Posts Tagged ‘Vividh Bharati’

Vividh Bharati – An indispensable part of my life

October 7, 2013

I was introduced to radio in Bhutan. I spent the first few years of my life there. Television broadcasting was banned in Bhutan in the 80’s and 90’s. And my parents used to often tune in to radio to listen to news. But that’s all I knew – news and few Nepali songs that used to be played on AIR.

Then we moved to Nepal and there was a time when I used to listen to Nepal’s national radio a little, in the early 90’s. I started tuning in to Vividh Bharati in 1995 but there was only one program that I would listen to then – Chitralok. Though I didn’t know Hindi, I still used to listen to it. Hindi songs and movies were very popular in the region I grew up in. But I wasn’t into movies/music myself then, I would hardly watch TV and till I was 12, I must have seen around 10 movies (both Nepali and Hindi put together). And then I got hooked to Chandrakanta and slowly started understanding Hindi a little.
I changed my school when I was in 8th standard. And our Maths teacher was a big Kishore Kumar fan. He used to keep singing Kishore Da’s songs every now and then. Most of my classmates used to sing along but I didn’t know the lyrics so used to stay queit and used to feel left out. I was ashamed of myself because I had grown up listening to those songs, and yet I didn’t know them. It was then that I started listening to my Dad’s collection and writing down the lyrics of all those songs. Though I didn’t understand what most of them meant, I at least knew the words and I could sing along with the rest in class.

Then one Friday night, my Dad made me watch AmarPrem on Doordarshan and my life’s never been the same again. I got addicted to the world of Hindi Cinema and music. I started watching Rangoli and Chitrahaar with Dad. And because I had started watching movies and musci programs, when I would hear a song, it started sounding familiar. I could relate more to it. I slowly started understanding them better and eventually fell in love with them.

A year later, one of our cousins came to live with us. He had a small transistor and he would carry it with him whereever he went and he used to listen to Vividh Bharati a lot.
It was then that I started listening to other programs on radio. We had a cow at home then and we (my cousin and me) used go to the feilds to cut grass in the afternoons (1:15-1:30 PM), during my school vacations, on his bi-cycle. He would hang the transistor on the cycle’s handle, tune in to Vividh Bharati and then sing along all way. Once we reached the fields, he would first find a place to put the radio and then get to work.
And sometimes, in the night we would listen to chhaya geet. But I would still be seen with a casette player more.  The cassette player would be in kitchen, lawn, backyard. No matter which part of the house I am in, it would be around me (we had extension cords of all lengths).

Then in June 1999, I left home. I went to Vijayawada and was in hostel – a new place, new language. Everything was so different. My roommate had a small transistor (the same model that my cousin had back home) but she was not into Hindi songs. She tried searching for stations that would play something in Nepali but when she couldn’t find any, she kind of discarded it and that’s how it came to me.

And then when I tuned in to Vividh Bharati and heard the RJs talk, listened to the songs it never felt like I had left home and I was in a new land. Music and Vividh Bharati instantly became a connecting factor – when I would listen to Rafi, Kishore, Lata, Asha, Talat, Mukesh (and many more, in fact everybody else), it felt like I was back home. And before I realized, radio became an indispensible part of my life. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say I’ve never ever felt alone after that.

I  usually used to listen to the programs on radio in the morning – Bhoole Bisre Geet, Sangeet Sarita, Triveni and then leave for college. Tune into Manchahe Geet sometimes during lunch break or during free hours in college. Listen to Pitara at 4:00 clock when our special classes would get cancelled. Then a part of Jaimala in the evening and then the programs in the night – from 9 to 11.
I used to have the radio on during study hours. We were not allowed to sit on our beds during study hours, had to use chair and table. I used to have the volume so low and would have my head (ears) literally on the radio and would do my homework with my head bent on the table (over the radio) or used to have ear-phones. I had to leave my hair open to cover both my ears so that the warden wouldn’t notice it when she would come on rounds.

I studied in a missionary college. And our hostel had so many rules and one of them was putting the lights off at 10:00 PM. Listening to programs (esp Chhaya Geet) after the lights were out – staring at the sky from the window (through the mosquito net) felt heavenly. I still remember listening ‘Yeh dil aur unki nigahon ke saaye’, ‘Taaron ki zubaan par hai mohabbat ki kahani’, ‘Aap ki haseen rukh par aaj naya noor hai’, ‘Chup hai dharti chup hai chaand sitaare’, ‘O chaand jahan woh jaaye’, ‘Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha’, ‘Dil unko uthake de diya’, ‘Palkon ke peeche se jo tumne keh daala’  etc. for the first time. ‘Kali palak teri gori’ reminds me of Sanjay Manjrekar even today, because it was during his interview that I had heard it for the first time.

