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Ravi Shankar Sharma and Mohammad Rafi’s combination is remembered for generations

By Souvik Chatterji


Renowned music director Ravi Shankar Sharma died on 7th March, 2012, at the age of 86 years. His music had remained immortal over the years.

From the film Vachan and Albeli in 1955 he started his musical journey. In 1960, Mohammad Rafi’s soft ghazal “chaudhvin ka chand” in the film Chaudhvin Ka Chand made him a musical star. Guru Dutt’s picturization was as outstanding as the lyrics and the brilliant performance of Rafi Sahab in both the songs “chaudhvin ka chand ho” and “mili khaak me mohabbat”. Even Rafi Sahab’s songs for Johnny Walker in the film namely “mera yaar bana hai dulha” and “yeh duniya gol hai” caught the attention of the music lovers. From that time it was magic been created whenever Rafi Sahab and Ravi Sahab combined together. In Rajendra Kumar’s film Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan in 1959, Rafi Sahab’s song “ajab hai maalik tera jahaan” was very impressive.

Ravi Sahab used Rafi Sahab in films of Raj Kapoor also namely Nazrana in 1961. The song “baazi kisi ne pyar ka” stood out among the other hit songs of the same film including “bikhra ke zulfen’ sung by Mukeshji and Lataji.

In 1961, Rajender Kumar’s Gharana stormed bollywood with the soft music in the songs “husnwale tera jawab nahin”, “jab se tumhe dekha hai” where Rafi’s velvety voice made the audience spellbound. Ravi Sahab and Rafi Sahab created in Rajender Kumar’s other film Pyar Ka Saagar in 1961, where the song “mujhe pyar ki zindagi denewale” made viewers spellbound. In many of the film of Ravi Shankar Sharma, Shakeel Badayani wrote the lyrics.

In Shammi Kapoor’s China Town, Ravi’s music for Rafi had loud numbers like “baar baar dekho”. The magic combination did magic in Biswajeet’s film Shehnai. Rafi’s song “na jhatkon zulf se pani”. In Sunil Dutt’s film Nartakee in 1963, Rafisahab’s song “zindagi ke safar mein akele the hum” created hypnotizing effect. Although Ravi created majority of songs for Rafi, he composed lots of successful songs for Mahendra Kapoor like “chalo ek baar phir se” in Gumrah, “neele gagan ke tale” in Humraaz, especially in the films of BR Chopra.

The sarangi that had been used by Ravi had been excellent. No other composer other than Roshanlal Nagrath had used sarengi, the way Ravi used in the film Kaajal in 1965. Rafi’s songs for Raj Kumar namely “ye zulf agar khulke” and “chu lene do nazuk hoton ko” had made the audience intoxicated. Rafi Sahab’s song for Raj Kumar Nai Roshni in 1967, “kis tarah jeeten hai yeh log” really enchanted the audience. The 2 other songs composed by Ravi Sahab for Rafi Sahab were impressive “Garibon ka jeena hai koi jeena” and “teri aankh jo ishara”. Biswajeet and Ashok Kumar played important roles in the film.

All the songs of the film Do Badan in 1966 were smash hits. Rafi and Ravi were unparallel in the songs “bhari duniya me akhir dil”, “raha gardishon me hardam”, “naseeb mein jiske jo”, etc., which were picturized on Manoj Kumar. Shakeel Badayuni lyrics were meaningful and soulful. Even in Joy Mukherjee’s film Door Ki Awaaz, Ravi Rafi combination gave all super hit songs. They included “muqaddar azmana chahta hoon”, “banke mera muqaddar”, “dil mera aaj kho gaya hai kahin”, “husn se chand bhi sharmaya hai”, to name a few.

The combination created magic in the films Ankhen, Do Kaliyan and Neel Kamal in 1968. Biswajeet’s song “tumhari nazar kyun khafaa ho gayi”, “yeh samaa yeh rut yeh nazaare” sung by Rafi Sahab had brilliant romantic andaz. All the songs in the film Neel Kamal were touchy including “tujhko pukare mera pyar”. It became a cult song. Rafi’s song “babul ki duaayen leti ja” had become a cult song during the marriages of daughters in India. It was also a gift of the Rafi and Ravi combination.

The magic continued in the film Ek Phool Do Mali. Rafi’s songs “o nanhe se farishte” and “aulad walon” made the viewers and listeners mesmerized. In the 70s, Ravi faded out of the industry and made a comeback with the film Nikaah. Although Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhonsle made notable contribution in Ravi’s songs, his magic of soft romantic tunes could be given right expression by Mohammad Rafi.

The list of Rafi songs for Ravi is so long that it cannot be covered in several articles together. Even then the films and the songs should be restored. Although Ravi did not get the same honour as Shankar Jaikishan, or Naushad Ali or Roshan Lal Nagrath, his contribution in bollywood films cannot be ignored and he is one of the 10 best composers India had produced during the 50s and 60s and his combination with Mohammad Rafi had been unique.

Souvik Chatterji (left), the author of this article.

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19 Blog Comments to “Ravi Shankar Sharma and Mohammad Rafi’s combination is remembered for generations”

  1. saqlain jwalapuri says:

    No doubt Sudhir ji,
    It is fact that Ravi had given MORE MELODIOS TUNES. He also is near to my heart though he had been compelled by Great B R Chopra to make sung by M Kapoor.

