Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Naushad's relationship with Rafi


Naushad’s association with Rafi:




Naushad Ali, is probably one of the grand composers of Indian silver screen who had been successful to bring out the Hindustani ragas that were captivated in the darbars of nawabs and feudal lords and simplified them for the common man. Born in 1919, he did spend his childhood in Lucknow, and learned music from Ustad Ghurbat Ali, Ustad Yusuf Ali and Ustad Babban Saheb.

Naushad had shaped the careers of a number of singing legends in the country including Saigal, but his association with Mohammad Rafi had marked the most golden combination which galvanised the outstanding music composed during the golden age in Indian music, the 50s and 60s. His composition in the film Dulari, 1947, for Mohammad Rafi titled “suhani raat dhal chuki” makes a music lover addicted and it has an appeal even after 60 years of its composition.

Baiju Bawra, with Bharat Bhusha and Meena Kumari, in 1952, marks the best creation possible from any composer, it had bhajans, extraordinary use of Hindustani ragas, folk songs and possibly Naushad had been successful to use the range of Rafi to the fullest extent. Other than “woh duniya ke rakhwale”, “tu ganga ki mauj”, there were many songs which explained the relationship of the ragas with rain, the seasons of nature, etc. Naushad received film fare award for the best music composed in that year.

In Uran Khatola, 1955, Naushad’s composition for Rafi, “woh durke musafir, humko bhi saath lele re” showed his capability of using chorus with eastern effect. Naushad’s composition in Son of India, “dil torneewale”, duet for Rafi and Lata, shows the effective use of instruments in that age when recording was not developed to that extent. In Dilip Kumar’s Kohinoor, 1960, Rafi’s songs “madhuban me radhika nachere”, “do sitaron ka zamee par hai Milan aaj ki raat” marks Naushad’s control over bhajans and songs with chorus effects. In Rajender Kumar’s Mere Mehboob, 1963, Naushad had explained the transformation of nasams into ghazals. His songs “mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam”, “tumse izhaar-e-haal kar baithe”, “ai husn zara jag tujhe isq dikhaye” enchanted the listeners. Naushad’s compositions were as outstanding as Shakeel Badayani’s lyrics and Rafi’s golden voice.

Naushad experimented with his classical control in Leader, 1964, where Rafi’s songs “tere husn ki kya tariff karun”, “ek shahenshah ne banwake haseen tajmahal”, “apni azaadi ko hum hargeez meeta sakte nahi”, had romantic appeal, classical appeal and the symbol of freedom movement embedded in them. Rafi was outstanding in every song in that film. In Dil Diya Dard Liya, 1966, Rafi’s songs “sawan aye ya na aye”, “dilruba maine tere”, “koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi”, “guzre hai” were masterpieces which matched Naushad’s compositions for Lata “phir teri kanani yaad ayi”. Ram Aur Shayam, 1967, the film where Dilip Kumar acted in double roles, had comedy, dance sequences, action and every element for which filmlovers visit cinema halls. Yet Naushad’s composition and Rafi’s songs superseded every other element. The notable songs include “aye hai baharen”, “aaj ki raat mere”, etc.

In Aadmi, 1967, Naushad’s compositions for Rafi including “aaj purani raho par”, “na aadmi ka koi bharosa”, showed the depth of thinking of the composer, where the songs matched the sequences of the film where Dilip Kumar amazed the viewers with his performance in wheel chair. Besides, Naushad had used folk songs to a great extent where the subjects in the films required them. For example in the film Ganga Jumna, 1961, his composition for Rafi including “nain lar jaihe” was created with bhojpuri effect, and Rafi had succeeded in pronouncing it in the manner expected from him. Rafi’s songs in Rajender Kumar’s Palki, Ganwar, composed by Naushad were also outstanding.

Besides just like Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad for doing justice to Rafi and Lata, had not done injustice to other singers. He used Bare Ghulam Ali khan in the film Mughal-I-Azam, in 1960, to sing a thumri, the way Shankar Jaikishen asked Bhim Sen Joshi to sing a classical composition in Basant Bahar, 1957. It is tragic that the film industry, could not utilise Naushad’s talent in 1970s and 80s, but if Shankar Jaikishan had utilised Rafi’s range in singing westernised compositions, Naushad had used Rafi’s classical andaz in the best possible manner. He was rightly awarded Dada Saheb Falke for his epic creations in the 40s, 50s, 60s. Rafi’s archive should contain Naushad’s compositions, because his career was given the right direction by legendary creations of the versatile genius.


