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The Master and his Mates

This article is written by Bina Krishna – Rafi Saab Ke Charnon Mein

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

I could never decide with certainty whether Rafi Saab sang better with Lata or with Asha. Everytime I hear a dulcet duet of Lata-Rafi I instinctively opine that it is Lata who is best suited for Rafi Saab and this twosome is matchless, Then when I hear a marvellous duad of Asha-Rafi and that perfect taal-mel between them I unabashedly change my opinion and my leanings and apologize to Lata Didi in my mind.

Going backward and forward thus between Lata and Asha is always like a tug of war, but one which I do with an enjoyable amount of glee and challenge, relishing the fact that both Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar were at their throaty best when they sang along with the Master.

Today, as I sat browsing some tunes on youtube, I heard two songs, one not so popular yet very beautiful in every way, and the other a mood-lifting famous number..I was so completely drowned in the melody and mood of the songs, that I had to share this with all of you.

With the first song I take you into a moonlit night. Main Soya Akhiyaan Meeche from Phagun (1958) had music by OPN and lyrics by Qamar Jalalabadi and was picturized on Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala.

The scene that unfolds before us is one of tranquility and quiet solitude, of lovers content to simply be in each others’ presence, resting in a slumber of magical togetherness. Then Madhubala begins humming ever so softly as she wakes Rafi Saab up from a deep reverie, and as if in a dream, the amazing voice stealthily creeps into Madhubala’s senses. This is totally a Madhubala and Rafi Saab melody…the stunning-looking, doe-eyed and lovelorn Madhubala looks all at once lost and transformed in this role as she completely gets into the skin of Asha Bhonsle’s deliciously warm voice. The effect is sublime in both scene and it is, listen and decide for yourself.

Main Soya Akhiyan Meeche

Yeh Kaun Haseen Sharmaya Taaron Ko Paseena Aaya
Hirnee Ki Aankhen Lekar, Dil Kaun Churane Aaya

What does one call Rafi Saab’s voice here? He doesnt sing..he croons, his voice is a gentle hug and Asha complements him with an evenly matched romance in her voice and an indulgent softness that makes this song a perfect duet of the Master and his Mate.

Uffff..I almost exhausted myself there describing a song that has stayed with me all day long..

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

My next journey began with a bus ride, not with a bus full of people, but with only two sweethearts, pretty and cute Sadhana, and Dev Anand, the cool and easy going bus driver with the toothy smile!

Strangely enough, the first time I saw and heard this song was in Guddi, when Hrishida picturized this hit song on Jaya Bhaduri and Dharmendra. I vaguely remember that even the scene was the same, with Dharam being a driver and placing his cap on Jaya’s head. That was the first time I fell in love with this song. I came to know much later, when seeing Chitrahaar that this song actually was from Asli Naqli. Tujhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se is that song of Rafi Saab’s and Lata’s which has, ever since childhood, remained a very khaas favourite.

Waise toh is film ke sabhi gaane bahut hi acche hain, but this one is a heart and a scene stealer. Rafi Saab and Lata Didi sang in tandem, simply rocking the screen by lending their voices to the adorable couple on screen leaving every woman in the audience starry eyed and every man succumbing to Sadhana’s smile..

Now just listen to Rafi Saab mesmerize you, me and all the Sadhanas out there..

Tujeh Jeevan Ki Dor Se

Hey, how many times did you watch this carefree Shanker-Jaikishen compostion? I am sure you are hooked, just as I am, especially on those three words tere zulmon sitam..!!! Did you notice how happy Rafi Saab is singing this song and how he gets all those beautiful emotions just right !!! Close your eyes and feel yourself dissolve into those moments where divine Lata’s alacrity has matched the Maestro’s tenacity tone for tone and lilt for lilt ..teri tasveer hum sar aankhon par..!!! What a song!! It wants me to dance,sing,and become a young girl of 15 all over again!

Chand Sooraj Bhi Hai Teri Parchhaiyan
Tujhse Roshan Hui Dil Ki Gehrayiyan
Tere Chehre Ki Jhilmil Se Manzil Mili
Aisi Pyaari Poonam Sar Aankhon Par…

Tujhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se Baandh Liya Hai
Tere Zulmon Sitam Sar Aankhon Par.!!!

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152 Blog Comments to “The Master and his Mates”

  1. J.K. Bhagchandani says:


    Greetings and Happy New Year.

    I fully appreciate and respect the idea of your choosing to reply to my post on this thread. Your one sentence: “These guys are so serious that they do not even appreciate humour…” appropriately defines some of the KK fans who are behaving as supreme judges of all forms of music present on this planet. Meanwhile let me inform you that name P. Haldar still haunts them. Your years’ old posts are dug out, copy-pasted and discussed in a distorted way to prove how ill-behaved Rafi-fans are. Ha !!!!

