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Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Tho Kya Hai

This article is written by Ms. Utthara Kumari B, a member of the Baar Baar Rafi club in Bangalore.

Mohd Rafi with S.D.Burman and Guru Dutt

Mohd Rafi with S.D.Burman and Guru Dutt

There is one song of Mohd Rafi which I consider the best among his bests. This is one of those classics where the immortal Rafi sahab, the romantic rebel Sahir Ludhianvi, the song king S D Burman and the brooding genius Guru Dutt combined to make one of the most powerful song sequences in cine history. It is that thought-provoking song from the black-and-white classic Pyaasa. To attempt to review the song is a tall order. I have only poured out my feelings, I wouldn’t dare call it a review.


Yeh mahalon, yeh takhton, yeh taajon ki duniya….
yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai…

Wah kya lyrics, kya music, kya acting and above all kya singing! I have watched this song sequence countless times. Each time this song stirs me and I go numb with its tremendous impact. What Sahir had written 50 years ago, still holds good today – this cruel word has not changed.

Rich and pure, Rafi’s voice is tinged with the kind of magic that is guaranteed to get to the heartstrings. He stresses a word here or goes slightly high pitch there or drawls a word here with his andaz and adas he gives that something extra to the song.

Just one line Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai. See how differently Rafi sings this line each time. It may sound monotonous… but he brings variations even in monotony. Only God can sing like that. The way he says `kya hai’ in a heavy drawl tells you what an unparalleled singer he is.

Listen to Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye

Guru Dutt after making frothy entertainers like Aar Paar and Mr and Mrs 55, stopped laughing, took life seriously when his relationships broke. His disillusionment is mirrored in subsequent films like Pyaasa, Kagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam.

I have outlined the film’s story to better appreciate this mind-blowing song. Pyaasa reveals a haunting and aching sadness. Guru Dutt plays Vijay, the frustrated and angry-with-society poet, a rebel without a pause. Rebellion yes, but self-defeating. Vijay’s growing disenchantment with the people and society is crushing. The defeated and broken man shuns the hypocritical society – a society which eulogises the dead and ignores the living. 

Mohd Rafi with O.P.Nayyar and Guru Dutt

Mohd Rafi with O.P.Nayyar and Guru Dutt


Inspired by Sarath Chandra’s novel Srikant, Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa (1957) examines the plight of the poet in a highly opportunistic world. In a world where romance sells, Vijay’s realistic poems are too bitter and pessimistic. Shunned by family, girlfriend and society, a frustrated Vijay does everything to get his poems published, but in vain. Defiant, angry and heartbroken, Vijay rejects the society. The movie depicts an artiste’s struggles to make it in a man-made harsh world.

The song highlights the ultimate achievement of this all-time loser – a slap in the face of the society. After a dead beggar wearing his coat is mistaken for him, his love Gulab, a prostitute, gets his poems published with her earnings. When Gulab finds Vijay is alive, she organizes a function to present the real Vijay to the world.

When the netas pay him handsome tributes believing him to be dead, Vijay rejects the society and Rafi brings to life Vijay’s disillusionment and his disgust and contempt for the hypocritical society.
Yeh mahalon, Yeh takhton, Yeh taajon ki duniya Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai! 

(These palaces, these kingdoms, this land of power… What do I gain by winning this worthless world?)
Mere saamne se hataado yeh duniya! (Remove this world from my sight)

Now that the world is willing to accept him and his popular writings, Vijay has no desire to attain the world anymore. Why revel in a shallow world that ignores the living? 

Mohd Rafi with S.D.Burman and Guru Dutt

Mohd Rafi with S.D.Burman and Guru Dutt


S D Burman’s tunes, Sahir’s profound poetry and Rafi’s intense singing bring this song alive in its stark reality.

In this riveting climax – in cold black and white – you see the silhouette of Guru Dutt which gradually comes into focus and by the end of the song you see a larger-than-life Dutt. The reaction shots of each character,especially of Gulab (Waheeda Rehman), are captivating. There is the unforgettable image of Vijay standing in the doorway with a world-weary look on his face. Alone and dejected, he looms large over a morally bankrupt world.

The elite who lavish praises on him thinking he is dead, now throw him out when they realise he is alive.

