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Un-trodden Gems – Some rare melodies by Rafi Saheb

By Ravi Kumar

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The depth of ocean, the expanse of the space and the greatness of Rafi Saheb cannot be measured by any means. At the bottom of an ocean many precious pearls remain undiscovered and many a shining star remains obscure due to the immensity of the space. Similarly a number of great songs sung by Rafi Saheb could not be popularized or were underrated due to one or the other cause. But the melody, greatness and appeal of these little known songs is as eternal as the gloss of the undiscovered pearls and the shine of the distant stars, only because they were sung by Rafi Saheb.

These songs do not very frequently find place in the audio cassettes or CD’s released by the music company and if there are any, such cassettes or CD’s are difficult to find in the music stores. Many of such songs are popularly tagged as canceled. So if you are an ardent worshipper of Rafi Saheb it becomes your prime passion to look for such treasure and enrich your collection. Over the years the search for this treasure has kept me on my toes. During this most adventurous hunt I have come across many beautiful and melodies songs which has made this passion a purpose of living. Whenever I listen to these songs I yearn for more and surprisingly there is no dearth of the bounty.

Here I am discussing 10 such great songs, listening to which is an experience worth relishing. On the occasion of Rafi Saheb’s 86th birth anniversary(24th Dec.) this a small present for  all Rafi fans.

Mohd Rafi Sahab in a recording

Mohd Rafi Sahab in a recording

  1. Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai–  Its a beautiful ghazal composed by legendry Roshan Saab  and written by much talented  Neeraj from the fim Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal. It is one of the finest example of the use imagery where sensuality is conveyed in a very elegant and subtle way, the music too amazingly traces the nuance of a ghazal and it is Rafi Saheb’s honey drenched vocals that give it the ultimate Midas touch without which it could have been sharbat minus  sugar.
  2. Unhe kissa-e-gham jo likhne ko baithe– A ghazal with no music, composed by mastreo Madan Mohan and written by great Hasrat Jaipuri from the film Naya Kanoon. It is only Rafi Saheb who could add all lyrical rhythm to this ghazal. An elementary lesson for all so called ghazal singers.
  3. Jane bahar husn tera bemisal hai A song from Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya , is a Ravi+Shakeel+Rafi Saheb=an awesome equation; remember the same team created immortal chaudhvin ka chand ho. The mukhda of the song of the goes like this: Jane bahar husn tera bemisal hai, vallah kamal hai , arye vallah kamal hai…the variation with which  Rafi Saheb renders bemisal and vallah kamal hai, one  could just say vallah kamal hai Rafi Saheb aap bemisal hai.
  4. Mere pehlu mein ake baitho khuda ke waste– Film Rustom-E-Hind , what could be expected from a Dara Singh starer  B-grade flick , where a song is picturised on none other than Rupesh Kumar ! But miracles do  happen , listen to this song and realize  the might  of Rafi Saheb. There is a short monologue after each stanza in the voice of Rafi Saheb where a lover tries to appease his beloved , which makes the song mesmerizing. A great innovation by Hansraj Bahal and Qamar Jalalabadi.
  5. Koi mujhse puchche ke tum mere kya ho– An 8 minute long song has immense variety. It starts with tender couplets, evolves into a beautiful love poetry  and ends as an anguish ridden lover’s whining. Only Rafi Saheb has got the guts to portray all these subtle moods so masterfully in a single song. Written by Rajendera Krishan and composed by Ravi , this  spellbinding creation from the film Ye Raaste Hain Pyar Ke is a testimony of sheer magic of  Rafi Saheb
  6. Shokhiyan nazar mein hain, mastiyan hain chaal mein– This song is a creation of Rafi Saheb’s extraordinary vocal gimmicks. The song is artistically mischievous and yet sublime, soothing and controlled.  The song has got all shokhiyan and mastiyan only because of Rafi Saheb.  A rare song combining all deadly Rafi, LaxmiPyare and Anand Bakshi from the film Aasra.
  7. Meri nigah ne kya kaam lajawab kiya – Beuatiful poetry by Majrooh, soul stiring music by Khayyam and the rest all is Rafi Saheb. An excellent ode to feminine beauty,  each line of which has been sung with utmost fondness, delicacy and devotion. Rafi Saheb ‘s one of the finest  romantic songs.
  8. Pyar ki nanhi maina chehke……gudiya si meri ladali– A father singing for his little daughter – you can’t help your eyes welling up each time you listen to this sweet affectionate and tender song. It appears that Rafi Saheb is singing for his own child. The way Rafi Saheb renders gudiya si meri ladali.., it gives you several goose bumps. A blissful song written by Majrooh and composed by LaxmiPayre from the film Waapas.
  9. Itani badi duniya, jahan itna bada mela, magar main kitna akelaa lonely person  separated from his loved ones, feeling nostalgic about his beautiful bygone days and humming somewhere in solitude-in this song Rafi Saheb depicts each such emotion so convincingly that you keep wondering how Rafi Saheb has an amazing talent of getting into the soul  of the protagonist, feel deep complex emotions  and vocalize them as if  he is singing for his own catharsis! A real gem by Chitragupta and Prem Dhawan from the film Pyar Mein Toofan Kahan.
  10. Leja  uski duaayen o,  jo tera ho na saka- Do you want to know  how did Ranjha wail, weep and bemoan on his separation with  his lady love Heer? Then listen to this song and try to experience the agony only which Ranjha and Rafi Saheb might have experienced !(Sorry for not having enough adjectives to describe Rafi Saheb’s greatness)A tear jerking song composed by Anil Biswas and penned by Majrooh from the film  Heer.

