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Friday, October 25, 2013
Whenever Manna Dey and Mohammad Rafi met together they created magic.
Manna Dey and Mohammad Rafi’s duet songs were masterpieces.
Only genius singers have the capability of simplifying difficult ragas and Hindustani classical music simplified into the version which is understandable by the common mass. Both Manna Dey Sahab and Mohammad Rafi Sahab had the capability of making those complicated tunes simple, melodious and romantic. There were huge numbers of difficult songs composed for both of them in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of them had become immortal over the years. The greatness of Manna Dey and Rafisahab lies in simplifying these high voltage qawallis and classical songs in the language of the lay man. Every filmlover who had watched the films and heard the classical andaz in these songs in the beginning wondered about the brilliance of Manna Dey and Rafisahab, and then enjoyed them, clapped at the rhythm created by them and sang all the lines themselves. It was a revolution brought about by the 2 genius singers. It can be very well understood, had these singers not being born, the giant of giants Roshanlal Nagrath, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, Madanmohan Kohli and others would not have composed the songs at all.
Roshanlal Nagrath’s qawallies had the quality and the brilliance to overshadow the romantic songs and be the striking song of the film beating all other songs. In Barsaat Ki Raat, the qawalli sung by Manna Deyji and Rafisahab titled “Na to caarvaan ki talaash hai, na to humsafar ki talaash hai
Mere shauq-e-khaana kharaab ko, teri rehguzar ki talaash hai”, was the lifeblood of the film. Sudha Malhotra and Asha Bhosle also made notable contribution in the song.
The Roshan, Sahir Ludhiyanvi magic continued in the film Taj Mahal. Pradip Kumar played the role of emperor Shahjahan in the film. Rich urdu lyrics and khandani Hindustani classical songs mesmerized the audience in 1963. One of the brilliant qawallies titled “chandni ka badan, sone ka nazar” had classical contest of Rafisahab with Manna Dey. Again there was strong performances of Mahendra Kapoor and Asha Bhosle in the song.
The Roshanlal Nagrath, Sahir Ludhiyanvi masterpiece continued in Bahu Begum in 1967. Again there were brilliant performances of Pradip Kumar and Meena Kumari. Rafi Sahab and Manna Dey complimented each other in the song “dhoond ke layun kahan se mai”. In that song in addition to the classical tans, both Rafisahab and Manna Dey Sahab, established the sufi andaz of the song as it was picturized in a dargah. The other duet song of Rafi Sahab and Manna Dey Sahab in the film titled “waqib hunk hub ishq ke” really made the musical bandits astonished. Perfection was very close to Manna Dey and Rafisahab’s uncomparable singing.
Madanmohan Kohli did another good experiment in the film Haqeekat. In that film in 1964, Rafi Sahab, Manna Deyji, Bhupinderji and Talat Sahab had sung the song “hoke majboor usne bulaya hoga”. Everyone’s style was very different. Very significantly the pathos exhibited in the song was also very unique in respect of all the singers.
Shankar Jaikishan composed a beautiful song “mehfil me shama chamki” in the film Gunahon Ka Devta in 1967. Here also Manna Dey and Rafisahab showed their own gayaki skills to make the song sound beautiful. Naushad Ali created a beautiful qawalli in Rajender Kumar’s film Palki in 1967 titled “mai idhar jayun yaah udhar jayun”. Rafisahab and Manna Dey reached the message of the lyricist to the audience through their excellent classical singing. In the film Chandi Sona in 1977, Rafisahab and Manna Dey sang the song “ek shokh haseena se”. The singing was notable again. Sonik Omi composed the song “mujhse nazren milaaneki” for Manna Dey and Rafi Sahab in the film Maan Gaye Ustad released in 1981. There were duet songs sung by Rafisahab and Manna Dey in light mood like “yeh do diwane milke” in Johar Mehmood in Hongkong, “dekho dekho madam” in Pyar Muhabbat, “aayo aaten kyun nahin”, but those had comedy andaz in respect of them.
The list just goes. More than 100 articles can be devoted to the two giants Manna Dey and Rafisahab. Their songs and films require restoration.