Mohammad Rafi: ‘Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge’- Part 2
31st July happens to be the 40th death anniversary of Mohammed Rafi. Here is a look at some of the things not many people may know about the legendary singer, in a three-part series. This is second part of the series.
 
Did you know that when Rafi was recording “Babul Ki Duayein Leti Jaa” for the film Neelkamal (1968, directed by Ram Maheswari, music by Ravi), he couldn’t control his emotions and broke down? Aptly, he won the national award for this song.
 
 
The unique relationship that Madan Mohan shared with Lata Mangeshkar is well-known Lata had made Madan her raakhi brother. But Madan Mohan was equally fond of Rafi too.
 
Some of Madan Mohan’s excellent songs like “Teri Aankhon Ke Siva”, “Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil”, “Kar Chale Hum Fida”, “Meri Awaaz Suno” and “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” were sung by Rafi.
 
It is also a strange coincidence that all the three top singers of Bollywood, namely Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Rafi died of cardiac arrest.
 
OP Nayyar famously remarked once, “Without Rafi, there is no OP Nayyar.” 
 
All the musicals that were released between the late 50s and 60s and mostly shot in Kashmir (and often featuring Asha Parekh, Sadhana, Sharmila Tagore etc) had music composed by OP Nayyar, with Rafi lending the vocals for the male lead. 
 
Sadly, the two had a fallout during the recording of “Sawan Ki Ghata” because Rafi reported late for the recording but the immensely talented and highly egoistic OP Nayyar couldn’t digest this. They did not work together for the next three years but by the early 70s the Nayyar magic had completely waned. His fallout with Asha Bhosale made matters worse for him.
 
The songs of Parasmani (1963) and Dosti (1964) were immortalised by Rafi’s voice. Lakshmikant Pyarelal hit paydirt with the music that they composed for these songs. The music director duo had humble beginnings in Bollywood as music assistants and arrangers but no one could stop their talent from rising. Unlike the eccentric Kishore Kumar who would do anything to recover his dues, Rafi was more understanding when a producer faced a financial setback.
 
The film Amar Akbar Anthony was special because in one of the songs “Hum Ko Tumse Ho gaya hai pyar” Rafi sang along with Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. This was perhaps the first and last time that all the singers came together to sing one song.
 
Rafi’s bonding with Khayyam
 
 Music director Khayyam was soft-spoken and wasn’t very prolific. But he produced musical gems that stand testimony to his immense talent. Rafi lent him ample support. The song “Kahin Ek Masoon Nazuk Si Ladki” from Shankar Hussain (1977) remains an immortal classic.
 
Khayyam had scored music for Bibi (1950) and Rafi’s rendition of a ghazal from the movie became a hit. Though Khayyam and Rafi worked only in a few films, their friendship lasted until the singer’s death due to cardiac arrest. Khayyam remarked that Rafi’s dedication was unparalleled and that his humility was his most endearing quality.
 
The compassionate singer lent his voice to even C-grade films never bothering about his market price. Rafi desired to sing a few bhajans and asked Khayyam to compose them. Rafi was always a student of music keen to learn about the intricacies of music, ragas and mixing. He adapted his voice to the characterisation on the screen and this is what made his songs so special.
 
Though a throat infection in the 70’s resulted in a brief lull in his career, Rafi still managed to sail through. Some of his songs in the early 70s still top the popularity charts.
 
1.     Kaan Mein Jhumka (Sawan Bhadon, 1969)
2.     Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge (Pagla Kahin Ka, 1970)
3.     Jhilmil Sitaron Ka (Jeevan Mrityu, 1970)
4.     Gulabi Aankhen (The Train, 1970)
5.     Yunhi Tum Mujhse Baat (Sachcha Jhuta, 1971)
6.     Itna To Yaad Hai Mujhe (Mehboob ki Mehndi, 1971)
7.     Mera Man Tera Pyasa (Gambler, 1971)
8.     Kitna Pyara Wada (Caravan, 1972)
9.     Chura Liya Hai Tumne (Yaadon Ki Baraat, 1973)
10.   Na Tu Zameen Ke Liye (Dastan, 1972)
11.   Saare Shehar Mein Aapsa (Bairaag, 1976)
12.   Aaj Mausam Bada Beiman Hai (Loafer, 1973)
 
He won the National Award for “Kya Hua Tera Wada” from Nasir Hussain’s bumper hit “Hum Kisi se Kam Nahin” (1977). 
 
 
In 1978, Rafi gave a performance at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1980 he performed at the Wembley conference centre. 
 
 
From 1970 until his death he toured around the world extensively giving concert performances to packed halls.
 