There are many other songs which require to be discussed at length. If this small effort of mine finds any encouragement I will definitely come with more.

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44 Blog Comments to “Un-trodden Gems – Some rare melodies by Rafi Saheb”

  1. bunty gandhi says:

    Great ~ I recently introduced with the song “aaj ki raat badi shokh natkhat hai” through gujarati newspaper article. And It is such a beautiful song.Very rare and also very unique in its appealing.

    I tried to get the songs you mentioned and will listen it as none of these I have listened earlier. But I will mention one rare in the sense it is not much popular among radios or tv music channels.

    Main Soya Ankhiyan Neeche (Shagun)

  2. Man Mouji says:

    Dear Ravi ji

    Can you tell me what’s your viewpoint on the following unheard melodies of Rafi Saab.

    •Pyar Karna Hi Padega (Sharbati Aankhen: 1945)
    •Kahke Bhi Na Aaye Tum (Safar: 1946)
    •Hum Apne Dil Ka (Actress: 1948)
    •Teri Yaad Sathaye (Bansuriya: 1949)
    •Narayan Jaage (Narasimha Avtaar: 1949)
    •Jalte Deep Bujh Gaye (Jalte Deep: 1950)
    •Arre Denewalon (Meena Bazaar: 1950)
    •Karle Kisise Pyaar (Lekh: 1949 with Asha Bhonsle)
    •Bananewale Kya Tune (Jalpari: 1952 with Asha Bhonsle)
    •Chalo Ho Gayi (Shaadi Se Pehele: 1947 with Lata Mangeshkar)
    •Meri Nigah Ne Kya (Mussaphir Khana: 1955 with Nirmala Devi)
    •Taron Bhari Raat Hai (Kaajal: 1948 with Suraiyya)

    most of the above songs are not easily available for common music lover. Probably rafi lovers may not get chance to hear these melodies.

  3. Utthara says:

    Raviji, thanks for digging out these gems and presenting them to us. Jane bhar husn is perhaps the most popular song while all the others are rarely heard ones Your article is very informative.

    There is one song from Ishq par jor nahin. i am surprised that many retro song lovers among my friends have not heard it. It is one of my fave songs. The song __ Mehbooba teri tasveer __ sung oh so romantically by rafi sahab for a very handsome Dharmendra. Excellent music by SD Burman and beautiful romantic lyrics by my fave Anand Bakshi. Truly a gem of a song.



  4. jayesh says:

    respected binuji, plz. ref to post 15 &20. what is further progress in the matter of conferring bharat ratna to mohammad rafi saab? i personally feel that he is the only person, living or dead who deserves such award. eagerly waiting for confirmation of such news.

