MOHAMMAD RAFI, DID HE SING OR CRY?

Blasphemy sells and sells big time. Karan Johar, the producer (alongwith Apoorva Mehta and Hiroo Yash Johar), director, story-writer and with dialogue writer (Niranjan Iyengar) of the movie Is Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) is laughing all the way to the bank in having made yet another hit movie. However, a dialogue in the movie when the actress Anushka Sharma, playing the role of Alizeh, tells Ranbir Kapoor as Ayan Sanger about the god of songs (as held by millions of his fans) Mohammad Rafi that ‘Woh gaate kam, rotey zyada the’ has angered his fans. They protested and demanded an apology. However, Karan Johar with an eye on the box office (the more controversy a film gathers, the better it does at box office) has declined to tender apology or to blot out the offending dialogue. This confirms that unlike what the Censor Board people feel about it, this dialogue didn’t appear there accidentally but was a deliberate move to profit from such cheap, despicable and highly offensive stunt.

I am one of the affected fans of Mohammad Rafi. With his seemingly limitless range of singing encompassing romantic numbers, enchanting duets, comic songs, children’s songs, bhajans, ghazals, happy and lighthearted songs, songs in the vernacular, songs for the elderly, poor, men and women on the street, patriotic songs, rebellious songs and sorrowful songs, wedding and bidai songs, party songs and even pop songs (in each one of these he being the best), I am at a loss as to how this dialogue makes any sense.

Here, it is not my intention to give examples of songs that were not the so called crying songs, or to bring out what a wonderful person in real life our most beloved singer was. This piece has limited purpose. It is to prove to Karan Johar (I shall never again see any of his movies or television appearances) that he wasn’t right even in the essence of the most ridiculous lament: ‘Woh gaate kam, rotey zyada the’.

An artiste’s work speaks for itself and here I present to you some of my most revered idol’s so called crying songs just to bring home one small point to Karan Johar: Mohammad Rafi’s singing wasn’t crying but on those rare occasions when he cried, it was singing of outstanding excellence. It is fashionable these days to make the movie titles as the titles of old and popular songs and Karan Johar has his share of movies with such titles. He chose the title of a peppy and popular song sung by Mohammad Rafi himself as the title of his movie and then went about denigrating the singer.

Shame!

Song #1
O duniya ke rakhwaale, sun dard bhare mere naale…

Mister Karan Johar should know that, in this song, Mohammad Rafi actually cried so beautifully that it is one of the best ever bhajans ever made. Even today, 64 years after the 1952 movie Baiju Bawra was made, we cry not just at the emotions of the song (I maintain that the best Hindi songs ever have been made by Shakeel Badayuni as lyricist, Naushad Ali as Music Director, Mohammad Rafi as singer and Dilip Kumar as actor.  Though in Baiju Bawra, Bharat Bhushan was the actor but the other three proved their magic. Please read: ‘The Best Of Hindi Songs – Rafi, Shakeel, Naushad And Dilip Kumar Together’) but also for the fact that we shall never have this voice again. I can imagine not just people crying with the song but perhaps even God doing so. In the finale of the song when the throat bleeding pitch reaches a crescendo, you feel drained out listening to it but Rafi ji did it with his customary ease.

The makers of best songs in Hindi movies: Mohammad Rafi with Naushad Ali and Shakeel Badayuni
The makers of best songs in Hindi movies: Mohammad Rafi with Naushad Ali and Shakeel Badayuni

The song was composed by Naushad in Raag Darbari, Tal Kaherava (Naushad is credited with having brought Raaga based compositions in Hindi movies and each one of the Baiju Bawra’s thirteen songs (including Sargam) was based on a Raaga. Rafiji’s genre’ of singing included Raaga based songs and he did an outstanding job of singing them all.