Rafi proves why he is the best – the song begins as a murmur, gradually rises in tone and pitch and finally explodes into all frustrated glory - jalado jalado ise phoonk dalo ye duniya tumhari hai tumhi sambhalo ye duniya (burn this world, blow it out, take back your world, I care nothing for it).

Rafi pours all the pain, inner traumas, anger, frustration and disgust of Vijay – he makes you feel Vijay’s pain. That is the greatness of a singer. As the song reaches a crescendo, Rafi’s voice soars giving one goose bumps. The song, the singing, the words haunt you. It takes sometime to come back to earth.

Only Sahir could have written such a scathing commentary on the society.

Ye mahalon, ye takthon, ye taajon ki duniyaa
Ye inasaan ke dushman samaajon ki duniyaa
Ye daulat ke bhuukhe rivaazon ki duniyaa
Ye duniyaa agar mil bhii jaaye to kyaa hai

Yes, why do we need such a world which bows to the rich and treats the underprivileged with utter contempt?

The first stanza is almost inaudible. Yet, Rafi conveys a wealth of meaning with his slow murmur

Har ek jism ghaayal, har ek ruh pyaasi
Nigaahon mein uljhan, dilon mein udaasi
Yeh duniyaa hai yaa aalam-e-badhavaasi
yeh duniyaa 

Here, the song rises a little in tone to show the disgust of the poet. And Rafi excels in conveying the udasi and uljhan. Each word falls like a heavy stone into the chilling silence.

Jahaan ek khilonaa hai inasaan ki hasti
Ye basti hai murdaa-paraston ki basti
Jahaan aur jivan se hai maut sasti
yeh duniyaa …

The song rises further in tempo in this stanza

Javaani bhatakti hai bezaar bankar
Javaan jism sajate hai baazaar bankar
Jahaan pyaar hotaa hai vyaapaar bankar
ye duniyaa 

Here you see Rafi singing in a slightly higher pitch to show the injustice of the society where even human beings are treated like commodities.

Yeh duniyaa jahaan aadami kuchh nahin hai
Vafaa kuchh nahin, dosti kuchh nahin hai
Jahaan pyaar ki kadr hi kuchh nahin hai
ye duniyaa …

In this stanza, Rafi’s voice soars a little, hinting that the song is hurtling towards a shattering climax.

Jalaa do, jalaa do ise phoonk daalo ye duniyaa
Mere saamne se hataa lo ye duniyaa
Tumhaari hai tumhi sambhalo ye duniya, ye duniyaa … 

The song ends with these soaring notes, which touch every cord in you, leaving you in helpless anger at the society. 

I don’t want a world which doesn’t give a damn to a person or loyalty or friendship or love – a world where everyone is deeply hurt, faces only problems – where beauty is sold in open market – where death is cheaper than living.  

Mohd Rafi with Sahir Ludhianvi, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Madan Mohan, Minoo Karthik

Mohd Rafi with Sahir Ludhianvi, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Madan Mohan, Minoo Karthik


What profound lyrics. Only Sahir’s pen could have come out with such bitter truths. The song is a telling comment on the commodification of people in the quest for money and power. Fifty years after the film’s release, today’s market economy too reflects this – where everything comes with a price tag.

S D Burman, the master, has given non-intrusive music. You only hear Rafi’s voice, the musical score is minimal. Dada’s music raises the song to sublime heights. 

With four greats coming together – Rafi, Sahir, Burman and Guru Dutt – is it any surprise that this song – can we merely call this a song? – this musical soul-stirrer is considered the best in cine history?


In 2005, Time Magazine selected Pyaasa as one of the all-time 100 movies of 20th century.
Nargis and Madhubala were originally pencilled in to act but were too busy. Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman, relatively newcomers then, stepped in. 

Waheeda’s character Gulab is based on real-life Gulabo, a prostitute whom Guru Dutt’s friend-director befriended once.

