Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Mere geeton ka singaar ho tum

Posted on: February 24, 2013


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog.

Khayyam is one of the music directors of Hindi film industry who made a significant contribution in propagating the NFSs. By his own admission, he had started declining most of the offers for Hindi films’ music direction during late 50s and early 60s as he did not feel comfortable in working in such films in which interference of producers and distributors in music direction had become the order of the day. It was during this period that he devoted his time and energy in composing some of the finest NFSs especially with Talat Mehmood and Mohammed Rafi.

There is an interesting background as to how Mohammed Rafi got associated with Khayyam for recording his popular NFSs. Sometime in early 60s, Mohammed Rafi used to call Khayyam almost every month at his residence for lunch. Khayyam’s luncheon visits at Rafi’s house went on for months to the extent that he started feeling awkward. At last, Khayyam told this to Rafi’s elder brother Hameed. It was Hameed who then revealed that Mohammed Rafi had a feeling that his voice was not as sweet as it used to be earlier and he felt that Khayyam could help him in this regard. Khayyam was surprised to learn about Rafi’s own assessment of his voice at a time when he was the top male playback singer. His songs were extremely popular with the masses. Even the top lead actors of that time like Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Shammi Kapoor had switched over to Mohammed Rafi and new comers like Jitendra were requesting for his voice. Khayyam responded by saying that when Rafi had everything going smoothly in his playback singing career, there was no need for him to seek his guidance in improving his voice as it was acceptable to all those who adored him.

Subsequently, Rafi personally approached Khayyam with the same request upon which he put two conditions to him – first, he should forget that he is Mohammed Rafi, the celebrated playback singer of Hindi films and second he should give him at least two hours per day for practice and rehearsals. Mohammed Rafi imeediately agreed to these conditions. The practice and rehearsals started in the right earnest. Khayyam commenced Rafi’s practice and rehearsals with ghazals. Khayyam had not one or two but 18 rehearsal sessions, each of two hours for practice and rehearsals for ghazals. One of the ghazals resulting from the long rehearsals was ‘ ghazab kiyaa tere waade pe aitbaar kiyaa’ written by Daagh Dehlavi which was later recorded and issued. The ghazal become very popular. Then he shifted the focus of rehearsals to devotional songs. During this period, Khayyam and Rafi recorded Krishna devotional songs like ‘tere bharose ye Nandlala’, ‘Shyaam ne neha lagaaye’, ‘more Shyaam more Shyaam’, ‘paaon padu tore Shyaam’ and many more.

(Note : The information given in the preceding two paragraphs is based on Khayyam’s TV interview).

One common factor in all these NFSs is that the song is softly rendered and Rafi’s voice is very sweet to the ears. In my view Rafi’s voice was always sweet but what Khayyam did was to bring it to the surface which was under the ‘debris’ of the new style of Hindi film songs which Mohammed Rafi was required to sing in keeping with the filmy situations. For example, there was no place for soft rendition with sweet voice for the songs like Yahoo chaahe koyi mujhe junglee kahe(Junglee)(1961) and Mast bahaaron ka main aashiq (Farz)(1967).

The foregoing episode, in my view, puts Mohammed Rafi in a high stature not only as a top playback singer but also as a fine human being. Sometimes I get a feeling whether Mohammed Rafi really realised that he was a celebrity. For his actions as in the case of the episode discussed above confirms this feeling. It is a great quality in a person who identifies his own shortcomings and works towards rectifying it. Mohammed Rafi did it without having any ego problem.

I have chosen for discussion one of Rafi’s NFSs in association with Khayyam which is neither a ghazal nor a devotional song but a light musical song (sugam sangeet). The song is ‘mere geeton ka singaar ho tum’ (C.1960) written by Madhukar Rajasthani. Like many NFSs, I used to hear this song on Vivid Bharati in the 60s and 70s. After a long time, I rediscovered it only a few days back and feel happy to share with the readers of this blog.