Please enjoy a tour de force of a song and help revise Karan Johar’s views about Rafi ji’s singing and crying: O duniya ke rakhwaale, sun dard bhare mere naale …

Bhagavaan, bhagavaan … bhagavaan
O duniyaa ke rakhavaale, sun dard bhare mere naale
Sun dard bhare mere naale
Aas niraash ke do ra.ngo.n se, duniyaa tuune sajaaI
Nayyaa sa.ng tuufaan banaayaa, milan ke saath judaaI
Jaa dekh liyaa harajaaI
O… luT gaI mere pyaar kii nagarii, ab to niir bahaa le
ab to niir bahaa le
O… ab to niir bahaa le, o duniyaa ke rakhavaale …

Aag banii saavan kii barasaa, phuul bane a.ngaare
Naagan ban ga_ii raat suhaanii, patthar ban gae taare
Sab TuuT chuke hai.n sahaare, o … jiivan apanaa vaapas le le
Jiivan dene vaale, o duniyaa ke rakhavaale …

Chaa.nd ko Dhuu.NDhe paagal suuraj, shaam ko Dhuu.NDhe saveraa
Mai.n bhii Dhuu.NDhuu.N us priitam ko, ho naa sakaa jo meraa
Bhagavaan bhalaa ho teraa, o … qismat phuuTii aas na TuuTii
Paa.nv me.n pa.D gae chhaale, o duniyaa ke rakhavaale …

Mahal udaas aur galiyaa.n suunii, chup-chup hai.n diivaare.n
Dil kyaa uja.Daa duniyaa uja.Dii, ruuTh gaI hai.n bahaare.n
Ham jiivan kaise guzaare.n, o … ma.ndir girataa phir ban jaataa
Dil ko kaun sambhaale, o duniyaa ke rakhavaale …

O duniyaa ke rakhavaale
Rakhavaale
Rakhavaale
Rakhavaale …  (throat bleeding pitch)

Song #2
Ye aansu mere dil ki zubaan hain….

Here is another one of those rare occasions when Mohammad Rafi expressed his emotions throught the medium of tears. Hasrat Jaipuri, the great lyricist who worked with the best music duo ever: Shankar Jaikishan, called these tears as the language of the heart (Dil ki zubaan). If Anushka Sharma or Karan Johar would pay attention to the lyrics and their superb rendition by Mohammad Rafi, they would instantly feel ashamed about passing off Rafi’s singing as crying. Each word in the song assumes greater meaning with the effect of his singing.

Mohammad Rafi with Hasrat Jaipuri, Shashi Kapoor and Jaikishan
Mohammad Rafi with Hasrat Jaipuri, Shashi Kapoor and Jaikishan (the song is picturised on Rajendra Kumar and Jamuna)

Pleaase enjoy: Ye aansu mere dil ki zubaan hain….

Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil kii zubaan hai.n -2
Mai.n ro_uu.N to ro de.n aa.Nsuu
Mai.n ha.Ns duu.N to ha.Ns de.n aa.Nsuu
Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil kii zubaan hai.n -2

Aa.Nkh se Tapakii jo chi.ngaarii, har aa.Nsuu me.n chhabii tumhaarii
Chiir ke mere dil ko dekho, bahate lahuu me.n priit tumhaarii
Ye jiivan jaise sulagaa tuufaan hai
Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil ki zubaan hai.n -2
Mai.n ro_uu.N to ro de.n aa.Nsuu
Mai.n ha.Ns duu.N to ha.Ns de.n aa.Nsuu
Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil kii zubaan hai.n -2

Jiivan-path par jiivan saathii, saath chale ho mu.Nh na mo.Do
Dard-o-Gam ke doraahe par, mujhako ta.Dapataa yuu.N na chho.Do
Ye naGamaa mere Gam kaa bayaan hai
Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil kii zubaan hai.n -2
Mai.n ro_uu.N to ro de.n aa.Nsuu
Mai.n ha.Ns duu.N to ha.Ns de.n aa.Nsuu
Ye aa.Nsuu mere dil kii zubaan hai.n -2

Song #3
Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya…

Mister Karan Johar, after you have made your millions blaspheming our most revered singer ever, please give it a thought that the song that I am giving you now is amongst the best of one of the best lyricists ever: Sahir Ludhianvi. Music Director Jaidev composed it in Raag Gara, Tal Dadra and after both of them did their bit to make this song great, finally it was the extraordinary rendition by Mohammad Rafi that made the emotions of Dev Anand on celluloid come alive.

