Mukesh not the only voice of Raj Kapur

February 3, 2011

Wonderful Rafi, Talat songs on Raj Kapur

Raj Kapur 2 When Mukesh died (in 1976), Raj Kapur said he had lost his voice. And rightly so. When you think of Raj Kapur, you think of Awara hun, Mera joota hai japani, Ruk ja o janewali ruk ja, Chhalia mera naam, Mera naam Raju gharana a-naam, and countless other Mukesh songs lip-synched by Raj Kapur on the screen.

You are also aware of the outstanding Manna Dey songs in duets such as Pyaar hua ekraar hua, Ye raat bheegi bheegi, A ja sanam madhur chandni mein hum etc. This came about when Mukesh was distracted from playback singing as he became convinced by his handsome looks that he was hero material.

Raj Kapur gave him a 3-minute appearance in Aah as the coachman who sings Chhoti si ye zidagaani. This was of course trivial, and one of the trivia, which you know if you know it. What better way than to produce your own film to make sure you became a hero. This enterprise ended in disaster when his films Mashuqa and Anurag bombed at the box office (though Anurag had Mukesh’s one of the best songs Koi dil mein hai aur koi hai nazar mein). He was lucky to make a comeback as a playback singer with Yahudi (Ye mera deewanapan hai). He was also lucky that his friends Raj Kapur-Shailendra-Hasrat Jaipuri-Shankar Jaikishan had not given up on him, and gave him a major musical success with Anari, and thus resumed his long innings as a great playback singer.

Manna Dey later sang for Raj Kapur in Parvarish (Masti bhara hai sama), Dil Hi To Hai (Laga chunari mein daag), Mera Naam Joker (Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo). It is creditable that all the Manna Dey songs, though few in number, acquired iconic status.

Rafi for Raj Kapur

Rafi_Raj Kapur  Aside from Mukesh and Manna Dey, what about Rafi for Raj Kapur? It would be difficult to recall or even visualise Rafi singing for Raj Kapur. Rafi’s voice has been used in RK films, but in a very secondary and sometimes insignificant manner. His best known is Ye mera prem patra padhkar for Rajendra Kumar in Sangam (1964). In Raj Kapur’s early films, you have Rafi’s Main zindagi mein hardam rota hi rahi hun in Barsaat picturised on Raj Kapur, but it is a background song. In Awara Rafi sings the boatman song Naiya teri majhdhar hoshiyar. In Shri 420, he is one of the chorus singers in O Ramaiya vastavaiya. How could Rafi allow himself to be used in such a trivial manner? Mind you, he had already reached commanding heights as a singer. The only possible explanation could be his basic humility and decency which kept him from saying no to anyone. Rafi was known to be a very simple person devoid of the film world intrigue or arrogance.

It turns out Rafi did sing for Raj Kapur, I have come across at least four films in which the songs on Raj Kapur are in the voice of Rafi.

1. Film Andaaz (1949): Raj Kapur, Dilip Kumar and Nargis; Music Naushad

This film is known for the iconic Mukesh songs on Dilip Kumar, Jhoom jhoom ke nacho aaj, Tu kahe agar, Hum aaj kahin dil kho baithe and Toote na dil toote na. Coming close on the heels of Mela (1948) which had Mukesh singing for Dilip Kumar with great impact, it was natural for Naushad to repeat the combination. One hardly recalls any Raj Kapur song in this film. But what would now appear as a surprise and role reversal, Rafi sang for Raj Kapur, Lata Mangeshkar singing for Nargis in the duet Milnewale kahin ulfat mein juda hote hain.

Rafi sings Milnewale kahin ulfat mein juda hote hain for Raj Kapur

2. Film Paapi (1953): Raj Kapur, Nargis. Music S Mohinder

Tera kaaam hai jalna parwane chahe shama jale ya na jale

3. Film Do Ustaad (1959): Raj Kapur, Madhubala; Lyric – Qamar Jalalabadi; Music – OP Nayyar

Worli ka naka is a funny rock and roll song in which Raj Kapur straddles along the chaotic street which has Sam’s Rok n Roll School to Brijwasi Dugdhalay to Aziz Shoe Mart to tongas to motor cars. Raj Kapur in the end proclaims that his song is Rock and Roll ka chacha and ends in a fast rap.

Rafi sings Worli ka naka for Raj Kapur

I would not blame you if you thought that the song or the music did not quite go on Raj Kapur. But OP Nayyar goes on regardless, and gives several more Rafi songs on Raj Kapur in his typical style which could be straight from CID or Howrah Bridge or Mr and Mrs 55 or Phagun or Naya Daur. Some of these songs sound familiar such as Tere dil ka makan saiyan bada alishan bolo bolo meri jaan hai kiraya kitna, but one would have never associated this with Raj Kapur. So listen to these OP Nayyar-Rafi songs from Do Ustaad and pinch yourself to remind that they are on Raj Kapur.

