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Rafi with Music Composers – Part 6

This article is by Mr. Anmol Singh.

Rafi with Khayyam

Another music composer from Punjab Mohammed Zahur Khayyam better known as Khayyam has given us many mind-blwoing compositions in his career of four decades, working almost with all singers. Khayyam has always preferred to work with the poets having strong background of poetry rather working with regular film lyricists. One can find poetry playing an vital role in Khayyam’s compositions. Khayyam holds the credit for composing many Non-filmi Ghazals for Rafi Saab.

Rafi Saab has sung many mid-blowing solos and duets for Khayyam. His first career break through came via a song sung by Rafi Saab “Akele mein wo ghabratey to Hongey” which is known to be a huge hit in its time. Again in ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ Rafi Saab deliver a solo “Jaane kya dhhonti rehti hein ye aanken mujhmen” based on Raag Pahadi. This is a mid blowing Ghazal sung by Rafi Saab with great sensitivity, depth and perfection. There is another duet sung with Lata from the same film “Jeet Hi lenge Baazi Hum Ttum”. ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ establishes Khayyam’s reputation as a great composer. Another master piece from ‘Aakhri Kaht’, “Aur kuch der theher,a ur kuch der na ja”, again Rafi sings with tremendous senstivity. Khayyam has used Rafi Saab to sing for Talat Mehmood in the film ‘Lala Rookh’, “Hai Kali Kali Ke Lab Par”. Talat Mehmood has acted in many films apart from Kishore Kumar.

With Suman Kalyanpur there are two mind-blowing duets sung by Rafi Saab for Khayyam, the one from ‘Mohhabat’, “Theheriye Hosh Mein Aa Lun To Chaley Jaiyega” is a very catchy duet. The other one is from ‘Shagun’, “Parbaton Ke Pedon Par” based on Raag Pahadi which is also superb, here Rafi Saab resonants the word ‘Pedon’ like a tuning fork. This is indeed a Rafi patent quality which can be observed in many songs sung by Rafi Saab. There are two gems in the late 70s sung by Rafi Saab for Khayyam. One is a solo “Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuk Si” defines the feelings of a poet the best. The other is an unforgettable duet with Lata from ‘Chambel Ki Kasam’, “Simti Huyi Yeh Ghadiyan”. This is perhaps the last song, which Rafi Saab has sung for Khayyam.

Rafi with Chitragupt

Chitragupt Srivastava known as Chitragupt is the father of duo composer Anand-Milind. A highly educated and a professor in his earlier part of his career, moved to Mumbai from Bihar to become a composer. Chitragupt has provided music to mostly B grade films, but there are some mid-blowing A grade gems, which have been sung by Rafi Saab for Chitragupt. The song, which identifies Chitragupt as a composer, is none other than, “Chal Ud Jaa Re Panchi” based on Raag Pahadi from ‘Bhabhi’. In fact this song also signifies Rafi Saab’s internal dissatifaction with degrading standards of music in the late 70s. From the same film there is also a fun duet with Lata, “Chali Chali Re Patang”. The song is based on a Kite flying scene in the film. Apart from Badminton, kite flying is Rafi Saab’s another favoraite sport. A song from ‘Akashdeep’, “Mujhe Dard-e-Dil Ka Pata Na Tha” is also memorable. Chitragupt has also composed a classical number using Raag Malkauns sung by Rafi Saab, “Ankhiyan Sang Akhiyan Lagi”.

A mind-blowing duet with Lata from ‘Mein Chup Rahungi’, “Koi Batade Dil Hai Jahan” is memorable. For Sahir Ludhanvi’s lyrics, Chitragupt has carried out two great compositions in the film ‘Vasna’, “Ye Parbaton Ke Daayre” & “Itani Naazuk Na Bano”. Rafi and Lata once again team up to deliver a catchy duet “Chand Ko Dekho Ji” for Chitragupt. Rafi Saab has sung two unforgettable duets with Suman Kalyanpur under Chitragupt, “Laagi Choote Na” & “Bahut Hasin Hein Tumhari”. In the first song mouth organ played is truly melodious. The film ‘Oonche Log’ turned out to be a major break through for the actor Feroz Khan where Rafi Saab sings an unforgettable number for him “Jaag Dil-e-Deewana”. Chitragupt does a remarkable composition.