Audio link :

Song-Mere geeton ka singaar ho tum (Rafi NFS)(1960) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Madhukar Rajasthani, MD-Khayyam

Lyrics

mere geeton ka singaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
mere geeton ka singaar ho tum

nainon mein milan ka sapnaa
jeene ka sahaara apnaa
nainon mein milan ka sapnaa
jeene ka sahaara apnaa
kyaa keh kar tujhe pukaaroon
asha ki nayi bahaar ho tum
mere geeton ka singaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
mere geeton ka singaar ho tum

ye sheetal pawan jhakoley
kaanon mein amrit gholey
ye sheetal pawan jhakoley
kaanon mein amrit gholey
aa kab se baat nihaaroon
meri khushiyon ka aadhaar ho tum
mere geeton ka singaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
jeewan ka pehlaa pyaar ho tum
mere geeton ka singaar ho tum

12 Responses to "Mere geeton ka singaar ho tum"

Sadanand ji,

Thanks so much for this wonderful song, one of Rafi Sb’s loveliest non-film songs. And also for the very interesting background episode on how the relationship between Khayyaam Sb and Rafi Sb developed.

A lovely reminiscence.

Rgds
Sudhir

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Sadanandji,
Thanks for posting this Rafi-Khaiyyam-Madhukar Rajasthani song, one of theirs many bhajans/ghazals/light classical songs. I am aware of the fact that you do have many of Khaiyya-Rafi songs, waiting for your informative post and then to be posted on this blog for all music lovers to cherish. So, I will wait for those treasures. 🙂
BTW, I loved the way you have expressed “Sometimes I get a feeling whether Mohammed Rafi really realised that he was a celebrity.” The quality of His like true human being and always be humble not only with all his fans, friends & family but also with his coworkers made him special in the world of celebrity.

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Khayyam Saab has brought out velvetiness in Rafi Sab’s voice. Thank you Sadanandji.

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Thank you very much Sir, for the informative post and sharing this beautiful song with us. We have been very fortunate to have great composers like Khayyam saab and great singer like Rafi saab. i could not express the feelings whenever i listen ‘tere bharose he nandlala’ and ‘paaon padu tore shyaam.. laut chalo’ ! Divine compositions !
And as rightly put up by you, it’s only ‘ego’ which prevents us to overcome our shortcomings, and once we shred it we get to learn more and improve.
Thanks a lot !!

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How humble Rafi was!!!!. He wanted to improve all the time which is hallmark of a veteran.
I remember another story of his humility.
Rafi succumbed to the craze of Impala car which was the status symbol of our film fraternity. However there was one problem. His driver couldn ‘t drive a left hand drive Impala, so Rafi was in search of the requisite driver. Upon getting one there was another big problem of rehabilitating the driver who became jobless. However Rafi bought Rs 75k taxi for his driver to get his rozi-roti back. Only great souls can do it.

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Songs like Yahoo chaahe koyi mujhe junglee kahe(Junglee)(1961) and Mast bahaaron ka main aashiq (Farz)(1967) spoilt his voice and which led to his premature death. Courtesy SJ and LP. Otherwise how a person with no vices and an avid badmington player could die at an age of 54 when was at his peak, which is no age to die. Just try to sing the above songs many a times at a stretch simulating the no. of rehearsals and you will get what I mean.
In the initial days Rafi voice was as velvety as Talat’s

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Sir,

I did not know this instance of Rafi’s worry about the quality of his voice. He had a voice which was ‘God gift” . Even with use and abuse over the decades it remained sweet as ever.

I was listening to this song yesterday :

Thanks for sharing the information through the wonderful song post.

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Thanks for the link. I heard this song for the first time.

There may be many such hidden Rafi gems of the later half of 70s when his songs were swarmed by Kishore Kumar’s songs.

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Thanks for the background story of Rafisb and Khayyam sb,what I had heard that Rafi’s sister had meeting with Khayyam sb,and told her that you have given many nfs to talatsb,now he should try bhaiya’s voice too.
Then Khayyamsb agreed to start the rehersals session,for nfs.You may have seen LP record named THIS IS MOHMED RAFI,released in early sixties by hmv.is result of rafisb and khayyamsb ‘s hard work.Madhukar Rajasthani has given many nfs,one more nfs is on the reverse of this record ‘tum aao rumjhum karti payal ki jhankar liye……..which is equally nice song..

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‘Tum aao rumjhum karti’ has already been discussed in this blog. Here is the link : https://atulsongaday.me/2012/12/25/tum-aao-rumjhum-karti/

Indeed it is beautifully rendered by Mohammed Rafi.

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Thank you Kamath ji……beautiful write up! One feels humbled when you get to read many such anecdotes…..of such a great singer and may be greater human being!

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Here is the clip of Khaiyyam Saab’s interview that Sadanandji has mentioned in his write up. Enjoy!

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