  5. jayesh says:

    bharat ratna award! who will be the recipient this year who knows? the game is still not over. we, the millions of fans of rafi saab should unite & persuade the indian govt. that they should honour rafi saab with this award soon. we should not quit from our campaign till rafi saab is given his due by the govt.

  6. shamsuddin says:

    dilka soona saaz tarana dhoondega. Tujhko tere baad zamana dhoondega. Mohd.rafi sahab,the only artist of the universe.

  7. Saifullah says:

    post no. 36 and 37

    Thanks for your responses, Hussein Saab and Khaja Aliuddin Saab. Rafi Saab will be with us forever. Long live his voice and long live his legacy !!!!!!!!!
    Rafi Saab rightly sang….Mujhko mere baad, zamana dhoondega
    Again Rafi saab sang – jiyo to aise jiyo , jaise sab tumhara he, maro to aise ke jaise, tumhara kuch bhi nahin ………………..

  8. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 29: You are right Saif… Padma awards are given to those who do not even deserve… Very strange really…

  9. Khaja Aliuddin,MD says:

    Dear Saif, Salam, You are absolutely right.Let Rafi Saab live in our hearts and he will be in our hearts till our last breath. That is the best tribute that one could give to this great soul.

    ” Shahzade Aawaz” hai ezaaz Rafi ka
    Jannath ke hawaale tu unhen mere khuda kar
    Aawaz sunai de tujhe jab kabhi Yousuf
    is sahebe naghmaath ki bhakhshish ki dua kar
    With regards to all Rafians
    Long live Rafi Sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  10. santosh says:

    Now let us forget the rubbish awards,It is awarded to people like kajol,Tabu etc.what a mockery of these awards,Any tom dick or harry can get it.Even u or me.So let us now forget the bharat ratna swapna because it will only cause us more pain.Let us revel in the treasures of songs of rafi saab.True Music lovers will always appreciate what rafi saab was.The industry so called music gurus also know in their hearts who the best playback singer was, though they will not acknowledge it openly.

    Long live rafi saab

  11. Sudhir kumar says:

    What do the rumous mongerers have to say next, now that the awards have been announced! What good is such speculation? Consoling ourselves, reassuring- or just living in fools paradise. Please get above this award colkection mania, it is a fruitless exercise, Bharat ratna is a govt award and the posthumous govt awards are glven only on political considerations.

  12. nafisa says:

    Ref. post No. 31,
    Thanks. I found the lyrics of the song “Bura mat kaho” at the website.

    The song I am looking for is not a film song i think.

    I remember it as follows:

    Khud jiyo auron ko bhi jeene do
    yehi to hai zindagi ka raasta
    tumhien aman ka shanti ka waasta,

    hon rehnewale ham kisi bhi prant ke,
    to phir khiche khiche se dil hain kisliye,
    chalo dilon mienleke ek hi lagan,
    khud jiyo auron ko bhi jeene do….

    I found that this song was picturised is a documentary film by Films Division of India, incidentally the performer on screen was none other than Shri. Prithvi Raj Kapoor. It was a scene of a class room with a map of india, Prithvi Raj Kapoorji singing with the children.

    I gathered this information from the internet search. but a visit to Films Division of India, website turned futile as i could not find anything there.

    If anybody could help search this treasure of a patriotic song/nazm, it will be another of the untrodden gems unearthed from the darkness of unrecognition.


  13. Ranbir Kapoor says:

    I like Rafi saab’s voice a lot!! I wish I could get his voice as my playback…
    My personal favourites are: Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Dil Ke Jharokhe Mein, Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe, Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache, and Aise Toh Na Dekho, and Kya Se Kha Ho Gaya, Dard-e-Dil, Parda Hai Parda, and so many more…can’t name so many!! Well, he is THE PERFECTIONIST in the field of playback singing and music.
    Continue this good work…these days, the new generation needs to have a taste of the older songs, and works by legends!!
    Ranbir Kapoor.

  14. Imtiyaz A. Sharif says:

    Ref. to post 25
    The song you are looking is from film “Aaya sawan jhoom ke”. The line you have written is “Jiyo aap auron ko bhi jeene do”. Mukhda of this song is “bura mat suno, bura mat dekho bura mat kaho. You can find complete lyrics in “”.