Rafi with Jaidev

Jaidev was an assistant to Dada Burman. He will be remembered for his remarkable compositions for the Dev Anand stared “Hum Dono”. The Ghazal “Kabhi Khud Pe, Kabhi Haalat” based on Raag Gara is just great. The song “Mein Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chalaa” speaks of philosophy of life, despite ups and downs one should keep moving ahead. The romantic number “Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar” based on Raag Kalyan for which the film is best remembered is just unforgettable. This can be witnessed from the popular ring tones used for cell phones in the present era. Perhaps Jaidev chooses none other than Rafi along with Asha to deliver these remarkable unforgettable compositions. ‘Hum Dono’ gave recognition to Jaidev as a composer.

Another song “Ab Koyi Gulshan Na Ujade” is another remarkable patriotic composition from the film ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ sung by Rafi.

Rafi with C Ramachandra

C Ramachandra originally hails from Maharashtra. Apart from being a great composer C Ramachandra was a very good singer, but sang under the name of Chitalkar. C Ramachandra was one of the first music composers to introduce the Guitar in Indian music. Apart for Laxmikant, C Ramachandra has also used the lezim drumbeats from Maharashtra folk in many songs. C Ramachandra was one of the main composers under the V Shantaram banner for many years in the 1950s & 60s. Rafi Saab has sung many songs for C Ramachandra. Some great numbers consist of a classic duet with Lata from the film ‘Nausherwan-E-Adil’, “Bhool Jayen Sare Gam” and a solo from the same film by Rafi, “Yeh Hasrat Thi ki”. Here Rafi Saab sings for Jaani (Raj Kumar). A duet from ‘Amardeep’ with Asha is also remarkable, “Dekh Hamen Awaaz Na Dena”. There is another catchy duet sung by Rafi & Asha, “Aap Ka Chehra” from the film ‘Rootha Na Karo’. Apart from O P Nayyar, C Ramachandra also uses Rafi at higher scale operation compered to Asha. From the same film there is a romantic solo sung by Rafi Saab, “Dil Mera Le Gayi”. C Ramachandra has sung few duets with Rafi in 1950s. Apart from Hindi films C Ramachandra has composed music in many other languages. Rafi Saab has sung a Telugu song under C Ramachandra for the film ‘Akbar Salim Anarkali’, “Sipahi Sipah ”.

Rafi with Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar was a remarkable singer and a great composer. Many singers sang for his compositions. Apart from his own compositions, he had the privilege to sing under many renowned music composers. As a singer he had many limitations, which he compensated as a composer. For example he did not sing many high pitch song himself, but could compose such songs for other singers. Rafi Saab has sung few songs for Hemant Kumar. The patriotic number from ‘Jagruti’, “Ham Laayen Hein Toofan” is a classic till date. This song is a tribute to all the freedom fighters. From the film ‘Miss Mary’ there are two classics duets with Lata, one is the devotional number “Brindavan Ka Krishna Kanhaiya” based on Raag Pahadi and other is the romantic number “O Raat Ke Musaphir”. There is another romantic classic solo sung by Rafi Saab for Hemant, “Teraa Husna Rahe Mera Ishq Rahe”. Rafi Saab sang the last song for Hemant Kumar in the film ‘Love In Canada’, “Mere Yaar Tu”.

Rafi with Gulam Mohammed

Gulam Mohammed was an assistant to Naushad Saab. He can be remembered for his great compositions for two films i.e. ‘Mirza Galib’ and ‘Pakeeza’. For Mirza Galib’s ghazals apart from Talat Mehmood, Gulam Mohammed chooses Rafi Saab to sing two classics, “Hai Bas Ke Har Ek Unke”, “Kahan Jaayen Teri Mehefil Se”. In the first song all the antaras differ from each other, where Rafi climbs the high pitch operation gradually at every antara. In Pakeeza there is classic duet with Lata, “Chalo Dildar Chalo”. Apart from S D Burman, Gulam Mohammed also uses Rafi at higher scale than Lata. Apart from this duet there were two more unreleased songs sung by Rafi Saab from Pakeezah. One is a solo and another is a duet with Shamshad Begum.