(This is second part of a three-part series)
 
 
 
(After working in the corporate world for close to two decades, Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam started her second career innings as a head-hunter. She is passionate about Hindi movies and loves retro music. When her family shifted to Chennai in the 80s, Bhagya had a taste of Tamil cinema too. In the long term, she plans a book on two of her favourite directors – Guru Dutt and K Balachander. She travels across the country on work and is based in Mysore.)
 
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    COMMENTS

    pmbhate

    1 week ago

    Lata Mangeshkar: 10+ as a singer; 10- as a human being
    Mohammad Rafi: 10+ in both

    shafique.rahib

    1 week ago

    Wrong information about Lata Rafi dispute. Lata ji refused to sing with Rafi Sahab and consequently replaced with Suman and ASHA Bhonsle. Lata is very egoist and proudy. She also had disputes with S.D.Burman and others. Although she's a great singer but she caused to spoil career of many talented singer like Mubarak Begum, Suman Kalyanpur etc.

    REPLY

    sarbani.pal08

    In Reply to shafique.rahib 1 week ago

    I totally agree with you. Many great singers are there, but no one like Rafi Saab, he was a great singer as well as a beautiful human being, rather to say a farishta

    radhikaparadkar16

    In Reply to shafique.rahib 1 week ago

    Rafi Saab was truly humble and a blessed great human being too ...

    radhikaparadkar16

    In Reply to shafique.rahib 1 week ago

    True that ... I agree and I had heard that from the older people in my house ..
    Though Lata is a great singer she is very egoistic and proud in vain ...

    Mohammad Rafi: A Great Singer, a Humble Man -Part 1
    31st July happens to be the 40th death anniversary of Mohammed Rafi. Here is a look at some of the things not many people may know about the legendary singer.
     
    Rafi was the second of six sons born to Haji Ali Mohammad. The family belonged to Amritsar. His nickname was Pheeko. He made his debut in the Punjabi film Gul Baloch (1944). Shyam Sunder was the music director.
     
    Rafi made his Hindi film debut in Gaon Ki Gori in 1945. When he moved to Mumbai, he initially lived in the Bhendi Bazaar area. He was a chorus singer in the movie Shahjahan (1946) that featured the then tragedy king (Devdas) KL Saigal. Rafi then got an opportunity to sing in Anmol Ghadi (1946), a Mehboob Khan film that starred Surendra, Noor Jehan and Suraiyya.
     
    It was only in 1949 that Rafi began getting solos (Dillagi, Dulari, Chandni Raat, Meena Bazaar).
     
    Rafi was greatly inspired by KL Saigal and GM Durrani. After Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, Rafi teamed up with Husanlal Bhagatram and Rajendra Krishan to create the song “Suno Suno Ae Duniyawalon Bapuji Ki Amar Kahani”. India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited Rafi to his house to sing.
     
    Rafi worked with many music directors (including the lesser known ones) such as Naushad, SD Burman, RD Burman, Roshan, Sardar Malik, Sapan Jagmohan, Sonik Omi,  OP Nayyar, Chitragupt, Shankar Jaikishan, Kalyanji Anandji, Jaidev and Lakshmikant Pyarelal.
     
    Rafi shared a special rapport with Usha Khanna – one of the first female music directors in Bollywood. He sang for her the songs of Dil Deke Dekho (1959). Fifteen years later, when Rafi sang for her in Hawas (“Teri galiyon Mein Na Aayenge Sanam”), Ms Khanna wasn’t too happy about a few nuances in his singing but felt inhibited to say so to the singer. When Rafi came to know this, he was upset and gently chided Usha Khanna, reminding her that as a music director she had every right to correct him. Such was the humility of the legend!
     
    No other playback singer has mentored so many other singers as Rafi has had. Mahendra Kapoor was always proud of the fact that he was Rafi’s protégé. Usha Timothy, Suman Kalyanpur, Kamal Barot and Sudha Malhotra were singers with whom Rafi shared a great rapport. Ironically, Lata Mangeshkar is the only playback singer with whom he had a huge tiff – the scar that it left in his soul was immense. Rafi was at ease singing with Sulakshana Pandit (“Sona Re Tujhe Kaise Miloon” from the 1978 film Aankhon Dekhi) and with music director Shankar’s protégé Sharda.
     
    When the Lata-Rafi team broke up, it was Suman Kalyanpur who benefited the most. In the 1966 release Mamta, there were two versions of the immortal song – “Rahen Na Rahen Hum Mehka Karenge” – one sung by Lata and the other a duet by Rafi and Suman. Among the many gems that Rafi and Suman co-created is (Jab Se Hum Tum Baharon Mein – from the 1962 release Main Shaadi Karne Chala that starred IS Johar and Saeeda Khan in the lead with Feroze Khan, Tabassum, Mumtaz and Parveen Choudhury forming part of the supporting cast). Produced by Wadia brothers and directed by Roop K Shorey, the film—a rib-tickling comedy—was a moderate success at the box office. Chitragupta was the music director.
     
