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Valentine Rafi

By J.K. Bhagchandani

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Music and especially a song has been a very potent and perhaps most natural medium of expression of love and romance. Hindi films have very effectively used the songs at innumerable occasions to narrate the romantic facet of the story-line of the movie in a very creative and inspired way. The extent of depth, the passion or any other aspect of the romantic feelings that a 3 to 4 minute song can convey outshines the series of romantic dialogues lasting many-fold minutes.

A well known jazz vocalist Joe Williams once said, “I think that musicians should never forget about the intimacy of bringing two people together, and the aesthetic transference where you’re almost vicariously involved in a romance between other people.” This one sentence aptly signifies the nuance of a romantic song, the benchmark of ‘passion for performance’ that the performer (singer) needs to integrate in his/ her renderings. And at that benchmark Mohammed Rafi’s name will remain the foremost for not only achieving that but surpassing the same by many a mile.

In an article in the Times of India  on Rafi saab’s 30th death anniversary columnists Avijit Ghosh and Utthara Kumari wrote: “If there are 101 ways of saying ‘I love you’ in a song, Mohammed Rafi knew them all. The awkwardness of puppy love, the friskiness of teen romance, the philosophy of unrequited love and the anguish of heartbreak – he could explore every crevice of ardour……”

Last year on Valentine Day Sarah Modi had listed 14 best romantic solos of Rafi saab. I thought that on this Valentine day, it will not be a bad idea to list 14 best romantic duets of Rafi saab. In the ocean of Rafi saab’s gems, to select fourteen best romantic songs is a difficult path to venture into. But nonetheless the exercise is filled with thrill and joy.

(1) Abhi Na jaao chhod kar ki dil abhi bhara nahin….: Dev saab crowned this song to be the ultimate in ‘Romanticism’. I am sure many will agree with him. Sahir Ludhianvi’s soft and subtle poetry is oozing with romance. Jaidev has given us many brilliant songs but this song remains the ‘signature tune’ of his career. Rafi saab with his sweet and velvety voice has taken the song to altogether a different level, perfectly depicting the thoughts, the feelings of a man pleading his lady love to prolong these romantic moments. Look at some wonderful, short, sweet and soft lyrical lines and recall how Rafi saab has delivered each and every word.

abhi abhi to aayi ho
bahar ban ke chayee ho
hawa zara mahak to le
nazar zara bahak to le
ye sham dhal to le zara
ye dil sambhal to le zara
mein thodi der ji to loo
nashe ke ghoont pee to loo
abhi to kuch kaha nahi
abhi to kuch suna nahi

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

(2) Jo wada kiya wo nibhana padega…..: The situation of the song in the film (Taj Mahal) required it to have the ingredients of ‘immortality’. And immortal it is. Set to a haunting tune by Roshan written by Sahir Ludhianvi and sung by Rafi and Lata, the song has the mettle of lasting till eternity. Lata Mangeshkar has sung this song in many live concerts as a tribute to Rafi saab. Today the immortality of Taj Mahal finds an echo in this song.

(3) Baad muddat ke ye ghadi aayi….: Madan Mohan composed, Rajinder Krishna written this Jahan Ara song has been rather under-rated by many music lovers. The song needs to be revisited by all Rafi fans. The song represents a situation of some lovely romantic moments of their lives… which have come rather hard way…. not sure they will get such moments again. It is among the finest Madan Mohan compositions and one of the best songs of Suman Kalyanpur. Rafi saab captivates you from the opening lines itself; ‘Baad muddat ke ye ghadi aayee..’. The way he says the word ‘aayee’… and then ‘Ishq mar mar ke kaamyaab hua.. aaj ek zarra aaftaab hua..’ It is simply mesmerizing.