Rafi with Prem Dhavan

Prem Dhavan is a renowned songwriter but has some remarkable compositions under his credit as a Music Composer. For the film ‘Shaheed’ Prem Dhavan has composed some remarkable patriotic numbers remembered till date sung by Rafi Saab, “Aye Watan Aye Watan”, “Pagadi Sambhal Jatta” based on Raag Bhairavi, “Watan Pe Jo Fida” and a song with Manna Dey & Rajendra Mehta, “Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna” based on Raag Darbari Kanada. The film Shaheed launches Manoj Kumar as a patriotic hero, the image that he carried in many subsequent films through his home production for the next two decades. Manoj Kumar plays Bhagat Singh in Shaheed. Prem Dhavan has composed many devotional Punjabi songs and Shabads sung by Rafi Saab. Punjabi devotional songs & Shabads sung by Rafi Saab are just mind-blowing and highly acknowledged by the Punjabi & Sikh community residing in Punjab and all over the world. The compliment, which one could give for his incredible contribution, is “The Perfect Voice to Praise the Lord”. Of course God is never partial to any individual as such who sings in His praise. Apart from Prem Dhavan there are composers S Mohindar & Surindar Kohli who also hold the credit for composition of various Punjabi devotional songs and Shabads. S Mohindar has been hounered by a National Award for his unforgettable score of Punjabi devotional songs / Shabads in the Punjabi film ‘Nanak Naam Jahaj’. The Shabad sung by Rafi Saab “Mitar Pyare Nu, Haal Muree Daan Da Kehnaa” is remembered till date.

Rafi with Sonic-Omi

For Sonic-Omi Rafi Saab have sung many songs in Hindi and Punjabi films. Apart from many other small time composers Sonic-Omi also were not very fortunate to work for big banner filmmakers. But with Rafi at their side there is no need for any small time composer to worry. Sonic-Omi could create an ever-lasting impact through their remarkable compositions for small banner filmmakers. It is believed that Rafi Saab was personally very close to the duo. In Bollywood the duo are best remembered for their compositions through the song “Dono Ne Kiya Tha Pyar Magar” and from ‘Mahua’. This is a song where Rafi Saab sings at high pitch for a longer duration, which indeed needs tremendous power along with clarity of thought. Rafi delivers a masterpiece for Sonic-Omi.

For the title song “Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya” along with Suman Kalyanpur and Mukesh, Rafi Saab delivers another unforgettable masterpiece. Of course who can forget the catchy solo from Sawan Bhadon, “Kaan Mein Jhumka Chaal”. A classic qawwali “Eshaaron Ko Agar Samjho Raaz” with Asha where Rafi Saab sings for the greatest bad man of Bollywood, Pran. Sonic-Omi create another classic. Rafi & Asha deliver another catchy number from ‘Maan Gaye Ustad’, “Ek Chatari Aur Ham Hai Do”. A memorable duet with Chandrani Mukherjee, “Is Ishq Mohobbat Ki” is also remarkable.

A tribute by Omi

“I have nothing but praise for Mohammed Rafi as a singer and as a man. He has sung the out-and-out majority of Sonik-Omi songs right from our first film Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya till his death. I could tell you enough anecdotes about him to make a book. If ever there was a perfect human being in this world, it was Rafi. In his last days, most of the active music directors were non-Punjabis and whenever he came for our recording he would say, “Aisa lagtaa hai ke main apne ghar aaya hoon” because he too was from Punjab. How sublime was that experience where we would sing out and teach the song, and he would learn it! His fondness for punctuality and self-discipline was amazing: one day we had a rehearsal at nine in the morning, and so at 8.15 I decided to go down and have a paan. To my amazement, he was strolling in my compound! His secretary had to go somewhere so he had dropped him early, and Rafisaab did not want to disturb us before time! Tomorrow there just might be another singer as great as him, par aisa insaan phir se nahin aayega!’