    The 1952 release Baiju Bawra established the careers of music director Naushad, actress Meena Kumari, actor Bharat Bhushan and singer Rafi. The heart-rending tale of Baiju who challenges the court singer Tansen to avenge his father’s death was a golden jubilee hit.
     
    Rafi was the voice of Dev Anand until the actor took a special liking to Kishore Kumar. Unfortunately, music director Jaidev’s wavelength did not match with that of the Anand brothers and so Bollywood lost a great talent. Jaidev never composed music for the Anands after the 1961 release Hum Dono. (Rafi’s songs “Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar” and “Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya”) need no introduction.
     
    Rafi and Hemant Kumar were the voices of Guru Dutt. Rafi shared a great rapport with SD Burman due to which even in an era when Kishore Kumar reigned as the king in playback singing, Burman never forgot to give Rafi what he deserved (Aradhana, Abhimaan). RD Burman had a distinct bias towards Kishore but he did use Rafi for Yaadon Ki Baraat the 1973 box-office hit directed by Nasir Hussain that gave a new lease of life to Zeenat Aman’s fledgling career in Bollywood.
     
    Shammi Kapoor and Rafi created magic on screen. Rafi would put himself in the shoes of Kapoor when he sang for him. Kapoor would diligently visit the recordings of his songs by Rafi.
     
    In the film Shararat Rafi gave his voice to Kishore Kumar on screen! But the film tanked at the box-office.
     
    Rafi also sang for Rajendra Kumar, Dharmendra, Biswajeet, Navin Nischol, Shashi Kapoor and Manoj Kumar. Contrary to what the media keeps writing, Rafi produced some of his best songs even after 1969 when Kishore Kumar was riding high on the success of Aradhana. That Rajesh Khanna favoured Kishore Kumar over Rafi was a kind of a blow to Rafi but he accepted it with grace.
     
    His song – “Apni Aankhon Mein Basakar” for the 1974 release Thokar is a case in point. The film was a B-grade venture starring Baldev Kosa (actor turned politician and Sunil Dutt’s cousin), Shiv Kumar and Alka and the music was composed by Shyamji-Ghanshyamji. This is an example of how humility won and Rafi never allowed the ignominy of being ignored by a superstar come in the way of his singing.
     
    (This is first part of a three-part series)
     
     
    (After working in the corporate world for close to two decades, Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam started her second career innings as a head-hunter. She is passionate about Hindi movies and loves retro music. When her family shifted to Chennai in the 80s, Bhagya had a taste of Tamil cinema too. In the long term, she plans a book on two of her favourite directors – Guru Dutt and K Balachander. She travels across the country on work and is based in Mysore.)
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Popat

    2 weeks ago

    Great! Rafi also sung for Kishor in Ragini(Man mora bawara..).
    in non-filmy, i remember, 'tere bharose, a nandlala...

    s5rwav

    2 weeks ago

    Respect the Great Singer and the Great Person India is Proud of.

    Ankahee-1985: Powerful Plot, Sterling Performances Weave a Hypnotic Milieu
    Dr Shreeram Lagoo, who had mostly played avuncular characters on the screen, passed away last December at the ripe old age of 92 years. An ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeon by profession, he drifted onto the stage which finally led him into accepting roles in innumerable Bollywood flicks and stabilising as a character artiste.  He became a full-time drama actor in 1969 with VV Shirwadkar’s play Natasamrat, which won him tremendous recognition. His stint in Marathi cinema that began with V Shantaram’s Pinjara (1972) consists of several successful and path breaking films like Sinhasan and Mukta. In his later years, he had moved to Pune and chose to stay away from the limelight.
     
    Here is a look at Ankahee, one of his releases where he played an unconventional role of an astrologer: the more special because in real life he had been an ardent campaigner against superstition and had advocated rationalism and scientific outlook with a missionary zeal.
    Ankahee was directed by Amol Palekar with ample support from his first wife, director and stage actor Chitra Palekar. 
     
    Ankahaee received critical acclaim, thanks to a taut and engaging screen play. The noteworthy performances of all the lead actors in this low-budget film were well appreciated. The film’s sound track by legendary composer Jaidev won him a National Award. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi won the award for the best male playback singer for “Raghubar tumko meri laaj” and “Thumak Thumak Pag Dumak”. Asha Bhosle sang “Mujhko Radha bana lo Nandlal” and Kabir’s famous nirguni bhajan “Kauno Thagwa Nagariya” in her dulcet voice, making the music a treat for all music lovers.
     