In 1999, there used to be a special program for Fauji Bhai at 10:30 (if I’m not mistaken) in the night, that was during the Kargil war. And listening to their messages, I would miss home so much I would silently weep. And then they would play such lovely songs and I would end up smiling the very next moment.
I still remember listening to Bheegi Raat’s story on Bioscope ki Baatein one Friday evening. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I know the movie, remember the story even today.

Then I ended up in Secunderabad for my graduation. And this time I took a transistor of my own when I went to hostel. It was a missionary college again and we still had similar rules.
By then I knew all the programs on Vividh Bharati and the RJs had become like a family to me. In addition to just the songs, listening to Kamal Sharma, Renu Bansal, Yunus Khan, Nimmi Mishra, Mamta Singh, Amarkanth, Rajendra etc would make me feel happy.

I used to religiously listen to programs in the morning (06:30 to 08:00) and after 9:00 in the night (09:00 to 11:00), and the whole day on weekends and holidays. I didn’t know anybody there, didn’t have local guardians. So I would stay back in hostel on long weekends and holidays when everybody else would go home.
We had huge stone slabs and water taps in the backyard in hostel and we could use them to wash clothes. I usually used to do my laundry there on Sunday afternoons, with the radio on, of course. Slowly my friends started joining me and we used to have a musical session washing clothes. Good old days!

I used to have the radio on during study hours even here, it kind of became a habit. And our warden was so used to seeing the radio on my study table with it’s antenna up that she woudn’t even bother to come to the room and check if it was on. And I had a song book by then. Close to 6 hours of study time everyday (apart from college hours) was a little too much. So, I would sit and write down the lyrics of the songs playing on radio instead. But I would miss out so many words in between, used to leave blank spaces and continue. And next time that song would come on radio (after a week, a month or months together), I would search for the page where I’d written the song and then fill in the blanks. It was such a good timepass. Didn’t have an option of rewinding and listening to it, so had to wait till it came again.
(Note : It’s not that I never studied during my college days, I did when I had to.)

Another bioscope incident that I remember is listening to Khamoshi’s story. And I just went numb and had tears streaming down my cheeks when the program got over. I had heard the songs, even seen their picturization (Tum pukar lo and Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi) but had not seen the movie. I just fell in love with it’s story.
During summer holidays one year, I was home and was just switching channels. I saw one scene at the hospital and figured out it was Khamoshi. I stopped everything I was doing and sat down to watch the movie. Thankfully only dad was home that evening and he was ok with having late dinner, and that too because of Kaka and Waheeda (he would never mind that). We both watched the movie together and it’s one of my favourite movies till date.

After I finished college I started working and one thing I would miss the most in office was listening to radio. The surprise element is what I like the most about listening to songs on radio, not knowing what the next song is going to be. And the familiarity too – be it the program structure, content, presentation or the RJs’ voice. It was no fun searching for a song and listening to it on raaga, youtube or musicindiaonline.

One day I discovered an online radio station called That site had some good programs but they closed down after a year or so.

I would still listen to radio at home or on my cell (fm at 102.8) in the cab/bus but I used to miss it at work (used to spend 10-12 hours a day in office). And then one fine day a friend sent me the link to I can never express in words how grateful I am for it. Though my Managers and co-workers initially found it weird that I would play music at work, over a period of time they came to accept the fact that I concentrate better with it and didn’t mind me sitting in office tuned to vividh bharati with my ear phones on.

In 2011-2012, I used to work during EST hours and work from home most of the time. Once all the meetings were done, I would put the radio on and work. We used to live in the out-skirts and evenings/nights were cool and breezy. I used to leave the front door open. April (our dog) would sit by the door and give me company. We would listen to radio till wee hours of the morning and then go to sleep.

I’ve been travelling quite a lot especially in the last couple of years – have been to different countries on different projects, working with different people but one thing that has remained constant is Vividh Bharati.
I was in Doha on a project. We were around 20 of us in that project and we were allotted one room to sit and work in, it was called the project room. Once I reached office, I would open, plug my earphones and start work. Everybody else in the room would speak in Tamil most of the time. One day my project manager who used to sit next to me said – “We all speak in Tamil most of the time. We’ve had resources complaining about it in the past. If you have any problem, do let us know, we will try to speak in English”
I replied : “I have no problem, as long as you tell me what I need to know about the project and we have our meetings in English. Rest of the time you can carry on, doesn’t matter to me.” I put my earphones back and resumed my work.
Looking back I seriously feel if I had stayed on that project a little longer I would definitely have ended up learning a little bit of Tamil.