    But you are right… that sooner or later they might see the light. We can also hope that they develop some ‘sense of humor’ to be in sync with KK’s talents. Good wishes and ‘Happy New year’ to them too.

  2. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Mr. Bhagchandani,

    I am responding to your comments on this thread because the other thread is for a noble cause and I don’t want to say something that may be construed as being frivolous. I make no bones about the fact that I am a Rafi fanatic, as hardcore as one can get. But over the years, I have discovered that a lot of the KK fans are closet Rafians. So I’ve decided to tone down a bit in the hope that many of them will see the light in due course. I’ve seen this happen to many people I know, the latest addition being my doctor friend.

    I never actually used to mind the chatter of the KK fans as long as they were limited to background noise. The problem with some of them is that they start showing off their ustadi. Can you imagine what Kishore da would have thought of them if he heard their discussion on various raags and raaginis, this octave and that octave, and low notes and high notes. These guys are so serious that they do not even appreciate humour — how can they call themselves Kishore da’s fans?

    Sooner or later, many of them will also see the light. I’ve decided to start the New Year with the hope that they will become less serious, listen less to classical songs of southern greats, and listen more to Kishore and Rafi, which they can understand and appreciate.

  3. Mr D P BIJOOR says:

    Dear P Haldar Sir — Post 140,
    1961–Jet Bunglow, Linking Road, Khar Telephone Exchange, Bandra (West) Mumbai 400 050 was indeed the address of the great Sachinda.
    Haldar Sir in the year 1961 I was hardly of the age of 5 years (born in 1956) then but having been born & brought up in Bandra (West) was one of the greatest memories I still possess & cherish. I can never ever forget this queen of the suburbs mainly since personalities like Rafi Saab, Dilip Kumar, Naseem Banu, Sunil Dutt, Naushad Ali, Jeevan, Ajit, Dev Anand, Vijay Anand, Chetan Anand etc were residing in this beautiful suburbs. Haldarjee in those days probably after the stupendous sucess of his collosal film Ram aur Shyam — Yusuf Saab owned a red merceedis car and whenever this car used to pass by our by-lanes we all small children used to rush to waive Dilip Saab and he was so generous that he regularly used to get down from his car & wish us.
    Dearest Rafi Saab initially owned his bunglow at Waterfield Road near Bhaba Hospital which later he sold to the charactor actor Sajjan and further moved to his sprawling bunglow where he breathed his last.
    Indeed Haldar Saab you have brought forth those beautiful lingering memories of my child-hood for which a million thanks & great regards to you Sir.

  4. Bina says:

    Binu Jee:

    A great Rafi fan like you sees goodness in everyone..thank you so much for the kind words.

    And about your dream of getting closer to becoming the largest number of fans and followers of Rafi Saab…aapke moohn mein ghee shakkar (may what you say instantly come true!)

    Haldar Jee:

    Lota aur Rofi ke baare mein aur sunaiye!


  5. BINU NAIR says:

    joy sir…post 145. yes we will provide all details as suggested by u jou sir.
    this will give more “joy” to many of us.

    bina ji… ur bbr team’s rafi birthday was excellent. with people like u , i can alreaydy say that – my dreams have come true – earlier than expected.
    to use chandigarh friend mehtab’s words, the mission is closer. we will become – pls note this – “we will become the foremost music lovers club, worshipping mohd rafi songs and this illustrious singer on par with elvis priesly – who i am told has the largest number of fans in the world. we may also cross the figure by the sheer number of “uncounted” rafi fans the world over.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  6. joy says:

    Hello Ms Binu Nair,

    Greetings in the name of Rafi Saab.

    I request you to send the Adresses of the President of India, of PM and of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi where people could write about their inmost desire that Rafi Sab is awarded Bharat Ratna postumously.

    Many people donot know how to reach their desires and prayers for Rafi in fro9nt of the Polititions and Govt. authoritites.

    Joy oravan

  7. binu nair says:

    BINA JI : A REQUEST …APART FROM CELEBRATING MOHD RAFI SONGS IN BAAR BAAR RAFI, PLESE FIND US FEW MORE UTTARAs, binas, priyas, haldar’s, raj’s & many others – around the world.
    the world will thus have far more fragrance and sweetness.

    binu nair
    rafi foundation, mumbai….
    cell : 9833 250 701

  8. bina says:

    Dear everyone:


    In Bangalore, the members of Baar Baar Rafi Fan Club wished each other at 4:30 in the morning ..and with 85 songs contributed by many enthusiastic members, a CD wil soon be released to mark this day..

    The highlight of our celebrations was the program for the evening where 35 children from a Charitable Trust along with their staff members were invited and all of us at BBR thoroughly enjoyed their time with us…it gave us an opportunity to become children ourselves..hum bhi agar bacche hote… playing “passing the parcel” and “musical chairs” along with them.