  15. Bhushan says:

    The news is almost confirmed by times of india 1 hour ago, that announcement may be made in the evening for Bharat ratna to sachin tendulkar.

    Well, I too agree with our friends that sachin getting is certainly great, at the same time, many deserving have been ignored – reasons well known.

  16. Saifullah says:

    If Sachin receives the award, one can only say he deserves it. But, Rafi Saab will never get it. He will never get it because he has been a gem in his life time and he continues to be a gem 30 years after he leaves an unfilled void in Indian Music. He will never get it because he strived for all the virtues that our present day politicians shed crocodile tears for. He will never get it because he was there to motivate our jawans when they were on the battle field. He will never get it because he was one of the most dedicated and sincere artists. He will never get it for all the beautiful adjectives in any language that you could attribute to a human being. It is so frustrating to see that every year, there is an air of expectation around The Republic Day which dies off on the eve of the same. I think we should stop talking about this from now on. Let Rafi Saab live in our hearts and he will be in our hearts till our last breath. That is the best tribute that one could give to this great soul. What more do I say to vent out my frustration !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. santosh says:

    Great News.

    Congratulations to Sachin tendulkar if he recieves it.After all what has rafi saab done for the country except – singing in the voice of god,giving pleasure to people , a symbol of religious harmony, a simple and humble human being, a prerson who helped many people, a benchmark for all other singers.

    So rafi saab doesnt deserve a award from the morons of today.We will get sad by thinking about this.Mr.Kurpad ji your fustrations are correct.But i fear that in this life time rafi saab will not be given the award which he truly deserves.Shame on all.

  18. rameshkurpad says:

    waah – a 37 year young indian receiving the award – could be one of the first’s – a record of sorts and doesnt register. the receiver may be embarrassed receivng it so early in age, though he richly deserves.

    one can well gauge ” yeh sarmaayedaar kisss mitthi key baney huey hain ”

    rafi sahab inkey ungliyonkey ginthee mein nahee hai.

    ramesh narain kurpad

  19. Abhishek says:

    25th Jan. 2011 – Zee News latest – sources from the govt. at centre indicate that sachin tendulkar likely to be awarded the Bharat ratna on 26th Jan. 2011

  20. nafisa says:

    i am looking for a song by rafi saheb which is “khud jiyo auron ko bhi jeene do”
    it is in a geet/nazm form, we used to hear it in our school assembly. it was a regular school assembly song, during the 70’s/80? i assume.

    we need it for republic day celebration, on 26th. if anybody remembers it kindly post at least the lyrics , so kids can sing it. i have tried youtube also but this one thing is not there.

    through this forum i also wish to convey condolences to he bereaved family of pandit bhimsen joshi.


  21. nafisa says:

    Muzhe Dard-edil ka pata na tha (Aakhri Dao)
    Kaajal wale nain (Devar)
    yeh dil diwaana hai (Ishq par Zor nahin – Duet)
    AAj kal mien dhal gaya (Beti Betey)
    raat bhar ka hai mehaan andhera (film ? )
    Kahin ek masoom nazuk si (Shankar Hussain)
    dil use do jo jaan de de (Andaaz)
    na jhatko zulf se paani (Shehanai)
    Muzhe dekhkar aapka muskurana (Ek musafir ek hasina)
    huey hain tum pe aashiq hum (Mere Sanam)
    most of O.P. Nayyar Songs in Filmalaya films movies starring joy mukherjee and asha parekh are not heard , some of them are totally forgotten, black n white films like’ love in simla’ etc. i had seen some of them on cable tv. some video cassette of such songs was played, but cant remember the songs words .

    Many such gems are lying around. for us rafi fans it is like finding new treasures, when ever we find a gem sounding totally new and fabilous in rafi’s soft timbre.

    many thanks to the author, all the songs listed are treasures, are avilable on you tube at least. we can seach and find them.

    Even though, the Bharat Ratna is likely to make scant difference to mohammed rafi saheb’s greatness and status as such, at least it will silence some people who argue that he is just another singer. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping.