(4) Jeet hi lenge baaziAn eternal romantic song having ingredients of deep love, passion, belonging, dreams, commitment, tranquility, sedition, pleasure, hope, oneness etc. all integrated in a way that the song instantly takes you away from the material world to a sublime horizons… (Milta hai jahaan dharti se gagan…) making you float with the song. It is definitely one of the Khaiyaam saab’s best compositions (sung by Rafi and Lata).

(5) Hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko basaa len to…. : Rafi saab modulated songs ‘Ye Mehalon ye takhton ye tajon ki duniya…’, ‘Ye kooche ye galiya…’ of the film ‘Pyasa’so brilliantly that these songs were perfect reflection of Vijay (Guru Dutt) a rejected poet that he portrayed in the film. The challenge in creating ‘hum aapki aankhon mein is dil ko…….’ song might have been to give a romantic angle to such a poet/ writer (rejected by society). Rafi saab has sung this song so magnificently that one gets that feeling “Oh yes…. this poet will sound only this way in romantic mood”. In the interlude, the song has the piano and guitar combination to go perfectly with its rhythm. One of the finest compositions of S.D. Burman.

(6) Jhule mein pawan ke ayee bahaar: We often applaud the ghazal writing expertise of Shakeel Badayuni and overlook his great contribution in folk based songs. ‘Suno ji saiyaan ji utrenge paar wo….’, ‘Gao taraane mil ke…’, ‘Aaj mere man mein sakhi bansuri bajaye…’, ‘Door koi gaye…’, Dukh bhare din beete re bhaiya…’ etc. are some of the best written lyrics with a folk fragrance. In the same category is this Naushad composed, Rafi-Lata sung ‘Baiju Bawra’ pearl. The skillful integration of words like ‘jhoola, saawan, bahaar etc. make it a treasured song that can be called as ‘Earthy Romantic’ and the line ‘Dole man mora sajna, chunaria baar baar dhalke….’ adds a bit of sweet sensuality to this memorable song.

(7) Deewana hua baadal…… : Listen to the way Rafi saab sings the word ‘…jhooma’ The feel of that word jhoom is wonderfully conveyed by Rafi saab. This is only one of the highlights of this O.P. Nayyar composed gem. The song makes you to flow in the soothing journey of its romantic endeavor.

(8) Tum akele to kabhi baag mein jaya na karo….: There may be some disagreement on inclusion of this song among top 14. But this Usha Khanna composed song of the film ‘Aao Pyar Karen’ is my personal favourite. It has the elements of ‘shokhi’, ‘chhedchhad’ and unadulterated romance, all perfectly crafted out by Rafi and Lata. The subtle variations in the throw of words ‘…… fir kya hoga’ that Rafi saab has brought out is outstanding. The song was among the top superhits of 1964.

(9) Jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga.: Romance is not a domain of kings, nawabs, poets only. It touches the lives of all of us in one way or the other. This song is a brilliant depiction of romance of a common man… a middle class man. The lyrics written by Anand Bakshi wonderfully depict the sweet, cute, simple dreams of an honest common man:

Prem ki gali mein ek chhota sa ghar banayenge,
Kaliyan na milen na sahi kaaton se sajayenge,
Bagiya se sunder wo ban hoga,
Rimjhim barasta sawan hoga.

Feel the simplicity, the feel-good ingredients of the song so effectively brought out by Rafi-Lata combination composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. ‘Simply romantic’.

(10) Maang ke saath tumhara maine…:  If images of a boy, a girl, an umbrella and rain are the synonyms of song ‘Pyar hua ikraar hua… (Shri 420), then the mention of Dilip Kumar, Vyjantimala and a tonga robotically take your mind to the song Maang ke saath tumhara…. The tonga sound has been so skillfully integrated as the core rhythm of the song that it conveys the essence of the film’s theme and its rural backdrop in a most brilliant way. Rafi-Asha-O.P. Nayyar combination at its best.