When I joined my office in Boston, I used to get strange looks because I would sit in my cubicle with ear-phones/headphones on. But since there were no major issues/escalations in my track, which meant I was doing my job well, nobody said anything about it, at least not to me.
Vividh Bharati was not available online for around 4 months last year (from August to December) and I almost went mad. I used to listen to AIR FM Gold, Radio City and Tunein, and they do play great songs but for me Vividh Bharati is the definition of radio. The day I got a message from Yunus ji, saying is working, was one of the best days of my life.

Unfortunately in my current company external sites are blocked and I’ve already exhausted the data plan I had on my phone listening to radio online for the last 3 weeks. So, I’ve been VB-less for the last couple of days at work.

I’m in a new and a different time zone again and am still getting used to it. I wake up at 6:00 AM and it’s 09:30 PM in India. The first thing I do in the morning is to put the radio on. I listen to Aaj ke Funkaar, Chhaya Geet and a part of Aap Ki Farmaish before I leave home at 07:15 in the morning. And then I tune in the first thing I get back home and continue from previous day’s pitara till Manchahe Geet and then go to sleep. I’m still getting used to the new programs being aired in the night – SMS ke Bahane, Raat Ke HumSafar, Non-stop Express and Jaagte Raho. I miss the old format where they would repeat the programs in the night. That way I could catch up on what I had missed during the day and those programs were familiar to me.

But no complaints. No matter where I am, what I’m doing, I have Vividh Bharati playing in the background most of the time. The sound of “Yeh hai Vividh Bharati” makes me feel at home.  When I call home, we usually have the same songs playing in the background and and it feels so wonderful. My Dad’s tuned in to Vividh Bharati too and sometimes we just end up talking about the song that’s playing and Mom goes crazy.

It’s not loud and noisy and I like that the best. The programs are informative, interactive and entertaining. It has a balanced blend of everything – old and new songs, programs on health awareness, social issues, current affairs etc. The way it’s programs are structured and the time at which they are presented, it’s very evident that there’s been a lot of planning and a lot of thought’s been put into it.
It’s my one-stop destination for all those small things in life that keep me happy. It keeps me connected to my roots, reminds me of festivals and never lets me feel I’m so far away from home, from my family. It takes me away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and soothes my senses. It keeps me calm and balanced and cheers me up. A good song is all I need to remain happy no matter how my day’s been going and Vividh Bharati never disappoints me when it comes to that.

Vividh Bharati has been by my side for the last 14 years and I can’t imagine how my life would have been without it. In short, I love Vividh Bharati! Wish you a very Happy Birthday! And I sincerely hope and pray that you continue to entertain your audience the way you’ve been doing all these years.

A big thank you to each and every member involved in making Vividh Bharati what it is and to Raj to making it accessible to those living outside India. My life wouldn’t be the same without it! 🙂

My tribute to Rafi Saab – The A to Z of Mohammed Rafi

August 3, 2010

I started this post on 31st, as I was listening to Rafi marathon on Vividh Bharati but with such lovely songs playing I couldn’t concentrate on the post. I had listed the songs even before that, but still it took me so long to complete it. I kept getting lost in the songs in between that I forgot I had to come back here and finish this 🙂

After an extremely hectic week, the best thing I could ask for is a day full of Rafi saab’s songs. Not that I didn’t listen to his songs the rest of the week. Not even a single day of mine passes without listening to him. Thanks to Vividh Bharati for that. The first thing I do every morning after I get up is to put the radio on. And they play a minimum of one Rafi song in every program of theirs. Then my collection of hundreds of his songs in my cell phone which I listen to everyday on my way to work. Other people get frustrated with the traffic and I feel good about it. The longer it takes me to reach office, the more number of songs I get to listen to and I reach office more refreshed. And when I am not in meetings and am not reading something, I continue listening to music in office as well. A big thank you to Nasir and Venkat for sharing all those rare gems…you guys have introduced me to so many songs that I had never thought even existed. And a big big thank you to entire team of Vividh Bharati – Kamal Sharma, Renu Bansal, Mamta Singh, Nimmi Mishra, Yunus Khan, Amarkant Dubey, Rajendra Tripathi, Shehnaz Akhtari and to everybody else. Had it not been for you all I wouldn’t have known even half of these songs! I owe my filmi and musical knowledge to you all!