  2. shammi says:

    Ravi as a music director definately ranks among the top and is one of my favourites. He has said in many interviews that Mohd Rafi was his favourite singer and who can blame him as has many of the music directors of that time and all this in an era when music was at it’s all time best.

    I don’t think Mohd Rafi disappointed any music directors and as for the lyricists they must have been over the moon if they knew Mohd Rafi was going to render their songs, I honestly don’t believe any other artist could do more justice to lyrics and music as Mohd rafi did.

  3. SUDHEER says:


  4. mohd saqlain haridwar says:

    Of cource combination of Rafi sb & Ravi sb gave more hit songs than any other music director.Although our all music directors are decent ,all are my favourites but i like most Ravi tunes.

  5. Yateesh says:

    I am from Guyana in South America and I love these old Indian songs.

    I wish your references to songs are in Hindi instead of English: With Hindi, I can recognize the songs faster.


  6. Zafar Ahmad says:

    Your articles is very comprehensive about rafi. Thanks

  7. Muslim Saleem says:

    good artcile. but you did not mention film ek mahal ho sapnon ka and aadmi sadak kar of 70’s specially the evergreen song aaj meray yaar ki shadi hai

  8. shakeel Ahmed says:

    It can easily be said that music director Ravi is on par with all the top music directors viz Naushad SD burman Shankar jaikishan op Nayar laxmikant pyarelal RD Burman to name a few the list is endless. The combination of Raviji and Rafi saheb is marvelous. I would like to mention few compositions of Raviji rendition by our beloved Rafi saheb…is bhari duniya mein from Bharosa’ Jitni likhi thi from Nai Roshni ‘ koi mujse puche ke tum mere kiya hu from ye Raste hain pyar ke zindagi kiya hai from pyar kiya tu darna kiya kal chaman tha from Khan Dan etc so on and so forth.

  9. ali says:

    Ravi been ignored by media because his first choice was Mohd Rafi..Ravii .Most of Great music directors been ignored in 1970″s because they been side of Mohd Rafi….
    Ravi ji gave us so many great songs ………..

  10. Yes the combination of Rafi and Ravi worked magic as innumerable songs of
    pure melody was composed by Ravi and excellently rendered by Rafi Sahib.

    The word RAVI and RAFI has one different letter
    V in the case of Ravi the composer stands for versatile composer
    F in the case of Rafi Sahib it is FINEST singer of all times.

  11. Deepak Deshmukh says:

    Ravi -Rafi combination was very much velvety.Joy Mukerji,Rajkumar,Manoj, Dharmendra,Guru Dutt,Sunil Dutt & velvety Rafiji ,what more you want?

  12. Deepak Deshmukh says:

    Rafiji had sung songs of Ravi with special voice.Manoj kumar,Rajkumar,Guru Dutt, Sunil Dutt,Dharmendra were the top heroes & Rafi was velvety.What more you want?

  13. shammi says:

    I think Ravi like a lot of other artists were not given the credit they rightfully deserved, for me he was a great music director and many of my all time greats such as the songs Mohd Rafi sang from the film Do Badan are classics. I have to say a lot of the films he composed the music for are best remembered today for their music and that speaks for itself. Most people know if there’s good music, good lyrics and then you bring in the highly talented voice of the great Mohd Rafi into the equation you have a winning combination and that’s what happened in a lot of the films Ravi composed the music for. Love them both!

  14. Sreejith says:

    Love all his Malayalam songs but the one which lingers the most around my lips, is from the 1993 film “Ghazal”

  15. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Dear Sauvik ji,
    Another super hit of this pair is “Jaane bahaar husne tera”
    is a memorable song especially in high pitch Rafi Saab’s
    voice is so sweet.

    The veteran Malayalam Director Hariharan introduced
    Ravi Saab to Kerala after hearing the song “Chadwi ka
    chand ho” and he is being known as “Bombay Ravi”who
    scored music for few films and could bagg State Award
    for his memorable songs.Chithra,the South Indian singer
    bagged National Award for the song “Manjal prasaadhavum”
    from the film “Nakhakshathangal” music by Ravi Saab.

  16. Utthara Kumari B says:

    Souvikji, badiya article. You have beautifully brought out the magic of Ravi-Rafi combination. The songs you have mentioned are all gems. The way you have discussed how Ravi’s music differed for each actor is superb.

    Best wishes,


  17. Sharad Desai says:

    Great!! Rafi-Ravi combination. All music directors have Rafi sahab as main male singer!!!!!!!!! Jane bahar husn tera bemisal hai, this song came to my mind.


    ravi was a very versetile music composer.he could be compared to few top composers.kya haseen hai zindagi ,kitani hasin bahar,aise me koi aaye kahinse karle humko pyar is one song where he used rafisaab”s natkhat aawaz.

  19. raghavan vasudevan says:

    Yes Rafi-Ravi combination was great. I wonder was there any song composed
    by Ravi that Rafi sang was not a hit. I used to ask myself which of the following combination had great no. lilting songs
    Rafi-OP Nayar or Rafi-Ravi or Rafi-Naushad or Rafi-Shankar Jaikishan or

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