(11) Taaron ki zuban par hai mohabbat ki kahani…..: Can the glossary of best romantic songs be complete without the elements of ‘night romance’ or should we say romance under the valley of shining star in a clear sky? The song just fits nicely in that set-up. This C. Ramchandra composed duet has the magic of Rafi-Lata combination at its best.            

Hum hon na hon duniya yoon bhi abaad rahegi
Ye thandi hawa aur ye fiza yaad rahegi
Rah Jayegi duniya mein mohabbat ki nashani
Ae chand mubarak ho tujhe raat suhani

(12) Dhalti Jaye raat keh le dil ki baat: Another wonderful song of night romance. Lesser known composer Lachhi Ram delivered this gem for the movie ‘Razia Sultana’ through the intoxicating vocals of Rafi and Asha Bhonsle.

(13) Mujhe kitna pyar hai tumse: Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. says a famous quote. And this Shankar-Jaikishan composed Rafi-Lata duet from the movie ‘Dil Tera Deewana’ is conveys just those sentiments. The song is a heart to heart exchange of love-filled feelings. Listen to it to get that heavenly feelings.

(14) Jane kahan mera jigar gaya ji..: Romance also has a comic angle. This O.P. Nayyar created ‘comically romantic’ song from the movie ‘Mr. & Mrs 55’ is so brilliantly rendered by Rafi saab that you can close your eyes and instantly make out that the song is picturized on Johny Walker. Geeta Dutt’s peppy side of singing is at its best.    

I am sure I have left out many. Selecting fourteen out of the silo of gems that Rafi saab has left in the genre of romantic songs is indeed a task meant not to be easy. May be readers can contribute their own choices.

So on this valentine day get that romantic fervor with life through music with Rafi saab’s songs. As there is a saying You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.

J.K.Bhagchandani, the author of this article

J.K.Bhagchandani, the author of this article

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23 Blog Comments to “Valentine Rafi”

  1. Sayed Mazharali Al-Haddad says:

    Mere khyal me Rafi ji ka sab se romantic geet ye hai
    “aap ke haseen rookh pe aaj naya noor hai”

  2. Vishal Verma says:

    Hi Bhagchandani ji,

    You should be prepared to accept more thanks and appreciations as this site is just another Jewell. the way it is prepared, the simplicity again makes an edge above all endeavors. The radio app is so simple and nice to operate that it soothing everyone.

    Thanks again to giving this to the world.

  3. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    I thank all the readers for liking this write-up and giving valuable comments. I am deeply overwhelmed. It is just the love, reverence, admiration for Rafi saab that somehow acts as motivating factor for me to write. I am sure that must be the reason for other too who write sometimes.

    It will not be out of place to mention those romantic songs (duets) which could have been in the list but the self-imposed restriction of 14 nos. made me remove those. On another day the list may be different.. such is the ‘khazana’ of Rafi saab songs.

    1. Chaman ke phool bhi tujhko gulaab kehate hain… (Shikari)
    2. Koi pyar ki dekhe jadugari… (Koh-i-noor)
    3. Zulf ke chhaon mein chehre ka ujala le kar… (Phir wohi dil laya hoon)
    4. Mujhko apne gale laga lo… (Hamrahi)
    5. Paaon chho lene do phoolon ko… (Taj Mahal)
    6. Isharon isharon mein dil lene walo.. (Kashmir Ki Kali)
    7. Tasweer teri dil mein… (Maya)
    8. Ek ghar banaoonga tere ghar ke saamne..
    9. Uden jab jab zulfen teri.. (Naya Daur)
    10. Sara mora kajra chhudaya tumne.. (Do Dil)

    Thanks to all.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  4. sunil kumar says:

    Binu ji, today i watched the song “ek pate ki baat ” on you tube it is not that i had not heard this song before but this time i noted drum beats sound in the back ground which was mesmerizing and giving a distinctive patriotic flavor to the whole song. A very rare RDB composition I felt .The song is based on national integration theme just like another song of Rafi saheb in Desh premi “apas mein prem karo mere desh premio” by laxmi-pyare team .There you have beats of Dafli in the background here you have drum beats. regards

  5. Binu Nair says:

    Sunil ji : post 11.. agreed.. about the great rdb-mohd rafi saaheb song…..Koi aur duniya me tumsa haseeen, nahi hai nahi hai…. in toto. its pure gem of a song in a movie which did not do too well.

    and listen to the background beats of the song ‘ek pate ke baat bataau sun mere humjoli” its fabulous. pls do comment on it.


    the rafi foundation.