I missed out the programs on Vividh Bharti in the morning on 31st as I got up late. But ever since I got up I was been hooked to it. They played non-stop Rafi songs. And do I even need to say that each song of his is songs is a masterpiece!

So much is written about Rafi (1924-1980) that I don’t quite know where to begin and what new to say really.  Rafi was one of the most versatile singers…From the doleful Jugnu  to the patriotic Shaheed  to the classical Baiju Bawra to the effervescent Mr. and Mrs. 55  to the regal Raj Hath to the poetic Pyaasa  to the meltingly romantic Barsaat Ki Raat – phew! the list is endless—Rafi sang them all. And more.

The whole week I’ve been thinking of something special to post as a tribute to this legend. It’s just impossible to list out my 10 favourite Rafi songs. I’m in love with every song that he has sung. But at the same time I couldn’t even sit without doing a post. After sifting through numerous options like – listing down some songs of Rafi alphabetically, listing out human emotions and associating a song against each emotion, defining the 7 stages of human life through his songs….but I realized that I just couldn’t move beyond the first letter.

I started thinking of his songs that start with ‘A’ and the list was so long that I could break it into 2-3 separate posts. Then I tried with the emotions. Within no time I realized that there were too many of them for instance Anger, Anxiety, Anguish, Astonishment, Attraction, Amusement, Affection, Agony. And this is just the beginning. Next I shifted to the stages of human life. I opened Shakespear’s poem and started mapping Rafi’s songs against each of the stages. But 7 were too few and then realized that I would end up counting almost everyday as a different stage! So that wasn’t much help either.

So I came up with this rule for this post…I would include –
1. Not very popular songs of Rafi as in, not the songs that would feature in every top 10 or top 20. I’m promoting some rare gems of this mastreo.
2. One song per actor and preferrably picturised on a lesser known actor (at least I’ll try avoiding the supserstars as much as possible). There are bound to be few exceptions though. But don’t be surprised if you don’t see even a single Shammi kapoor song here! (As I am doing a series of Rafi sings for Shammi, I’m trying to leave out Shammi Kapoor songs so that other songs would get a chance).
3. For a change I’m including songs from movies that I haven’t seen as well.

A : Abhi na jao chhod kar (Hum Dono, 1961) – Absolutely awesome romantic duet, superbly rendered by Rafi & Asha and so convincingly picturised on Dev Anand and Sadhna.  The charming couple, the excellent rendition, Jaidev’s superb music, Sahir Ludhyanvi’s  thoughtful and yet so simple lyrics  and the beautiful depiction of two lovers unwilling to separate leave you wanting to fall in love – this is without doubt one of the best romantic song ever recorded.   When I  hear this song I feel like I am in another world, the feeling of the song is simply awesome. What a treat this is!  And for once I wished ‘A’ was the last letter of English Alphabet. Putting this song at the end would have made much more sense.

A : Ankhinyan milake zara baat karo ji (Pardes, 1950) : Striking the earlier song as I couldn’t think of any other song starting from ‘F’ other than Falsafa pyaar ka tum kya jano, picturised on Dev Anand. In his earlier years, before he had fully come into his own, Rafi sang for Ghulam Mohammed (Naushad’s protégé) a lovely duet with Lata. This one is picturised on Rehman and Madhubala and I love this  for lots of reasons: Madhubala’s striking beauty, Rafi’s deep, powerful rendition, peppy music and young and dashing Rehman!

 B : Bahut haseen hai tumhari aankhen (Aadhi Raat Ke Baad, 1965) : Very cute song…not very popular but sweet and very romantic nevertheless. Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur come together in this lovely track picturised on Sailesh Kumar and Ragini who playfully flirt and tease each other. Chitragupt’s music is soothing and pleasant.

C : Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko (Bhabhi, 1957) : My initial choice was Chal ud jaa re panchhi but couldn’t find the Balraj Sahni version of it  on youtube. I had once heard in an interview that Balraj was so sad after shooting the song. He felt he could have done it much better! It’s such a divine song. But guess I’ll go with the flow – romance and move ahead with this infectiously romantic duet featuring Jawahar Kaul and Shyama. Rafi teams up with Lata here and the rendition is magical. This is one of my all time favourite Lata-Rafi duets. I had first heard this song on Vividh Bharati years ago and always felt that it must be picturised on Meena Kumari. I somehow related the feel of the song and the name of the movie itself to Meena Kumari. But was pleasantly surprised to discover Shyama in it. I saw this film just because of it’s songs. Not a movie I am very fond of, but give me its music anyday and I would be more than happy. It has a variety of songs – Chal ud ja re panchhi, Chali chali  re patang meri chali re, Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko, Jawaan ho ya budiya, Kaa re kaa re baajra…Coming back to this song, Chitragupt’s music, Rajender Krishan’s lyrics, Lata and Rafi’s rendition is truly amazing. And check out Shyama’s expressions, esp when she lip-synchs “tumhari is adaa par bhi hamare dil ko pyaar aaye“. Haye…I just love this song!