Ruk ruk kahan chali diwani

Tere dil ka makan saiyan bada alishan bolo bolo meri jaan hai kiraya kitna

Nazron ke teer mare kas kas kas

Tu ladki main ladka tujhe dekh kaleja dadka

4. Film Amber (1952): Raj Kapur and Nargis; Lyric – Shakeel Badayuni; Music -Ghulam Mohammad

Finally you get a Rafi song on Raj Kapur which redeems all the above disappointments and oddities. This is a beautiful duet with Lata, which would rank among the best of Ghulam Mohammad and the best of Rafi-Lata duets. Ghulam Mohammad was Naushad’s assistant, but I always felt this description did not do justice to him. His best in Dil-e-Nadan, Mirza Ghalib and Pakeezah, to name just a few, marks him among the tallest of our composers.

Hum tum ye bahar dekho rang laya pyar

Here is another Rafi song from the same film, not so well known, but quite pleasant.

Chale jana hmse door bade shauq se huzoor hai mera dil mujhe wapas kar do

Talat Mahmood for Raj Kapur

Talat Mahmood_Raj Kapur While Rafi songs for Raj Kapur may not be memorable, everyone would know Talat’s Main pagal mera manwa pagal, Mera qaraar le ja, Main dil hun ek armaan bhara etc. You would find them in any compilation of Talat’s great songs. In case you were also not aware for many years like me that these were picturised on Raj Kapur, listen to these songs.

1. Main pagal mera manwa pagal from the film Ashiana (1952), Raj Kapur, Nargis: Lyric – Rajendra Krishna; Music – Madan Mohan

2. Mera qarar le ja also from Ashiana

3. Main dil hun ek armaan bhara from the film Anhonee (1952); Raj Kapur, Nargis; Music – Roshan.

Great Talat Mahmood solos from the film Bewafa

However, the Talat songs for Raj Kapur which take my breath away for their beauty are two relatively less known songs from the film Bewafa (1952), starring Raj Kapur, Nargis and Ashok Kumar. The music was composed by AR Qureshi, known more famously as the great tabla player Allah Rakha, whose son Zakir Hussain of Wah Taj fame is of course a modern day icon.

Dil matwala lakh sambhala phir bhi kisi par aa hi gaya

The scene is a kind of lift from Andaaz, instead of Dilip Kumar it is Raj Kapur on the piano, and Mukesh is now replaced by Talat Mahmood. Nargis is leaning quite lovingly on the piano, Raj Kapur looking into her eyes. The third angle of the triangle is provided by the pipe smoking Ashok Kumar, who seems to be ignored by the twosome, therefore he plonks on the sofa immersed in his own thoughts about the relatioship. Now you can fill up the blanks to get a hang of the story. Here is my all time great Talat Mahmood favourite.

Tumko fursat ho meri jaan idhar dekh to lo

If Dil matwala reminds you of Andaaz, Tumko fursat ho meri jaan idhar dekh to lo reminds me of Nargis’s swimming suit scene in Awara. But in Bewafa it is a swimming pool enclosed in a high boundary wall. The pool management seemed to observe gender segregation; therefore Raj Kapur sits outside the boundary wall in the garden eating guava and playing with it. This is hardly the setting to ask her Tumko fursat ho meri jaan idhar dekh to lo. Nargis is disturbed in her swimming, she seems puzzled and somewhat bewildered at this distraction, and often looks around to find out where the singing is coming from. I am not sure if this was the ideal way to picturise this song, but the song happens to be my great favourite.

It turns out this was not all, Talat had another solo for Raj Kapur in this film, Tu aye na aye teri khushi hum aas lagaye baithe hain, which again has typical Talat’s silken touch.

Tu aye na aye teri khushi

Seeing how Talat suits Raj Kapur, and his great songs on Dilip Kumar in Babul, Daag, Arzoo, Sangdil, I often wonder at the injustice as to how soon he was sidelined by the film industry. In the great churning between Mukesh, Rafi and Talat Mahmood in 1950-52, Mukesh became the voice for Raj Kapur and Rafi for Dilip Kumar, supported by the titans Shankar Jaikishan and Naushad. Rafi, of course, became the voice of everyone else – Guru Dutt, Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Shammi Kapur, Rajendra Kumar etc. Talat’s Lakhnavi-Urdu elitism, and inability to stray from the elegant ghazal path, became his constraint in achieving mass popularity. But it is to his credit that with less than 800 songs including his private songs and Bengali songs, he has left an indelible imprint on the golden era of film music, which many singers with ten times more songs would envy to achieve.

Kishore Kumar for Raj Kapur (!)

This may sound quite odd, but Kishore Kumar has also sung for Raj Kapur. The only film having this distinction is Pyar (1950), lyrics by Rajendra Krishna and composed by who else but SD Burman. Though there were a number of Kishore Kumar for Raj Kapur songs in the film, I could only find the duet Ek hum aur doosre tum teesra koi nahin by Kishore Kumar and Geeta Dutt, obviously for Raj Kapur and Nargis on YouTube, though only the audio is available.

