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

Tumko salaam hai

Posted on: July 31, 2017


This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

In India, we are often required to attend get togethers (formal/ officials as well as informal/ unofficial etc). Singing of a few film songs is almost always a part of these gatherings, which are sung by enthusiastic singers and their performances are followed by polite clappings.

The songs that are sung on these gatherings are mostly from the golden era originally sung by legends. I often think of that era when these legends were still around me. I would often imagine a gathering where songs were sung not by the enthusiastic singers but by the singers who originally sang these songs. Just imagine participating in a programme where Rafi songs are being sung live by none other than Rafi himself !

During the golden era of HFM, viz from 1950s to 1970s, the playback legends would often visit various cities and towns and sing in public functions.

In eastern part of India, Durga Puja is the most important festival and it would last for many days- typically for for days (saptami to dashmi). The Durga Puja organising committees would arrange for cultural programmes at night on all these days and these cultural programmes would draw big audience. I, growing up in Ranchi, attended lots of such cultural programmes on these nights.

Some durga puja organisers would be more ambitious than others and they would contact legends to participate in their cultural programmes. Some organisers would be even more ambitious and they would invite such legends just as a stand alone function, a musical night. And guess what ! Sometimes these legends would actually agree to participate on these functions.

The true tale that follows is about one such cultural programme that took place some 50 years ago in a small town in West Bengal.

Amirchand informed his friends Dipu and Radhakant that Rafi was coming in for a musical night. Diehard Rafi fans all, they got all enthusiastic about attending the programme. Then Amirchand broke the news that it was not in their city of Calcutta, but at Kanchrapara, a railway town located 50 km away !

On that evening, the three friends had an early dinner and then they boarded a local train to Kanchrapara. Once they alighted at the Railway station, the festive atmosphere and stream of people going in a particular direction meant that they had no difficulty arriving at the railway stadium which was the location for the function.

A large tent was erected and the fucntion was to be held inside it. It turned out that all the tickets were already sold out !

The locals advised them not to lose heart and asked them to wait. In any case, Rafi’s performance was towards the fag end of the programme.

During those days of old, such programmes were not organised for any mercenary purposes. After the tickets were sold out and ticket holders had taken their seats, the side partitions of the tent would be taken out so that even those without tickets could watch from a distance, while being seated on the ground. The stage was quite high so that even people located far off could have decent view.

Finally the partitions were removed for the non ticket holders like Deepu and co. At this moment, something unexpected happened. Deepu noticed an usher cum organiser, proudly sporting the organiser’s large usher badge, coming his way. He was not a stranger, but a familiar face. It was Biman, his childhood acquaintance. “Hey Biman”- Deepu shouted and ran towards him. The two childhood friends hugged each other like how separated at childhood children do in Hindi movies. 🙂

“I did not know that you stay at Kanchrapara”- Deep exclaimed. Biman explained that he lived in the Railway area and it was his youth organisation which was behind this function. He motioned Deepu and his two friends to follow him discreetly. He took then to the front row where their were cushioned seats- seats meant for special guests ! So Deep and his friends found themselves becoming special guests in a programme where they were unable to get tickets just a few hours ago !

It was at around midnight that Rafi made a grand entry with a full throated shot of “Yaahoo”. Mortals, after shouting like this would lose their voice for several days, but it was no ordinary mortal of course ! Audience began to pass on slips with their farmaishes and Rafi saab began to oblige them. He read a slip and asked- “who among you has sent this slip ? Please stand up. This song is my favourite. O duniya ke rakhwaale”.

An old man stood up and raised his hand. “I will sing this song later. Please remind me later.”-Rafi assured him.

Rafi kept singing songs after songs on the farmaishes of audience. There was a farmaish for a duet. He asked for a lady from the audience to accompany him for the duet. A young lady volunteered. The two sang several duets. Rafi took her under his wings and guided her like his child, and covered her lapses expertly.

People were so engrossed that they did not realise that several hours had passed and midnight was giving way to dawn ! A few organisers came up to the stage, perhaps to remind him that it was time to wind up. Rafi requested them to give him a few more minutes. “Is the gentleman still here who requested for duniya ke rakhwaale ?” Rafi saab asked. The old man stood up and raised his hand even before Rafi saab could complete his question.

Rafi saab concluded the programme by singing his favourite song-” o duniya ke rakhwaale”. It had already become daylight by then. Not a sigle soul among the audience had left the area. That was the kind of connect Rafi saab had established with his audience in that small town in Bengal.

Deep and his friends came back home. Full contented and savouring a great experience of a lifetime.

The above experience was easily an experience of the lifetime. Deep aka Deependu Mukherjee shared this experience in his blog in 2016, some five decades later. I stumbled upon this article in december 2016 and I wanted to discuss it in the blog during Rafi saab’s birth anniversary in December 2016. But I could not get Mr Deependu Mukherji’s permission in time to use this article. When he logged into his computer after the Christmas vacation then he came across my request and he permitted me to use this article anyway I wanted. So I am extremely thankful to him for this article as well as his permission. I have gone through this article several times and I get a goosebump every time, and I find the cochlea of my heart getting warmed each time without fail.

Rafi saab singing the farmaishes of his fans live, and the fans lapping up every moment of the experience. Needless to say that the audience who gathered that day fifty years ago were all blessed souls and they would all remember this night as long as they live.