  22. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Respected Binu ji & Murty sir,
    Many thanks for the good news,If it will happen then it will be the victory of all RAFI SAHAB’S fan & “BHARAT RATNA AWARD” will honored by going to such a nice human being & the singer of the millennium beyond the imagination.
    Bhagwan kare jald se jald RAFI SAHAB ke bhakto ki ye ichha puri ho…..

    -Sanjeev Dixit

  23. santosh says:

    I pray to god that this long cherised dream and what was long due be fulfilled on this 26th.It will be the happiest day for me.And also it will be a reward for the efforts of binuji, narayanji and countless other selfless pujaris of rafi saab.may god make this dream true

  24. Binu Nair says:

    The government of the day needs to show some good work to the populace and perhaps, perhaps – it would honour ‘true heroes’ with meritorious awards for the recognition of their work this republic day.

    for the sake of good music and honouring a great legend – we hope this govt will re-write rules and heed to the common desire of honouring mohd rafi saaheb.

    we music lovers are keeping our fingers crossed for a few days more.

    binu nair : the rafi foundation, cell : + 9833 250 701

  25. Binu Nair says:

    murthy ji and haldar saab & Millions of Rafi saab lovers.

    We all the Rafi saab Parivaaar will rejoice. Let me tell u that mr sanjeev of lucknow and his team has done a tremendous job for the bharat ratna award to the greatest saint singer of our times – mohd rafi saab. this is on record.

    we must keep our fingers crossed.

    the source is from rafi saabs house and there was a mention that l.k. advani ji has promised the b.r. to mohd rafi saaheb.
    there was also a mention that mohd rafi saab must have been honoured with b.r first and then any singers from the bollywood.

    pls note that k.kamaraj was given the b r posthumously and also mr ;m.g. ramchandran the cine hero after their deaths as elections were round the corner then.
    as for mohd rafi saaheb he ‘entered’ our hearts directly and – not from any, any sham elections, conducted by sham politicians and participated by impoverished and iliterate people.

  26. A S MURTY says:

    Ravikumarji, coming back to your article on rare gems of Rafi Sahab. I would like other readers too to add to this list. Here are a few from my side, a must listen songs which even Rafi Bhakts sometimes tend to forget.



    More in next.

  27. A S MURTY says:

    Binuji, aapke munh mein ghee aur shakkar aur bataiye iske alawa aur kitni mithaas bhar dein humlog. If what you say rings out to be true, that day will be the happiest for the rafi fans in particular and the music lovers in general.

  28. Ali says:

    Mohd rafi is Bharat ratna and all world ratna, nothing be change if mohd rafi got or not this award because mohd rafi got the God award which can’t be replace with any award and that is still he is the best singer…..

  29. P. Haldar says:

    Binu ji,

    As you say, we’ll keep our fingers crossed. But if it happens, it will make millions of his fans around the world explode with joy. And we should all be thankful to people like you, ramesh kurpad, narayanan, a. s. murty, raju korti and so many others who have worked tirelessly over the years on this issue.

    With best regards,
    P. Haldar

  30. binu nair says:

    Bharat Ka Ratna…

    Sources have informed us that this Jan 26th, Bharat Ka Mahaan Ratna Mohd Rafi Saaheb would be accorded the “Bharat Ka Ratna Award…

    We are keeping our fingers – crossed, for now.

    Ravi kumar ji : good work. lets discover the “un-explored gems and diamonds” of our great singers and the works of Musicians.

    binu nair : founder : the rafi foundation, mumbai.
    cell : 0 9833 250 701

  31. Ali says:

    Great work sir, mostly these songs not listen on radio because of the c grade films also mostly people only like to listen from super hit films but mohd rafi the top singer on all time sang for ever one and never looked for money or who is the music director, we mohd fans love all songs sang by mohd rafi……….

  32. Manish Panchal says:

    Jai Rafi Saheb….

  33. Dipak N Jham says:

    What an Amazing write up
    Keep It up

  34. ravi kumar says:

    great many thanks to ramesh narain kurpadji and all other readers who have read this article and encouraged my effort. in fact it is all Rafi Saheb’s greatness which actually inspired me to write this article
    Sayed Arif Saab, these gems can be downloaded from youtube.

