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Rafi and Roshan created history with melody in 60s

Written by Mr. Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Roshan Lal Nagrath, better known as Roshan was born in Gujranwala on 14th July, 1917. His lessons from Ustad Allauddin and Sarangi King Bundu Khan transformed himself into regular composer of All India Radio in the 40s.

He started his career as composer in bollywood films with the film Neki Aur Badi in 1949. In the early 50s Mukesh and Talat Mehmood featured in most of the films of Roshan. Some of the hit songs included “khayalon me”, “sun bairi balam” from Bawre Nain, “tare toote duniya dekhe” from Malhar. Although he had success in the films Shisham, Anhonee, Malhar, etc., his immense talent did not get recognition until he used the man with the golden voice Mohammad Rafi.

Roshan stormed bollywood music with brilliant composition in the film Barsaat Ki Raat. The romantic film of Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala did fantastic business. Roshan’s brilliant use of sarangi was evident in Rafi’s song “zindagi bhar nahi bhulenge woh barsaat ki raat”. The song was sung by Rafi and Lata at different time in the film. Barsaat Ki Raat was also known for the famous qawalli “na to karwaki talash hai” and “yeh ishq ishq hai isqh isqh” where Rafi and Manna Dey were equally brilliant. Sahir Ludhiyanvi also made brilliant use of words in the songs of the film.

In 1962 Roshan amazed the listeners with the brilliant composition in the film Aarti. Pradeep Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari played the lead roles in the film. The film had every type of song including folk song and ghazals. The song “baar baar mohe kya samjhaye” sung by Rafi and Lata had complete balance of melody and rhythm. The slow numbers in the film like “ab kya misaal doon mai tumhare shabab ki” sung by Rafi and “aapne yaad dilaaya to mujhe yaad aya” sung by Rafi and Lata can be considered to be some of the best ghazals in the entire 60s. Lata’s song “baharon ki manzil rahi” was equally brilliant.

Mohd Rafi with Roshan and his family

Mohd Rafi with Roshan and his family

Roshan used Mukesh and Manna Dey in Raj Kapoor’s film Dil Hi to Hai. The song “laga chunari me daag chupayun kaise” was a fine example of classical excellence in the film where Manna Dey showed his class.

Roshan received filmfare award for the best composer for his landmark creation in Pradeep Kumar’s Taj Mahal. All the songs of the film displayed the royal andaz of songs sung during the mughal period. Pradeep Kumar played the role of Shahjehan and Bina Roy played the role of Mumtaz Mahal. Rafi’s duet with Lata “jo wada kiya hai nibhana parega”, was as outstanding as Rafi’s song “paon chulenedo phoolon ko inaayat hogi”. The use of sarangi require special mention in the song “jo baat tujhme hai teri tasveer me nahi”.

The Rafi Roshan magic continued in the film Chitralekha in 1964. Rafi’s song “man re tu kahe na dhir dhare” is still considered to be one the most landmark bhajans of all times. Roshan was at his best in the film Bheegi Raat. Rafi made the audience stand up on their feet with the song “dil jo na keh saka”. The same song was sung by Lata too in the film. Rafi presented the other ghazal in the film in style titled “jane woh kaun hai kya naam hai in ankhoka”.

The Rafi Roshan combination continued to produce evergreen gems in the films Noorjahan and Bahu Begum. All the songs of Bahu Begum were masterpieces including Rafi’s “hum intezar karenge”, Lata’s “duniya kare sawal to hum kya jawab de”, Asha’s “niklete kahan janeke liye”, to mention a few. Roshan Rafi combination was also evident in the film Mamta. Rafi’s song “in baharon me akela na phiro” was as brilliant as “rahe na rahe hum” sung by Lata.

It is not possible to highlight the significance of Rafi Roshan combination of the 60s in a small article. Separate articles can be written on the music of the films Surat Aur Seerat, Dooj Ka Chand, Bedaag, etc. It was very amazing that Roshan had just received only one filmfare award in his illustrious career. The music of Taj Mahal, Bheegi Raat, Barsaat Ki Raat could qualify for national awards in the respective years. Roshan died in 1969 and the royal combination of Rafi and Roshan also ended with it.

The films and the songs require re-examination, restoration and preservation.

Mr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Mr. Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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57 Blog Comments to “Rafi and Roshan created history with melody in 60s”

  1. Siva says:

    Refer post#53-Mr Venkatadri-you have echoed the same thoughts that came to me. I was so furiuos on reading nonsense about the great Roshan but then though it is better to ignore such comments as it would only create more controversies.
    Did you watch the “Total recall” program in Times Now channel on Roshan-it was good, but I felt a little sad that no singer/musician talked about Roshan except Sudha Malhotra . I expected some comments from his sons…at least Rajesh Roshan.It was so nice to hear Mr Ganesh Anantaraman’s comments that Roshan was as good as the veterans Naushad, OPN etc. It was sheer bad luck that Roshan never got big banners.

    Talking about the legends, Madan Mohan, Naushad liked his “Aapki Nazron ne samjha pyar ke kabil” so much that he commented-take away all my compositions and give me this song!!!
    Those were the days, when most of them had mutual respect and admiration for each other in spite of being competitors.

  2. Rajkumar Akela says:

    dear kishorfan,
    plz never try to compare rafi sahab with any other singers.
    if god has given you a clear hearing power then only you can differenciate the golden voice of rafi sahab with any singer in this world.
    Do you think kishor or mannadey or mahendra kapoor or any other singer can sing a song like “o duniya ke rathwale…”
    In film “shararat” due to high pitch notes Kishor was unable to sing the song “Ajab hai dastan teri ye zindagi…” and then without compromising shankar jaikishan borrowed the voice of rafi sahab for kishor.
    do these things not make you ashamed while boasting or comparing rafi sahab with an ordinary singer like kishor ?
    For your kind information rafi sahab was awarded the “best male playback singer of the millennium” and not kishor kumar.

  3. Rajkumar Akela says:

    I request all my rafian friends to kindly click on the link below and vote for our beloved “rafi sahab”…

    rajkumar Akela

  4. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Shri Murthyji (Post 34): What a great song you reminded (Sun ae mahajabeen mujhe tujhse ishq nahin…). The song had slipped out of my memory. I checked on youtube. It is not available there. Can you share it with us?

  5. b.venkatadri says:

    Post no. 45 of Sunil Pal, Post No. 48 of Girish Prahlad and Post No. 49 of Narayan:

    Dear Girish and Narayan,

    Leave this Sunil Pal (”Singer from Goa”) to himself! Or else, he would say next, Kumar Sanu sang the highest and best songs under Naushad!


  6. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 51: Very well said Ali….

  7. Ali says:

    dear kishorefan ,If mohd rafi fans can give 10 votes a day also I think KK fans do the same also lata ji fans,please don’t say we are doing that because who think like that he or she doing that..jest look Naushad ji got only 1 vote so that also mean that how Naushand fans are honest they give only one vote and they never think like u to vote again and again also u should know that Nauhad ji votes mostly went to mohd rafi Naushand Ji,Naushand ji never said that he made mohd rafi famous but we all music lover can say that he is the man who gave Mohd Rafi and Lata ji to bollywood..
    now u feel that mohd rafi is number one so ur so sad,dear be honest when ur giving vote and I am sure that you also give ur vote to mohd rafi..
    If one person can give two votes for two musicians I think if not first 2nd should go to mohd rafi..
    Come out from dark …..
    Mohd Rafi can be compare with only mohd Rafi

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