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Rafi in Background

This article is written by Mr. Anmol Singh.

Rafi in BackgroundSongs in background in films are used to describe a special occasion in a film where either there is turning point in the story or a special message to be conveyed. Among all the singers a classic example would be the legendary composer S D Burman who never gave play back to any actor as a singer. He sang for only special occasions in many classics like Bandhni, Sujata, Guide, etc. All most every singer has contributed incredible songs sung in background. There are few gems contributed by Rafi Sahab as well.

Majority films are about fiction & entertainment, which relives stress to some extend from this day to day hectic life. There are filmmakers like Guru Dutt who have dared to made films highlighting the materialistic world where all relationships are temporary. There one such gem is in the film “Kaagaz Ke Phool”. The song “Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari…Bichde Sabhi Baari Baari” is an incredible score delivered by Rafi under S D Burman. The song starts in background with a very high pitch Alap and later describes the materialistic attitude of this unforgivable world.

The year 1962 sees the Indo-China war where India suffered maximum casualty of soldiers. It was a huge defeat on part of India. The scenario is described the best by the film “Haqeekat” which has a patriotic song in background “Kar Chle Hum Fida”. The song is an ultimate tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the battle. Rafi Sahab starts with a slow Alap and operates full throttle there after. The song is a great source of motivation in every aspect of life. Even if one has lost every thing, there is still enough strength left within us to recharge ourselves and fight back.

Mohd Rafi

The song “Tujh To Pukre Mera Pyar” from “Neel Kamal” can best describe a soul, which is trying to seek salvation from centuries. The words “Aaja…Aaja…Aaja” in the Alap describes the eternal pain of the soul the best. Full marks to Rafi Sahab and Ravi for rendering this magnificent gem with great sensitivity. The song appears in background since the soul is invisible. Finally the song ends with same eternal pain “Aaja…Aaja…Aaja”. There is another song on similar lines “Sau Baar Janam Lenge” from “Ustaadon Ke Ustaadon”. Once again it is the magic of the Rafi-Ravi combo.

Life is a combination Good and Bad times. The song “Waqt Se Din Aur Raat” from the film “Waqt” describes it the best. The song is a formation of great lyrics written by Sahir. It appears in background in the film where the story has a turning point portraying the separation of the families due the natural calamity. Rafi Sahab once again deliverers a great High Pitch Alap “Kal Jahaan Basi The Khushiaan; Aaj Hai Maatam Vahan; Waqt Laya Tha Baharen; Waqt Laya Hai Khiza”. Yesterday where there was happiness, Today there is Sorrow; Time had brought happiness, Time has brought sorrow. There is no poetry other than this song which can define a “Time (Waqt)” so well. Rafi Sahab gives outstanding expression to Sahir’s work. Despite the differences with the B R banner, Ravi wanted only Rafi Sahab to sing this number. (Courtesy – Jai Mala Programme).

From a film “Daastan” where an individual is held on the cross roads of life where one doesn’t know where to go; is best described by the song “Na Tu Zameen Ke Liye Hai Na Aasma Ke Liye” from “Daastan”. Once again it is Rafi at his best for LP.

As we move ahead in the late 70s there are more such incredible gems delivered my Rafi Saab. The film “Mukti” starts with the following words “Mil Jaati Hai; Sasaar Se Mukti; Miltee Nahi Marke Bhi Magar Pyaar Se Mukti”. This is a music-less Alap sung by Rafi Saab to the perfection for Pancham. The song is “Pyar Hai Ek Nishan Kadmo Ka” written by Anand Bakshi speaks the summary of the entire film just in a few words. This song is a tribute to Rafi Sahab and all the great legends; who have left their physical form from this world, but are very much associated with their fans and all the well wishers through the love they had left behind. There is a very beautiful line in the song “Rok Leti Hai Rah Mein Yaaden, Jap Bhi Raahon Se Hum Guzarte Hai”. This line is dedicated to all the loved ones who have been very closely associated with Rafi Sahab.