    The evening started at 4:30 p.m. The stage was decorated with kites (including black kites) and balloons and all those who attended were very generous and the gift corner was overflowing with the love shown by each and every member. The goodies were distributed to these adorable little children aged between 4 and 11. A lovely large cake was cut by the children to the singing of Baar Baar Din Yeh Aaye..Many gifted singers from BBR namely, Asha, Alka, Lalitha, Ananya, Manish and Sahil gave us some peppy numbers too…

    We then joined these happy children for dinner after which they were transported back safely to their home…

    We have also had very good reports that the 85th birthday of Rafi Saab on 24th Dec, 2009, was celebrated in the two states of AP (despite several hurdles faced by the Bhakts due to the political turmoil there) and in Calicut, Kerala where singers, including Chandan, set a 2000-strong audience in Calicut aflame with joy and reverence for the the great soul with great songs….how wonderful it is for all of us to celebrate the greatness of Rafi Saab…!

    Baar Baar Din Yeh Aaye..

  9. Rajkumar Akela says:

    My Dear Rafi Sahab !
    On this auspicious occasion of your 85th birthday we all miss you a lot.
    You are not there, but you are there…in our hearts, in our memories and you will be there till this time is there…and I know time never ends.
    May your soul rest in peace !!!
    Rajkumar Akela

  10. binu nair says:

    haldar ji…… the sixes from the blades of a sehwag or sachin or our own salim durranni ( who used to hit them on public demand ) were occassional. but, here was the singing saint hitting sixes and fours in the recording studios from 1946 onwards.

    what a “full circle” it was for this k.l.saighal bhakth who started his journey from a non-descript street in lahore.

    the grand journey began – from 1941 onwords for this divine singer. be it a saajan song for ashok kumar (1946 ) or suno suno ai duniwaalon or man tadpat hari darshan ko and oh duniya ke rakhwane… it was grand sixes all the way .
    rafi conquered the young hearts of youngsters too by his yahoo essay – a cult number of the times when youngsters wanted to break free.

    the puritans were not disappointed for they got the pathos ridden ehsaaan tera hoga mujh par………. from the junglee stable.

    the first prime minister of india jawahar lal prior to all these aces had already knighted the talented sur devta in 1948 itself. mohd rafi was a vip guest once each year at the prime ministers abode – entertaining dignataries which very few know of.
    the four’s and sixes continued ……………..the actors were changing, the composers were changing, the recording techniques were changing but one common name that ruled for four decades was the one and only mohammad rafi – the king of playback singing.

    binu nair, mumbai rafi foundation, cell : 9833 250 701

  11. P. Haldar says:

    Jet Bungalow, Bandra, Bombay, 1961.

    The nightingale enters the bungalow after a gap of more than four years. Getting tired of seeing his cars damaged by the lad’s thekas, Mehmood decides to give him a chance. Whether it’s the boy’s wishes or the dad’s machinations, no one knows for sure but all three players seem to be happy at the sudden turn of events. The fifth Dada — after Anil da, Sachin da, Salil da and Hemant da — yani Pancham da, has entered the scene. As she is about to exit the room after rehearsing for “ghar aaja ghir aaye”, she asks him: “Dada se nahin milwaoge?”

    Born to royalty, Dada is used to palace intrigues, having escaped one with his life. There is suspense in the air. Their eyes meet and Dada asks Didi for dates. After almost five years, Dada has realised that however versatile Asha may be, he cannot beat OP at his own game. And every morning, he has watched the manicured ivy in grudging admiration. Shankar-Jaikishan is pulling ahead with Rafi and Lata, and he reckons that if he can get Lata back in his fold, he can put up a fight against anyone.

    Dada is about to deliver his next royal ditch, little knowing that his target would return to the Jet bungalow in a significant other way. She is an embodiment of hope. When the night is lonely and the lights are off…

    Didi becomes Dada’s Bandini again. Two exquisite deliveries, “mora gora ang laile” and “jogi jab se tu aaya mere dware”, corroborate what Dada had once said: “Give me Lota and a harmonium, I’ll give you a hit.”

    It’s a win-win situation. Lota has watched aghast as Rofi gained strategic depth against her in film after film: Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool, Kala Pani, Kala Bazaar. And she is nervous that her blue-eyed boy, the boy wonder of film music, is turning Rafi-ward. Even after pleading with Rafi to spare her (“Ehsan tera hoga mujh par”), Rafi shows no mercy. However saintly he may be in private, in front of the mike, he is one of the fiercest competitors the game has ever seen. The “barabar muqabla” is tilting more and more in his favour. She realises that she needs Dada’s support badly.