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126 Blog Comments to “Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Tho Kya Hai”

  1. utthara says:

    Dear friends, I have been reading with interest on Sahir’s fights with music directors. Sahir did not work with SD Burman after Pyaasa. Reportedly Sahir was arrogant. When Pyaasa became a huge hit, it is said Sahir took the entire credit for the film, which annoyed SD Burman. And Burmanda vowed not to work with Sahir again. But Burmanda did approach Sahir for Kagaz ke phool and Sahir reportedly turned it down. It was Kaifi Azmi’s gain. The movie is as
    much as a clasic as Pyaasa and so are the lyrics.
    Another interesting trivia. Sahir never worked with Shankar Jaikishen..he almost did. Phir Subah
    Hogi has Raj Kapoor as the hero and everyone presumed that Shankar
    Jaikishen would be the automatic choice. Even the producer was for it.
    But Sahir agasn put his foot down. He said: The film is based on the
    book Fyodor doestovsky’s classic Crime and Punishment. Only someone
    who has read the book can give meaningful music.
    The producer was perhaps convinced. The moive went to Khayyam.

    Sahir had several spats with many music directors including OP Nayyar,
    though they have worked together in some half a dozen films like Tumsa
    nahin dekha, 12 o clock, Naya Daur.
    Sahir also refused to work with Laxmikant-Pyarelal after the hit Daag
    because he felt their understanding of poetry was poor.

    Sahir never worked with Naushad. But Naushad tuned Sahir’s lyrics,
    sung by Mahendra Kapoor, after Sahir’s death.



  2. dearest chellai,

    a computer technician came on board to install some soft ware. i took his tataindicom for a minute just to clandestinely down load your article. i have it. i shall browse and brood over it and then give my views on it. these few lines have been written stealthily.

    bye sis : tussi greaT HO – JAI JHAI JAI HO RAFI SAHAB.




  3. Post 92 Dear P Haldar Saab,
    Your comments are so beatifully woven it was indeed a pleasure to read. Indeed haldarjee aap ke paas tho information ka bhandar hai. In such a situation please come forward and share your golden literature with all of us to enable us to update ourselves.
    We all sincerely hope you will definately start writing articles instead of just comments. Infact you & Sandeep Nadkarni can indeed make a very good team in this beautiful site dedicated in the loving memory of the greatest Mohammed Rafi Saab
    Please keep the good work continuing Haldarjee.

  4. xxx says:



    It’s a very well written article by you, as for this song, it is one of the best songs in the history of playback undoubtedly.

    well, there is another magical rendition by Rafi Sahab from the same movie i.e. “Jinhe naaz hai hind par wo kahan hai”, emotions are pouring out of Rafi Sahab’s voice and what a great tune by S.D. Burman,tune is perfectly reflecting the mood of the situation and Sahir ke to kya kehne!! combined output of all three biggies in this song too simply mesmerizes you.

    Pyasa and Guide were pinnacles of the beauty of Rafi-SD combo!!

  5. utthara says:

    Haldarsaab, there is one song of Rafi_SDB combination which is my favourite. Hum bekhudi mein tumko pukare chalegaye. Wah! Rafi sab’s andaz of singing this exquisite melody is superb. One of the best songs of Rafi saab’s. Don’t you think so?


  6. Mohammed Irfan says:

    BEHTAREEN!!! What a review Uttaraji.
    I need to see the song today itself.Keep up the good work.


  7. utthara says:

    Anil Cherianji, thank you for your compliments. The kind of range and versatility Rafi saab had no one could even attempt. Whatever the song, he sang with so much feeling.


  8. utthara says:

    Haldaarji, thank you for liking my article. undoubtedly, SD was the dada of music directors. The combination of Shailendra, SDB and Vijay Anand __ Guide __ this is another masterpiece. Burman has creared exquisite muisc. Each song is a gem. Rafi saab gets to sing three ehavenly songs for this film __ the tender Tere mere sapne, the dukhbhari Din dhal jaye haye and the dardbhara Kya se kya hogaya. Expecially, the last one, the music, the lyrics and the singing take you on a high. Can you imageine anyone singing Kya se kya? This ovie is one of the best films of SD Burman.



  9. P. Haldar says:

    Dear utthara ji:

    I should have complimented you on your article before posting other comments. A great review of an immortal song penned by one of the greatest poets of our time. I loved your characterisation of s. d. burman’s music as being non-intrusive and minimalistic. That’s the way he was; you’ll never find a jarring note in any of the songs of pyaasa. The hallmark of a great md is not to show bahaduri with his orchestra — you can always hire a v. balsara or a sebastian d’souza to do that for you — but to know when to take a backseat when the situation demands it. But even in this “minimalistic melody”, listen to the use of violins.