Mohammad Rafi with Dev Anand
Mohammad Rafi with Dev Anand

Please enjoy: Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya…

Kabhii Kud pe, kabhii haalaat pe ronaa aayaa
Baat nikalii, to har ik baat pe ronaa aayaa

Ham to samajhe the ki ham bhuul gae hai.n unako
Kyaa huaa aaj, ye kis baat pe ronaa aayaa

Kis liye jiite hai.n ham kisake liye jiite hai.n
Baarahaa aise savaalaat pe ronaa aayaa

Kaun rotaa hai kisii aur kii Kaatir ai dost
Sabako apanii hii kisii baat pe ronaa aayaa

Song #4
Ye hanste hue phool…

The 1957 movie Pyaasa has the most crying songs of Mohammad Rafi in a single movie and the songs are as much classic as the movie is. Time magazine ranked it in 2005 as one of the Top 100 movies of all times and the same magazine, in 2011, ranked it as one of the Ten Most Romantic movies in the world. And guess what? Guru Dutt plays a poet Vijay in the movie (Sahir Ludhianvi‘s poetry) whose poetry is considered pedestrian by people until later they realise that it is poetry of the highest excellence. Similarly, Karan Johar and Anushka would think it is mere crying when the rest of the world thinks of it as singing of great skill and brilliance. He sang those songs because the story demanded it and each one is a masterpiece composed by SD Burman.

Mohammad Rafi with Guru Dutt and SD Burman
Mohammad Rafi with Guru Dutt and SD Burman

For your information, Mister Karan Johar and Ms Anushka, when Mohammad Rafi through Vijay (Guru Dutt) sang in an audience in early stages of his poetry-writing in the movie: Tang aa chuke hain qash-ma-qash-e-zindagii se ham, thukaraa na dein jahaan ko kahiin bedilii se ham, one of the men in the audience, as ill-informed as you both are about real value of Rafi’s singing, used a variation of your blasphemous dialogue: “Aji janaab, khushii ke mauke par kyaa bedili kaa raag chhedaa huaa hai? Koi khushii kaa giit sunaaiye“, he replied in his singing voice: Ham gam-zadaa hain laayen kahaan se khushi ke geet, denge wohi jo paayenge is zindagii se ham. It was a brilliant reply as good in its lyrical value as in singing eminence.

And for irreverant people like you, Rafi had a beautiful reply in another song: Gam is qadar badhe, ke main ghabaraa ke pii gayaa; is dil kii bebasii pe
taras khaa ke pii gayaa. And a female voice commented: Achchhaa to ye shaayar bhii hain, in the same mocking way that you feel he was less a singer than a crier, Rafi, once again through Vijay (Guru Dutt) responded brilliantly in the end: Thukaraa rahaa thaa mujhako badi der se jahaan, main aaj sab jahaan ko thukra ke pi gaya!

Rafi would have had something to say, in his singing voice to you too, Mister Karan Johar except that he had already concluded in the movie that he was above all this: Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kyaa hai?

Pyaasa was the last time when the pair of Sahir Ludhianvi and SD Burman were together and this is what they made Rafi sing. Please enjoy: Ye hanste hue phool…

Ye ha.Nsate huye phuul
Ye mahakaa hu_aa gulashan
( Ye ra.ng me.n aur nuur me.n
Duubii hu_ii raahe.n ) -2

(Ye phuulo.n kaa ras pii ke
machalate huye bha.Nware ) -2

Mai.n duu.N bhii to kyaa duu.N tumhe.n
Ai shoK nazaaro.n
Le de ke mere pass
Kuchh aa.Nsuu hai.n kuchh aahe.n

All I can say is that happy songs are much easier to sing. The sad songs of Pyaasa are amongst the most difficult songs that he sang.

Song #5
Woh jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye….

On a rough count, Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh would have sung many more cryingly sad songs than Mohammad Rafi. However, in case of Lata, Karan Johar would have been politically correct never to compare her singing with her crying. He would have known that his film would have been forced to be banned rather than his making millions by mocking her. Also, the fact is that Mohammad Rafi put his heart and soul into any type of songs including sad ones and his songs are the ones that are remembered most for their heart rending quality. In many of these, that were duets, Lata ji matched him ably just as she did with romantic and peppy duets.

Amongst Rafi and Lata’s most popular duets of all times is this crying song, in which she rightly says: Magar rote rote hansi aa gayi hai, khyaalon mein aake woh jab muskaraye.

This also happens to be one of the best remembered songs in Raag Kalyan, Tal Kaherava, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal on the excellent lyrics of Asad Bhopali. One of Rafi’s qualities was that even if the actors were of lesser calibre, he covered up for them by the depth of his singing. In the 1963 movie Parasmani, for example, he sang for Mahipal whilst Lata sang for Geetanjali.