Ek hum aur doosre tum teesra koi nahin

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sanjay Prakash February 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

A well-researched article; makes interesting reading. We indeed visualise only Mukesh’s or, at best, Manna’s voice on RK’s lips. It’s a great revelation to know that Rafi, Talat and even Kishore have sung for the showman! Incidentally, out of the songs mentioned in the article, I had heard only 3 but never knew they were filmed on RK- ” Nazron ke teer maare kas kas kas”, “Main dil hoon ek armaan bhara” & “Hum tum yeh bahaar dekho rang laya pyar”. Your article has opened a treasure for us.

2 AK February 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

@Sanjay Prakash
I was myself not aware of any Kishore Kumar song for Raj Kapur, nor would have believed KK sang for RK. I knew most of the Rafi songs I have mentioned but did not know that they were on Raj Kapur. Talat’s songs are, of course, all well-known – I had also seen Bewafa songs videos, and right from first hearing I got mesmerised. Other Talat songs’ Raj Kapur connection I was not aware. That just shows you never cease to find new information, surprises and jewels in the vast ocean of great music of the golden and vintage era.

3 raja February 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Lovely post.
I would like to add a Rafi song for Raj Kapoor. According to me, this could be Rafi saab’s best-known song for Raj Kapoor (it still does not mean it suits him. 😉 ).
I am talking about the duet with Lata for Ek Dil Sau Afsaane (1963) – “Tum hi tum ho mere jeevan mein”.

4 AK February 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for adding Tum hi tum ho mere jeevan mein from Ek Dil Sau Afsane to this list. So now we have at least 5 films in which Rafi sang for Raj Kapur. Surprising that Shankar Jaikishan should use Rafi for RK when SJ-RK-Mukesh combination had already become the stuff of legend. Why, they created a fabulous Mukesh song in the same film for RK Suno ji suno hamari bhi suno, which obviously is more well known than the Rafi-Lata duet. Just goes to show you never cease to get new surprises in the vast ocean of old Hindi film music.
My own all-time favourite Rafi song for RK is the Amber duet Hum tum ye bahar.

5 Gaby February 19, 2011 at 1:12 am

What about ‘Sadqe Heer Tujhpe’ from Mera Naam Joker. No Rafi’s voice did not suit Raj kapoor at all or is it the other way round. With a Manna Dey classic and a Mukesh great why did S-J have to bring poor Rafi into their magnum opus I wonder. In any case with youtube brimming with ; Sadqe Heer’ I wonder if AK’s exclusion of this song from the list of Rafi- Raj Kapoor is intentional!

6 AK February 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Thanks Gaby for adding Mera Naam Joker to the list. That makes at least six movies in which Rafi sang for RK, though Sadke Heer is more of recitation. This song would have never occurred to me, and even after you mentioned it I had to go back to Youtube to check it. I have a very strange relationship with Mera Naam Joker. I regard the first two parts of the movie among the world’s great cinema, I am always transported to a surreal word of magical charm and lyrical beauty every time I see it and I never miss a chance to see it. Come third part, I switch off either the TV or my mind. Secondly Sadke Heer does not rank among Rafi’s memorable songs or recitations, such as in Pyaasa. So I must admire you for noticing it. By the way, you have just made a great discovery! This is perhaps the only movie in which the three great singers – Mukesh, Manna Dey and Rafi have given playback for Raj Kapur. How I wish Raj Kapur had also used Talat Mahmood to complete the picture.

7 Sanjay Prakash February 25, 2011 at 8:46 am

@AK: I fully agree with you that Mera Naam Joker has some brilliant directorial touches.. the second part is the best one and for me, two particular scenes stand out- 1) Raju’s innocent outburst after being caught in the ring, leading to his initiation into the circus and the slow clapping that follows, and 2) Raju’s act just after his mother’s death in the circus. These scenes can beat the best in world cinema. However, even in the third part too, supposedly the weakest one, some extraordinary skills of the director are visible. I would request you to please view this part once again. Carefully observe the scene inside a flight where the 3 protagonists are holding on to a magazine each… the names of the magazines reflect the beliefs in their lives. Without any doubt, MNJ is the best work of RK and easily one of the 10 best-directed movies in India. I am sorry for writing this kind of comment on a music blog, but it is not out of context.

8 AK February 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

@Sanjay Prakash
It is perfectly in order to discuss the movies too. You have picked up a few scenes from the first two parts. I find everything about the first two parts lyrical and perfect – an adolescent’s crush for his elderly teacher, his shock at discovering that she had a man in her life, the teacher’s and her fiancée’s understanding of the boy’s inner turmoil, the children’s boisterous joy at the station when the boarding school closes for vacation, Raju’s running along the hilly toy train as long as he can to bid them a sad good bye, the love and relationship between Raj Kapur, his mother and the Russian actress, the parting scenes in both the parts – everything is sheer poetry. The third part is a great fall with a thud – Padmini’s disguise as a boy is quite trite, the relationships and parting are rooted in selfishness. This part lacks the beauty and innocence of the first two parts. Therefore, I do not know if, even after your advocacy, I can watch the third part with the same degree of inquisitiveness.