    And another Dada’s…

  12. bina says:

    Haldar Saab:

    Kya baat hai. Refer post #132, I had a wonderful time guessing your songs with the words chand in it…

    Shailendra and SJ- Dheere Dheere Chal Chand
    Ravi and Shakeel – Chaudavin Ka Chand

    Ravji se haal hee mein milne ka mauka mila hum Bangalore ke Bhakton ko..jitni saadgi hain unmein utni hi hasmukta bhi… Rafi Saab ke baare mein khoob dilchasp baatein bataayi unhonne…and we felt blessed!

    Yeh likhawat uff yooma Haldar Saab! But I can see a clear favorite emerging..but SJ was a hard task master on Lata!


  13. Ali Rashid says:

    Ref Post 133:

    Thanks Haldar-ji for the names of the original sd bengali songs, much appreciated.

    I am loving your excellent commentary, please continue, it makes for very interesting reading.

  14. Samina says:

    Wow!!! Haldar ji, I am totally enjoying your posts although it did take me a while to understand the full meaning. Not my fault though. I wish I was around in the 60s era :(.
    Please keep’em coming in. Loving your writing style interspersed with cricket, my another weakness 🙂


  15. SANJAY ARORA says:

    Respected Haldar sahab,this is real cause,

    No other comments are required , as you have rightly summed up, there was no stopping of Rafi Saab – JAB PYAAR KISI SE HOTHA HAI?- TO EK DARD SA DIL MEIN HOTHA HAI-


  16. P. Haldar says:

    If 1960 witnessed the explosion, 1961 experienced a landslide in the form of shammi sliding down a snow-covered slope. A million junglees were born in response to rafi saab’s clarion call. The same shammi whom rafi had launched to stardom on op’s tonga four years ago!

    And while shammi is sliding down, another hero is on his way up to Darjeeling, following the toy train that has his beloved in it. sj uses both of his opening bowlers to deliver the title song. Result? You guessed it right: one of them goes into immediate oblivion. And while both of them still generate a lot of pace, rafi begins to swing the ball in both directions (harkatein and adayen). The bowler at the other end is not amused. There is one song that I’d like to highlight; it has the mono-syllabic word Binaji has used to express her amazement at a rafi duet: uff.

    Rafi whispers into her ears:

    Tum dil ho dilruba ho
    Tum par jahan fida ho

    And as they approach the Darjeeling mall, he dips the ball in the air:

    Aankhon ka yeh nasha hai
    Dil jisme jhumta hai
    Ghume zameen ghume gagan
    Tera asar hai jaane chaman
    Tum to pyaar ka sapna ho

    Rafi saab, yeh adayen, uff yumma! As our departed friend said, you are truly a magician.

    For the first time in her life, she feels the heat. It’s no longer easy to match the pace and swing of her partner at the other end. Ivy is green with envy.

  17. sid says:

    @ P haldar:

    More!! More!!!!! 😀 😀

  18. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Ali,

    Here’s the response to your query from a source of mine in Kolkata:

    “Knadibona phagun gele
    Bidai dibo taarey monideep jwele”
    (Lyrics : Ajoy Bhattacharya, Music dir : SDB)

    Kudrat had the Lata number “Tune o rangeele aisa jadoo kiya”, which is a copy of SD’s Bengali song “Hai ki je kori e mon niya” of the 1940s.

    P. Haldar

  19. P. Haldar says:

    It is the end of the 50s, the beginning of the 60s. Two moons rise, one a full moon through Shakeel’s pen and the other playing hide and seek with Shailendra. And one md who had entered the industry as a rafi bhakt and whose name rhymes with his idol makes a big splash in the music world. To this day, this md, who has scored a double century with rafi, remains one of the staunchest of rafi bhakts. While the last emperor expresses his anguish at being held in a foreign land (“lagta nahin hai dil mera”), shakeel and naushad bequeath rafi the crown jewel, the kohinoor of film music. The new emperor has taken a significant lead over his closest rival.

  20. P. Haldar says:

    Right at the beginning of her career, the nightingale had made a strategic decision, that she would surround herself with dadas as a protection against future attacks. Like all the other dadas, the real dada, being close to nature, was also enamoured by the beauty of the ivy. But one day, he noticed that the ivy had crept up too high for his comfort. So he decided to trim it. OP, on the other hand, never liked the uni-dimensional ivy. His favourites were the fruit-bearing trees that branch off in all directions, especially the asha-brand alfonso and geeta-brand himsagar varieties.