Mohammad Rafi with Laxmikant Pyarelal
Mohammad Rafi with Laxmikant Pyarelal

Please enjoy: Woh jab yaad aaye, bahut yaad aaye….

Wo jab yaad aae bahut yaad aae
Gam-e-zi.ndagii ke a.ndhere me.n hamane
Chiraag-e-muhabbat jalaae bujhaae

AahaTe.n jaag uThii.n raaste ha.ns diye
Thaamakar dil uThe ham kisii ke liye
Ka_ii baar aisaa bhii dhokhaa huaa hai
Chale aa rahe hai.n vo nazare.n jhukaae

Dil sulagane lagaa ashq bahane lage
Jaane kyaa-kyaa hame.n log kahane lage
Magar rote-rote ha.nsii aa ga_ii hai
Khayaalo.n me.n aake vo jab muskuraae

Wo judaa kyaa hue zi.ndagii kho ga_ii
Shammaa jalatii rahii roshanii kho ga_ii
Bahut koshishe.n kii.n magar dil na bahalaa
Ka_ii saaz chhe.De ka_ii giit gaae

Song #6
Hum tumse judaa ho ke mar jaayenge ro ro ke…

Talking about Asad Bhopali, two years after Parasmani he repeated the magic of his lyrics in the 1965 movie Ek Sapera Ek Lutera with Feroze Khan playing both the title roles. This time the music director was Usha Khanna, the only female music director of contemporary fame (though earlier there were two others too: Jaddan Bai and Saraswati Devi) in a male dominated Hindi films music scene. She composed the song in Raag Darbari Kanada, Tal Kaherava. I was not yet in my teens when I saw the movie with my parents and I do remember that this was the most popular song of the movie at that time.

rafi-with-usha-khanna-and-kishore-kumar

Please enjoy: Hum tumse judaa ho ke mar jaayenge ro ro ke….

Ham tumase judaa ho ke mar jaa_e.Nge ro-ro ke -2
Mar jaa_e.Nge ro-ro ke

Duniyaa ba.Dii zaalim hai dil to.D ke ha.Nsatii hai -2
Ik mauj kinaare se milane ko tarasatii hai
Kah do na ko_ii roke -2
Ham tumase judaa …

Vaade nahii.n bhuule.nge kasame.n nahii.n to.De.nge -2
Ye tay hai ki ham dono.n milanaa nahii.n chho.De.nge
Jo rok sake roke -2
Ham tumase judaa …

Sochaa thaa kabhii do dil milakar na judaa ho.nge
Maaluum na thaa ham yuu.N naaqaam-e-vafaa ho.nge
Qismat ne.n di_e dhokhe
Ham tumase judaa …

Song #7
Tere bin soone nayan hamaare….

Jag mein rahaa main jagase paraayaa
Saayaa bhii meraa mere saath na aayaa
Hansane ke din bhi roke guzaare
Haay! tere bin suune …

One of the greatest lyricists of all times – Shailendra (Please read: ‘The Best Songs Of Shailendra, The Lyricist Beyond Compare – Part I’ and ‘Part II’) penned those lyrics for the 1963 RK Rakhan movie Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen, which had Ashok Kumar in the most challenging role of his life (No successful actor of Karan Johar movies would ever take up such a role in which he is to be shown as dark and ugly; which only goes to prove that Karan Johar and his ilk are as devoid of reality around them as they are of respect for the finest singer on earth: Mohammad Rafi). These lyrics tell the story of some of the unfortunate people of India before (suddenly) everyone started moving in their cloistered and make believe world of riches, splashes of colour, skirts, jeans and fornication created by Karan Johar and the like. And, Mohammad Rafi was there to sing those emotions of the poor, the deprived and the victimised.

The great composer Sachin Dev Burman composed these lyrics in Raag Pilu (the favourite raaga of his contemporary OP Nayyar) and Tal Dadra. The last stanza has been sung by Lata Mangeshkar for Asha Parekh who was visiting that hilly and isolated locale with her lover Pradeep Kumar and who was visibly affected by the beauty of the singing.

Mohammad Rafi with Ashok Kumar
Mohammad Rafi with Ashok Kumar

Please enjoy: Tere bin soone nayan hamare….