9 Sanjay Prakash February 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm

@AK: Very rightly said, part-3 of the movie is no patch on the first two. Still, it has some golden moments. It pioneered the trademark skin show and voyeuristic delight observed in the later RK-films. In fact, as it transpires from the preceding comments in this thread, it even has some songs which do not linger in the mind – very strange for a beautiful musical. However, one song from this part, “Ang lag jaa baalma” by Asha (again, a rare event for an RK film, to have an Asha song) sends goose-pimples to me even today – reasons not known.

10 a c tuli May 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I liked the article in which the writer has cited various playback singers singing for Raj Kapoor in old Hindi films. I would like to add that, apart from the singers named by the writer, there was one more singer who sang for Raj Kapoor in ‘Jaan Pehchan’ (1950), and that singer was Shankardas Gupta. In ‘Jaan Pehchan’ Shankardas Gupta playbacked for Raj Kapoor. He sang two songs, ‘Dukh se se bhara hua hail dil, jeene mein kuch maza nahin…’ and ‘Ab kya batayen tumse kyon door ho gaye hain…’
And to top it all, Raj Kapoor sang for himself in ‘Dil Ki Rani’ (1947) in which his co-star was Madhubala.

11 AK May 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

@a c tuli:
This is a wonderful piece of information. It adds so much value to this blog. And God bless You Tube and all the Good Samaritons, who post the song videos, all the three songs you have mentioned are available. Enjoy the songs – we are lucky that such rare songs have such excellent audio and video quality.

1. Shankar Dasgupta sings Dukh se bhara hua hai dil for Raj Kapur in Jaan Pehchan (1950), music Khemchand Prakash and Manna Dey

2. Shankar Dasgupta sings Hum kya batayen tumse kyon door ho gaye hain for Raj Kapur in Jaan Pehchan (1950)

3. Raj Kapur sings O duniya ke rahnewalo bolo kahan gaya chitchor for himself in Dil Ki Rani (1947), music SD Burman

12 a c tuli May 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

Dear Mr AK,
You take keen interest in vintage music. Would you please be able to tell me who sang for Raj Kapoor in ‘Chittor Vijay’, a film released in 1947 and in which the female lead was Madhubala? Raj Kapoor and Madhubala were teamed up in films four times, so far as my knowledge goes. First film was Kidar Sharma’s ‘Neel Kamal’, the second was ‘Dil Ki Rani’, third ‘Chittor Vijay’ – all three released in 1947 – and the fourth was ‘Do Ustad’ which was released in the 50s.

13 AK May 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

@a c tuli:
No clue. There is nothing on You Tube. Hindi Film Geet Kosh ia also silent on this. Is it that the songs were such duds that they were not released on records?

14 a c tuli May 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Kishore Kumar sang for Raj Kapoor in ‘Pyar’ for which music was scored by S.D. Burman. While a mention has been made in this blog about a duet sung by Geeta Roy and Kishore Kumar for this film which was possibly picturised on Raj Kapoor and Nargis, the real gem was a solo by Kishore Kumar which was filmed on Raj Kapoor. The song was, ‘Mohabat ka ik ashiyana banaya, kisi ne banaya, kishi ne mitaya’. Years ago, I had heard it on Radio Ceylon. It is no available in music shops. It is also not available on Youtube.

15 AK May 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

@ac tuli
In fact I was looking for the KK solo. But as I mentioned, since I could only locate the KK-Geeta Dut duet on the You Tube, I put it. I am still thankful to You Tube for having such rare gems. Hopefully we would some day see the solo also, you are blessed to have heard it on Radio Ceylon.

16 tulsi June 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Just a query. Has Rafi gave playback to Prithavi Raj Kapoor, in any movie. If he has done, it will be a unbreakable record for singing three generations.

17 AK June 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Good subject for enquiry. I would be on the lookout.

18 a c tuli June 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Since I last wrote for this blog, I have tried to recollect other raj kapoor- nargis films in which the singers who playbacked for raj kapoor were not the ones that he later chose for himself. For instance, in the 1953 film entitled ‘Dhoon’, starring nargis, raj kapoor and moti lal, there was one duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar and it was lip-synced on the screen on nargis and raj kapoor. The duet was, ‘Hum pyar karen ge hum pyar karen ge…’ The music of this film was composed by Madan Mohan. There are only two raj kapoor films for which Madan Mohan composed the music – ‘Aashiyana’ and ‘Dhoon’, both released in 1953. Incidentally, the duet that I have mentioned above is available on youtube. Another strange thing is that when you listen to it, for the first few seconds you feel it is GM Durrani who is singing for raj kapoor, but on close attention, this wrong impression is corrected. Hemant Kumar’s voice had quite an unusual tenor in this song.

