Jeetender’s evergreen combination with Rafi.
Jeetender was one of the bollywood stars who maintained his stardom with successful films for over 30 years. Born in 1942, his success started in the 60s and continued till the 80s. Rafi had sung innumerable number of golden songs which had remained timeless gems.
Although he started his career with Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne in 1964, he created attention with his dancing skills in the film Farz in 1967. All the songs composed by LP and sung by Rafi became smashhit. The successful songs included “mast baharon ka mai aashiq”, “baar baar din yeh aye”, “tumse wo haseena”, to name a few. The Rafi Jeetender combination continued in the film Jeene Ki Raah. All the songs of the film became successful including “aap mujhe acche lagne lage”, “ai mare humjoli aa” and “ek banjara gaye”.
It was a tragedy that Shankar Jaikishan composed music in few films of Jeetender. But in those films too the Rafi SJ bond was strengthened again. In Mere Huzoor, the landmark songs like “apne rukh par nigah”, “gham uthane ko”, “jo guzar rahi hai”, “phalak pe jitney sitaren hai” were priceless gems. The song “rukh se zara naqab uthalo mere huzoor” can stand out as one of the ten best ghazals sung by Rafi in his illustrious career. LP rocked bollywood with his songs composed for Jeetender in the film Jigri Dost. Rafi was probably at his best in each and every song of the hit film. The most romantic amongst them included “raat suhani jag rahi hai”. Suman Kalyanpur balanced the romantic andaz of Rafi in the film. The other songs like “mere desh me pawan chale”, “dil me kya hai”, “phool hai baharon ka”, were equally melodious and brilliant.
In the early 70s, the LP Jeetender Rafi combination came out of super hit songs. In Banphool, the songs “wo sapno ki raani”, “gulaabi gulaabi ankhose” created the charm of the evergreen combination. In Humjoli, the songs “dhal gaya din” where Rafi sang with Asha, the beat of badminton game was synchronized by LP with the beat of the song. It was very romantic presentation of both Rafi and Asha. The other songs of Rafi like “hai re hai” with Lata and “tik tik tik” had the westernized orchestration and romantic appeal embedded in them.
In the mid-70s, multi-starrer film Jaani Dushman did great business. Jeetender was one of the performers in the horror film aside Sunil Dutt, Shatrughun Sinha, and others. The song “tere haathon me pehnake churiya” sung by Rafi became big hit. Rafi sang notable songs in Jeetender’s film Nagin as well in the 70s including “tera mera yarane”, “tere ishq ka mujhpe hua ya asar”. In the late 70s, Jeetender’s film Asha, had a number of hit songs of Rafi. The music was composed by LP. The hit songs included “ashawon ki sawan me”, “jane hum sadak ke logon”, to name a few.
RD Burman also used Rafi in hit films of Jeetender like Carwa. The songs “kitna pyara wada”, “are ho goriyan kahan tera des re”, “chatdi jawani” were big hits. RD Burman used Rafi successfully in the landmark qawalli picturised on Jeetender in the film Burning Train. The song “pal do pal ka” set the suspense of the film in place, where Asha had contributed well along with Rafi.
Rafi had sung hit songs for Jeetender in other films like Ek Nari Ek Brahmchari composed by Shankar Jaikishan, Badalte Rishte, composed by LP. It is not possible to highlight the combination of Rafi with Jeetender in a small article because both were involved in more than 25 films together and the combination existed for more than 15 years. It was a tragedy that Rafi died in 1980, otherwise the listeners could find the evergreen combination in more films in the 80s. The films and the songs should be restored.