    Burman dada loved to sail with rafi saab on the low waves of the arabian sea rather than on the rough waters of the bay of bengal, but in this song, as you have so accurately described, he creates such a dramatic climax with:

    Jalaa do, jalaa do ise phoonk daalo ye duniyaa
    Mere saamne se hataa lo ye duniyaa
    Tumhaari hai tumhi sambhalo ye duniya, ye duniyaa …

    The music reaches a crescendo and Rehman is forced to switch off the power!

    1957 was a pivotal year for hindi film music. A lot of good things happened but there were also some unintended consequences (some of which you can see from the posts). But let me focus on the good things. When it came to picturising songs, there were four directors who were the best among the best. One of them is the one you have mentioned in this article, the one and only Guru Dutt Padukone. At the time of pyaasa, two of the other three were firmly established. It’s the fourth one who enters the scene in Hindi film’s version of 911. His name is the same as the poet in pyaasa. About whom dada used to tell his wife meera: goldie ko yeh gaana pasand nahin aaya.

    if 1957 witnessed the lightning, 1958 witnessed thunder in the form of two sd-rafi songs, one written by kaifi saab and the other by dada’s “mozru” saab.

  10. binu nair says:

    Haldar saaheb:

    Post 85 Re: I will close my eyes & excuse op nayyar and sahir for all their whims and ways. I will also pray that they be born again (if there is re-birth) and I may be given an opportunity to serve them atleast 10 years of my life at different times..
    these 20 years will be well lived and give bliss to the remaining part of life.

    intellectuals as a rule have to be “high voltage” and sometimes to use a bombaiya word be a bit of “sankee” other wise they would remain ordinary mortals.
    we will close our eyes to their egos and preferences – for what they make are worth tons of glittering, timeless and pure gold.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai…..

  11. binu nair says:

    Haldar saaheb:

    Post 85 Re: I will close my eyes & excuse op nayyar and sahir for all their whims and ways. I will also pray that they be born again (if there is re-birth) and I may be given an opportunity to serve them atleast 10 years of my life at different times..
    these 20 years will be well lived and give bliss to the remaining part of life.

    intellectuals as a rule have to be “high voltage” and sometimes to use a bombaiya word be a bit of “sankee” other wise they would remain ordinary mortals.
    we will close our eyes to their egos and preferences – for what they make are worth tons of glittering timeless and pure gold.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai…..

  12. SD KA PANKHA says:

    SD sahab ke behtareen kaamo mein se ek hai Pyaasa, Rafi sahab ne bhi behad achha nibhaya hai ye gana

  13. Rohit says:

    Great song!!

    Hats off to great SD BURMAN, Rafi and of course sahir…

  14. Anil Cherian says:

    Please accept my compliments for a terrific write-up. Hope to see more from you here in this community.
    Haldar sir:
    Let me list out a few of my fav play-back beauties by the ‘baadshah'(which may not be too great sans video).
    ‘Hai duniyaa usiki…’. Too difficult to actually believe that this is play-back singing; what synchronisation between Shammiji’s demeanor and Rafisahab’s singing.
    ‘Kehna ek deewana….’. Another superbly harmonised gem, How brilliantly Rafisahab’s brings that tired-n-desperate feel into the voice and singing, while matching Rishi’s own speaking voice.
    ‘Channa’ song from Kranti. How well Rafisahab’s voice gels with the aged (yet spirited) Dilip Kumar on screen.
    ‘Aaja re aa zarraa..’.

  15. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 59:

    mr. bijoor wrote: “However this beautiful rendition was purely in the form of a simple poetry OR ode recited by Rafi Saab and hence should not be treated as a song and thus any contribution by S D Burman in this case does not exist.”

    What a joke! I guess guru dutt should have entrusted the music of pyaasa to boppi da. He is a very talented musician; accompanied the nightingale on the tabla at a concert in the Eden Gardens at the age of 12.