19 Richard S. June 12, 2011 at 5:52 am

Hello. I wanted to get back to this post… Not talk about my disagreements re. Mera Naam Joker and why the third part is my favorite (I’ve done that elsewhere 🙂 ), but because I wanted to point out another singing voice for Raj Kapoor – Chitalkar!

20 AK June 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

@a c tuli
You have added another gem to our information. Thanks. Here is the song:

Hum pyar karenge by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Dhun (1953)

21 AK June 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

@Richard S:
I can’t thank you enough. Even though I had heard the Bhimpalsi song by Chitalkar, and even though I knew it was a Raj Kapur movie, I never made Raj Kapur-Chitalkar connection. These songs have the beauty of early C Ramchandra. Wo humse chup hain, hum unse chup hain has an eternal quality which makes you feel it was always with you, thoug I do not recall to have heard it often. Here are the videos of the three songs:

Main hun ek khalasi, mera naam Bhimpalasi by Chitalkar from Sargam

Wo humse chup hain, hum unse chup hain by Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Sargam

Kaisi ye jodi milayee hae Raam by Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar from Sargam

22 Sham July 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

There is a very nice song in Dastan (MD: Naushad) picturised on Raj Kapoor and Suraiya (Singers: Rafi – Suraiya). Tarari Tarari. I think that may be the best Rafi song for raj Kapoor.

23 a c tuli August 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Mr Sham says that the duet, ‘Tarai tarari…’ was the best sung Rafi song for Raj Kapoor. It was a spoof on Western music, but not exactly a sweet song. In fact, it never caught on. I think another song of this film, which was picturised on Suraiya, Raj Kapoor and Alnasir, was ‘Dil ko hai dil ko, dil ko teri tasveer se behlaye hue hain, is ghar mein hum ik chaand ko chamkaye hue hain..’ It was sung by Suraiya and Rafi. Incidentallyin in this , Rafi playbacks for both Raj Kapoor and Alnasir. It was a sweet song and was remembered for years.

24 AK September 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm

@Sham, a c tuli
I too prefer Dil ko hae dil ko to Tara ri. But my top Rafi favourite for Raj Kapur is still Hum tum ye bahar from Amber.

25 Anu Warrier September 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Came here while looking for Awaara songs – and found such a mine of information on Raj Kapoor for whom I have a great fondness. 🙂 I didn’t know that Rafi had sung so many songs for Raj Kapoor, though I was aware of Main zindagi mein hardam rota hi rahoonga. Of course, most of them are not from RK films.

Thank you so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Will keep visiting.

26 Dharamjit November 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

This is the answer for Tulsi’s query 16 on June 1, 2011 .
Rafi Sahab had sang many punjabi numbers for Pritvi Raj Kapur. Look for “Nanak Naam Jahaj Hai” , ” Nanak Dhukiya Sab Sansaar” and many more…

27 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

AK ji,
I would like to add one more singer’s name,who gave playback to Raj Kapoor and his name was not mentioned by anybody in the comments.
Neelkamal-1947 was a Raj kapoor-Begum para,Madhubala movie for which the music was given by B.Vasudev-who was Snehal Bhatkar under a pen name as he was still working with HMV that time.
In this film there is a song ‘ jaiyo na vides ‘ sung by Rajkumari and Bhatkar who sang for Raj kapoor.
According to an article on the Music director Narayan Datt in the Listener’s Bulletin no 76 dated Feb 1989,this song was actually sung by Narayan Datt,but for some reason the record contains Bhatkar’s name.
So one more playback singer for Raj Kapoor-Narayan Datt.
This Narayan Datt should not be mistaken for N.Dutta.They were 2 different persons.Narayan Datt was a singer and Music Director from 1947 to 1988.

28 AK January 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Arunkumar Deshmukhji,
This is indeed a great piece of information. Some great soul has also posted this song on the YouTube. So we have now this rare song by Bhatkar/Narayan Dutt for Raj Kapoor.

Jaiyo na vides from Neelkamal

29 Amit Mandpe February 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Good information really. To add to your article, Talat Sahab also sung for Raj Kapoor in film Jaan Pehchaan. The song was Armaan bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hai …with Geeta Dutt.

30 AK February 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

@Amit Mandpe
Indeed Arman bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hai is one of the greatest Talat duets. Comment #10 and 11 mentions some songs by Shankar Dasgupta in Jaan Pahchan.

31 anand mohan April 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

impressed by the research and visuals.i was most eager to see rajkapoor lipsinging kishore kumar.

32 Vinod Mody April 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

There is one well known song Rafi sang for R.K. in the film
Ek Dil Sau Afsane . “Tum hi tum ho mere jeevan me , Phool hi phool he jaise chaman me ” .
It is a duet ( Lata & Rafi )
This is a 1963 film starring R.K. with Waheeda.