Mohd Rafi

There is a devotional song (Gurbani) from a Punjabi film “Guru Maneo Granth” which needs a special mention. The Gurbani “Koi Bole Ram Ram, Koi Khudaae, Koi Sewe Goseyaan, Koi Allaae” sung by Rafi Sahab appears in background. It signifies the realization of God where the devotee listens to his inner voice (conscience) after spending his entire life in improper deeds. Rafi Sahab has sung most Punjabi devotional songs in the early 70s during his lean phase under S Mohindar.

Possibly the last song sung by Rafi Saab is also in background from the film “Aas-Paas”. “Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost”. It is indeed a very unfortunate coincidence that after singing this song Rafi Sahab goes in background forever from his world. We as Rafi fans are left nothing but to feel Rafi Sahab’s present through his songs speaking to ourselves “Tere Aane Ki Aas Hai Dost….Sham Phir Udaas Hai Dost….Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost”. Indeed without Rafi our every moment is Udaas.

Some of the other incredible songs sung by Rafi Sahab in background are – “Sapne Jhade…Caravan Guzar Gaya” from Nayi Umar Ki Nayi Fasal; “Ab Koi Gulshan Na Ujade” from Mujhe Jeene Do; “Rahein Na Rahein Hum” from Mamta; The title song “Ganga Tera Pani Amrit”; “Taqdeer Ke Suron Se Koi Bach Na Payegaa” from Be-Rehem.

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134 Blog Comments to “Rafi in Background”

  1. Shamoon aalam says:

    One best background score is lost which should been add here.
    “Dil ek mandir hai….”
    Well this is duet with suman kalyanpur(I call suman lady rafi for her versatility) but my favorite.

  2. t k nandi says:

    one butful song not mentioned, log to markar jalte honge , mai to jeekar jalta hu frm gauri.great song avlbl in you tube.listen n njoy.

  3. Nasir says:

    An excellent write-up Anmol!

    Has this one been mentioned as the Rafi Sahaab’s background song? LE LO LE LO DUAAYE.N MAA BAAP KEE…? This was from the budding Rajendra Kumar starrer, MAA-BAAP (I hope I got the name right) a 1960 flick.

    Besides, has Rafi Sahaab also sung RAHE NA RAHE HAMM as mentioned by you? We all know that it’s is a Lata number?

    Regarding the Be-Rehem number, it is TAQDEER KE QALAM SE….

    Regarding Asha Bhonsle, one is for sure: She is not a Rafi admirer. Don’t know if that is the fallout of her buried relationship with O.P. Nayyar who had said that if there was no Rafi, there would be no O.P. Also, as I have mentioned elsewhere, Asha Bhonsle had unequivocally had said in an RKB show that she listens only to Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar and added that maybe some people might resent her sayfing so. We understand what was working in her mind then.

    I admire the outbursts of Rafifan in #46. Hats off to you. Being diplomat is of no avail. We, Rafi Sahaab’s fan must speak out in defence if anythig belittles Rafi Sahaab.

  4. Sagar says:

    Anmol Sir,

    You are right !! when you have mentioned the song Na Tu Zameen Ke Liye !!!!

    The picturisation of that song is also fantastic, but what made the difference was the sound echo …. I dont see any better singer than Rafi Sahab.. anytime.

    What makes uneasy is that whenever interviews are held of these Legends they hardly make or give any credits to Rafi Sahab … I think there music and composition would have been empty if Rafi Sahab’s voice wouldn’t had been a part of their songs.

  5. Rafi sahab was capable to sing songs of any mood, any style. He was a gift from god to the film industry. Film Industry was depended on him for more than 25 years. I remeber him everyday.

  6. tahir says:

    i need all songs of old film …khul ja sim sim…please if any one have send it to my mail ..plz

  7. Anmol Singh says:

    Arun Gautam Ji,

    Thanks for the update. You have indeed listed so many songs sung by Rafi Sahab in background; which we fans where not at all aware.

    Rafi Sahab ke jaane ke baad music kaa anntt ho gayaa. Normal gaane bhi sunne ko nahi milte the; background to bahut dur ki baat hai.