  16. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 80:

    dear nadkarni saab, thanks so much for your response. it’s possible that guru dutt had initially thought of op for pyaasa, but as far as the results are concerned, i don’t think anyone will argue about the merits of the final selection. Here is what op had to say himself:

    “All say Pyaasa is a masterpiece but take away Sahir’s poetry and S.D.Burman’s music and what is left? The way S.D. composed for Jinhein Naaz Hain Hind Par is pure genius. Just listen to the lines- Kahan Hain, Kahan Hain, Kahan Hain – every line is differently embellished.”

    nadkarni saab, being a musician, you will know much more about what happened behind the scenes. I am aware of sahir’s tendency to charge more than anyone else; in fact, at one time, he wanted one rupee more than lata. But “naya daur” and “pyaasa” were released in the same year (1957); this is op’s own explanation of the events leading to his rift with sahir:

    “In one of the filmi parties, I heard song-writer Sahir Ludhiyanvi telling somebody that he had made S.D.Burman. I got very angry. If this man could say such a thing for a great composer like S.D.Burman, then what was there to prevent him from saying the same about me? I just cut off relations with that man.”

    if you want high-voltage drama, pack c. ramchandra, salil, sahir and op in the same room. Sparks will fly and in the end you will get to see a thriller more enjoyable than sholay!

  17. utthara says:

    Hi Nirmala, Pyaasa was released much before I was born too. yet, the movie has a great impact on me. Thanks for that bit of info on FTII ahving Guru Dutt as a subject.

    Thank you


  18. utthara says:

    Dear Sunita, you made my day. You reminded me of our filmi talk and singing sessions. Yes, Rafi has breathed life into every song. Such a dedicated and passionate singer he as. Bichde hue sabhi bari bari…will attempt to write on this song. kagaz ke phool and this song are very touching.

    Thank you bahan


  19. utthara says:

    Hello Vasanthi, this is your ex-boss. Want leave? Ha! ha!

    hey, thanks dear for your hatke comments…that I treat news and songs with equal sensitivity. Bahan, thak you


  20. utthara says:

    Dear Jayanthi, thank you for your comments. I value your opinion. I am glad you liked it. More reviews? I will try. With the kind of encouragement I am getting, I will definitely attempt analysing some songs close to my heart.


  21. Post 61 dear p haldarjee,
    As a very few might be aware that Guru Dutt was highly professional and also very diplomatic.
    The feud between Sahir and O P Nayyar actualy started in the times when B R Chopra was making the collosul film Naya Daur. Sahir as he slowly became popular saw the majic of the money spinning & involved in this industry and slowly started his own little qualms and infact started demanding a rupee more as his fees than what was given to O P Nayyar and here Nayyar was totally anguished with Sahir and vouched never to work with Sahir again.
    The money spinning matter was observed by Sahir as the Greatest Dilip Kumar was paid a handsome fee of almost rupees forty lacs by B R Chopra in those days.
    Guru Dutt was aware of this feud between these 2 greats and see how diplomatically the overall situation was handled by him and hence the question of Nayyar scoring music for Pyassa would have never arised
    Moreover Guru Dutt and O P Nayyar were die-hard friends.
    Hope your doubts are taken-care of Mr Haldarjee.
    Yeh industry ke khel hai dostoon

  22. Utthara says:


    Guru Dutt was a brilliant director. His Pyaasa and Kagaz ke Phool are classics. In both the films, Rafi saab raises the film to peaks with his divine singing.

    Sahir gave us such memorable songs.

    Thank you for your response.


  23. Utthara says:

    Bijoorji, your words of encouragement make me want to do better. I felt very happy when you called me. That was a fantastic gesture. Thank you.


  24. utthara says:

    Hashim Khanji, Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your appreciation of my article. I also thank all the Rafi lovers of Kolkata. My next article could be Abhi na jao chod kar or Aaj purani rahon se. Hope you will give your valuable comments.

    Bahut shukriya

    Shubho nobo varsha(poila baisakh)

    Happy New Year


  25. utthara says:

    Raj, kudos coming from the president of our group mean a lot to me. I strongly recommend you to see Pyaasa again. An unforgettable movie with unforgettable music and unforgettable singing by Rafi saab and unforgettable lyrics by Sahir.

