Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mohammed Rafi's Energization of Dev Anand

Rafi photo contributed by S.Chickermane

It is now being generally accepted that Kishore Kumar’s was not the only voice of Dev Anand.

Ashok Kumar who was the super-star of the Thirties-Forties, had produced a movie, "Ziddi" (1948). It was this movie that conferred stardom on the struggling
Dev Anand. Singing for the first time for Dev Anand was Ashok Kumar's brother, Kishore Kumar who had then recently joined the film industry as an actor in Ashok Kumar's "Shikari" (1946). This, naturally, brought Dev Anand very close to Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar. The song which was Kishore Kumar's debut song as well was 'Marne Ki Duaayen Kyun Maange.n...' under Khemchand Prakash. The song became a hit, and as Dev Anand says in his Auto-biography, "Romancing with Life," people began associating Kishore Kumar's singing voice with Dev Anand. Thus a myth was born. As Dev Anand revealed: "Kishore never sang for anybody except for me..."  There was that kind of rapport between the two. Thus this camaderie and the above compartmentalization are also responsible for the said myth.

On closer examination, we find that as early as 1948 itself, Mukesh had given the playback song in "Vidya" (Bahe.n Na Kabhi Nayn Se Neer) and Rafi Sahaab in "Aage Badho" (Saawan Ki Ghataaon Dheere Dheere Aana – duet with Khurshid) respectively for Dev Anand. In the earlier phase even G.M. Durrani and in mid-later phase Dwijen Mukherjee were used for playbacking Dev Anand songs. Additionally, apart from Rafi and Kishore, the others who regularly sang for Dev Anand in the Fifties and the Sixties were Talat Mehmood, Hemant Kumar, C.Ramchandra and Manna Dey. Among the last movies that Rafi Sahaab sang for Dev Anand were Prem Pujari (1970) Gambler (1971) and Man Pasand (1980). Really speaking, Kishore Kumar comes back once again in the last phase of his own career and that of Dev Anand's, properly beginning from 1970 onwards which is not denied and so will not be discussed here especially since the myth of Kishore Kumar being the voice of Dev Anand belongs to the Fifties-Sixties and not the Seventies-Eighties.

A significant observation that needs to be related here, but that which has been generally ignored by critics while analysing the Dev Anand-Kishore Kumar myth, is the well-known fact that in the mid-fifties and the Sixties the trio of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled the roost. It was here that each of the trio came to be respectively associated with singing voice of Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. However, on a scrutiny we find that Rafi Sahaab was gradually overtaken by Mukesh in case of Raj Kapoor, and Mukesh was overtaken by Rafi Sahaab in case of Dilip Kumar. While Dev Anand was left with Kishore Kumar and other playback singers.

In order to expose the myth that Kishore Kumar's was the only voice of Dev Anand, we need to look at the songs rendered by Rafi Sahaab and Kishore Kumar for Dev Anand during the Fifties and the Sixties. In the Fifties and the Sixties Kishore Kumar playbacked for Dev Anand in the following prominent movies: Baazi (1951); Jaal (1952); Munimji (1955); Funtoosh (1956); Nau Do Gyarah (1957); Paying Guest (1957); Guide, Teen Deviyaan (1965); Jewel Thief (1967); and Johnny Mera Naam, Mahal (1969).

On the other hand, Rafi Sahaab sang for Dev Anand in; Milap (1955); C.I.D. (1956); Nau Do Gyarah (1957); Kala Pani, Amar Deep, Solva Saal, (1958); Love Marriage (1959); Kala Bazaar, Jaali Note, Bambai Ka Babu, Manzil, Ek Ke Baad Ek (1960); Hum Dono, Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Maya, (1961); Baat Ek Raat Ki , Asli Naqli, (1962); Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Kinaare -Kinaare, (1963); Sharabi (1964); Guide, Teen Deviyaan (1965); Jewel Thief (1967); Kahin Aur Chal (1968), Mahal (1969). Thus on comparison we find the Rafi Sahaab's early tracks for Dev Anand more impressive.

Year and the Movies:

1960: Ek ke Baad Ek (all the three songs including duets), Sarhad ( a duet), Manzil (both the duets), Jaali Note (all the eight songs including duets), Kala Bazaar (all the five songs including a duet).

1961: Hum Dono (three songs including a duet); Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai: (five songs including two duets); Maya (four songs including a duet);

1962: Asli Naqli (Five songs including a duet); Baat Ek Raat Ki (Four songs, including two duets);

1963: Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (Five songs including two duets); Kinare-Kinare (Two songs, including a duet).

1964: Sharabi (All nine songs including two duets); Kahin Aur Chal (Three songs including a duet).

1965: Teen Deviyaan (Two Ghazals type songs); Guide (All the three solos).

1966: Pyar Mohabbat (Three songs including two duets).

1967: Jewel Thief (a single duet).

1968: Duniya (Three songs);

1969: Mahal (One song).