  21. BINU NAIR says:

    Haldar ji : thanks for the info on two “bengali bahus”… e.a.s. pras is always my favourite cricketer – among others. i was very happy when pras came out as a nightwatchman in a calcutta eden test match.
    he had hit mackenzie the devasting bower for a four in the last over of the day in fading lights. we all rejoiced hearing it from anandji dosa or a suresh saraiya.
    remember e.a.s. pras had said : during our times no team would cross scores of 250-300…. this was the time of bedi-pras-chandra-venkat.
    just as rd burman favoured kk as a singer, ajit wadekar favoured venkataraghavan and pataudi was keen on e.a.s.prasanna.

    there could be many/innumerable cricket and music buffs for whom prasanna and mohd rafi were their heroes.
    i am surely one of them.

    binu nair

  22. P. Haldar says:

    Bina ji,

    I’m glad to know that you are a fan of Mukesh ji. Everyone seems to have forgotten him but he has produced so many match-winners. And not only in simple songs, but in pucca songs too. His voice always connected with the common man.

    Madhumati is one of the eight wonders of hindi film music. Each and every song is great. What Salil da created for Madhumati was just out of the world. And what beautiful orchestration! Using the interlude music in one song as the mukhda in another song — great experimentation!

    Salil and Lata were a match made in heaven. I’d say this: “Lata resonated at Salil’s fundamental frequency.”

  23. Ali Rashid says:

    Ref. Post 126:

    Thanks, Haldar-ji, looking forward to your reply.

    Pancham used quite a few of his father’s tunes. Another example is “Tu ne o rangeele kaisa jaadu” (Kudrat) sung by Lata.

  24. binujee – thanx for writng regarding behram. most of it i was aware but of his going to balasaheb during the riots, was not a surprise. a man of his persona would not like to take things lightly when such absurdities are happening around him in his own loving city.

    while on the subject of mumbai ( having lived my childhood and youth in the smashing city mumbai ), anyone who knows the history of mumbai’s growth, will agree that the ” parsis ” are one community whose ” yogdaan ” is the maximum along with the gujju’s and ofcourse the madraasi’s ( meaning all south indians – dhoti/lungiwala’s ). sorry if i miss out on naming any community. the ones i mentioned are the premier ones.

    anyways, sorry, this dedicated website is not to score brownies other than music and rafi sahab, i shall continue this discussion in yet another forum and another time.

    binujee, i just could not resist butting in when you spoke about behram and mumbai. also about balasaheb.

    ramesh narain kurpad.

  25. P. Haldar says:

    post 120:

    Dear Ali,

    I actually don’t know the answer to this one. Let me check with my sources in Kolkata and get back to you.

    P. Haldar

  26. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Friends,

    I want to share something with you. I don’t know what your experiences have been, but in the six or seven years in which I have posted hundreds of comments, the moderator for this site, pradeep ji, has not blocked or censored even one of my comments. For that, I owe him a deep sense of gratitude. I have to also admit that in the companion site devoted to great Kishore da, though I am currently Enemy No. 1, the moderator has been very generous towards me. I have posted some harsh comments from time to time, but out of so many posts, only one has been blocked. True to her name, she is bilkul mast mast. Thank you so much mast mast ji.

    For those of you who think that pradeep ji is going to hand over the reins of moderation to you, that might be expecting too much. Don’t give yourselves that much importance. This is a public forum devoted to free exchange of thoughts regarding our idol. Instead of making veiled attacks at me, here’s a simple solution: just scroll down and ignore my comments. Or better still, watch a cricket match on tv. Reserve your “gyan” for your kids; I am too old for that.

  27. P. Haldar says:

    Binu ji,

    The sons-in-law are Pataudi (married to Sharmila Tagore) and Prasanna (married to Seema Mitra). Prasanna, incidentally, is now settled in Kolkata.

    P. Haldar

    P.S. Binu ji, I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to deliver on my promise so far. Too much work and travel to get anything done.

  28. binu nair says:

    Post 118: HALDAR SAAHEB , am trying to brush up cricket noledge toooo…
    along with mohd rafi, music and melody.
    who are the two sons-in-law of bengal???? Please….

    busybee behram contractor is the sweetest and one of the finest commentator/writer/editor free india produced.
    behram used to write on every topic under the sun in just 30 minutes on his old remington typewriter each morning. and he will not collect his articles its said. just for freshers may i mention the fact that many eveningers closed down, once behram left them.
    evening news of india mumbai (times of india group), bulletin (free press journal) . he joind mid day and then started his afternoon evening paper.
    if one wishes to know the history of mumbai, (bombay then) – just read the readable humorous busy books

    during the mumbai riots, i remember behram contractor taking a delegation to bal thackerays house and imploring him to stop the “nonsense”.

    a true mumbai-kar i must say, like mohd rafi .

    binu nair

  29. Bina says:

    Binu jee:

    Aha! Busybee ke articles toh bahut hi mazedaar hote the!

    Haldar Saab:

    The You tube link is fantastic. Just to strain and see those young legends on stage (in Dosti song, Rafi saab cant even be seen) inspite of poor camera work was a fantastic treat for me..! Mukesh is my second favorite among singers..what a towering personality he had..kya gaane hain madhumati ke..!