Tere bin suunii, nain hamaare
Haay! tere bin suunii
BaaT takat gaye saa.Njh sakhaare
Haay! tere bin suunii

Raat jo aaye Dhal jaaye pyaasii
Din kaa hai duujaa naam udaasii
Nindiyaa na aaye ab mere dvaare
Haay! tere bin suunii …

Jag me.n rahaa mai.n jagase paraayaa
Saayaa bhii meraa mere saath na aayaa
Ha.Nsane ke din bhii roke guzaare
Haay! tere bin suunii …

O anadekhe, o anajaane
Chhup ke na gaa ye prem taraane
Kaun hai tuu mohe ab to bataa re
Haay! tere bin suunii …

Song #8
Tum mujhe youn bhula na paaoge…

Finally, Mister Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma and party, this is as if directly sung by Mohammad Rafi for you. However much you try, you cannot forget Mohammad Rafi. Whenever you hear his songs, you too hum and will continue humming! Rafi ji had that quality. Even those who, for reasons known best to them, mock him, love Mohammad Rafi’s songs; there is no getting away from this reality.

This has been composed by my favourite music duo Shankar Jaikishan in my favourite Raag Jhinjhoti. Why is Jhinjhoti my favourite? Simple, because what I consider as the greatest song ever made in Hindi movies was sung in this Raag: Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam that was put together by the fabulous trio of Shakeel-Naushad-Rafi. Of course, S-J composed this song in Tal Dadra whereas Naushad’s song is in Tal Kaherava.

Mohammad Rafi sang it for Shammi Kapoor who admitted that this was the most challenging role of his career as Pagla Kahin Ka (the title of the 1970 movie).

Crying, Mister Karan Johar? Crying isn’t how you jeeringly put it in the movie; crying is empathising, crying is emotions melted into hot liquid, and in the case of Mohammad Rafi, crying is melody of the most outstanding refrain.

Once again Hasrat Jaipuri penned these powerful lyrics that have raw emotions hanging from hooks of despondency.

Mohammad Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat Jaipuri and Shankar Jaikishan (Pic courtesy: mohdrafi.com)
Mohammad Rafi with Shammi Kapoor, Hasrat Jaipuri and Shankar Jaikishan (Pic courtesy: mohdrafi.com)

Please enjoy: Tum mujhe youn bhula na paaoge…

Tum mujhe yU.N bhulaa naa paaoge
Haa.N tum mujhe yU.N bhulaa naa paaoge
Jab kabhii bhii sunoge giit mere
Sa.ng sa.ng tum bhii gunagunAoge
Haa.N tum mujhe yU.N bhulaa naa paaoge
Ho tum mujhe yU.N …

(Wo bahaare.n vo chaa.ndanii raate.n
Hamane kii thii jo pyAr kii baate.n ) – 2
Un nazaaro.n kii yaad aaegii
Jab khayaalo.n me.n mujhako laaoge
Haa.N tum mujhe yU.N bhulaa naa paaoge
Ho tum mujhe yU.N …

(Mere haatho.n me.n teraa cheharaa thaa
Jaise koI gulaab hotaa hai ) – 2
Aur sahaaraa liyaa thaa baaho.n kaa
Wo shaam kis tarah bhulaaoge
Haa.N tum mujhe yU.N bhulaa naa paaoge
Ho tum mujhe yU.N …

(Mujhako dekhe binaa qaraar naa thaa
Ek aisaa bhii daur guzaraa hai ) – 2
JhUTh maanU.N to pUchhalo dil se
Mai.n kahU.ngaa to rUTh jaaoge
Haa.N tum mujhe yU.n bhulaa naa paaoge

Jab kabhii bhii …

Perhaps now Mister Karan Johar, you would realise that all you did with that cheap and jeering dialogue of yours was akin to a man spitting at the moon.

How does it feel now, Mister Karan Johar, that the gooey stuff has landed on your own face? Apologise and help remove the blot from your own face and make millions of Mohammad Rafi fans happy. We pray that good sense would visit you soon and be your guest, even if for limited time.

© 2016, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  1. Nostalgia le galore after hearing Mohd Rafi’s life-time classics – BRAVO LU to you for presenting these songs of this great icon in Indian history.Shame on Karan Johar for his cheap publicity which is highly unethical

  2. I would give him below his belt…but there is nothing worthwhile there…you know..!!
    And Anushka something above her belt..
    But there is worthwhile there too..so sad..!!