  6. sunil kumar says:

    Sir, list of songs is great and essence of each song is beautifully described
    Also in song ” Diwana Hua badal ” It is mentioned that the way rafi saheb sang the word “Jhumaa” gives the feel of the word.

    Here i would like to add what S P Balasubramaniam (play back singer ) said about this song . He said ” the Way Rafi saheb sang this word “Jhuma ” no body else could have said that and he added during those days when i used to here this particular line tears used to roll down my cheeks as felt very near to god. This coming from S P Bala ji is the greatest tribute to Rafi saheb

    I would like add one of my favorite romantic song which i always felt has beautiful lyrics.

    Paon chu lene do phulon ko inayat hogi , inayat hogi
    warna humko nahin inko bhi shikayat hogi , shikayat hogi.
    and the great reply by girl to this request
    Aap joh phul bichayein unhe hum thukrayein,
    Humko dar hai ki yeh toheen e mohaabat hogi.

    it is the height of romanticism and beautifully sung by Rafi saheb and Suman ji. our love to both these legends

  7. shikha says:

    A gr8 write-up by a gr8 author, Mr. Jagdish Bhagchandani..superbly written..congratulations are in order i think for this genius work of yours. The 14 listed songs are out of this world. Thanks for your contribution..please keep writing more.

    Love to all rafi sahab fans..god bless you..

  8. A Rakesh says:

    great list for valentine day songs, sir,
    song no. 1 & 4 are my all time fav… one song i would like to add – ye raat ye fizaayein from film ‘batwara’.

  9. Khaja Aliuddin, MD says:

    dear jagdish Sahab,
    Bahut khoob, congratulations for this superb write-up. Great selection of 14 romantic duets of rafi sahab.
    with regards to all rafians,

    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  10. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Jagdish ji, Superb article on rafi sahab on this valentine day with 14 marvelous love song by our farishta. Thanks a lot for writing & sharing here with us.
    sanjeev dixit, lucknow

  11. H.A.K. Walijah says:

    Dear Bhagchandani Saab,

    After a long time, I really enjoyed reading this beautiful write-up giving utmost importance to one of the vital emotions of human beings – love. Rafi Saab romantic songs are scattered around us like eternal sweet smelling flowers whose fragrance we all enjoying now, how lucky we are!

    Please accept my hearty greetings for this wonderful article.

    Best regards

    H.A.K. Walijah

  12. Deepak Dani says:

    Great work Sir,

    Mohammed Rafi is the greatest like Sir Gary Sobers of cricketing world.

  13. sunil kumar says:

    You have rightly pointed out a song of one of my favorite Music director RDB . I would like to just add one more song from the same movie for our beloved Rafi Saheb sung by Rafi saheb for Amitji.

    ” Koi aur Duniya mein tum sa hasin hai nahi hai , nahi hai , nahin hai nahi”

    “Burai teri agar zamana kare , bayan koi jutha fasana kare ”
    ” Uthayeh ye kasme hazaron magar yakeen kaise tera diwana kare”
    ” Bhala is zamane ka koi yakeen hai , nahin hai nahin hai , nahin hai nahin “.

    ( Never heard this song on Rafi radio pls add our request pn valentine Day )

    With love to our beloved Rafi saheb.

  14. Binu Nair says:

    re: post 4 of zaheendanish may i request our friends ‘never’ to bother about the neighbouring jealous men ‘who’ visit our site.

    jalti hai duniya jalti rahe is the song best suited for them.

    also mohd rafis another ‘great ‘ song for Amit ji tuned by rdb .