    Just superb link..i missed this episode and i am really grateful to you for sending it..brought tears to the eyes..especially, the humility and greatness of Manna Da himself for talking with such fondness about Rafi Saab..


  30. Krish says:

    Binu Nairji: (Post 116)

    You have brought back memories of my Bombay (Mumbai) days. True, I would first read the last page corner “round and about”, by Busybee, and flip to Mario’s cartoon on Nimbupani and Ms Fonseca!!!

    For an avid evening news reader, Behram Mario combo was like Rafi and Lata. Each complimenting the other.


  31. Ali Rashid says:

    Dear Haldar-ji and Sudip-ji,

    Slightly off topic in this thread, but can you please tell me the name of SD’s bengali song whose equivalent in Hindi is “Ab ke na saawan barse” from Kinara sung by Lata, where the music is provided by RD.

    If you listen to one of the antara’s in the Hindi version, you will find RD paying tribute to his father with the lines “Din dhal jaaye” sung in a similar way as the original from Guide. It just goes to show how magnificent Rafi and SD were.

  32. sudip_dat says:

    Haldar wrote:
    “Rafi and Lata are the two best batsmen India has seen. If you recall, several years ago, I had coined a term called “recency effect”. When recency effect finally dies (say in another 25 to 30 years), these are the two singers who will be remembered the most.”

    Ditto..Follow this video: (around 3:00 min)

  33. P. Haldar says:

    Eden Gardens, New Year’s Day, 1975.

    Yours truly was in the stands that fateful day. Kallicharran and Richards were at the crease, and Bengal’s two sons-in-law were in action, one manning the covers and the other tying up one end with his unassailable off-spin. At the other end, Chandra was being hauled to all corners of the ground by these two batsmen and then by Richards. At that stage, the Nawab decided to replace Pras, instead of Chandra, with Bedi, and I must say that I have rarely heard such filthy abuse being hurled at the skipper (Note: I wasn’t at the Eden when Azza’s team lost to Sri Lanka in the World Cup semi-finals; I’ve heard that it was much worse.). Even ‘la tagore was not spared.

    And then Chandra struck. Not once, not twice, but three times in succession within the matter of a few runs. The mighty West Indies had fallen to two of the finest gentlemen the game has ever seen: Vishy and Chandra.

    Chandra, as most of you are aware, is one of the greatest Mukesh fans. And it is Mukesh whom he resembles most on the field. It takes him some time to get into line and length; he rarely knows what his delivery is going to look like. Shankar would toil for hours to get Mukesh into sur but once Mukesh gets his line and length, chances are that he will produce a match-winner. The term “hit ratio” was invented for him. And just like Pataudi and Wadekar exploited Chandra, Messrs Shankar, Salil, Roshan and Kalyanji-Anandji generated match-winners with Mukesh.

    While we are still talking about the Madhumati test, I thought it’d be a good idea to post a clip of the skipper directing his strike bowler on stage:

    An immortal composition, a superb delivery!

    To be continued…

  34. binujee, to answer your question – one has to be a localite – then you got to subscribe to these eveningers on a regular basis to know behram contractor. buying these evening news beulletins and not putting your eyes on to busy bee is impossible.

    he is interesting, ingelligent and innovative. your question will be answered by a localite of mumbai or mumbaikaar ( bombayite – as we were known ).

    my guess is ( its a wild one ) the parsis are an intelligent lot and they will definitely tocuh everything which is natural and true.


  35. binu nair says:

    people used to read the “last page first” in trains and everywhere – for there was printed the great write-ups of busybee who always would give a message to the readers.
    coming back intelligent rafi fans, please tell us whether busybee wrote some lines on mohd rafi saaheb…..

    binu nair

  36. nrpbhai – thanx for correcting – it was david shepherd and not dicky bird – well both were great umpires – highly repectable – and the players went on with the game not having to worry whether somebody was given out bold via a noball.

    those days, preparing to go to watch a cricket match was like a picnic. we used to prepare ourselves, like warriors. knap sack and back sort of a thing, when it came to easting. mum used to prepare ” ullipayali kooraa with onions and chappatis laced with hot chatni podi “, water bottle, saayankalamu thineydaniki – chakkalayalu, kodabillalu, paagu yesandidee laadu lu.

    sorry there are many bhakts, who do not understand telugu, it was just fantastic in those days going for a test match.

    we used ensure that we would perch oruselves next to some ” uncles ” who possessed a powerful transistor and also a powerful binoculars.

    those days, we used to critically watch how many times garfield sobers was beaten by our spinners. how thee close in fielders took a breath taking catch , all through some one elses binoculars.

    cricket was thrilling – no fear of terrorism, water bottles not allowed, cameras, bags not allowed. eatables not allowed. which means you have to buy to eat at exhorbitant rates, sub standard food.

    people are calculating the end of the match even before it has started.

    cricket has been mowed down to pulp and what remains of it is some gladiators literally demolishing stuff more like – arnold shwarzanegger – silvester stallone and stuff like that. – cricket is missing. – sadly.

    kerry packer should have been – sealed in an asylum even before he thought about instant cricket with the white ball.

    over to you nrpbhai.