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21 Blog Comments to “Rafi with Music Composers – Part 6”

  1. jasbir singh says:

    eh khuda pls rafi sahab ko fir se hamare pass bhej do.

  2. Raajkumar Akela says:

    I went through the LIVE article of Mr. Mehtab.
    I felt for a few seconds as if I am sitting with
    Mr. Mehtab and music maestro naushad saab.
    What a live narration ! People like Mr. mehtab
    are rare in this world who could have met the
    great music composer naushad. Rafi saab was
    really very kind to needy and poors. every
    month few closed envelops used to go to the
    doors of needy and poor people from “RAFI
    VILLa”. His heart was full of pity and kindness.
    today i see some so called music directors in
    some tv shows fighting like street rowdies.
    i am ashamed of being an indian after seeing
    them fighting like this.
    actually the golden musical period of india has
    finished as soon as we lost rafi saab, naushadji,
    sd burman, madan mohan,jaidev, shankar
    jaikishan, op nayyar, roshan etc. etc.

  3. chandrakiranmeka says:

    I went through all the letters published in this site and have gone thro’ the letter of Mehthabji especially,my adoration is purely on listening to his voice mainly,we feel a brother, a father, a friend and not the least of all a lover in his voice.But Mehathabjis letter reveals the innerself of Rafisaheb, the other side of the picture.
    His pure smile itself indicates he is such a kindhearted gentleman,it is such a pleasure for me reading your letter about his magnanimity his charitable nature and above all his good heart.
    I humbly join you all who are Rafijis fans

  4. chandrakiranmeka says:

    I have been listening to rafi since my childhood ie.,since 1955, till now I never ever have come across such a soft , soothing, dardbhari awaz.His voice is Nabhootho Na Bhavishyathey.Till my last breath I love his songs.

  5. mohanflora says:

    Hi venkat_brahma,
    You have mentioned one of Rafi’s song very close to my heart-from Biwi Aur Makaan- One can hear it at

  6. Anmol Singh says:

    Dear Sagar, Shambu

    Thanks for the compliments.

  7. shambu says:

    thanx again Anmol bhai,Mohan,Mehtab and every body who is writing such good things about rafisaab.

  8. kalyani says:

    dear Anmol, Mohan Flora, Mehtab, Sagar,Harminder, Venkat, Unknown, Nair, Myk and all the Rafians,
    I am in touch with dedicated fans in India to inculcate and bring together all friends for THE ENJOYMENT OF OUR BELOVED FARISHTAS MELODIOUS MUSIC.
    Many of them has started exchanging rare songs and songs in different languages.
    Let us form a directory of these dedicated fans for the common love of Rafi Sahab.
    Further would like to know the contact persons of Rafi Memorial, Yaadgare Rafi society and other groups in India and abroad. This will help us to explore good idea of giving awards to various music legends in Rafi Sahabs name, or develop a museum in Mumbai in Rafi sahabs name.

    There are few who have written biography on our legend in hindi and gujarati which can be tried to translate in english.
    Many Rafians feel that Rafi sahab to be awarded punjab rattan and bharat ratna for which we can try to put the right efforts to reach the authorities.
    My email id is and mob 09886779557.
    Jai Rafi sahab Jai hind Jai sansar

  9. Sagar says:

    Dear Anmol Sir,

    Your hardwork has definitely helped us to explore more of Rafi Sahab with each and every aspect of MD who also had his influence on their day to day life .. this is just marvellous and hope we all are goin to put some more effort on this.



  10. unknow1 says:

    Thanks alot to all Mohd Rafi fans,
    I don’t like when some one said that Mohd Rafi should get Bharat Ratna Award,People like Mr Bachchan or Naushand Ali or SJ and many more they don’t have it and they gave bhart ratna to Lata?!!!!!Mohd Rafi got an award and no one have it else Mohd Rafi the award is from God,After 26 years ago still there is no one be 50% of Mohd rafi it is gift of God to Mohd Rafi , there will be no other singer on this earth again.From 1952 he is at top If it is Not God award so what is that?

