Rajender Kumar and Rafi.
Jubilee Kumar Rajender Kumar was probably one of the most romantic actors of bollywood films whose films have become immortal due to their extraordinary music. Due to strong dominance of Dilip Kumar during the 50s and 60s, Rajender Kumar’s tragic-oriented performances got overshadowed but the playback provided by Rafi in nearly all his films had created history. From 1963 to 1966, all the films of Rajender Kumar celebrated silver-jubilee and he became Jubilee Kumar.
Rafi’s epic songs picturised on Rajender Kumar range from “jeevan me priya tera saath rahe”, in Goonjh Uthi Sehnai, composed by Vasant Desai to “palko ke peeche se” from Talash, composed by SD Burman. Shankar Jaikishan’s marathon compositions for Rafi and Rajender Kumar include “chalke teri aankho se”, “ai nargisi mastana” from Aarzoo, “yaad na jaye” and “dil ek mandir hai” from Dil Ek Mandir, “mujhko apne gale laga lo” and “yeh ansoo meri dil ki zuban hai”, from Humrahi, “meherbaan likhoon” from Sangam, “ to buraman gaye” and “tum khamseen ho” from Ayee Milan Ki Bela, “o priya, kaun hai jo sapno me aya” from Jhuk Gaya Aasman, “baharon phool barsao” and “kaise samjhayun” from Suraj, “teri pyari pyari surat ko”, from Sasural, “khuda bhi aasma se” from Dharti, etc. The list can go on. Shankar Jaikishan probably covered every possible types of songs from Rafi that were picturised on Rajender Kumar, including soft romantic songs, ghazals, pure classical, westernised chord-oriented compositions.
Other than Dilip Kumar, Naushad had probably composed music for maximum number of films of Rajender Kumar, which include Palki, Ganwar, Mere Mehboob, etc. Rafi’s songs “mere mehboob tujhe” and “ai husn zara jag”, from Mere Mehboob, stands out as the most refined classical compositions depicting the pardanashin community of Aligarh and surrounding areas.
Even when Laxmikant Pyarelal composed songs for Rajender Kumar, he kept Rafi in mind and composed songs which suited both of them, including “aap aye bahar aye”, from Aap Aye Bahar Aye, “tu meri sapno ka rani banegi” from Gora Aur Kala. Even Ravi had composed melodious songs for Rafi and Rajender Kumar.
If the films of Rajender Kumar should be revisited for story telling, strong performance of him and the actresses like Meena Kumari, Vaijayantimala, Wahida Rehman, Sadhna, then the songs composed by legendary composers and sung by Rafi should restored as well for their immense musical value.
By: Supriya Chatterji.
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