33 Vinod Mody April 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

In reply to A.C.Tuli”s comments about Kishore Kumar song which he
sang for R.K. in the move”Pyar”, you can find it in the website” . In order to locate the song more easily , type
in the string “Mohabbat ka chota sa ek Ashiyana” in google search
from where you will get the link to the website “cooltoad” where the
song can be downloaded. You have to become a free member before
u can download the song. It takes a minute to register.

34 R Chandrashekar May 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I have been trying to locate the song (a duet by Raj Kapoor and xxx), which goes like this ” Ta ra ree, ta ra ree, ta ra ree, Ta rumpum, Ta rumpum, Tara rampump…”. Anyone to help?

35 AK May 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm

You are looking for Rafi-Suraiya duet (on screen Raj Kapoor-Suraiya) from Dastaan (1950), music Naushad

Ta ra ri ta ra ri by Rafi and Suraiya from Dastaan

36 AK May 21, 2012 at 10:33 am

A reader Dr Virendra Singh Godhara commented on my post on Dilip Kumar’s many voices which is more appropriate to this post. He has just discovered another voice by the name of Kamlesh Awasthi who sang for Raj Kapoor in Gopichand Jasoos, music by Usha Khanna. This is a wonderful information. Here is his comment in original and the song.

I am very much interested in music of old movies and I am much benefited by your blog. Thanks. Let me add about a voice used for Raj Kapoor after death of Mukesh at least in one movie. It was in the movie ‘Gopichand Jasoos’ of 1981 that Usha Khanna used voice of Kamlesh Avasthi for Raj Kapoor in a few solo and duet songs penned by santosh anand and Munsif. Voice of Kamlesh Awasthi resembled a lot with Mukesh.

Dil deewana main deewani teri from Gopichand Jasoos

37 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara May 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

Dear AK,
Another Rafi number for Raj Kapoor from none less than Shankar-Jaikishan themselves seems to have gone to oblivion. This was penned by Prem Dhawan for ‘Mera Naam Joker’ ,”Sadke Heer Tujhpe Fakeer Sadke…” I often wonder why it is seldom mentioned? Please watch and listen,

38 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara May 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

Dear AK,
Going through your splendid article once again I noticed an error about fact. In the 1950 movie ‘Pyar’ in which Kishore Kumar provided playback for Raj Kapoor lyrics were written by Rajinder Krishan and not Sahir.

39 AK May 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Thanks for pointing this out. I am travelling. I would do the correction on return.

40 Samir Khan June 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hello AK,

I’m not sure if you will print this considering my critical tone and the length of the post but it’s to your credit if you do. Earlier, I posted a comment on another of your articles, highlighting an obvious personal bias against Rafisaab. A writer laden with bias and unable to wear the objective cap makes for a poor author and will ultimately produce substandard articles. Ergo, this is an extremely poorly written article with glaring mistakes in research, description and analysis. I highlight various inaccuracies in your article in the section on Mohammed Rafi, as that is what attracted me here.

You mention it being difficult to “recall” or “visualise” Rafisaab singing for Raj Kapoor… why? Of the many singers plying their trade at that time, Mohammed Rafi’s voice was by far the easiest to visualise on any actor, a prominent reason why he was first choice for most of the MDs from the golden period. His voice had a water-like quality, which could assume any taste, colour, shape or form the MD desired. He could easily sing in a variety of genres, added to which he was hugely talented and a hard-working artiste; in essence, a MDs dream!

The “recall” part is indicative of poor knowledge of HFM and in no way diminishes Rafisaab’s achievements. There are plenty of songs with Rafi singing for actors who had other preferred voices, be it Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan or even Dev Anand. Conversely speaking, can one imagine Kishore Kumar singing for Dilip Kumar and Shammi Kapoor, or Mukesh for Dharmendra or Rajendra Kumar during their peak? There are anomalies, yes; SD Burman did it in Sagina, Shankar-Jaikishan in Aas Ka Panchhi and Roshan in Devar, but such experiments were one-offs and never to be repeated. Furthermore, in each instance there was a reason for using alternate singers; during Sagina, Rafisaab was hardly singing and was living in the UK at the time. In Aas Ka Panchhi’s case, Rajendra Kumar was just beginning his “jubilee” streak and Rafi had still to be rubber-stamped as his de facto playback voice. Dharmendra’s situation is similar to Rajendra’s, in that he was still finding his feet. And even when we have Kishore singing for Shammi, it is in his later years when he began playing character roles. Rafisaab is quite unique in that he sang for actors like Raj, Dev, Rajesh and Amitabh when they were at the top of their profession and while they had an alternate preferred voice. Actors often vociferously objected if someone else was offered a song, as Rajesh did during the recording of Yeh Raat Hai Pyaasi Pyaasi but Kalyanji-Anandji refused to budge. They knew only Rafi could do complete justice to their creation and Rajesh was a humbled man at the end of the recording. In other instances the song could not be rendered by the chosen singer and so Rafi was called. This happened during the recording of Nafrat Ki Duniya Ko Chhod Ke, when a dejected Kishore left the studio and asked Laxmikant-Pyarelal to call in their “favourite singer”, as only he could deliver it. Rafi came, did it in one take and took all the plaudits! Kishore had good reason to feel dejected having been in a similar situation several times before. OP Nayyar tells the tale of Raagini (1958) in his own distinct way, which can be read online. As for Shankar-Jaikishan, they had to summon Rafisaab after Kishore had failed during Shararat (1959), but Kishore didn’t leave the studio on that occasion. No, he stayed, observed and was completely overwhelmed at the end of it, as narrators of the story say. Fast Forward a few years and we have them same occurring in the recording rooms of Ravi (Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka – 1975) and Kalyanji-Anandji (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar – 1978)…