  11. venkat_brahma says:

    Hi Anmol,

    Once you complete all the MDs, your series of articles will be worthy of a book on Rafi Saab!

    On Khayyam, I would like to mention 2 more extremely nice compositions:1. “Yeh Raat Bahut Rangeen Sahi” from Shagun and 2.”Meri Nigaahen Ne Kyaa” from Mohabbat Is Ko Kehte Hain.

    On Hemant Kumar, the song from Duniya Jhukti Hai:”Phoolon Se Dosti Hai Kaaton Se Yaari Hai” and the song from Biwi aur Makan:”Jaagi Jaagi Ankhiyon”

    Good work.


  12. mohanflora says:

    Dear Mehtab,
    Thanks so much for your new insights to the real Rafi. It will be be a great pleasure and eyeopener for all of us if we have more inputs on the little known facts about Rafi. Why not publish/write an article on this site? Also, please elaborate on the ways to forward and advance Rafisaab to generationext! Any progress on the Punjab Rattan front? Please ensure that we will not use any financial/corrupt means to advance his case. Of course, where need be, I would’nt mind parting with some rupaiya for a good cause which will have the Rafistamp on it!

  13. Anmol Singh says:

    Dear Mehtab,

    Indeed you have provided many valuable inputs. Thanks for sharing it with all the Rafi fans.

  14. mohanflora says:

    Dear friends,
    As per the farmaish of unknown1, please hear”Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuk Si”
    among Rafisaab’s numerous hit songs of 1980 by clicking the first song on this link. You can also hear other hits of Rafi on the same page!

  15. unknow1 says:

    dear fans
    Jest listen The song “”Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuk Si” in this song I don’t know who is the best who wrote the song or gave music or the magic voice of Mohd Rafi,when i listen this song i like 2 listen it again and again,I think Kayyam is one of great MD who used Mohd Rafi very well.

  16. mehtab says:

    Respected Mr. Anmol Singh, Er. Mohan Flora ji, P. Narayanan ji,
    I have learnt a lot about Rafi Sahib from your valuable articles and distinctive responses. I am really grateful to you all. All fans of Rafi sahib can never forget your contributions. I saw all the websites, as suggested by Mr. Mohan Flora for Rafi Sahib and felt very good. Mohd. Rafi was/is himself such an era, who had/has the capacity to impress numerous millenniums. None can access his heights and deepness of his magical melodious voice.
    Mr. Mohan Flora ji, you have given a call to all the fans of Rafi sahib to unite for the coming generations. It is need of the hour. I am ready to provide my services for this ‘holy cause’. Our coming generations must know the greatness of Rafi Sahib.
    When Naushad sahib came at Chandigarh on 12th November, 2000 (Sunday) to present annual awards for Mohd. Rafi Memorial Society, he told me and other selected journalists about Rafi sahib. Naushad sahib used to tell almost during his every interview about the greatness of Rafi sahib. We should also tell the coming generations about Rafi sahib. However, Naushad sahib told us, among other well known facts during one and half hour, that Rafi sahib always donated so many things in disguise. He used to donate only through his Secretary-cum-brother-in-law Mr. Zahir. Once Rafi sahib was going to USA for some stage shows. He asked Naushad sahib before going abroad that he intended to bring such thing from USA, which could serve the welfare of the laymen. Naushad sahib advised Rafi Sahib to bring a Dialysis machine and LO! Rafi Sahib actually brought the machine and donated it to a famous hospital of Bombay.
    Once again Rafi Sahib donated 300 mats during the holy month of Ramzan through Mr. Zahir, so that people may offer prayers (Namaz-e-Eid) on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fittar. After four days of this donation, Rafi Sahib died of massive heart attack and the last prayers (Namaz-e-janaza) were offered for him upon the very mats, which were donated by himself.
    Naushad sahib further told us that there was heavy rain on 1st August, 1980, while the funeral was taking place. The graveyard was at some distance, that was why, a truck was arranged to take the ‘Janaza’ of Rafi sahib. But some unknown youngmen blocked the way and cried that they themselves would take the body of Rafi Sahib to the graveyard upon their own shoulders. “We would not let the body of Rafi Sahib to go upon a truck.” Everybody was emotional then as their own sweet voice had gone slept forever. Everybody, like young men and women, children and old men were weeping. The graveyard was rushed with an uncontrolled & emotional mob. People neither got care about the barbed fencing, as many were injured by it. The guards of graveyards were shrieking that there must not be disrespect for the other graves but none cared about it.
    Naushad sahib also told us that Rafi sahib always encouraged every new music composer. He used to take only token money from them & after the recording he always returned the money to that music composer in the name of his (music composer’s) children. Rafi sahib used to say on that occasion,”Chalo apne bachchon ke liye mithai le lena.” Such great was Rafi sahib.
    Naushad sahib told us that Rafi Sahib was very pained to hear the unwanted jazz/noise of new songs. “I called Rafi Sahib for the recording of a Ghazal for the film ‘Habba Khatoon’ i.e. Jis raat ko khwab aye, un khwabon ki raat ayee. Rafi sahib wept bitterly on hearing the poetry and music composition. He said in grief,”Where is such music and poetry nowadays?” We are compelled to growl like dogs & cats today.”
    +9198157 03226 (