    Kuch expection the
    – Maangi The Ek dua (Sad) – M Kapoor (Shakti)
    – Kya Khabar Kya Samaa – K Kumar (Saaheb)
    – Dil Tera Kisne Todaa – Munna Aziz (Dayavan)
    – Mera Kuch Saaman Lotaa Do – Asha (Ijaazt)
    – Rote Rote Hasna Seekho (Sad) – K kumar (Andha Kanoon)

  8. arun gautam says:

    रफी साहब द्वारा अपने गानों की शुरूआत ही बैकग्राउंड गानों से की थी और उन्हें इन्ही गीतों के बल पर वह एक बेहतरीन सिंगर के रूप में स्थापित हुए । उन्होंने ” ये जिंदगी के मेले दुनिया में कम न होंगे(मेला) , एक पैसा दे दे बाबू एक पैसा दे दे (वचन), तेरा खिलौना टूटा बालक तेरा खिलौना टूटा(अनमोल घड़ी) गीत गाकर अपने पहचान कायम की । इसके बाद उन्होंने बैकग्राउंड गीत गाकर सबके चहेते सिंगर बन गए जैसे तेरा आना भी धोखा था तेरा जाना भी धोखा था, रात भर का मेहमां अंधेरा किसके रोके रूका है अंधेरा, क्या धरती और क्या आकाश सबको प्यार की प्यास,अब कोई गुलशन न उजड़े अब वतन आजाद है, मिलकर बैठों जोड़ो बंधन, बता मुझे ओ जहाँ के मालिक ये क्या नजारे दिखा रहा है तेरे समुन्दर में क्या कमी थी जो आदमी को रूला रहा है, तेरी आवाज की जादूगरी से न जाने किस जहॉ में खो गया हूँ, अकेला हूँ मैं हमसफर ढूढ़ता हूँ, अकेला हूँ मैं इस दुनिया में कोई साथी है तो मेरा साया, दामन में आग लगा बैठे हम प्यार में धोखा खा बैंठे, मैं बैठा हूँ राहों में आँखें बिछाए हुए आदि ऐसे हज़ारों गीत है जिसमें रफी की रैंज का पता चलता है । आश्चर्य की बात है कि रफी के बाद बैकग्राउंड गीत भी बनने बंद हो गए हैं ।
    रफी साहब को शत-शत नमन

    न तुझसा कोई तेरे बाद आया, मोहम्मद रफी तू बहुत याद आया
    अरुण गौतम

  9. Binu Nair says:

    re : post 125 : vipul ji: this gentleman has a rock hard point.

    why do people do personal attacks. may be for few reasons. they do not have enough reason to take part in a discussion; they are jealous; and lastly, its the easiest thing. i prefer to call them ” two minute arm-chair critics.

    pradip ji , pls have a rigorous identification of spam-sters and perverts so as to keep this site clean and endorse mr.vipuls point.

    binu nair.

  10. Vipul says:

    Anmol Singh, Great article. Thankx
    I request every1 here to only discuss music and stay away from personal attack. I have gone thru all posts and did not like comments made by few people. I understand freedom of expression, but personal attacks can be avoided.

    We are here to talk about Rafi and Music.

  11. Anmol Singh says:

    A Baruaole Ji

    Thanks for the compliments. You are right with Rafi Sahab we can never get bored either in discussion or listening to his songs.

  12. A Baruaole says:

    Anmol Singh Ji,
    Cheers 🙂

    Your expression in the article “Rafi in Background” is fabulous. Rafi is a great topic of discussion, where one can discuss various aspects of his voice endlessly without getting bored. Keep writing more and more on Rafi the great.

  13. Binu Nair says:

    caution: neeraj a spam{ster} has been caught sending messages in to the newly formed http://www.rafifoundation site by its editor and now this spam-ster is spreading his hatred in this site.
    our site has blacklisted this neeraj and he will be unable to distribute his hatred in the site.
    i am yet to find the cause of his “breathing fire” herein and in the meantime i request the editor to take note of neeraj the “spamster” and have a policy of “catching such spam-sters and prank-sters” in the interests of a free and fair discussion.

    binu nair, mumbai..