D : Dil ki tamanna (Ghyarah Hazar Ladkiyan, 1962) : It’s Vividh Bharati again where I first heard this song. And the first thing I did after the song was over is to rush to search for it on google/youtube. Initially, I could just find the audio version of it, Rafi’s solo. And I have listened to it continuously for days, non-stop. What an intoxicating voice and there’s so much feel to it. I didn’t even know who it was picturised on then but just wished whoever it was – may his dil ki  tamanna come true! I’ve been looking for the cd/dvd of this movie ever since but with no luck. Rafi and Asha sing  Majrooh Sultanpoori’s lyrics for Bharat Bhushan and Mala Sinha, under the music direction of N. Dutta. It’s a classic composition.

D :  Dil mein chhupa ke pyaar ka ( Aan, 1952) : Striking Dil ki tamanna because I just confirmed that Ghar se toh cut chuka patta is picturised on Bharat Bhushan, though it doesn’t have a video, I don’t want to break my rule.. Here’s another lovely Rafi number featuring two actors whom I like a lot – Dilip Kumar and Nadira. Shakil Badayuni penned the lyrics for this lovely song and Naushad Ali composed the music. Rafi is heavenly and so is Dilip Kumar. There’s a color version of this video. But I find the B&W version more enchanting.  

 E : Ek tera saath hum ko (Waapas, 1969) :  Exteremely romantic song. Music is by Laxmikant Pyarelal and  lyrics  by Majrooh Sultanpuri. It is a duet sung by Rafi and Lata picturised on a newly married couple (Alka and Shekhar Purohit? Ajay?) pledging undying love and devotion to each other. I feel the essence is somehow missing in the picturisation, but just listen to it and it’s magical, such a treat to the ears!

F : Falsafaa pyaar ka tum kya jano (Duniya, 1968) : A terrific song by Rafi, composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and picturised on Dev Anand and Vyjayanthimala. “How would you grasp the philosophy of loving when you have never fallen in love before” – for once I kind of like the translation of the mukhda. I almost played around with Phoolon se dosti kaanton se yaari (Foolon se) but when I had a song starting with ‘F’, I thought I would rather go with it. Though Dev Anand looks wierd with that hair-cut and this song has the flavours of Badan pe sitare lapete hue, I  still love this number…it’s so intoxicating. This is what I call a quintessential Rafi song!

G : Ghar se toh cut chuka apna patta (Kal Hamara Hai, 1959) : I heard this song on radio last week and instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the video.  Though imdb lists Bharat Bhushan as the lead in this film, I somehow don’t feel this song is  picturised on him. It sounds so much like a Johnny Walker kind of a song and I sincerely hope that it is. Something very catchy and lively about this song. Music is once again by Chitragupt. (P.S : I just confirmed that it is indeed picturised on Bharat Bhushan, so much for my guess work).

H : Hum toh hai tum par (Bewaqoof, 1960) – This is one very cute song rendered superbly by Rafi for I.S Johar. This movie was written and directed by I.S Johar himself. Majrooh’s lyrics and S.D Burman’s composition is beautiful. And it was R.D Burman on the Mouth Organ. The modulations in Rafi’s voice match I.S Johar’s antics so perfectly. There’s something very Shammi-sque quality to this song.

I : Itni badi duniya jahan itna bada mela (Toofan Mein Pyar Kahan ,1966) : Rafi sings this for Ashok Kumar. It’s so tender and so beautiful. There’s a softness to Rafi’s voice here which is just brilliant. “Versatile Rafi commendably modulates his voice to suit the great natural actor, Ashok Kumar, while singing on the pangs of loneliness” (Thanks Nasir for describing the song so beautifully).  Check out the picturisation for Guzre dino ka dhundla nishaan hai baanki, dil toh bujha kab se hai abh dhuaan baanki – the smoky effect is so amazing. Prem Dhawan’s melancholy lyrics, Chitragupt’s excellent music, Rafi’s magical rendition and Ashok Kumar’s brilliant performance – this couldn’t have got any better. My initial choice for a song beginning with ‘I’ was Itna haseen saathi itni haseen manzil from Aatma Aur Parmatma but couldn’t find a video to it. So settled for this one – another favourite of mine. Though not as romantic as I would have liked it to be, it’s a very beautiful song.

