Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rafi's soft number composed by Shankar Jaikishan.

Rafi’s soft numbers composed by Shankar Jaikishan.

Mohammad Rafi was the virtual ruler of world of playback singing in the 60s. As far as his combination with Shankar Jaikishan is concerned, generally the loud numbers gather popularity due to the pomp and grandeur of those songs.

For example Rafi’s song “chahe koi mujhe jungle kahen” in Junglee, picturised on Shammi Kapoor, “kaun hai jo sapno me aya” in Jhuk Gaya Aasman picturised on Rajender Kumar, “jiya ho jiya ho jiya kuch bol do” in Jab Par Kisi Se Hota Hai, picturised on Dev Anand, “Japan, Love in Tokyo”, in Love in Tokyo, picturised on Joy Mukherjee, “april fool banaya, in April Fool picturised on Biswajeet , etc., were the most popular songs of those films. Shankar Jaikishan’s innovative orchestrations were involved with all these songs.

But if SJ’s softer numbers are looked at they provided gems for Rafi during the 50s and 60s. In Shammi Kapoor’s Junglee, “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar” was a masterpiece where Rafi’s romantic presentation can take anyone to a different world. In Rajender Kumar’s Humrahi, “mujhko aapne gale lagalo” was a brilliant song where Rafi’s andaz was as outstanding as that of Mubarak Begum. Aye Milan Ki Bela had evergreen gems embedded in them. All the soft numbers of Rafi like “tum khamseen ho”, “to bura maan gaye”, “o sanam tere ho gaye hum” created everlasting appeal in the minds of the youth of the 60s.

SJ matured into the country most glamourous western composers by mid-60s. Rafi’s brilliant voice was complimented by superlative utilization of western instruments in most of the songs of SJ during that period. In Biswajeet’s April Fool Rafi’s presentation of “aa gale lag ja” showed him to be a Hollywood singer whose rendition had Western andaz. In Joy Mukherjee’s Love In Tokyo, Rafi presented the seductive andaz in the song “aaja re aa zara aa” which can put anyone to sleep. Rafi’s ghazal andaz in the same film “o mere shahe khuba” had equally everlasting appeal.

In Rajender Kumar’s Zindagi, “pehele milethe sapno me” showed Rafi’s effortlessness in rendering romantic songs. All the songs of Rajender Kumar’s Aman were brilliant. Especially “surahidar garden koel si hi awaz”, and “aaj ki raat” had Rafi’s powerful level of intonation to back up SJ’s romantic andaz. Besides the orchestration had Japanese flavor.

In Shammi Kapoor’s Professor, “awaz deke hume tum bulayo” created the tempo for the film. All the duets in that film created sensation including “mai chali mai chali”. Rafi complimented Lata in most of the duets backed by SJ’s effective use of sexaphone. In Shammi Kapoor’s An Evening in Paris, Rafi’s measured number in the duet song “raat ke humsafar” probably had the most intoxicating appeal in the entire film as against the loud numbers like “aasmaan se aya farishta”.

Rajender Kumar’s musical blockbuster Aarzoo, probably had Rafi at his best. If “aye nargisi mastana” showed Rafi’s effortlessness, “aji hum se bachkar” showed Rafi’s classical control, where as “chalke tere aankho sharab aur ziada” showed Rafi’s brilliant ghazal andaz. Rafi was at his best in Rajender Kumar’s Suraj as well. All the songs in the film had grand appeal. Probably the songs “kaise samjhayun” and “baharon phool barsayo” received the viewers’ attention. But “gustaqi maaf” and “itna hai tujhse pyar mujhe” were more melodious.

Shammi Kapoor’s Brahmchari had the theme music “mai gayun tum so jayo”. The song had been played a number of times by Shankar Jaikishan once too slowly while the other at a faster pace. Rafi was equally romantic in both the songs. Besides “dil ke jharoke me” was an experiment of SJ asking Rafi to sing at a high note which he did in style. In Shammi Kapoor’s Raj Kumar “tumne kisi ki jaan ko jate hue dekha hai” and “yeh rangbirangee duniya me” Rafi’s romantic rendition appealed to the masses.

In Dharmender’s Pyar Hi Pyar, Rafi showed the ghazal andaz in the song “dekha hai teri aankho me pyar hi pyar beshumar”. In Jeetender’s Mere Huzoor, Rafi’s song “rukh se zara naqab, uta do mere huzur” expressed the shy delivery of the hero. In Raj Kumar’s Lal Patthar “unke khayal aye to” showed Rafi’s royal andaz or probably the badshahi andaz in delivering as the characters were related to Indian history of kings.

In Dev Anand’s Pyar Muhobbat, “dil ki awaz khuda khair Karen” had an enchanting appeal. Again Rafi’s seductive andaz in Manoj Kumar’s Gumnaam in “jane chaman shola badan” entertained the viewers and listeners. Rafi presented the songs in Uttam Kumar’s Choti Si Mulakat also with stylish westernized manner. Viewers can also cherish Rafi’s song “tum hi tum ho” in Raj Kapoor’s Ek Dil Sau Afsane picturised on Raj Kapoor. “Khuda bhi aasman se” in Rajender Kumar’s Dharti is still unforgettable even today. The list of SJ’s soft numbers for Rafi can go on.

Some way or the other SJ’s relationship with Rafi never got predominance due to erroneous interpretation of Shankar Jaikishan over the years by the media. Just because SJ were associated with Showman Raj Kapoor in almost 20 films, so the entire focus went to Mukesh and Manna Dey’s songs composed by SJ. But if the rest of SJ’s creations in almost 170 films are analysed it will be seen that Rafi had sung almost 800 songs for SJ, which include more than 20 films of Shammi Kapoor, 10 films of Rajender Kumar, 7 films of Dev Anand, 3 films of Dilip Kumar, to name a few. The films and the songs should be revisited.

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