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

Zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paighaam aaya hai

Posted on: August 20, 2014

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

It is generally believed that the playback singing career of Mohammed Rafi really took off on a sustainable basis after his songs in ‘Baiju Bawra’ (1952) became very popular. I had been carrying an impression that the year 1949 was a watershed in Rafi’s playback singing career. Probably I got this impression due to a number of his film songs I came across on YT released in 1949. To check my ‘hypothesis’, I have attempted an exercise on Rafi’s Hindi film songs during 1944-50. The starting year 1944 was taken as Mohammed Rafi got his first song as a playback singer in 1944. The end year was selected as 1950 just to know as to what was Rafi’s performance as a playback singer after 1949 which is the year I believe to be an important year in shaping his career graph.

For this exercise, first I thought of using Rafi Songs’ Excel Sheet but since the songs were listed there as per the alphabetical order of the films, I found it difficult to cull out the year-wise songs. So I relied on where I could change the display of songs into singer-wise songs, one artist at a time. So I prepared a list of all the songs sung by Mohammed Rafi, year wise. The list prepared from this source was rechecked with Rafi Excel Sheet. There were few discrepancies in these two sources which I have rectified in my list to the best of my knowledge after checking from other sources including this Blog. The broad outcome of this exercise is tabulated below:

Year No. of songs No. of Films No. of MDs
1944 3 1 1
1945 10 6 5
1946 38 18 14
1947 24 14 13
1948 52 25 21
1949 121 49 21
1950 93 38 18
Total 341 151

It is apparent from the table that the year 1949 was indeed an important year in shaping Rafi’s playback singing career. As compared with his performance in 1948, he had not only more than doubled his output of songs but also nearly doubled the number of Hindi films he got to sing in 1949. However, there was a moderate set back in his song output in the following year (1950). One of the reasons could be the fact that in the year 1950, the total Hindi film released had come down to 111 from a high of 157 in 1949.

Having done this exercise, I could get some other statistics concerning Mohammed Rafi’s Hindi film songs. First, the broad category wise distribution of Mohammed Rafi’s 341 songs is as under:

Category Numbers
Solos 132
Duets 169
3 or more singers 40
Total 341

Mohammed Rafi’s first solo song in Hindi film was ‘ae dil-e-naakaam tamanna’ from ‘Hamaara Sansaar (1945) under the music Direction of Pt. Govind Ram. His first duet song was ‘topiwaale babu ne’ with Amirbai Karnataki in ‘Kul Kalank’ (Jeevan Chhaaya, 1945). His sang his first song with Zohrabai Ambaalewali together with Shamshad Begum in ‘Hamaara Sansaar’ (1945).

Second, the top 5 singers with whom Mohammed Rafi sang duet songs during the period under review are as under:

Singers No. of songs
Shamshad Begum 46
Lata Mangeshkar 30
Geeta Roy (Dutt) 16
Suraiya 16
Amirbai Karnataki 11
Other singers 50
Total 169

As I had expected, Mohammed Rafi sang the maximum number of duets with Shamshad Begum during the period under review in keeping with her status at that time, being one of the top female playback singer. In the category of ‘other singers’, Beenapani Mukherjee, Mohantara Talpade, Lalita Deulkar, Surinder Kaur, Chitalkar, Shyam Kumar, Mukesh, G M Durrani, Khan Mastana, K L Saigal etc were other singers.

Third, it was observed that during 1944-50, Mohammed Rafi topped the list among the top 6 male playback singers who were senior to him:

Playback Singers Hindi Film songs rendered during 1944-50
Mohammed Rafi 341
Mukesh 151
G M Durrani 137
Chitalkar (C Ramchandra) 86
Khan Mastana 51
Manna Dey 50

I have not worked out the year-wise performance of the playback singers listed above. But on the basis of some sample checks, I get an impression that Mohammed Rafi overtook Mukesh and G M Durrani from 1948. Probably the popularity of Rafi’s duet song yahan badla wafa ka bewafai ke siwa kya hai in ‘Jugnu’ (1947) may have played an important role for him to get more playback singing assignments subsequently at the cost of G M Durrani. It is interesting to note that during this period, the number of songs rendered by Mohammed Rafi exceeded the combined number of songs rendered by Mukesh and G M Durrani who were his close competitors.

Finally, the statistics of Mohammed Rafi’s Hindi film songs during 1944-50 also bring out some interesting information in regard to the music directors of his songs:

Number of songs
Music Director 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 Total
Husnlal-Bhagatram 1 1 22 27 51
Hansraj Bahl 6 13 16 35
C Ramchandra 3 8 5 9 4 29
Naushad 3 2 1 13 6 25
Shyam Sundar 1 3 9 13
Pt. Govind Ram 4 3 1 1 1 3 13
S N Tripathi 3 3 1 3 10
Ghulam Mohammed 2 5 3 10
Feroz Nizami 3 4 2 9
Chitragupt 9 9

Even though during the period under review, he had sung the highest number songs under the baton of Husnlal-Bhagatram, it was Naushad, Pt Govindram, Feroz Nizami and C Ramchandra who played important roles in shaping the playback singing career of Mohammed Rafi in the early phase. His first Hindi film song was recorded under the music direction of Shyam Sundar for ‘Village Girl’ (1945), but his song ‘Hindustan Ke ham hain Hindustan hamaara’ from ‘Pahle Aap’ (1944) was first released under the music direction of Naushad.