    Thank you very much for your support and encouragement


  26. sunita says:

    Thanks Uttara for such a wonderful review. It touched my heart. After reading your review I realised that I hadn’t heard this song for a while now. Your article made me sit up and hear it again. I had never analyzed it this way. It’s lyrics seem to be more apt for today’s world. I truly feel that Rafiji lived in each of his songs. He has done justice to every song that he has sung. Another song of his `Dekhi Zamane ke yaari’ comes close to this one. I hope you would write a piece on this one also.
    Thanks a million Uttara

  27. binu nair says:

    it’s reliably learnt that even op nayyar and guru dutt had a clash after the success of c.i.d.
    it was a car which was promised if the film met with success at the box-office. guru dutta offered the car as promised to the promised individuals. i dont have the names now but it’s said that op nayyar was excluded from this big prize.
    op nayyar got annoyed with this. later on, opn quoted a big sum, may be a lac of rupees for a film for guru dutta. the producer guru dutta was un-prepared to pay this sum and he therefore went to s d burman saaheb.

    these infos are given out in music events by informed commentators and also in the book of author manek premchand who also is an rj in worldspace radio and has a programme in radio farista named : nau do gyarah.
    the name of the book is Yesterdays melodies, todays memories….. this book is a must read and a collectors item – for music from the 1930s to 1970 is analysed.

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

  28. nirmala says:

    it is truly, truly wonderful.
    though pyaasa was released much before i was born.
    it always reduces me to tears to listen to this song and watch the movie again and again.
    in fact in FTII there is a whole subject on Guru Dutt taught during the film appreciation course. at least it used to be.
    no idea whether it is still on the agenda.
    really worth it.
    no other film great has had this honour.
    thanks uttars for this lovely review


  29. utthara says:

    Dear Vinaya, will review aaj purani rahonse. Aap kahe aur hum na kare? It’s my fave too. And I have some very interesting trivia. Watch this space!


  30. utthara says:

    Haldaarji, your take on this immortal song is fantastic. I quote you:

    “sahir’s profound poetry, sd’s outstanding composition, rafi’s incomparable enunciation and guru dutt’s impeccable delivery all become one. It’s like four stars in the galaxy coming together in alignment to produce a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that would remain etched in our audio-visual memories forever.”

    I totally agree with you. And you ahve expressed it so beautifully.

    Thank you very much

  31. utthara says:

    Muveen, I am delighted to see your post. Bhai, where have you been all these days?

    Bahut shukriya for saying Rafi saab and I are great. But no one can match rafi saab in humaneness. And you are comparing me with him? I know what you are trying to say is that such a heavenly song got a good review.
    Thank you


  32. utthara says:

    Dear Vinaya, what do i say?

    You said: “Pity Rafi and Gurudutt can’t read this review. (But then, may be these immortal men already have!)”

    These lines ahve brought tears of joy to me.
    Thank you.

    Ramu, I am delighted to see your mail. A pleasant surprse.

    Thank you,


  33. Ramachandra Hegde says:

    My wife Vinaya forgot to add this:
    The words ‘perceptive’ and ‘sensitive’ were probably made for this review.

  34. Vinaya Hegde says:

    “Just one line Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai. See how differently Rafi sings this line each time. It may sound monotonous but he brings variations even in monotony. Only God can sing like that.”

    While heartily seconding that, I confess that I’d not noticed all these nuances all these years, though I’ve heard this song countless times. Utthara’s straight-from-the-heart piece has shown me what a superficial listener I’ve been!

    Pity Rafi and Gurudutt can’t read this review. (But then, may be these immortal men already have!)

    PS: Will Uttraxi please review ‘Aaj purani rahon se koi mujhe aawaz na den’ from ‘Aadmi’ as a treat?


  35. Utthara says:

    Venkatadriji, I am overjoyed to learn that you have logged into this site after two months to read my views on yeh duniya. And you have made me a star.
    Thank you very much


    Ahamad Kuttyji, what you said is cent per cent correct. The behaviour of a person is more important than anything else. And Rafi saab, like you have pointed, was a person who was humility personified. There is a lot for us to learn from him.

    I agree that every song of his requries a detailed analysis. And he gave equal importance to all songs. That was his greatness.