  37. Padmanabhan NR says:


    Post 112 transported me to those glorious days when cricket was played more on the field than on calculators. So many great names. I too was fortunate to have witnessed most of these greats in action in Kanpur/ Mumbai/ Kolkata etc. Many of our own Test cricketers and budding players also were seen in action in the All India Sheesh Mahal Tournament in Lucknow, each summer.

    The Nelson(11,111 etc.) catapulted David Shepherd to be the focus of attention rather than the players in action!! His rotund, unstable equilibrium was a treat to watch> Thanks for reminding.

    Padmanabhan NR

  38. haldar sahab – binajee, i quickly wrote the 112th post so that somebody does not become a dicky bird ( 111 ) and keep one leg up – till the score changes from that figure – 11, 111, 1,111 etc. binajee you have crossed the second one – abhi dilli door nahi hai. great going – lets all cross the next milestone too.


  39. haldarjee – i will stick to cricket as my knowledge of films and songs and the goings on then is not so sound. i am only able to appreciate a good song and the singer.

    well, ajit wadekar, became captain due to vijay merchant (casting vote ) as chairman of selection committee. the nawab was a great cricketer and a captain but he employed his princely behaviour on field too, wherein, he very often was not able to break ice or get the best out of his men on the field.

    wadekar, took full advantage and also did a lot of politicking on the field. he did not have a sound technique with regard to his own batting and was suspect to the fast bowlers and all his runs were to a great extent a flook and the luck element.

    wadekar was a good close in fielder and quite ambitious to hang on to his captaincy at any cost which he got by chance.

    as a school student, i have followed these cricketers at all levels all over mumbai and watched them closely in county as well as tests.

    yes rafi too may have suffered like prasanna. that is news to me.

    reflecting back cricket was 180 degrees different in those days.

    it was great to watch the likes of sobers, brain statham, geoff pullar, wally grout, benaud, simpson, lawry, sutcliffe, barrington, ken mackay, sony ramadhin, gibbs, gulbrai ramchand, contractor, umrigar, nadkarni, manjrekar, desai etc etc etc – at close quarters at the Brabourne Stadium.

    it was a treat to watch test matches for all five days. there was so much of style in all these players – elegance – technique – grace – impeccable manners – sporting spirit – gentlemanly – the game was highly respectable – cricketers could be approached and they would sign autographs freely.

    haldar sahab, i could be writing pages – remenesensing good old days – nostalgic cricket.


  40. P. Haldar says:

    Vijay Merchant, the chairman of the selection committee, had appointed Ajit Wadekar as the captain of the Indian team that was about to tour England and West Indies. Pataudi, one of the finest captains India has produced, was out of the team. The Indian team went on to make history in the Carribeans and England. But one of our wiliest spinners, the great Prasanna, who thrived under Pataudi’s captaincy, found himself to be out of favour with the new skipper. Rather than bowling his deadly off-spinners, Pras was seen chatting with John Arlott and Trevor Bailey in the commentary box.

    Bimal Roy had selected the captain for the Madhumati test. Like Pras, Rafi instinctively knew that he’d never be the main bowler under this skipper. This captain would ask him to bowl at first change, but often at second change. He’d ask him to bowl when there was no juice left in the pitch or when he’d realise that his “dreams would go sour” if he persisted with his favourite Mukesh or Talat. And when even his patron Bimal da would not allow anyone but Rafi to go on Johnny Walker witnessing the peacock dance in the jungle.

  41. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Friends,

    I was away for some time, so wasn’t able to continue with my posts. Enjoyed reading the posts by mr. krish, mr. padmanabhan and mr. gan sharma.

    Sudip, thanks for posting the clip with the nightingale’s comments. When you had posted Subhash Jha’s article earlier, I had commented that it did not sound true. But she has given a new twist to the “royalty dispute”, which will be published in a forthcoming biography on her. Rafi and Lata are the two best batsmen India has seen. If you recall, several years ago, I had coined a term called “recency effect”. When recency effect finally dies (say in another 25 to 30 years), these are the two singers who will be remembered the most.

    In the clip that you posted, there is a beautiful delivery from the Madhumati test. I’ll focus on that test in the next episode.

    It is sad that Rafi got bowled by a no-ball once in his life!

  42. sudip_dat says:

    Excellent metaphor and apt too.

    But a real test of a batsman comes under specific conditions such as when facing Holding and Roberts at lush green Sabina Park or when facing Warnie and Murali on a 5th day crumbling pitch..In such conditions, Dhoni might be lucky to even get his bat onto the ball, let alone hitting sixers and munching mangoes.