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8 comments:

Sumer said...

Great job and nice write up. These are immortal words formed into a song and Naushad is truly a genius and very gifted.

rafimurty said...

Mr. Sauvik, the relationship of Naushad and Rafi Sahab is just as legendary as themselves. Besides the solo songs that Rafi sahab sang under Naushad Sahab, the duets too had their prime position and the female singers, Shamshad Begum, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle too did excel alongside Rafi Sahab. Notable songs are :RAM AUR SHYAM - Main hu saaki tu hai sharabi sharabi (with Lata) and Balam teri pyar ki thandi aag mein jalte jalte (with Asha). A S Murty. this is my alternate email id i.e. rafimurty@gmail.com

Souvik-indrajalik said...

In addition to other qualities Naushad, understood the film sequence and his songs matched the background of the films. For example in the film Aadmi,1967, Rafi's song "aaj purani raho par koi mujhe awaaz na de", Dilip Kumar was walking on crutches on the sea shore and the song had to be an outburst. Rafi raised his voice to show the sequence and urge of Dilip Kumar to reach out to the world.
Souvik Chatterji.

rafimurty said...

Yes I agree about the film AADMI and Naushad Sahab's knack of composing according to the storyline. I always felt that he also had Mohd. Rafi Sahab in mind while composition the tunes. I am attaching the article on Bharat Ratna by Raju Korti posted at www.mohdrafi.com :

Appeal for Bharat Ratna to Rafi

This appeal is written by Mr.Raju Korti, Mumbai.

This appeal is a chorus for The Voice of the sub continent, the singer of the millennium. A fervent, passionate appeal to correct what all his legion of admirers and devotees righteously feel is a historic wrong.

The mortal remains of, what the world undisputably acknowledges, of the legendary Mohammad Rafi may have bereaved us 27 years ago, but his ageless voice continues to throb and pulsate in our hearts even today.




But have we been fair to the genial giant whose voice soothes many a body and soul day unfailingly every day? The answer, unfortunately is a ‘no’. He swamped our lives for four decades, made his peerless voice an integral part of our psyche, rose above all petty human barriers and set a glorious example of impeccable dignity and honour in a strife-torn world. Rafisaab, as the world knew him, was an epitome of excellence and paragon of virtues in an industry notorious for its crass commercial values.

We as the people and government, have done precious little to perpetuate his memory. If this jewel lives on, it is because of his uniquely mind-boggling, 24-carat achievements that spanned an entire eon and swept generations. It must be the only instance of its kind where one personality has dominated the profession so comprehensively — four decades in a life that was cruelly cut short at just 56.



Mohammad Rafi is a jewel in India’s crown. His devotees have conferred their own Bharat Ratna on him. Still, it would be doing yeoman’s service to this shining light if the government gets its act together and confers this highest civilian award on him, although late in the day. Indeed, the title Bharat Ratna would feel honoured to be bestowed on this truly great son of the soil.
Unarguably among the greatest Indians born, Mohammad Rafi was the true ambassador of this country – an iconic symbol who persona and career can be succinctly euologised as cultural heritage. There is not a lexicon made that can encompass his astonishing feats. The respect, love and adoration the country has for him is phenomenal by all standards even today where tomorrow becomes yesterday in no time. He was past-perfect, and will remain future-perfect because time has very rarely shown the courtesy to stand still for mortals whose reputation also comes with a short shelf life.

It is hardly necessary to list the legendary exploits of this Great. To have provided unmatched brilliance to thousands of compositions, to have provided sparkle to the works of innumerable lyricists and composers is a feat unheard of in the annals of music. It could be only God’s own voice that could survive in a profession of cut-throats and with such a flourish. The sublime divinity in his voice tuned with his charitable disposition. To him, the song came first, rewards and remuneration later.

The eternal banyan tree of the film fraternity, this one-man music institution gave bread and butter to thousands of people. Today, twenty-seven years after his passing away, he is still a one-man ‘Gharana’.