    Thank you,

  36. Utthara says:

    Nadkarni saab, pranaam. Sir, the fact that you have read my article makes me feel very humble. I am truly grateful to you, sir.
    Your suggestion of sharing email IDs and publishing our articles in a book form is excellent. We will definitely follow your advice.

    Bahut dhanyavaad, sir

  37. Utthara says:

    Firoz Ahmad sahab, I am thrilled to have received such a commendation from you. The song is a masterpiece. Rafi sahab’s rendition is unmatched.

    Thank you very much sir


  38. Muveen says:

    I have only one line for rafi and utthara

    both are great


  39. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 41:

    nadkarni saab, thanks for your post but unless you have inside information that we are not aware of, your account of pyaasa does not quite tally with the official accounts reported in the press. o. p. nayyar has stated in several interviews that he stopped working with sahir when he heard sahir was going around telling people that he had made the career of s. d. burman. So the op-sahir fallout was a result of the sd-sahir ego clash, at least from what I’ve read.

    sd and sahir had a long association, which included films like Baazi, Naujawan, Taxi Driver, Devdas, House No. 44 and Funtoosh. And sd composed the music for Jaal, Guru Dutt’s directorial debut, probably before OP even entered the industry. Although Guru Dutt adored op, it’s surprising to know that he wanted op to score the music for pyaasa rather than sd. It’s like preferring sd to naushad for composing the music of mughal-e-azam or preferring rd to madan mohan for composing the music of laila majnu. Thank god that it didn’t happen.

    It is almost impossible to identify rafi’s best song, but in terms of pure “playback” quality, to me this song is the best ever recorded in hfm history. Its closest competitors are “jinhe naaz hai hind par” and “din dhal jaye” (this is my personal opinion). I am not including “dekhi zamane ki yaari” because technically it’s a background song. Now let me explain what I mean. Take the other contenders for rafi’s top song: duniya ke rakhwale, man tadpat hari darshan, man re tu kahe na dheer dhare, madhuban mein radhika and suhani raat dhal chuki. Each of these songs I can keep listening endlessly without watching the song being played on screen. But though I love listening to “yeh mahalon yeh takhton” on cd, watching the song being delivered on screen by guru dutt gives me a totally different experience: sahir’s profound poetry, sd’s outstanding composition, rafi’s incomparable enunciation and guru dutt’s impeccable delivery all become one. It’s like four stars in the galaxy coming together in alignment to produce a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that would remain etched in our audio-visual memories forever.

    Two years before pyaasa, the sahir-sd-rafi combo provided in devdas (manzil ki rahi) an indication of things to come. Each of them took the other two to greater heights in pyaasa; the fact that this combo would never work together post-pyaasa is one of the biggest losses to genuine music lovers like us.

  40. Prakash shah says:

    Salute to whole team of guru dutt Rafiji,sahir,Abrar alvi,WR,MS,Rahamanji,Kaifiji and actor director gurudutt and gitadutt(Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam fame).
    Devanand was first one who reached toGD house hearing his death news from his servant Anand,And WR was last one,in between Prithviraj kapoorji Dilip kumar etc.remained present.
    The last person who met GD (Alive) and took dinner at his house was Abrar alvi,and servant Anand.
    Kaka Kalel kar ne kidhar kaha tha ke SSanu maanas labhat naa hin means Achhe aadmi lamba ye dharti pe rahte GD Rafiji jaise Aatma o ke upar fit bethata he.

  41. Prakash Shah says:

    Dear UK,

    Thx P.Narayanji for refering UK’s article,

    Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke phool were unparallel films till date,

    The music,acting,director,script,lyrics were marvellous,

    Above all Guru Dutt a highly intelligent actor/director shown the scene very realstically.

    This films are masterpiece of not only guru dutt but also an example for till date othercomercially successful producers,who doesn’t dare to make this type of films.

    Guru dutt had seen achhe bure din in his real life,and what else …. karke apne aapko khatma kar diya …Lekin Rafiji vo depth,vo Vijay ka mental trauma,jo vijay face kar raha tha usko kaise apni gayiki me le aaye . . ye sochane ki baat he..? Aur isi liye all marks equally goes to Rafiji who become Vijay behind the screen than only it is possible..socho..socho.?

