ghulam mohammed. he happen to be a great composer also apart from a brilliant dholak player, and composes several good songs in the films.he started his career as earlyas in 1947 and composes music for at least 32 films among which pardes, laila majnu,amber shayar, shama and pakeezah is notable.
    even after becoming a successful music director, he continue to assist naushad saab and plays an important role there.

  34. Nitish Sinha says:

    I think Baiju Bawra should get special mention in HFM as this film was a real trendsetter.
    the film was released in 1952….
    Before composing the songs of this film, even naushad saab was a bit confused for whether the film would click or not as during that period , many western things were making an entrance in HFM .Even Naushad saab used such things in the films like jadoo Dastan and others…
    After the success of BAIJU BAWRA, naushad saab exclaims that i now made to believe that good music is always liked by people,if such things made available for them. Each song of this film by Rafi saab is a real gem…

    O dunia ke rakhwale..there is a myth attached with this song that blood came out of Rafi saab’s throat while singing..however this is just a myth. naushad sab clearly said in an interview that no such thing happen during the recordings. For this song which is in DARBARI KANNADA, RAFI SAAB rehearsled for 21 days….I am sure this the most tough song of RAFI SAAB. Nobody could sung this song with such passion on such high pitch without loosing the emotionality in the voice.
    Naushad saab said,
    “Rafi those days used to feel concerned that, though singing extensively, he had not been able to create the same impact as Talat Mehmood or Mukesh. ‘Well, here’s your chance”, I said. ‘This Baiju Bawra theme offers you the kind of vocal challenge which, if you meet, you will find yourself made for life.’
    “Of course in saying that, I could not know, at the time, that the film would become an all-time musical classic. But about one thing I could be sure – that the theme offered me scope to create the kind of music that Rafi alone could articulate. And the scale of effor that Rafi put in during our elaborate rehearsals was something to commend in this singer, even if he was young, strong and tireless.

  35. santosh says:

    great work .This song is unique because it established the range of rafi saab’s voice.The depth and height of his voice is seen in this song.We can see the 4th octave level in this song which is very rare among singers.One more thing which is noticable is that as the pitch increases the width of the voice also increases which normally narrows in other singers.This is the greatness of my rafi saab.

    I again repeat as I do in my comments that on hearing this song I feel that overrated singers such as kishore kumar sonu nigam are ordinary singers .

    I do not want to start any debate but I feel if rafi saab had not sung any other song in his whole life also this song would on it’s own made him a great singer.Still lata and asha do not praise rafi saab atleast on the basis of this song only.

    Any way all this wont touch the greatness of rafi saab.Also this width was missing in his voice in the period of 75-80.His voice became very light and not as heavy as it was in his heydays.This was his and our’s misfortune.But yes the melody was always there.

    Long live rafi saab

  36. Hussein Sheikh says:

    One of the best songs by Rafi Saheb, only he could have sung it. So, nice photographs of Rafi Saheb.

  37. Harvinder says:

    This live recording is done towards the last years of Rafi Sahabs life – it can not be expected to be as good as recording room. Heavyness and lack of real rafi magic in voice is evident. Rafi saheb should have watched his weight. I have learnt that most of his family members are dying young.

    Rafi Saheb’s voice was God’s gift to mankind, but there was definite drop in the voice quality between late fifties/sixties till his untimely death in 1980. I attribute that to his excessive weight gain.

  38. RAMAKRISHNA says:

    thx sashank,

    i have made the photograph of rafi sahab as my desktop wall paper. its so nice as if rafi sahab is right in front of me. people say ‘ my pleasure’ but i say ‘ my treasure ‘

    and about the song i have no words to say. i am too too too too small to give my opinion as i feel I am even much smaller than an infant here.

    i can say this much only that a ‘divine incarnation’ can render this number.

  39. A S MURTY says:

    Good work dear shashank ji, but you should have written more on the song, like its different variations and the ragas with with the song was experimented with. Every one agrees (even those who are not rafi sahab’s fans and they are not too many) that this one song is the ultimate in playback rendition and counts as the best song ever in hindi film industry. Incidentally, “neer” is also a Hindi word just like kannada word for water. The other common word used for water in hindi is ofcourse jal or paani.The hindi of the era which was picturised in the movie Baiju bawra is more pure and hence the use of such words which are not prevalent in today’s hindi language. You have also posted such wonderful pictures of rafi sahab and i have copied them all. thanks very much for the same and for your article ofcourse. Keep writing on such subjects more often, but with much more analytical study that will fetch more and more responses from all rafians. all the best.

  40. mohamed parvez says:

    dear shashank ji well done you have uploaded song you have uploaded rafisaabs pictures thanx

  41. Ganesh says:

    nobody dares to imitate this song, a lesson song, historical song and a dream song for all singers

  42. Anmol Singh says:

    This is an incredible song sung by Rafi Saab. One can listen to the song infinite number of times. Perhaps Rafi Saab sang the line “Mahal Udaas Or Galiyaan Suno” in different ways in a live concert abroad. The twist and turns for every time he sang was extra ordinary. Listening to the song I felt if Rafi could have been a full flagged classical singer, he could have been equally popular compared to various Ustads and Pandits.

  43. abdul zamin says:

    padma shree mohd.rafi is truely a superb singer and by by any measurement he is the extension of excellence

  44. Razaul Hassan says:

    Thanks for your effort.

    You are a star!

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