  14. Anmol Singh says:

    Hello Narayan Ji,

    Thanks for the compliments.

  15. Binu Nair says:

    neeraj: thanks. as a matter of policy/decency we have decided not to address mad dogs and pollute this clean site. thanks for the compliments paid.

    binu nair, mumbai.

  16. Narayan says:

    Dear Anmolji one more Anmol gem of an article
    We want more from u.
    Yes indeed the songs of the back ground were Rafi sahab speciality and the majestic icon conveys the importance of a story in a memorable song.

  17. Anmol Singh says:

    Shashank Chickermane Ji,

    Thanks for the compliments. SD-Rafi combination have contributed to a lot of experimentation. On similar lines is the song “Ye Mehloon Ye Takhton” picturized on Guru Dutt. Again towards the end the song moves to high pitch with lots of emotions. Guru Dutt does an excellent job on screen doing full justice to Rafi’s work. Then there is a Rafi-Lata duet “Dekho Rutha Na Karo”; where Antara sung by Rafi starts at an exordinary scale. But the SD-Rafi combo contribution “Nache Mann Mora” is one my personal favourites where he sings for an ugly character on screen. The variations both in Rafi’s vocals and music are super.

  18. anil cherian says:

    Nice to see a post on ‘music’ in this thread. It has been ‘background battles’ for sometime. This particular song is a true gem, the lyrics, tune, orchestra and off course the singing, not to mention the superb picturisation. I am not sure whether it’s a true-raaga based composition, but it has shades of western classic (symphony) compositions.. Could someone throw some light?

  19. I want to tell one thing how this song sang by rafisahab of this song “Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari “, so high the song is given by SDBurman. He tried to experiment with rafisahab such song that no rafisahab will be there. The last antara he sang no body can sing. This picturised on Gurudutt. The rafisahab sang so easily i feel its really difficult to sing in tht high pitch only he can sing and also background chorus. Well done by Rafisahab and SDBurmanji. Anmolji really great article by u. thanks for this article.

  20. neeraj says:

    post no 112 sab logon ne tuje pahchan liya binu-buny. tum tumhare jivha se rafi bolne ke layak hi nahin ho.

  21. neeraj says:

    post no 109. do not associate your self with any thing of rafi sahab and insult the purity of thought and art.

  22. neeraj says:

    post no 111. murthy sir. thanks. my un approved comment was not abusive. i wrote a request to give new articles and not to post the ones already on other websites. by copying one can never pass. i do not know if this is a genuine technical problem for not approving on binufoundation or deflation of ego that i see in binu (sir bolne ke layak nahin hai) in response to my comment here.

    thanks for approving my comment about best rafi website. we all know now where binufoundation stands.

    jako rake saiyan mar sake na koy. there is a small typo in my email which i now realise happened for good on binufoundation. privacy is something every website should give lot of weight. the way my typo-email has been posted without my permission i wount apprve of it. shayad mere ache karmon ka phal hai jo sri krishna ne mujh se wrong email type karvaya, nahi tho pata nahin yeh binu kya kya kaise kaise abusive mails bhejta.

    i think now members of this website will realize what will happen if they write anything against the hitler or his foundation website. if you want to write do not give your correct credentials.

    murty sir thanks for your clean and unabusive comment, though i dont approve the email bit posting here.

  23. Binu Nair says:

    Neeraj ji : post 107: where have you disappeared? waiting to hear more from you. are you now planning a criticism which is different – this time. come on, you have “definitely” a role to play we believe. but pls, do not become a “behroopiya” with a false e.mail id and send your responses as this is sincere, simple and honest, popular website for all “genuine” rafi lovers.