  42. Ms Uttara Kumarijee your review “Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya Hai” was truly fascinating.
    This poetry is equally one of the most immortal renditions by Mohammed Rafi Saab which indeed spoke volumes of the society at large and was based on the beautiful poem penned by Sahir Saab
    However this beautiful rendition was purely in the form of a simple poetry OR ode recited by Rafi Saab and hence should not be treated as a song and thus any contribution by S D Burman in this case does not exist.
    Uttarajee your review I for a while visualized – brought forth the live portraits of the great Guru Dutt and Rafi Saab reciting at his best. Indeed a remarkable review which helped in equally explaining every finer details pertaining to the lyrics of this extraordinary poem
    Hats Off to you Uttarjee for a very fine spell and please keep the good work continuing

  43. Hashim Khan says:

    Utthara madam,

    ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai.

    The agony and frustration dripping from each word of this Sahir Saheb’s classic is superbly translated through sound bytes integrating sheer pathos.

    What Rafi Saheb has done to this song is similar to what Lataji has done to aae mere watan ke logon / allah tero naam. Made it timeless.

    What you have done in your analysis of this song is given us a flawless insight. On behalf of all rafi lovers of calcutta, i wish to thank you for sharing this tribute to those evergreen legends with please write many more.

    Hashim Khan
    Rafi Lovers Circle

  44. jayanthi says:

    Dear Utthara,
    I really liked your outpouring. You have not only praised his exquisite singing (I am a Rafi fan, too) but heaped praise on another great, Sahir Ludhianvi. I quite enjoyed reading your stanza by stanza analysis. Your inspired description of Rafi’s singing has brought alive the song. Even a person who does not quite remember this song will easily recall the bass and tenor of Rafi’s singing. Will watch out for more reviews.
    Keep singing.
    And belated Happy birthday (March 25)

  45. B.G.raj says:

    Dear Uttharaji,

    Amazing amazing, amazing!

    I think you were a bit too modest in saying that it was not a review, in fact you re kindled my desire to see the movie once again, as it is quite some time since I have seen it.

    I am sure; S.D.Burman would have not composed this style of a song if he did not have a Mohd. Rafi to sing for him. He must have kept him in mind and told him self that he would do justice to it; hence, he went ahead and composed it.

    We have heard many a story writers and script writers declaring that they have written the script keeping in mind the actor such as Deewar, Sholay etc and I am sure many a music composers would swear that they have composed a particular song keeping Rafi Saab in mind.

    Songs such as this, Yeh Duniye Yeh Mehfil, Tum Jo Mil Gaye ho, well, the list will go on, no doubt why people say “human beings are mortal music is immortal”.

    Thanks & regards,


  46. Narayan says:

    Post 41…
    Nadakarni saab… We bow to your wonderful suggestion and definitely take this forward earnestly….
    Sir it will be pleasure to have your contact numbers at my email id at the earliest. I assure you that the same will be kept confidential..
    With melodious regards.
    Rafi Sahab Tusi great ho… Nadkarni sahab ko mera aur Baar Baar Rafi Fan Club members ka laakhoon Salaam…

  47. binu nair says:

    on july 31st rafi saaheb left us. it was 1980.

    on oct.25 , 1980 sahir ludhianvi saaheb left us.

    their works have become amar. god does not make such great men – anymore.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  48. Utthara says:

    Binuji, thanks for the suggestion. I will attempt to review the all-time great duet Abhi na jao chodkar. I consider it the best romantic duet ever.


  49. Parvathi says:

    Hi Utthara

    I can see that you have revelled to your heart’s content and maybe more without the 400-450 word constraint!!!!! Frankly, i do not have it in me to analyze a song like u and Minu baby do. I so often hear you both going ga ga over the finer nuances adas, mukhda antara et al. I have envied u for being able to do that. I listen to a song and just let it wash over me and that is how songs become my fave. But yes, this is one of my favourites, along with the others in Dutt’s films, esp Sahib Biwi.. U have to be a fool not to like it. So here’s looking forward to some more reviews. When will i hear u on World Space. Tell Koyal to put in a good word:)

  50. says:

    uttara i congradulate you for giving me enoromus depth of detail about legeandry singer
    mohd rafi sab. expecting more articles from you

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