The magic of velvety voice

The magic of velvety voice

Tere Aane Ki Aas Hai Dost
Shaam Fir Kyo Udaas Hai Dost
Mehki Mehki Fiza Ye Kahti Hai
Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost
Tu Kahin Aas Pass Hai Dost…….

Rafi recorded this song for Laxmikant Parelal which turned out to be his last song and this undisputed king of Hindi music golden era passed away on 31st July 1980. So many singers came after Rafi having certain similarities with Rafi’s voice like Anwar, shabbir Kumar, Mohammed Aziz to the latest update Sonu Nigam but Rafi has still retain the unshakable place in the hearts of millions of his followers as number one singer of Hindi film music. Kishore Kumar’s fans may not agree to this but I don’t wish to argue because followers always have blind faith in their idol which applies to me also.

Those who are the fans of old Hindi songs are always seen into three generations. The first one believe nothing but K.L. Saigal. They immediately start describing the painful emotions in Saigal’s “Babul moraa”, “Jab dil hi tut gaya”. Second generation worships Rafi and starts clapping with “Tarif karun kya uski”. If they are senior, they will tell you the beauty of “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” and the songs of ”Baiju Bawra” if they have classical liking. The next generation will talk about “Mere Sapnon ki rani” and Kishore’s saga. It is said that in the mid of 70s “Aradhana” brought Kishore Kumar’s empire over film music. But still there were two songs in the movie “Bagon mein bahar hai” and “Gunguna rahe hai bhaware “ sung by Rafi and they are popular till the date.

Long back, while comparing Rafi and Talat, Dilip Kumar remarked sensibly. He said, Rafi had more range than Talat. Talat’s songs are of particular type but Rafi could sing any type of songs. If we can keep our likings and prejudices aside it won’t take much efforts to understand that same opinion applies to Rafi and Kishore Kumar also. In fact there are two movies, “Ragini” and “Shararat” where Rafi has given voice to Kishore Kumar on the screen. Can you imagine Kishore Kumar singing in Rafi’s voice? For “Ragini”, “Nis Din Gaye Geet Milan Ke, Man Mora Bawara” and for “Shararat”, “Ajab Hai Dastan Teri ai Zindagi”. Kishore Kumar have never tried classical song probably other than “ Payalwali Dekhna” but rafi was always ahead in this department. Besides, Kishore has very few kawallis in his account where Rafi has given some classical stuff with “Parda Hai Parda”, and evergreen classic “Ye Mana Meri Jaan, Mohabbat Saza Hai” from “Haste Jakhm”.

During Kishore’s Period after “Aradhana”, Rafi made powerful comeback with ‘Teri Galiyon Mein Na Rakkhenge Kadam” from “Hawas”. Then he won both Filmfare and National Award for “Kya HUa Tera Wada”. Rafi continued to give memorable songs in 70s with “Qurbani” “Dostana” “Naseeb” . I still remember “Sargam” song when I was in school, people singing “Dafliwale Dafli Baja”. Rafi gave lots of hits in 70s for Rishi Kapoor including famous songs from “Amar Aqbar Anthony”. How can anyone forget the most memorable “Dared Dil, Darde Jigar” from “Karz”? Rafi had that unique ability to match his voice to the actor singing on the screen. Only Kishore Kumar could reach to his level in this aspect. May be to some extent Mukesh.

You actually feel as if Dilip Kumar singing “Aaj Ki Raat Mere Dilki Salami Lele”. Rafi is not usually tender while singing for Dilip Kumar but add sharp edge to his voice. The same Rafi is ultra soft for “Kahin Ek Masoom Najuk si Ladki” in “Shankar Hussein”. “Dil Kahe Ruk Ja Re Ruk Ja” gives you Dharmendra’s mannerisms. “Main zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya” brings smiles on your face as you visualise how Dev Anand may be walking and shaking his neck while singing this great song. He kept the same range for comedians. It was a time when comedians had significant role in the movie and some of the most memorable songs goes into their account. Rafi sang “Ai Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahan” and “Sar Jo Tera Chakraye” for Johnny Walker. He must have studies his way of speaking and acts. Same goes with Mehmood if you watch “Hum Kale Hai To Kya Hua Dilwale Hai”. I don’t wish to make any comments about Hindi Film Music today because I don’t listen to it much. Even after three decades I don’t feel like turning towards anything else when it comes to Hindi songs. Rafisahab has left a treasure for me and I am so grateful for that…….

Atul Thakur