J : Jo baat tujh mein hai (Taj Mahal, 1963) : A timeless gem…one of my favourite songs. This one’s picturised on Pradeep Kumar. The lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, music by Roshan and Rafi’s velvety voice is beyond this world – truly sublime!  I so very badly wanted to post Jab se hum tum baharon mein from Main Shadi Karne Chala but it’s such an irony that we don’t have videos of such lovely melodies on youtube yet. And since the basic filter criteria here is one song per actor, I don’t want to go on posting just the audios. Hopefully, somebody will upload the video soon.

K : Kahin ek masoom nazuk si ladki (Shankar Hussain, 1977) : For once, I am not relating a song to Vividh Bharati. I first heard this, an online radio station couple of years ago. Back then AIR, Vividh Bharati didn’t have online sites. I accidentally came across and I used to listen to it very regularly at work. One fine day, I heard this song and googled for it but couldn’t find it. Then, I came across the audio version of it after few months and finally found the video last year. I was rather surprised to discover Kanwaljit in it. Used to watch him in serials during my school days, Family No. 1 on Sony used to be quite popular then. Kamal Amrohi’s lyrics, Khhayyam’s music and Rafi’s rendition – it’s all so heavenly. Something very dreamy, fairy-tale like about this song. But the video somehow spoilt this for me. I love the song, can’t help not loving such a magnificient number but the picturisation is a spoiler. Chalo khat likhe jee mein aata toh hoga, magar ungliyan kap kapati toh hongi, kalam haath se chhut jaata toh hoga, umange kalam phir uthathi toh hongi, mera naam apni kitaabon pe likh kar, woh daanton mein ungli dabati toh hogi….kabhi subah ko shaam kehti toh hogi, kabhi raat ko din batati toh hogi…what an imagination! It’s so beautifully written!! I used to imagine this scene while listening to this song, but the video didn’t have any of it! Audio version didn’t have the last antarra. I heard it for the first time when I saw the video on youtube. And it took me some time to figure out what Palate is …Palate kabhi toot jaati toh hogi….

L : Le chala jidhar yeh dil chal pade (Miss Bombay, 1957) : This is Rafi singing for Ajit. in the good old days before he turned into a villian on screen. Bombay—that teeming metropolis, teeming then in the 1950s just as it is teeming today—the land of opportunities, sapno ka shehar—was masterfully captured by lyricist Prem Dhawan to composer Hansraj Behl’s tune. I had only heard this song on Bhoole Bisre geet on Vividh Bharati. Saw the video for the first time today. Half the time I kept imagining Ajit saying “Mona Darling” in between the song. 🙂 Ajit was quite a handsome man and smart too…he realized early in his career that it’s more fun being the villian than a hero!

M : Main toh tere haseen khayalon mein kho gaya (Sangram, 1965) :  My my my dear from Nagina was my first choice. I didn’t want to list Mujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na tha and Madhuban mein radhika nache re. Though I love both these songs, they have already featured many times in this blog.  And thanks to Richard for including all these songs in his list. I’m not feeling guilty about skipping them. So here I come with this lovely track from Sangram picturized on Randhawa (Dara Singh’s brother) and Swarna Kumari. I am so glad I decided to do songs from the movies that I haven’t watched. I had heard this song so many times on radio but it’s for the first time I am seeing it’s video and am so happy to discover Randhawa in it! Lala Asar Sattar music is very melodious and Rafi is fantastic in it!

N : Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon (Laal Quila, 1960) : I almost included Nu tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega but realized I had this song in one of my earlier posts. And this divine composition by S.N Tripathi in Laal Quila came to my mind. It’s a timeless classic, a stunning nazm. Such deeply moving lyrics! Rafi’s booming voice magnificiently amplifies the poignancy and grief expressed by Bahadurshah Zafar. Truly unforgettable!

