Subhash K Jha Selects Mohd Rafi’s 5 Most Romantic Songs

Many consider  Mohd Rafi the Crooning Glory  of romance. He   could sing  any Valentine date out of her reluctance with Mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat kikasam.Sadly for   Rafi, the King of Romance RajeshKhanna  preferred  Kishore Kumar.But think of what celluloid romance in the 1970s  would have been if Rafi and not Kishore had  sung Yeh sham mastani, Woh sham kuch ajeeb thi and  Oh Mere dil ke chayan? Here are  the  songs that define Mohd Rafi’s romantic image.

1.     Chaudhvi ka  chand  ho  ya  aftab ho(ChaudhviKa Chand): With this  Ravi-composed  ghazalwritten so eloquently by the great ShakeelBadayuni,any man could woo his beloved out  of  a sulk. The  privilege of having the ultimate love song  sung to her on screen went to the bewitching Waheeda Rehman who says modestly, “Itni taareefkare toh koi bhi aurat pighal jaye.Shakeel Saab wrote  the love lyrics beautifully .Amd Rafi Saab sang  the words as if he owned them. Baqi mujhe  kuch nahin karna pada.” Interestingly  the rest  of the film was shot in black-and-white. Only this song was filmed in colour.

2.     Aapke haseen rukh aap aaj naya noorhai(Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi): “Mera dil machalgaya toh mera  kya qasoor hai?” completes  Dharmendra who had the privilege  of singing these  immortal  lines by Anjaan. He remembers  how the song was filmed. “There are two beautiful heroines on screen to whom I’m supposed to be singing: Mala Sinha and Tanuja. It’s not difficult to  fall in love  when the song and the singer are  so into the mood of romance.Saara mehnat toh Rafi Saab ne  kiya maine  toh kuch bhi nahin  kiya,” says Dharamji modestly. This  timeless love ballad composed  by O.P. Nayyar  was  to be filmed on Guru Dutt who passed away leaving it to Dharmendra  to do the swoon-sahiba-swoon ballad.

3.     Tere mere sapne abb ke rang hai(Guide): Kishore Kumar was Dev Anand’s permanent  ghost voice. Dev saab knew  it. The Guidecomposer Sachin Dev Burman knew it.  But they also knew that there were  some  things that only Rafi Saab and no other singer  could do. This  ode to love was  one of them. Written  by Shailendra  it is one of Hindi cinema’s finest  love ballads. Dev  Saab told me, “We nearly lost Burman Dada just before Guide was  to begin shooting. He had a massive heart attack. People  advised me  to  replace him. I held my ground.Can  you imagine  any other composer  coming up with Tere mere sapne  and Din dhal jaye? Or any other  singer  singing them?”

4.     Khoya  khoya chand khula aasman(Kala  Bazar): Sachin Dev Burman, Dev Anand, WaheedaRehman and Shailendra  again…what to do? They are irresistibly  romantic  in this  number too. VijayAnand  shot the songs with Dev Saab in a  giddy state of lovelorn euphoria  running across a meadow  in the throes  of love. How can a  man running at that speed sing so beautifully without getting breathless? When you are Dev Anand you can  do anything.When you have  Rafi Saab singing for  you, you can scale the  moon.

5.     Chand mera dil chandni ho tum(Abdullah):  This love ballad is to gen-x  what LataMangeshkar’s Lag ja gale se  is to them. The signature tune of the young by which they know these two iconic singers. Chand mera dil is rare in Rafi’s repertoire. He seldom sang for R D Burmanwho preferred  Kishore Kumar all  the way. Apparently Abdullah  director Sanjay Khan insisted that this  love  ballad be sung by Rafi Saab and none  other. Incidentally this is the third  song about the Chand  in this list. To this we can  only say , Moon re  tu kaahe  na dheer dhare?

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