During this period Mohammed Rafi had also worked with music directors like Sudhir Phadke, Vasant Desai, Datta Davjekar, Prem Nath, A R Qureshi, Shankar Rao Vyas, Ghulam Haider, Hari Prasana Das, Hanuman Prasad, Vinod etc. Surprisingly, during this period, he had only one song composed by one of the most prolific Music Directors of that period – Anil Biswas (Beqasoor, 1950).

During the course of this exercise, I had to refer to YT for some of Rafi’s songs for rechecking the information. I came across many songs from the period under review which are yet to be covered in the Blog. I have selected one of such songs ‘zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paigaam aaya hai’ from the film CHILMAN (1949). In some places the name of the film has been mentioned as ‘JANNAT’ (1949). In, both these films are listed separately with 10 songs shown under ‘Chilman’ and 12 songs ( i.e., two additional songs) shown under ‘Jannat’.
(Note from Atul- According to HFGK, 10 out of 12 songs of “Jannat” appeared in “Chilman” as well. The record numbers of the same songs were however different for both movies, which meant that different records were issued for the same songs belonging to the two movies)

The song is sung by Mohammed Rafi under the baton of Hanuman Prasad. While under ‘Chilman’ the name of the lyricist of this song is not mentioned, the name of M K Chhibber has been mentioned against this song under ‘Jannat. I had seen the film poster of ‘Jannat’ (1949) on a website which shows that the film was produced by M K Chhibber under the banner of Orient Sound Studios and directed by M Changezey. The names of the actors indicated on the poster are Ajit, Rehana, Balam, Hamid, S Raj and Pritma (Pratima?). I had not heard of both these films and the songs until I came across this song. One song under ‘Chilman’ has been covered in the Blog.

Only audio clip of the song is available. But being a typical Rafi song, one can get a feel of the visual without needing the video clip.


Song-Zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paighaam aaya hai (Chilman)/(Jannat)(1949) Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-M K Chhibbar MD-Hanuman Prasad


zahe kismat
zahe kismat
zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paighaam aaya hai
mareez-e- ishq ki khaatir shifhaa ka jaam aaya hai
mareez-e-ishq ki khaatir shifaa ka jaam aaya hai

ye jazb-e-ishq hai mera ke tere husn ka sadka
ke tere husn ka sadka
ye jazb-e-ishq hai mera ke tere husn ka sadka
ke tere husn ka sadka
zahe e dil mein lahu ugla jo tera naam aaya hai
zahe dil mein lahu ugla jo tera naam aaya hai

lagaa teer-e-mohabbat jab dua nikli mere dil se
dua nikli mere dil se
lagaa teer-e-mohabbat jab dua nikli mere dil se
dua nikli mere dil se
tumhaari yaad rangeen ka mujhe inaam aaya hai
tumhari yaad rangeen ka mujhe inaam aaya hai

unhi ne khat likha majboor hokar soz-e- ulfat se ae
soz-e- ulfat se
unhi ne khat likha majboor hokar soz-e- ulfat se ae
soz-e- ulfat se
mera dard-e-jigar aakhir ko mere kaam aaya hai
mera dard-e-jigar aakhir ko mere kaam aaya hai
zahe kismat
zahe kismat
zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paighaam aaya hai

19 Responses to "Zahe kismat teri mehfil se jo paighaam aaya hai"

Sadanand ji,

Thanks for the detailed analysis of Rafi Sb’s early years in the industry. Certainly, ‘Jugnu’ (1947) and the song ‘Yahaan Badla Wafaa Ka. . .’ is the point from where the career graph takes a decidedly upward swing.

Regarding the two films, ‘Chilman’ and ‘Jannat’; yes, they are the same film. Released once, and then re-released under a different banner (financial compulsions maybe – one banner selling the rights to the movie to another banner, and the re-release happens in a different name to avoid any legal complications). The peculiar thing would be that it is re-released within the same year. As you have pointed out, all songs of ‘Chilman’ are also present in ‘Jannat’, and that ‘Jannat’ has two extra songs. people simply copy from HFGK without giving any additional information, which is by the way already present in the HFGK itself.

Regarding the list of artists, I request you to please check and confirm from the poster you have seen, that Ajit’s name is there. In the HFGK, Ajit’s name is not mentioned in the star cast of either film. Also, the actress Pritma is Pritma Malhotra, and not Pratima, as you have queried.

Thanks again for the post and the song.