It is a sad commentary that while we as people sing paens to him, we as government fail to recognize the greatness of this titan who was secularism personified. A formal Padma Shri and one busy throughfare in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra in his name is all that we have done for this wonderful singer who sang Bhajans with the same depth and gusto as the patriotic songs. When the country lapsed into its first worst riots in 1948 after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Mohammed Rafi’s was the only sane voice that soothed our nerves with “Suno suno ae duniyawalon Bapu ki yeh amar kahani.” When the nation went through anxious times in the wake of Chinese aggression in 1962, his voice gave us the strength to guard our fronts with a soul-stirring “Kar chale hum fida jaan-o-tan saathiyon.” During the wars with Pakistan, his dimunitive presence and Pahadi voice fired the Indian soldiers, for whom he specially sang in war zones.

Mohammad Rafi deserves Bharat Ratna for more reasons than one. He was one simple soul who was above factional and religious politics. The government would be sending right signals to all right-thinking people of this country by conferring Bharat Ratna on Mohammad Rafi posthumously. The precedent to bestow this coveted award posthumously has already been set.

We earnestly feel that giving Mohammad Rafi this long-awaited due, will serve as a great binding force for the distanced Hindu-Muslims. For, here was a personality, who despite his lack of formal education, had the courage of conviction and the cultural resilience to bring these two religions together. The love for Rafisaab transcends religion, caste, creed, gender and nationalities.



We passionately appeal to the committee that names the civilian awards that he be honoured aptly with the Bharat Ratna – befitting of the 26 th January occasion. Rafisaab, as we all know, will never fade away from human memory. Such is his glittering career. An ideal citizen and an ideal professional, he was an embodiment of all virtues. He will remain a beacon light for not only music lovers, but also to all those who are blessed to be born in this country.

We at the Rafi Foundation feel it is a privilege to run this campaign for a path-breaker maverick who brings an unrequited joy to millions across the world. The humanity would be that much poorer not to acknowledge and appreciate his class act – stuff folklores are made of. For, honouring Mohammad Rafi is honouring humanity itself.

May we again ardently appeal to you to confer the country’s highest award on him and do justice that he so eminently deserves. While the Government of Maharashtra has agreed in principle for the same, it will be creditable if the government in Delhi announces his name at the earliest.

We hope this time round the government corrects this wrong true to the dictum “Der aaye, durust aaye.”

Long live Mohammad Rafi.

A S MURTY :: asmurty2@rediffmail.com,rafimurty@gmail.com

Souvik-indrajalik said...

Indian Government did not do justice to Mohammad Rafi, by not conferring Bharat Ratna to him. He should have got it 40 years back.In my article titled Rafi's awards I had shown that the filmfare awards won by Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, Roshan, Laxmikant Pyarellal, Salil Chowdhury, Ravi, etc., were totally dependant on immortal performances of Rafi. In fact we cannot imagine the world of playback singing without Mohammad Rafi. But the greatest honour Rafi had received is the immense love, affection and regard from different parts of the world which reveal that is alive in the minds of men and in the soul of the 26,000 melodious songs he had sung.
Souvik Chatterji.

Supriya said...

Naushad had invited Bare Ghulam Ali to sing classical song in Mughal-i-azam, and hass been succesful to translate the diffcult ragas for the common man. Modern composers can get inspiration from Naushad to use some of the classical giants of the present time including Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Rashid Khan to sing particular songs which they are specialised to sing.
Supriya Chatterji

A S MURTY said...

The song "jab dil se dil takrata hai, mat poochhiye kya ho jaata hai' from SANGHARSH is a composotion that has the NAUSHAD-RAFI SAHAB stamp all over it. Not just the tune of the lyrics, even the interludes are typical Naushad style and the rendition by Rafi Sahab is as exclusive to NAUSHAD-RAFI-DILIP trio as ever. Among the female solo songs, besides the innumerable black & white era songs, Lata excelled in PHIR TERI KAHANI YAAD AYEE PHIR TERA FASANA YAAD AAYA.

Souvik Chatterji said...

Other than classical compositions Naushad had tremendous command over folk music which he showed in the film Ganga Jumna. Songs sung by Rafi including "nain lad jai he" represented the bhojpuri flavour music and had the fragrance of the soil where it was picturised.