O : O phirki wali (Raja Aur Runk, 1968) : This song takes me back to my school days. We had a cassette, Best of Mohd. Rafi volume 2 which had this song. And there was a time when I was in 9-10th when I used to listen to this song at least 2-3 times a day. It’s such a masti-bhara song that it fills my heart with happiness when I listen to it. I somehow had always imagined it to be picturised on Shammi Kapoor or Dharmendra, mainly due to the fun quotient. I was pleasantly surprised to see Sanjeev Kumar singing it to Nazima. I was listening to this after so long today and I still remember each and every word of it. I’m so pleased with myself. That’s Rafi’s magic! Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s foot-tapping music, Anand Bakshi’s fun-filled lyrics and Rafi’s flirtatious rendition topped with Sanjeev Kumar’s awesome performance makes this song immortal. I love the way Rafi sings Jubaan se and Jarra beimaan si

P : Phir milogi kabhi (Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, 1966) : Biswajeet was one lucky actor when it came to songs. He got to feature in some of the best songs ever. I am not fond of him as an actor, but his songs, each one is a masterpiece! Rafi and Asha are singing for Biswajeet and Sharmila in this 1966 thriller. O.P Nayyar’s music, S.H Bihari’s lyrics and Asha-Rafi rendition, it’s picturization…everything about this song  is mesmerizing. I feel captivated everytime I listen to this and never want it to end. 

Q : Quismat ke likhe ko hum mita na sake (Duniya, 1949) : This is a lovely Rafi-Surraiya duet composed by C. Ramachandra. It has Surraiya, Karan Dewan, Yakum, Shakeela in the leading role. I don’t know who it’s actually picturised on. I have only heard this song on Radio and couldn’t find a video as well. Listen to Rafi’s young voice…it’s so gentle and soft. Amazing song!!!

R : Roshan tumhi se duniya (Parasmani, 1963) : This time it’s Rafi singing for Mahipal in Parasmani, which marks the debut of Laxmikant-Pyarelal as Music Directors. Rafi at one of his romantic bests, extremely melodious number penned by Ashad Bhopali. Such an apt song in praise of a princess! What awesome lyrics, equally amazing music and Rafi’s voice is subhan-allah!!! One can feel the emotion and depth in his voice…the way he sings “Haye”, the aalap in between and the accompanying tabla and sitar is just mindblowing. Even Mahipal and Geetanjali have expressed well. One more speciality about this film is that it’s partially color. The first half is in Black&White and the second half (if you remember, Hansta hua noorani chehra) is in color. Movie is total bakwaas but it has lovely songs.

S : Sau baar banakar maalik ne (Ek Raat, 1967) : I don’t know who this song is picturized on. Spent quite sometime searching for the video but couldn’t find. There’s hardly anything about this movie available. But I love this song so much that I just couldn’t leave it out. I was addicted to it when I heard it for the first time. Have been searching for the video for quite sometime now. It usually happens that the songs that I so desparately want to see are not as good as expected. So for the time being I am content just listening to it. Yogesh’s lyrics, Usha Khanna’s music and Rafi’s divine rendition…I get so lost in this song. Till I heard this song, I thought Chaudhvai ka chaand, Roshan tumhi se duniya, Tareef karun kya uski etc were the ultimatum when it came to praising the girl’s beauty. But now, there’s one more to the list.

T : Tum toh pyar ho (Sehra, 1963) : Ideal song on Rafi’s death anniversary would have been Tum mujhe yun bhoola na paaoge but that’s too popular and has already been discussed in this blog before. Then I thought of Tum akele toh kabhi baag mein jaaya na karo from Aao Pyaar Karein.  But again, even that doesn’t have a video available. So the next I could think of was this lovely duet by Lata and Rafi picturised on Sandhya and Prashanth. Hasrat jaipuri’s lyrics tuned beautifully by Ramlal, this is a gem of a song. And the depth in Rafi’s and Lata’s voice has taken it to a different level altogether! What a romantic duet it is!

U : Unse rippy tippy ho gayi (Agra Road, 1957) :  I discovered this song few months ago and fell in love it it. It’s such a cute and fun filled number sung by Rafi and Geeta Dutt. I was actually planning to include this is Geeta Dutt special post but I reached 10 before this could come up then. So here it goes! Picturised on Vijay Anand (this is his debut film as a hero) and Shakeela. He does resemble Dev Anand a bit, esp when he’s sulking. Yoddling is a quality that we generally associate with Kishore da. Felt good to hear Rafi yoddling for a change! There are few lines in Gujarati and few in Punjabi in between. Geeta and Rafi yoddling away to Roshan’s music and Prem Dhawan’s lyrics is very delightful.