Your next point concerning Rafisaab utilised insignificantly or in a secondary manner in Raj Kapoor films again illustrates your poor knowledge and lack of research. Raj Kapoor had his favourite singers for himself but in films he has produced and where there has been scope to include Rafi, he’s there. And so we hear him prominently in Boot Polish, Ab Dilli Dur Nahin and Jaagte Raho. Rafisaab’s song in Barsaat was in fact the first recorded for the film. Shankar-Jaikishan, with Raj Kapoor’s blessings, used Rafisaab as a talisman for their premiere HFM song, embarking on a journey through two decades during which they built up a very close and personal relationship with Rafisaab and gave him their most difficult and enduring compositions. There was mutual adoration, love and respect for one another which is why Rafisaab sang for them. The thought of being used as a fill-in singer or in a secondary manner, would not have even entered Rafi’s mind. If like others Rafi too had a ruthless knack for business he may have demanded more than what he got during Barsaat, Awaara (two songs!) or Shree 420, but there was no need as he had the patience of an angel and knew Shankar-Jaikishan would do right by him. A few years later, with Dev, Rajendra, Shammi and others in the ascendency, this trio would go on to score hit after hit, creating desert island albums by the bucketload!

Your point about Ramiaya Vastavaiya is moot as well and incredibly disrespectful! Rafisaab is not a chorus singer in Ramaiya Vastavaiya, unless you also designate Lata and Mukesh the same, considering they all sing similar small portions. Sure Lata and Mukesh have their own stanzas, but then Rafisaab both introduces and concludes the song in his own inimitable way. Furthermore, Ramaiya Vastavaiya is not only the highlight song of the film, but over time it has become a lovers anthem due to its’ mass appeal and universal message. Songs like Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyaar Kya Kare, years later, would draw inspiration from this song. For sure, the irreverent minded, half tipsy came out of the cinema crooning Mera Joota Hai Japani and the fresh in love sang Pyaar Huwa Ikraar Huwa Hai, but the masses sang one and only one song, Ramaiya Vastavaiya… This was the film’s showcase song and Rafisaab was on centre stage. In Sangam, Rafisaab shows what he is capable of if given just one opportunity and usurps the show! In the case of Mera Naam Joker it comes down to the fact none of Raj’s preferred singers could have sang the Heer, so Rafisaab was given the call. Listen to the part Dede Dil Humaara Humein Waapas and try to imagine Mukesh or Manna singing that; I simply couldn’t!

I like quite a few of Rafisaab’s songs for Raj Kapoor, although in my humble opinion, the best would have to be Baazi Kisi Ne Pyaar Ki from Nazraana (1961), which surprisingly no one has mentioned yet. My favourite anecdote of a Rafi-Raj song concerns an incident during the shooting of Parvarish (1958) – narrated in A Man of Many Moods: Mehmood – where Raj was so enthralled with the way Rafi sang a particular bit in the song Maama O Maama, he insisted this would be picturised on him, even though Manna was already playbacking for him in the song! Mehmood was not a big star at that point and so had no choice but to go along with it…

41 AK June 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Samir Khan

Welcome to the Songs of Yore family! Why should you doubt that your comments would not be published? You must have by now read more of SoY. It is the readers’ comments which enriches the blog significantly.

I have to thank you for introducing me to Mama O mama song from Parvarish. The zestful dancing of Raj Kapoor and Mehmood is beautiful, though even after listening to it very carefully it seems Rafi is singing for Mehmood and MannaDey for Raj Kapoor, unless I am missing something.

Here is its video.

Mama O Mama by Mohammad Rafi and Manna Dey from Parvarish

42 anand mohan June 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm


43 anand mohan June 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm


44 AK June 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

You mean this song:

Gali gali Sita roye by Mohammad Rafi from Chhalia

45 anand mohan June 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm


46 musicparast April 3, 2013 at 1:09 am


A friend emailed me asking for a list of Raj Kapoor films where Mukesh was absent. In my attempt to create that list, I came across this very interesting what..? debate? research? article? None of the titles may fit as this is really a wonderfully ongoing labour of love for music!

AK, thanks for your patience, tact and openness. We are richer for it.