Some of these evergreen numbers of Rafi Sahaab singing for Evergreen Dev Anand are:


Bambai ka Babu: the delightful duet: DEEWAANA MASTAANA HUA DIL;




Jab Pyaar Kisi se Hota Hai: TERI ZULFON SE and the title track;




Teen Deviyan (1965): AISE TOH NA DEKHO;


Jewel Thief: the mother of all the Rafi-Lata romantic duets: DIL PUKAARE AA RE AA RE AA RE;


It is as clear as crystal that at the height of his popularity, Rafi Sahaab became the voice of Dev Anand and rendered many pleasant, romantic and hummable numbers. Based on this, it is safer to hold that it was Rafi Sahaab who shattered the myth that Kishore Kumar's was the only voice for Dev Anand.

Let's come to some other aspects. On observing the songs that Rafi Sahaab sang for Dev Anand we are also led to believe that not only did they bring out the roundness of Dev Anand's on-screen characters but also energized them. When Dev Anand wanted to delve deep into his character, as in HUM DONO, he needed Rafi Sahaab. So we have the eternal philosophical number: Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibaahta Chala Gayaa; or Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhie Haalat Pe Rona Aayaa. Or take his role in Kaala Paani where the hero visits a nautch girl to trace the real killer so that he could get his innocent father released from the jail. Only Rafi Sahaab's playback song against the candle-light: Hum Bekhudi Mein Tum Ko Pukaare Chale Gaye... could invent the "Shaayaraana Mizaaj" of that character giving the role such intensity that won Dev Anand the Best Actor Award in 1958.

Again, in 1965 GUIDE, it's Rafi Sahaab's voice that brings out the love, the pain, the honesty, the memories, the desparateness of a lover about to lose his ladylove, and the reversal of fortune of the character of the guide that Dev Anand portrays. These songs DIN DHAL JAAYE and KYA SE KYA HO GAYA have made S.D. Burman's musical score immortal besides bringing out the finer suppressed emotions of the character of guide into the open enabling it to win another Filmfare Award Best Actor Award for Dev Anand. Such is the power of song rendition of Rafi Sahaab that the characters on screen come alive! No doubt, film star Rekha could not resist crooning the Din Dhal Jaaye number more than forty years later in her KUDIYON KA ZAMAANA (2006). Even as far as the screen romance is concerned, Rafi Sahaab's voice it is that makes the lip-synching on-screen character so real. Dev Anand too fits the bill easily. Who can forget Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rangg Hain from GUIDE? This song is easily the best romantic song of 1965 and it's a pity that no Filmfare Award was instituted that year. Rafi Sahaab could have easily won yet another Film Fare Award for the year 1965 for his song Din Dhal Jaaye...or for Tere Mere Sapne...

Watch and hear the KHOYA KHOYA CHAAND See the long strides Dev Anand takes and the hands he swings while lip-synching that energetic song. That's Rafi Sahaab inspiring energy and youthful zest in Dev Anand on the screen.

Hear PHALSAFA PYAAR KA TUM KYA JAANO and you'll realise that Rafi Sahaab's style gets into the skin of the stylish Dev Anand. Mark specially his rendition of '..KYAA JAANO..." in a particular Dev style of diction . The character and the singer become one in the truest sense of the term.

The scene in TERE GHAR KE SAMNE where the hero goes out looking for his love on a wintry night singing TU KAHAAN YEH BATAA IS NASHEELI RAAT MEIN.. is subtly rendered by Rafi Sahaab capturing all the ingredients of a dizzy night of love. In the same film, DIL KA BHA.NVAR KARE PUKAAR.. too lands us in the romantic land where life is one great bliss. Then his duet with Lata Mangeshkar: "AYSE ROOTHA NA KARO..." where he takes off at a tangent:

"Teri Khushboo Ne Mere, Hosh bhi Chheen Liye
Hai Khushi Aaj Hame.n Tere Pehloo Mein Gire
Dil ki Dha.dkan Pe Zara, Phool Sa Haath Rakho.."

Who can forget that voice that evokes so palpably the mood of a lover stricken by the fragrance exuded by his beloved so much so that the heartbeats almost stop and he falls down by her side praying that she may soothe his heartbeats by placing her delicate hands. Ah! It's such a stylish rendition by the Legendary Rafi Sahaab that could in fact invoke one to write pages and pages in appreciation. That naturally adds to the romantic demeanour of Dev Sahaab too.

In fact, each and every song that Rafi Sahaab sang for Dev Anand went on to heighten the positive aura of the evergreen hero. No doubt then, that Dev Anand should place Rafi Sahaab near his heart for his heart he was. The inescapable conclusion is that it was the voice of Rafi Sahaab that helped bring out the energy, the suave and urbane finesse of Dev Sahaab's on-screen character. Rafi Sahaab's songs for Dev Anand also highlighted the tender-hearted "SHEESHE KA HAI MATWAALE TERA DIL..." image of the evergreen hero.

The triumph of Rafi Sahaab especially in the playback singing for Dev Anand is that the actor could not ignore the Legendary Singer whatever his predilections earlier. Fortunately, according to a news item, in a televised interview on the occasion of his 83rd birthday, Dev Anand did recommend that Rafi Sahaab should be given the Bharat Ratna. He graciously admitted that the best songs picturised on him were in fact rendered by Rafi Sahaab. The last song that the immortal singer sang for Dev Anand was for the 1980 flick, Manpasand, the wordings of which were: "...BAS MEETHA-MEETHA BOLO". Dev Anand looked sweet too, singing that song.


1 comment:

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