Thanks for clarifying the ‘confusion’ of ‘Chilman’ and ‘Jannat’.and of Pritma Malhotra.

Ajit is mentioned in the film poster of ‘Jannat’. Link to the film poster:

I do not know whether it is just a co-incidence but the name of Hamid is also mentioned in the poster. As we know, Ajit’s real name was Hamid Ali Khan.

Incidentally, on IMDb site, the name of Ajit is mentioned under ‘Chilman’.


Sadanand Kamath ji,
Thanks for the brilliant statistical analysis of Md Rafi’ career from 1945 -50. Your painstaking effort highlights a lot of interesting facts. Thanks for the post and song.
Sudhir ji,
Thanks for the additional information.


Sadanand ji,
Many Thanks for the interesting analysis.
Number of songs of Rafi saab for Naushad in this period is so fluctuating and unbelievable. 1944(3),1946(2) and 1948(1).
Mukesh, moving into RK camp and his own decision to act and Talat not featuring after Babul changed the above numbers for Naushad-Rafi till the end.

Just curious to know, if Surendra had lesser numbers for not being included in the list.


In my analysis, I have not considered comparing the Rafi’s song output as a playback singer with that of Surendra and K L Saigal as they were actor-singers and hence not comparable with playback singers.for statistical purposes.

By the way, Surendra sang 53 songs during 1944-50.


Hats off to you Sir. How many days or weeks did it took you to set up this meticulous and mind-boggling number crunching. I dare say we may expect you to do ‘Rafi’ on other singers as well.


Kamath hi,

This write up is really a labour of love.Unless you love your subject so passionately, you cannot produce such an article. Hats off to your mind boggling efforts.


Thanks for your appreciation.



I found the post informative and interesting. The early career of Rafi Sahab has also interested me and have done a few post for songs of that period.

Actually, the excel sheet of Rafi songs is very useful for these type of statistical studies. Despite the discrepancies, the information can easily be extracted by using the sort options in the heading row.

I had an idea that song tally for Naushad will be less than others. Among Husnlal-Bhagatram songs, most of the duets with Suraiyya are likely here already posted. There are no significant songs with Bengali Music directors in this period. Not just Anil Biswas.

In one of the post , I had read excerpts of an interview with Manna Dey, where he is talking of a song recording by K. C. Dey, where he was asked to rehearse Rafi Sahab for a song. But there is no song for K C Dey that Rafi Sahab has sung. In the excel Sheet K. C. Dey’s name is not there at all.

I am yet to hear the song, but the article made good reading.


Second shair :

ye jazb-e-ishq hai mera ke tere husn ka sadka
ke tere husn ka sadka
‘ rag e dil ne ‘ lahu ugla jo tera naam aaya hai


Thanks for pointing out the correction in the lyrics.


Yes, I remember to have read that part of the interview when K. C Dey preferred Rafi over Manna Dey for that particular song. However, the song in question is not listed in nor in Excel Sheet as you have mentioned.

K C Dey was in Bombay during 1942-46. Rafi’s singing carrier began in 1944. So the song in question may have been recorded by him sometime during 1944-46. It is quite possible that the gramophone record of that song may not have been issued. Alternatively, if issued, the record did not mention the name of Rafi. I remember to have read some time back in one of the websites that in the early phase of Rafi’s singing carrier, HMV did not mention his name on the record labels. So some of his songs may have remained anonymous.


Yes, that is also quite possible.


nahm ji,
I feel the Manna Dey interview,which you are referring in your comments,mentions the name of S D Burman and NOT K C Dey. Burman da first rehearsed the song with Manna for 8-10 days and on the last day asked him to teach the song to Mohd. Rafi. I have that interview with me.


That is a separate incident with S.D.Burman which I feel may have been a bit exaggerated. One tends to want to keep some happenings in the days gone by, in focus. So they are magnified from time to time so that the focus is not lost, till eventually they become even bigger than they were actually at the time the incidents take place. These are my thoughts viz. SDB-Rafi-Manna Dey incident.

I distinctly remember the interview part which was included in a write-up, where K. C. Dey’s name and film name and song words are also mentioned. I was surprised and I re-read that portion to confirm that I had not misunderstood and than I searched for the song on , which, of course was not found.


At last I found Manna Dey’s interview in which he mentioned about the song recorded in Rafi’s voice by K C Dey. The link :

Please read answer to Question No. 8 of the interview.


So according to this interview, K C Dey got Rafi to sing a song in “Justice”. On checking up in HFGK, I find that “Justice”(1946) aka “Insaaf” has one song by Rafi and Hamida Bano-

Music director of this song is H P Das, though. We may guess that K C Dey was the original Music director of this movie. K C Dey figures in the cast of this movie. So may be he had a say about the music of this movie.


And Rafi has only 4 lines to sing in the song. I was looking for film ‘Justice’ . Thanks for solving the puzzle. So this means that Rafi sahab has sung for K. C. Dey too.


Looks like you have solved the ‘puzzle’.


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