V : Vo jo chahane wale hain tere (Duniya Rang Rangili, 1957) : I couldn’t figure out who was singing this song on screen…but who cares, as long as it’s sung by Rafi in real. It’s  sweet number written by Jan Nisar Akhtar and composed by O.P Nayyar. Check out Rajendra Kumar, he looks so young and handsome.  Is the girl Chaand Usmaani?

W : Woh hum na the woh tum na the (Cha Cha Cha, 1964)  : Rafi here sings for Chandrashekhar. He is so dull,  doughy and expresssionless. I don’t like him, every time I see him I keep wondering how he became an actor. Hence I am putting Helen’s picture below. Lets forget about the movie and the actor…coming to the song, it’s an excellent track. Penned by Neeraj and composed by Iqbal Quereshi, this is a touching song brilliantly rendered by Rafi.  

X : Phir aane laga yaad wohi (Yeh Dil Kisko Doon, 1963) : Ok, so this song doesnt begin with “X” – but then, how many songs do? I will just use this letter to insert another lovely song. And this song is specially dedicated to Nasir and Richard. We had a long discussion about this song sometime back. But due to my usual restriction of not including songs from the movies that I haven’t seen, I had left this one out in Shashi Kapoor special post. But since that’s not the case this time, here it goes to you both for reminding me of this song. Shashi Kapoor’s image below is for bollyviewer. This is one of the most melodious song, beautifully picturised. Ragini’s moves are so graceful and elegant. Shashi is a darling. Rafi is magical, Qamar Jalalabadi’s lyrics and  Iqbal Qureshi’s composition is so mystical with Usha Khanna chanting those simple syllables Pyaar ka aalam, it infuses so much feel to the song.

Y : Yeh teri saadgi yeh tera baankpan (Shabnam, 1964) : This post has been one hell of a revelation to me! I never knew Rafi had sung this song for Mehmood! Usha Khanna’s composition and Javed Anwar’s lyrics are simple and sweet. And Rafi as usual is outstanding! He could convincingly slip under the skin of characters that were poles apart: he sang for the brooding Dilip Kumar in Deedar with the same ease with which he lent his voice to a frolicking Johnny Walker in C.I.D.  And it is so difficult for the listener to decide where Rafi excels more and who his voice suits the best!

Z : Zara ruk jaa (Sitaron Se Aaghe, 1958) : I was feeling sad that I couldn’t include a song picturised on Johnny Walker so far. So am more than happy now for being able to do so. Apart from Rafi, I remember this song for Johnny Bhai’s cycle stunt and his friends going around puncturing everybody else’s cycle tyres. Rafi and Johnny share an amazing chemistry. Each song of this combo is special and tailor-made for them – the sync between Rafi’s voice and Johnny’s acting is always so perfect! I have a broad smile on my face everytime I see Johnny perched on a tree (he looks so comfortable there) and jumping down singing Zara ruk ja

Rafi saab was the most versatile and probably had the most mellifluous voice. His voice reflected the great energy and smartness of youth and exuded great skill and craftiness. He could sing slow, fast , semi classical, Bhajans, Qawalis, taranas, Geet, romantic numbers, sad songs – just about anything with equal zest and gusto.

Also, when I began listening to  songs of Rafi, I realized one thing – he enriched the compoistions that he sang for. Now this is quite  exceptional and rare because he did not require a great composition to create a a great song.

I feel like Kahin bekhayal hokar choo liya kisi ne when I listen to his songs. This is one song that I really missed putting up here along with Jo unki tamanna ho, Woh din yaad karo, Yeh jhuke jhuke naina and many more!!! Be it any song of his, even if I am listening to it for the very first time, I feel a sense of familiarity towards it.

I came across this blog while searching for few songs and since what was written there exactly described the songs and how I felt about them, I couldn’t help copying them. And I must admit that it did save a lot of time. Writing up about these songs do take a lot of time. And it gets quite distracting as well – I search for one song on youtube, see some other song on related link section and that leads to another song and so on (as it’s too much of a temptation to resist). So when I find few lines already written up about the song, it’s god-sent! 🙂 A big thank you to Cinema Corridor and all other fellow bloggers for all your contributions and wikipedia for providing me with so much of information always! I had acknowledged everybody in my earlier post on Shammi Kapoor but somehow I forgot about this one. Could be because it took me couple of days to finish this post and by the time I reached the end, I was just happy that I had completed the post and was in a hurry to publish it.

Love you Rafi saab!!! May your soul rest in peace.

Kishore Da’s songs coming up next. I should have done that today, but first things first. And that reminds me I still have my Mukesh special post pending!