Just imagine Rafi Saab, the undisputed number one playback singer of the era agreeing to participate in a function like this which was truly a function of ordinary music lovers for ordinary music lovers. And Rafi saab merged with the audience like one among them, even seeking out a member of the audience to sing with him ! No airs of superstardom whatsoever ! He never looked at the watch. He in fact took some more time to comply to the farmaish of an old man, remembering to save that song for the last.

The golden era of HFM was from 1949 to 1980. Lots of people contributed in making this era the golden era. It is quite a coincidence that Rafi saab first caught the imagination of public as a playback singer with “Dulaari” in 1949. So Rafi saab making his mark in HFM and HFM entering its golden era happened in the same year.

Coincidence ! Then what about the other coincidence ? The golden era of HFM came to an end in 1980. And Rafi’s tenure in this earth too came to an end in 1980 ! On 31 july 1980, to be precise.

So one can say that the Golden era of HFM began with Rafi and came to an end with him. A coincidence indeed. But what a coincidence. Or may be not.

1980, the last year of Rafi saab on this earth saw some superb songs sung by him. He in fact looked to be firmly on his way to the top once again.

“Asha”(1980) is a movie studded with tremendous songs. One can keep listening to the songs of this movie in loop without feeling bored. All six songs of this movie are timeless gems. Four out of six songs of “Asha”(1980) have already been covered. I was deliberately holding on to the remaining two songs of the movie. Both these songs showcase Rafi’s voice at its very best.

Today (31 july 2017), on this occasion of Rafi saab’s remembrance day, here is this superb Rafi Lata duet from “Asha”(1980). Anand Bakshi is the lyricist. Music is composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

I am surprised that the video of this song is not available. I had seen this movie during its time but I do not recall whether the picturisation of this song was there in the movie. It should be a stage performance song going by the lyrics of the song.

I request our knowledgeable readers with better memories to tell us about the picturisation of this song. I am surprised that this song is decribed as a rare song by some uploaders.

Listening to the audio itself is a divine experience. So here it is as a tribute to Rafi!


Song-Tumko salaam hai (Asha)(1980) Singers-Lata, Rafi, Lyrics-Anand Bakshi, MD-Laxmikant Pyarelal
Both

Lyrics

ek din bahaar ne ae ae
phoolon se ye kaha
kaanton ki nok par
khilte ho tum magar
hanste ho jhoom kar r r r
zakhmon ko choom kar
insaanon ke liye
deewaanon ke liye
mushqil ye kaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
ho o
tumko salaam hai
ho o
tumko salaam hai

kahiye sahibaan
ye daastaan kaisi lagi
ye daastaan nahin ee ee
haan haan ji
haaan nahin
koi payaam hai
tumko salaam hai
koi payaam hai
tumko salaam hai

ho tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai

afsos kya
aa aa aa aa aa
afsos kya
ki dil khushiyon se thha bhara
thhoda sa ye agar
chhalka to kya hua
thhoda sa ye agar
chhalka to kya hua
aadha chhalak gaya
khaali nahin hua
aadha bhara hua aa aa
abhi ye jaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
koi payaam hai
tumko salaam hai

tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai

tumne to bas mujhe ae ae ae ae
tumne to bas mujhe jeena sikha diya
jalwa dikha diya
parda uthha diya
jalwa dikha diya
parda uthha diya
har zakhm daag hai
har gul charaag hai
maalik dimaag hai ae ae
dil to ghulaam hai

tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai

is zindagi ko tum m m m m
is zindagi ko tum thhoda sa pyaar do
gham ke bhi raat din
hans kar guzaar do
gham ke bhi raat din
hans kar guzaar do
kyonki ye zindagi
ae mere hamnasheen

koi saza nahin ee ee
ye ik inaam hai
tumko salaam hai
koi payaam kai
tumko salaam hai
koi payaam kai
tumko salaam hai

tumko salaam hai
tumko salaam hai
sabko salaam hai

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5 Responses to "Tumko salaam hai"

Atul ji,

Thanks so much for sharing the anecdote of Deependu Mukherjee. And the touching observations added by yourself.

The most important observation that you have made today – that the golden era of Hindi film music, began with Rafi Sb and it ended with Rafi Sb. This sums up everything else that has to be said about this era, and the music of this era.

Thanks again for this heartfelt article.

Rgds
Sudhir

I loved the tale of Deependu Mukherjee. I was itching to share this tale in the blog.

Yes, the active period of Rafi coincide with the golden era of HFM.

What a wonderful story of Deependu Mukherjee, Atul.
I can totally imagine the scene – including how the partitions would be removed to let people sit on the ground beyond it too, and enjoy the proceedings. I think one of the reasons Rafisaab is liked by all is that he never acted like a big shot. He was happy to go along with others – which is a huge deal. Would have been great to listen to Rafisaab live.

By the way, now this is a song I HAVE heard before. 🙂

The great thing about this tale is that one can totally visualise the scene, even if we were not witness to it. I grew up in Ranchi, which was close to Calcutta, geographically as well as culturally and such programmes (even if organisers were not that ambitious) used to take place there as well.

Deep and his friends managing to watch the show from VIP seats, despite not having tickets, just because he came across a childhood friend, this is a fantasy that we all nursed those days.

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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