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Rafi with Unknown Personalities

This article is written by Mr. Anmol Singh

Mohd RafiIf we talk about the legendry singer Mukesh, Raj Kapoor comes in picture. Similarly if we talk about Kishore Kumar the first thing that strikes our mind is Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh. Same is the case with Mahendra Kapoor, Manoj Kumar comes in picture immediately. Perhaps this is not at all the case with Rafi Saab. One cannot associate Rafi Saab with any actor or personality as such right from the beginning of his career till the end. Rafi Saab is every one’s voice. We have had a lot of discussions related to Rafi Saab with actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, etc. Here we will focus of songs pictured on unknown or small time actors sung by Rafi. This is another unique quality of this great personality called Mohd Rafi which needs to be explored.

In the late 40s & 50s there are some great songs which were picturized on unknown actors but remembered till date. “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” from Dullari . One can listen to this incredible score composed almost more that half a century ago infinite one of times. The song “Bapu Ki Amar Kahani”gives Rafi Saab a face lift perhaps the actor on screen is unknown.  The song “Yeh Zindagi Ke Mele” is an all time classic perhaps again actor is unknown. Another song “Aana Hai Aa Raah Mein Undher Nahi Hai” from Naya Daur is also a beautiful devotional song also pictured on an unknown actor. There is one more famous score “Tujhe Kya Sunau Main Dil Rubaa” composed by Madan Mohan. Again the actor opposite Nutan in the song is unknown.

A still from the song Tujeh Kya Sunavun Mein Dilruba featuring Nutan with an unknown actor
A still from the song Tujeh Kya Sunavun Mein Dilruba featuring Nutan with an unknown actor

From the 60s there where many more songs picturized on unknown personalities. To name a few, “Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya” and “Wo Jab Yaad Aaye, Bahut Yaad Aaye” from Parasmani. The actor on screen is Mahipal. A classical based score “Ankhiyan Sang Akhiyan Lagi” is truly classic perhaps the on screen actor is unknown. The song “Main Ye Sooch Kar” from Haqeekat is also magnificent, but the actor on screen is Sudhir who has acted as a small time character artist in many films there after. Who can forget the ever green songs of film “Dosti” picturized on unknown artists. The song “Chahunga Mein Tujhe” fetches Rafi Saab a film fare award. Another unforgettable score from Mughal-E-Azam, “Zindabad-Zindabad Ae Muhabat Zindabad” sung by Rafi Saab for an unknown actor. In this song Rafi’s voice completely super seeds the actor and the charges the entire atmosphere in such way that one hardly watches the actor on screen. An incredible score by Naushad from the film ‘Son of India’ is picturized on an unknown artist, “Zindagi Aaj Mere Naam Se”. There are two incredible gems in the film Sehra, “Tum Tho Pyar Ho Sajni” and “Teqdeer Ka Fasaana” picturized on the actor unknown. The song “Dono Ne Kia Tha” is picturized on an actor Shiv Kumar. In all the above songs hardly any one remembers actors like Mahipal, Sudhir, Shiv Kumar, etc. But the songs picturized on them are remembered till date.

As we move to the 70s the era of change and a new league of music composers and film makers. This era was completely different from the 50s and 60s. So it was for Rafi Saab as well. It was an era of challenge for him since many Rafi centric actors like Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra, Shashi Kapoor, etc were provided playback by singers like Kishore, Manna Dey & Mukesh. It is during the 70s Rafi Saab’s success criteria on unknown or small time actors can be best understood. To start with a melodious score from film Seema, “Jab Bhi Ye Dil Udaas Hotaa Hai” picturized on Kabir Bedi. Who can forget “Churaliya Hai Tum Ne” & “Yadoon Ki Baraat” picturized on a new comer Vijay Arora. Another gem composed by Madan Mohan “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” from film Haaste Zakham. On screen actor is another new comer Naveen Nishchol. Moving ahead with one more new comer in the 70s is Anil Dhavan. Classic songs like “Badi Door Se Aae Hai” and “Teri Galiyon Mein” are picturized on this actor. A song “Achan Hi Hua Dil Toot Gaya” from Maa Behan Aur Biwi picturized on an unknown actor fetches him a film fare nomination. One more song “Mein Ek Raja Hun” from film Uphaar is also famous but hardly any one remembers on the on screen actor. Who can forget the song based on street singers from the film Zanjeer, “Diwaane Hai Diwanoo Ko” picturized on the song writer Gulshan Bawaraa. “Apni Aankho Mein Basakar” is another example of picturization on an unknown actor. The song “Meri Hasraton Ki Duniya” is also picturized on small time actor Kiran Kumar. There are many such incredible examples from the early 70s.

Sudhir Dalvi in Aadmi Musaphir Hai
Sudhir Dalvi in Aadmi Musaphir Hai

Perhaps this quality of Rafi Saab can be witnessed even in the late 70s and early 80s as well. The most classic examples are the songs “Chand Mera Dil”, “Yeh Ladka Hai Alla” & “Kya Hua Tera Wada” picturized on the actor Tariq Shah who acted mainly under the Nasir Hussian banner. “Kya Hua Tera Wada” fetches Rafi Saab both Film fare and National Award. There are more such examples. “Aadmi Mussafir Hai” is picturized on a small time actor Sudhir Dalvi. The song gives Rafi Saab another film fare nomination. The song “Chalo Doli Uthao” is sung in background by Rafi Saab gives him one more film fare nomination. The song “Tu Es Tarah Se Meri Zindagi” is picturized on another new comer Deepak Parashar. Similarly the song from Shaan “Aate Jaate Hue Mein” is picturized on a small timer actor Mazhar Khan.

Mohd RafiEven when the super stars in the early 70s where preferring singers other than Rafi Saab it didn’t affect his success. Plus he won many film fare nominations in the 70s on songs picturized on unknown personalities. A total of 22 % film fare nominations are through songs picturized on unknown actors in his entire career span. Shammi Kapoor & Rajendra Kumar for whom Rafi Saab contributed maximum number of hits in the 60s constitute of 27 % nominations. Rest of the nominations have come through songs picturized on Guru Dutt, Raj Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Jitendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh & Sanjay Khan. If the film fare awards criteria could have start 10 years earlier there would have been many contributions from Dilip Kumar, Bharat Bhushan & Guru Dutt. In other words Rafi Saab’s success is not at all personality driven plus his work is recognized when he sings any type of song for any artist in any situation. With the changing scenarios the actors faded with time but Rafi Saab kept on going contributing to new personalities. No wonder Rafi was always in great demand from the right from the beginning of his career till the end.

Among Rafi Saab’s contemporaries no singer has such a success rate with unknown personalities. In case of Mukesh 57 % nominations have come through songs picturized in Raj Kapoor & Manoj Kumar. Rest contributed by Sunil Dutt, Amitabh & Shashi Kapoor. Similar is the case with Kishore Kumar also. He has sung incredible scores for all actors but his 70 % film fare nominations have come through Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh combo. In other words the on screen performances of super stars have played a very vital role in their success.

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51 Blog Comments to “Rafi with Unknown Personalities”

  1. girish prahalad says:

    post 50

    mr nagarajan, pls leave your mail ID on the board or mail to for your requested song

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