    binu nair.//////// rafi foundation////// mumbai//// : cell : 09833 250 701

  24. A S MURTY says:

    dear neerajji, ref post 107 by you. i want to clarify a few things about on this website, we do not publish any comment which may not be worth publishing, first of all. any comment which is relevant to a particular topic or article or which throws new facets on rafi sahab’s style of singing or a particular song, etc. is most welcome. we welcome newer articles, newer comments and active participation from all rafi-fans alike. there is no reason for anyone’s comment to be deleted, unless it is in bad taste for all others and/or when it is derogatory in nature. comments praising only a handful of individuals or criticizing others have little space on the website. we did receive in the recent times two comments which were completely garbled i.e. the name, email id and the comment itself (looked like a one liner comment) were all too garbled to be deciphered. they had to be deleted forthwith. we have recently approved a comment under your name i.e. neeraj about the “best website on rafi sahab”, which you may have also seen. however, i would like to point out to you and all other knowledgeable readers here that every sender has to provide a valid email id while sending a comment. in the instant case, you have provided your name and an email id ::: ::: which turned out to be a fake one. there was probably no necessity for anyone to give a false email id i presume. in fact, i tried to send a detailed email to you on this above email id which bounced back with the error message that “user does not have a email id”. please provide your correct email id either here or to or even to me at and we would be too glad to answer your queries or clarify any other doubts that you may have. we reiterate, we welcome good articles, good interaction and good suggestions to position this new website as one of the best on not just rafi sahab, but also on any other singer/performer from the film/music industry. please help in whatever way you can and we would be too happy to work shoulder to shoulder with all rafi-fans.

  25. Binu Nair says:

    Post 107 : neeraj : you are a new correspondent and your letter was deleted because the e.mail i.d. you provided was fake; our check communication failed and it bounced back – twice.
    and, why are you getting jealous of rafi foundation news and advt. appearing in this website? are you an affected party? do you back a failed/unpopular rafi website ? What is your correct e.mail i.d.? Do you want free advertisement in this website? yes ,. you can get it – provided you do some contrete work in taking rafi saahebs works – forward. it may be difficult for you and hence gone the short-cut path and criticised the rafi foundation.

    now , please do not “lose” your sleep over the rafi foundations growth. let me assure you that the foundation is here to stay and grow. we need fake critics too and assuring that it never will affect us – whichever disguise you will wear.

    some critics can never see other’s growth and we are not complaining only growing taller by the weeks.

    binu nair.

  26. Binu Nair says:

    for neeraj:

    at most of our musicals where we take the Rafi Magic to the masses, we announce about and also put out banners with the site address.
    rafi foundation and this website are two sides of the same coin and pradip ji and myself have a complete “unwritten” understanding.
    rafi lovers understand each other and your doubts, hopes and misgivings are unfounded and merit no further thought.

    binu nair…. mumbai.

  27. Binu Nair says:

    Post 107 : because the moderator allows freedom of expression this website has developed in to a no. one website and it will remain there.
    and mr.murthy is the editor and your grievances you can write to me . there could be a technical error, i feel as its a new site.

    i will never think that rafifoundation website will overtake any other website and the site has been created for and internal discussion and for convenience sake.

    even me visit every day first and this speaks of its popularity.
    more, i never would be affected by personal criticism as one can never make all the people happy at all the times.

    binu nair…. rafifoundation, mumbai.

  28. neeraj says:

    In reply to Msg 104: if you all rafi lovers want to see a clean site : please log on to – newly started . the pests have so not invaded these spaces and murthy ji from hyderabad is keeping a watch over this.

    My bit is that such messages should not be approved by the moderator of this website. It is clear that Binu is misusing the freedom of speech that the moderator provides. He is advertising his site and trying to copy articles and members from this site. should ideally be None of my messages were approved on that website which I posted last week. If they don’t let people criticize, the site won’t last long. The success of is that the freedom it provides and friendliness of people. Do not hold a dagger and invite members.

    thank you.

  29. anil cherian says:

    I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree on several points. For me this site is not just another blogging site. I consider it very special and even personal. I do think twice before posting anything here. So it’s pretty natural to feel odd to see all these un-called for comments and reactions. Anyway I don’t lose sleep over it and thanks for the advise. Looking forward to your posts, right now we’ve been posting our listing of fav songs in ‘Did RDB prefer K.K’ thread, why don’t you come up with you listing. Have a nice time..