  17. unknow1 says:

    I think Khayyam is one of the best who used Lata’s voice

  18. unknow1 says:

    Thanks again Sir Anmol,
    I don’t know about Mohd rafi as human but as singer I don’t think there can be 50% of Mohd rafi as singer

  19. Anmol Singh says:

    Dear Mohan,

    Thanks for the response. Indeed your write up on Omi’s experience with Rafi has proved, that no music composer is small as long as Rafi Saab is at their side.

  20. mohanflora says:

    Great article again Anmol!
    It is real heartworming when someone”out of the ordinary” comes out to do something that the extraordinary think only they could do!. You have started a “THREAD” that can only be expanded,Anmol. You have given the guidelines and we can only add on!

    Like Chitragupt/Rafi saab’s Ab
    and Laal
    Extracts from:

    Since 1st March, 1999
    Front Page > At Leisure > REVIEW ARTS
    Revistng the magic of Rafi
    Anil Grover

    Omi performs at G.D. Birla Sabhagar
    When the uncle-nephew duo of Sonik-Omi blazed the Bollywood music trail with their debut film, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966), the title song not only burned the charts, its unique lyric written by a non-regular lyricist (a producer/director who only wrote for his own films), G.L. Rawail, uncannily went on to be immortalised quite literally. Dil ne phir yaad kiya barq-si lehraayee hai, was the plaint by Mohd Rafi, Phir koi chot mohabbat ki ubhar aayee hai…

    The song which also had Suman Kalyanpur and Mukesh adding their melancholy to the melody, appropriately became the theme of the Remembering Rafi — An Evening with Sonik-Omi (the late Sonik represented by the other side of the hyphen) on July 30 at G.D. Birla Sabhagar, the eve of Rafi’s 26th death anniversary.

    The annual evocative evening is held by Rafi Lovers Circle with unflagging passion, and compered by the irrepressible Shakeel Ansari who, this year, surpassed any of the Circle singers in rendering the songs too (though his special item, Ae phuljhari, with a takeoff on the Jeetendra-Hema Malini number was a little misplaced though enacted well). Along with the rendition of most of the Sonik-Omi numbers with Rafi singing them were the visual clips from the films which made it that much more interesting. Much more entralling were the little anecdotes about the gentle giant Rafi, whom Omi described as perhaps our greatest playback singer and a human being far greater than he was a singer.

    Of particular interest was Omi’s narration of the music duo’s telling Rafi after recording a song, that they were desperately short on money to pay him. Rafi immediately said, that’s okay, but please do pay the poor musicians. The duo said they would do that, but were short by a thousand (in those days of valued currency) there, too. Without a blink, Rafi said, that’s fine, you take that from me.

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