    Similarly the real test of vocal prowess lies in delivering some of the most difficult numbers, though not necessarily the classical based ones. Rafi saab is a player of all conditions, though his style may come a tad behind Kishore in certain conditions (read Dravid versus Dhoni on a featherbed).


  43. Bina says:


    That was a wonderful video ..thank you so much for sharing…the last 3 minutes were particularly very interesting..and I got to hear another Rafi song picturized on Raj Kapoor.

    Unfortunately, I think towards the end some part of the video is lost where Lata had much more to say about Rafi Saab..but what is evident is what we all know about Rafi Saab’s personality, and reiterated again by Lata Mangeshkar. .



  44. gansharma says:

    Krish bhai: (Post 104) :

    Yeh modesty kya family trait hai, Krish mian? The musical metaphors were not just relevant, but also accurate. The gatecrashing comparisons were not, though – evidently your enjoyment of music surpasses the need for knowledge of specific technique or rules. Peter Sellers (in The Party) you are not, nor are you of the Salahi ilk.

    Aankhen taras jaati hai to see fair commentary on Kishore da; comparing his aplomb to that of MS’s is both realistic as well as creative; couldn’t agree more with you.

    Haan, I’m a bit of the “end does not justify the means” kinda guy; therefore to me the pedh is a tad more important, but I am with you on efficiency and scientific management. If the yoodle conveys masti more accurately than reams of joyous words, or if a sixer is more definitive and efficient than six pushes round the corner, then the enjoyment is that much more. economy of movement and emotion are the keys to successful living – frederick winslow taylor would be nodding sagely in agreement – wherever he is.

    Like NRP says, ghus jaayiye is likhaii mein – we need more like you.



  45. sudip_dat says:

    I finally got hold of a video interview (no printed reports) where Lata talks about Kishore, Manna and Rafi.

    Who is the best in her eyes? It’s for you to judge.

  46. Padmanabhan NR says:


    Waah, pehli hi ball pe chhakka! That Dhoni/ kishore combo was superb. Both defy known norms, logic or any definitive pattern and yet become hugely successful. Jaisa aapne kaha hai, waisa hi karenge. Aam khayenge aur ped ya guthliyaan nahin ginenge. Lekin aapki doosri innings ka intezaar jaroor karenge.

    Padmanabhan NR

  47. Krish says:

    Mohanbhaiya, NRP ji, Haldar saab, and others:

    I jumped into the ring, when my wife told me that folks are discussing . Cricket to me is like, cat is to fish, though music is my limiting factor, I am going to make this compelling comparison. I may be a bit like Peter Sellers in the Party, or closer still, like the Salahi couple at the Obama dinner, “gate keeper (read my wife Bina) let me in and I am here”.

    I would like to draw this parallel between M.S. Dhoni and Kishore Kumar. In both cricket and music one talks of technique, sur-taal etc. Coaches tell a batsman, steady head, slight back bend, front foot in line with the shot etc. and MS defies everything. Kishore da is the same. Not convinced? When you next watch MSD in his element, mute the audio on the TV and in the background play “ek chaturnar karke singar”. And if the song has played out and Dhoni is still in the crease play “bajjjuuuuuuu babu samjho ishare”. Metaphor hai Mohanbhai?

    Dhoni like Kishore da keeps wickets like a hawk, bats to entertain, captain and strategist off-course, and while he does not wear the gloves also spins the ball, hai na actor-director-music composer-signer all rolled in one Haldar Saab? If six runs can be scored with one shot, why run 22 yards six times? Simple F.W. Taylor theorem.

    Coming back to technique / sur-taal, who cares? Score board / TRP se matlab hai. I can hear Dhoni saying: “Aam khao, ped kyo ginte ho”?

  48. Narayan says:

    Bina, Adaab Rafi !
    Century mubarak ho.. you deserved this century for writing an article which is hatke…
    So let us all await for yet another passionate article from you of our faristha..

  49. Padmanabhan NR says:

    Congrats bina for an unbeaten 100. it is befitting that the century came from the same bat that started the innings! they say that cricket should be played session by session: you would do well to set the ball rolling for this as well as subsequent sessions, next target 125. happy batting!

    Padmanabhan NR

  50. gansharma says:

    Thanks for a beautiful song, Bina! yes, the vocals are perhaps one of the best of Rafi and his “mate”….Madan Mohan saab at his best, Asha at her soul-strirring best, and Rafi saab, well…..being Rafi saab. But hey, another Majrooh great!

    And congratulations on the century in comments. Don’t be modest – you wrote a brilliant piece; it evoked comments from everyone; Haldar saab used the ground for some fantastic stuff…and it couldn’t have happened to a better person. Keep going, Bina behen.

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