  30. Binu Nair says:

    one singer wants fame at any cost and we have seen this singer singing with bret lee a cricketer and bringing redicule. then she wanted to do a world tour with young and dynamic sonu nigam and when sonu said “no” she flew in to a range.
    she says : himesh reshmiya ko chappal se maarna chaahiye for saying r.d.burman has a nasal voice like him.
    she is past her prime and now she must gracefully retire from singing.

    binu nair, mumbai.

  31. Binu Nair says:

    dear anil cherian & rajesh : just ignore the personal attacks served by biased men in this “great forum”. it may be due to ignorance or personal motives/frustrations etc.
    but discussions bring out various facts and please do not forget that we are living in a democratic set-up and not in somalia or uganda.
    just as one ignores the things written in newspapers (most of them) or just as one surs the channels, ignore – whay you may not like. advise and give your point of view but never, never, never and never kill a discussion.
    the moderator is doing a great job. Keep it up.

    as said earlier rafi saaheb is a paragon of virtues – but alas all men are not equal to this great soul. i would say ban people using personal attacks by words and facts which can be productive.

    if you all rafi lovers want to see a clean site : please log on to – newly started . the pests have so not invaded these spaces and murthy ji from hyderabad is keeping a watch over this.

    lastly, let the truth and the magic of rafi saaheb prevail.

    binu nair. rafifoundation, mumbai. cell : 9833250701.

  32. Rajesh says:

    “But here it is personal attacks and that too on matters which personally aren’t anything to lose one’s sleep over.”

    Exactly Mr Cherian. So just ignore them and go to sleep 🙂 let the admin sleep too 🙂

    “Pls. go thru them and see what’s going on.”

    I’d rather than. Just like you and the rest of good posters here – I’ve got better things to do 🙂

    Stick with this – and the troublemakers will also go to sleep 🙂 They need sleep too, don’t they?

  33. Rajesh says:

    Mr Cherian,

    You’re right, I didn’t go through the 20 posts of personal attacks. They are not worth your time or my time. I simply ignore them. I ignore them right from the start so that it doesn’t grow or become a matter that is more difficult to ignore. I simply walk away from my computer. You can control how personal things can be on the Internet. I come on this site to enjoy anecdotes, learn about songs, read excellent articles from my fellow fans of Rafi. The stuff I read from Mr P Haldar or Raju Korti or even Mr KB Iyer etc – I treat those communications personally and derive much joy! And the other stuff like attacks – I don’t take personally and ignore them. This is one of the things that is easier done than said 🙂

    Give me a single internet community that is large and devoid of personal “attacks”. Any forum always has people expressing frustration. The successful communities just ignore those posts or if they sympathize then they join. The attacks become nullified. This is a very active site and its too much work to be an admin – it takes more time (not to mention the costs for keeping this great site). We can handle this ourselves and we should do that. That’s our way of contributing. Ignore ignore ignore! It’s the internet – not a dinner room table where the villain is face to face!

    I have been a very active participants of those threads you described. I would be a fool to generalize the Rafi fans. There are millions out there. Some are open minded and some are not. The same goes for any large group. A lot of the writing is opinion subject to personal likes / tastes and are not fact. That’s totally cool – we’re just here to share opinions. Do not let some troublemaker antagonize you and then you stop contribution. Consider my advice Mr Cherian I look forward to your posts.



  34. anil cherian says:

    For Mr. Rajesh:
    It seems you haven’t gone thru the last 20 and odd posts in this thread. Pls. go thru them and see what’s going on. It’s not comparisons or analysis or even light hearted digs. Actually most of the people here would appreciate and participate in ‘candid opinions and disagreements’. But here it is personal attacks and that too on matters which personally aren’t anything to lose one’s sleep over. This is where we feel administrator should interfere. And you have got it totally wrong when generalising the Rafians, we are not perpetual hailers, you might be doing well to go thru threads like “true voice” and “did RDB prefer KK”.

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