    “ek pate ki baat bataau sun mere humjoli, sab se achi sab se meethi boli pyaar ki boli ”

    pls hear this fabulous number on youtube……….

    regards from the rafi foundation.

  15. Binu Nair says:

    thanks for feb 14 valentine mohd rafi thoughts and some crisp love songs……

    mohd rafi songs will be sung and remembered on all valentine days for 14000 years and more all 365 days……

    we all agree to this.

    regards from the rafi foundation…..

  16. Ali says:

    I don’t know what mean 14 feb but mohd rafi romantic voice can’t be compare, I think if we speak about none mohd rafi actors like mr bachchan,manoj kumar and Rajesh khanna we will find that mohd rafi is the man who sang best romantic songs from them,we can say only the magic

  17. achal rangaswamy says:

    Wah Maza aa gaya Jagdishji !!!!

    a true rafi fan and a great narrator !!!

    your choice of songs is apt. each one lives up to the title you have given to the article.

    keep writing sir, looking forward to reading more of you…

    warm regards

    achal rangaswamy

  18. b.venkatadri says:

    Very nice write, Sir!!!

    The choice of 14 songs is very right!!!

    Would like to see more from you on Rafi Saheb!!

  19. Rashid Diwan says:

    Congratulations Mr Bhagchandani, fantastic article and very good choice of songs
    as many times I have tried to make a top 10 list of Rafi Sahab’s songs which I like best but could never do it because every time I add a song another comes to mind. Your choice of songs for Valentine are excellent and the way you have compiled your article is very good. Please keep it up and I look forward to more of your articles on Rafi Sahab and thanks again.

    Rashid Diwan

  20. Zaheendanish says:

    Dear Bhagchandani Ji,

    Very nice article on the valentine, a gift article to the loving couple. All the songs are top-notch and lovely. Hats off to you sir.

    As long as rafi fans like you busy in writing such wonderful article, the jealousy of the neighbors will not be diminished. The jalan will increase day after day and they utaroo for mudslinging.

    I request rafi fans to please give your valuable comments to this beautiful article written by one of the diehard rafi sahab fan.

    with all my humbleness


  21. OnikaSetia says:

    muhobbat aur mohammed rafi sahab ka paraspar ghera talluk hai ,
    aur jinki tamam umer muhobbat ki naam rahi, woh pyare se farishte ki
    mast, jadubhari,makhmali aur phool si komal pyar bhari aawaz main dhala har muhobbat ke gehre ehsaas sa bhara geet kya khuub ! mashaalla! is mahaan gulukar ko muhobbat ka yeh din bahuut-bahuut mubarkbaad.

  22. Karamjit Singh says:

    Great job Bhagchandaniji. I understand your deep feelings. I was soaked in each
    word of songs sung by Rafi saab. Thanks

  23. bhagchandji,

    song number 6 and 8 are truly intelligent picks and you have explained them and made subtly beautiful. i think you have a lovely way with words and your expression keeps the reader happy and connected to what you are writing and wanting to convey.

    there are a lot of authors in our website if given the same topic would write beautifully but, but – you have an edge over all of them – cause – the connect you create with the reader and the ease with which you convince him/her of your noble intentions in deliverance and a job well done.

    i am purposefully not dwelling on the subject matter or your article perse – simply because you have left nothing for comment.

    a superb write up – congratulations – most uncomplicated – not too long – easy to digest – full of simplicity – not filled with annecdotes which complicate and bore the reader.

    some authors make a write up too long and boring – no offense meant but they are facts.

    its like reading a novel – you skip pages. – i read your article – thrice and yet never felt like making a direct comment on the content or even blow my trumpet – thats the simplicity of your article.

    bhagchandji keep these gems coming – more often.

    ramesh narain kurpad

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