    Well known astrologer Jyotirbhaskar Pandit Satyanarayan Chaturvedi tells a doctor (Vinod Mehra) that the patient on whom he is about to perform a minor surgery will not survive. The doctor scoffs at this but the patient dies, leaving her husband (Vidhu Vinod Chopra) devastated. 
     
    The astrologer lives with his wife, Devaki (Dina Pathak) and their only son Nandu (Amol Palekar). Nandu and Sushama, who works on projects on astronomy at the Nehru Planetarium, are deeply in love and wish to get married soon. But when Nandu takes her home to meet his parents, his astrologer father bluntly declares that as per Nandu’s horoscope, he is destined to have two wives and that his first wife would die during childbirth after 11 months of marriage. 
     
    Sushama is unperturbed as she is a non-believer in astrology and says she is in any case willing to die for the sake of her love, should the prophesy come true. Nandu, however, has more respect for his father’s acumen and long experience, and tells her that he has never known his father’s predictions to have not come true. He is torn with anxiety and apprehension for the future. At this point, Indu (Deepti Naval) walks into Nandu’s life.
     
    Indu is the beautiful but mentally deficient daughter of Mishra, Panditji’s childhood friend and an accomplished classical singer who lives in a village. He arrives with Indu into Panditji’s home and arrangements are made to get her treated by a psychiatrist  (Anant Bhave, well known TV news reader) who advises marriage for her as he believes that Indu, disdained and deprived of love all her life, would surely respond positively to marital love and would get cured after she gets married.  
     
    This puts an idea into Nandu’s mind. He would marry Indu, ostensibly to aid her recovery, but in reality, to get the coast clear, after her predicted death, for his second marriage to Sushama.
     
    Sushama is shocked at this devious plan of sacrificing an innocent girl and says so, and tries to dissuade Nandu but he is desperate and unheeding. He persuades Indu’s hapless father and shares this plan with his parents who are flabbergasted, as Indu has by now won their hearts with her guilelessness, gentle ways and caring nature, and the singing talent that she has inherited from her father. 
     
    The marriage takes place under a cloud of sombre foreboding, with Panditji fervently praying to the Almighty for his own forecast to fail. Nandu, distraught but focused on his goal, accomplishes the task of impregnating Indu in time for her to deliver in the eleventh month of their marriage. 
     
    As per the psychiatrist’s prognosis, Indu is healed by the love she receives in abundance from this household and blossoms to her true potential of an age-appropriate, compassionate and mature woman. Torn by guilt and shame and by now in love with Indu, Nandu confesses the truth to her, who accepts the deception with composure, gratitude and dignity. She pays a surprise visit to Sushama and implores her to take care of her child after her death. 
     
     
    What happens next? Does Indu survive childbirth? How does Sushama deal with this unsolicited burden of guilt imposed on her?
     
    The film’s nail biting climax is worth a watch and I do not wish to post a spoiler by revealing the end here. The film was based on the Marathi play – Kalay Tasmai Namah by C T Khanolkar.
     
    If Deepti Naval’s portrayal of Indu is heart rending, debutante Devika Mukherjee also brilliantly portrays the dilemma of a conscientious young woman who must watch helplessly while another woman is being made into a scapegoat by the man who loves her. Amol Palekar is far removed from his familiar comic roles and delivers a punch as the distressed and frustrated Nandu who develops a soft corner for the woman he has married. 
     
    Ankahee is a must-watch for all the connoisseurs of good cinema.
     
    (After working in the corporate world for close to two decades, Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam started her second career innings as a head-hunter. She is passionate about Hindi movies and loves retro music. When her family shifted to Chennai in the 80s, Bhagya had a taste of Tamil cinema too. In the long term, she plans a book on two of her favourite directors – Guru Dutt and K Balachander. She travels across the country on work and is based in Mysore.)
     
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    COMMENTS

    r_ashok41

    2 weeks ago

    I do not know how i missed this great movie and thanks for the same.After reading your story will definitely see the same to visualise the effect of it.thanks for bringing out such gems of our culture and hope we hear more of the same in days to come.I also hail from mysore and keep coming there and reside in saraswatipuram.

    Ramesh Popat

    2 weeks ago

    vow! superb! pl. write more about off-beat movies like Ankahee.

    DineshA

    3 weeks ago

    Watched this movie after ages on you tube. Excellent not be missed, especially for younger generation. Some other names I would suggest Ijaazat, Saath Saath.

    Bipin Chougule

    3 weeks ago

    Natsamrat was not written by Vasant Kanetkar. It was written by V. V. Shirwadkar (Known as Kusumagraj)

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