Samir Khan Saab, you really have done a admirable job! But I personally have not noticed any such bias against Mohammad Rafi in AK’s writings. If there is, as you claim there is, then on the same token may I point at your obvious partiality towards Mohammad Rafi?

I love them both dearly – but I will say this (because of years of conditioning may be?), Mukesh sounds natural for Raj Kapoor (o mere sanam, o mere sanam..) while Mohammad Rafi is just what the doctor ordered for Shammi Kapoor (aawaaz de ke hame tum..)

p.s. It seems that the first film with Mukesh singing for Raj Kapoor was Neelkamal (1947, music:B Basudev)
and the last was Naukari (1978, music:R D Burman)

47 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara April 3, 2013 at 11:40 am

I want to point out an error on the part of Musicparast in the above comment (though he/she saved his/her skin by using word ‘probably’). Though Raj Kapoor and Mukesh were both there in ‘Neekamal’, Mukesh did not lend his voice to Raj Kapoor but to other artiste. Raj Kapoor also appeared singing a duet, ” Jayiyo na bides mora jiyabhar aayega…” in the movie, but it was in the voice of Narayan Datt and Rajkumari. Although on 78 RPM record name of Bhatkar appears in place of Narayan Datt. This error on the record was pointed out by Harmandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ a great scholar and resercher in this field. This also adds a new name to the list of singers for Raj Kapoor. The name of the music Director of ‘Neelkamal’ was mentioned as B Basudev, who was none else than Snehil Bhatkar.

48 musicparast April 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

responding to Dr VirendraSingh Godhara >

Dr Saab, Thank you for correcting me. When I saw the names of both Raj Kapoor and Mukesh, together, I assumed the connection. Should have know better (Andaaz!)

Now that you mention it, I remember Snehal using a different name to escape breach-of- contract hassles.

49 arvind April 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm (baazzi kisi ne pyar ki jeeti ya haar di ).
rafi singing for raj kapoor in NAZRANA(1961).music is by RAVI. the song was written by RAJINDER KRISHAN.

50 AK April 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

You must have been able to compile the list of Raj Kapoor films in which Mukesh is completely absent. There are several, such as:
1. Dil Ki Rani (1947) – In this film, Raj Kapoor himself sang a song.
2. Chittor Vijay (1947) ?
3. Gopinath (1948)
4. Amar Prem (1948)
5. Parivartan (1949) ?
6. Sargam (1950)
7. Pyar (1950)
8. Jaan Pehcchan (1950)
9. Dastaan (1950)
10. Bewafa (1952)
11. Ashiana> (1952)
12. Anhonee (1952)
13. Amber (1952)
14. Paapi (1953)
15. Dhun (1953)
16. Boot Polish (1953)

The above list is not exhaxtive, but covers the well known films. Besides, the Mukesh songs in Andaaz and Jaagte Raho are not picturised on Raj Kapoor.

51 anand mohan April 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

in CHORI CHORI also mukesh is absent,though music is by SHANKAR JAYKISHAN.

52 AK April 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Of course, so obvious!

53 musicparast May 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Thanks, AK!
Thanks, Anand Mohan!

54 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara May 30, 2013 at 8:13 am

Neel Kamal. Gopichand Jasoos, Abdullah, Khan D0st etc. may be added to the list.

55 anand mohan June 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I feel playback singing for rajkapoor should be divided in two parts _one when mukesh was alive & the other when mukesh passed away. it should also be researched which was first & last song sung by mukesh for can also list which was the first &last song picturised on raj and was sung by whom ?

56 Amar Deuja December 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Isn’t it true that although Raj Kapoor was best known with Mukesh, Mukesh indeed sang most songs for Manoj Kumar. Please write me at:
I’m curious. Thanx.

57 ajay shankar July 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

you forgot to mentioned one of famous song of Rafi for Rajkapoor :


58 AK July 21, 2016 at 5:41 am

Ajay Shankar,
Welcome to SoY. On any theme there are a large number of equally good songs. I post about 10-15 songs. Readers mention their favourite songs in the comments. You would notice Arvind has already mentioned this song at #49.

59 Abhishek Sinha November 5, 2017 at 10:50 am

What about” बाज़ी किसी ने प्यार की”

60 AK November 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Abhishek Sinha,
Welcome to SoY. Yes, Baazi kisi ne pyar ki too, and several more by Rafi for Raj Kapoor and the ‘other’ singers, some of which I have listed. The challenge now is to find if there are any more singers I have missed.

61 Gurbir Grewal December 16, 2017 at 9:27 am

An answer to the query at serial number 16 by Tulsi I would like to give information that Mukesh has already given playback for three generations of Kapoors. For Rishi Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker (Teetar ke Do aage Teetar), Raj Kapoor and for PrithviRaj Kapoor in Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar (Punjabi) Two Numbers Satgur hoye Dayal and one more.

62 AK December 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

Interesting information. Thanks a lot.

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