    Ravi Kumar

  35. Sayed Arif says:

    can I download these songs ?

  36. A Rakesh says:

    Dear Shri Ravi Kumar ji, There is huge stock beautiful songs sung by Rafi Saab, but what we listen generally are very very popular songs with common man. When we go into further details, as you have done, we find that each and every song is a masterpiece of its kind, where full justice is done to the lyrics and music composition, by Rafi Saab and it became a gem.
    Dear Shri Parvez @ 3, I visited the blog, you referred. It is a wonderful reading, going through those pages, with a lot of information about this great man, singer, human being. But suddenly yesterday I found that older pages have been removed or blocked or is it some problem with my net ?

  37. A S MURTY says:

    Ravi Kumarji, here is the link to my own article several months back on this very website :

    Many of rafi fans have given several good songs which have not been patronized and are almost lost. But the sheen of the songs is not lost and when one listens to some of them, we are amazed why the songs did not go on to become chartbusters in the first place.

  38. Sachin Sharma says:

    Dear Ravi kumar ji

    Good article, Really some of them i have heard in dual cassete set of Rafi Sahab – Title Rare Gems (set of two audio cassete). but 2-3 I have not heard earlier. As every new songs that i have not heard is inspiration for me and love it very much.

    Good job , please keep it up.
    Sachin Sharma

  39. Dear Ravi Kumarji,

    Many thanks to you for introducing we ‘Rafians’ to these pearls of the treasure of songs sungs by the great Rafi saheb. It is says where there is a will there is a way and you prove it.
    Please keep it up.

  40. Ravi says:

    Dear Ravi Ji,

    Great work,please keep up the good work.
    Of the ten gems you have mentioned,there are 3-4 songs which are still popular and you hear them on Radio(AIR) even today.

    Awaiting more gems from your end.Thank you once again


  41. GV Suresh says:

    Dear Raviji,

    Thanks for the write-up.

    I too believe that there are some hidden melodies that didn’t somehow get the popularity they deserved. Thanks again for un-earthing 10 of those. shokiyan
    nazar main is totally masti bhari.


  42. mohamedparvez says:

    dear mr ravi kumar, thanx for chosing rare songs of rafi saab which are not easily available in market,i would like to invite each and every body to visit our beloved rafi saab”s blog,total over 500 pages are there,to go to next page,kindly click older posts,you will find bottom of every page,please don”t miss any page,kindly visit this link,take care

  43. A S MURTY says:

    Ravikumarji many thanks for your lovely write up, straight from your heart and the listing of some of the gems which many would not have even heard of. One song from the film “Pyar kiya to darna kya” however is a very well known, widely acclaimed and a popular song even for stage shows. That is a marvel of a song, but does not fit into the scheme of things of this article. All other songs, are of the rarest kind no doubt. A few months back, I too had written an article on these very pages called “dungeons of forgotten treasures” and had then listed some twenty songs to begin with. Many of our friends had contributed with much more on that article. We are still coming up with several of the lost tracks or gems of songs that many ardent fans also do not get to listen and there are hundreds of them from Rafi Sahab’s repertoire.

    I will give only one example now : FILM : BHARAT MILAP (1942) : SONG : BAN KI LATAON MUJHE BATAO MERE PRABHU SHRI RAM KAHAN.

    More songs later as I have already given a lot of such songs in my earlier article.

    Thanks for taking up the initiative once again for reviving the lost gems of songs.

  44. rameshkurpad says:

    shri. ravi kumar,

    congratulations on a truly good article by you. your passion for unearthing these hidden unsung classics is great and needs to be applauded all the way.

    we could find very few people like you who would be researching rafi sahab in this fashion.

    if we have to talk about R & D with respect to rafi sahab – your angle is one such study that needs to be taken up seriously in all sincerity and the deepest of oceanic depth would have been treaded to encompass the hidden gems.

    out of the first 10 gems listed out by you – i have heard six of them and would like to listen to the balance our of them too.

    i think you have made a humble begining – i would in all humility request you to kindly give us the next list of gems of this great magical singing wonder – rafi sahab.

    once again thank you very much for a great experience – i have gone through with the research done by you.

    expect your next – soonest.

    ramesh narain kurpad

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