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

Archive for the ‘Nirmala Devi-Rafi duet’ Category

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, 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 other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of, then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4595 Post No. : 16220

Today’s song is the 4th song from the film Ghunghat-1946 to be discussed here. The first 2 songs were posted by Mrs. Nahm ji and then Atul ji discussed the 3rd one. What is so special about this obscure film that 4 songs are discussed here ? Nothing really. It’s just a coincidence. Actually, Rafi’s early songs attracted Nahm ji and I was also eager to listen to the fresh voice of Mohd. Rafi, from his early career.

If one takes a look at the Excel sheet of Rafi songs, so kindly made and given to friends by Muveen ji of the USA, one finds that in the first 7 years, i.e. from 1944 to 1950 (both included), Rafi had sung only 376 songs, which averages out to a poor figure of 4.8 songs – say 5 songs roughly – per month. Not a very encouraging figure. But mind you, this is only an average. Actually, the yearwise songs he sang are as following –

Year Number of songs Remarks
1944 3 songs
1945 12 songs
1946 39 songs
1947 28 songs He had gone to his native place to look after family in view of the Partition, but came back in time to sing for film Saajan-47
1948 58 songs
1949 129 songs
1950 107 songs

From 1951 there was no looking back and the graph was upwards till the end (even in the so-called “Kishore wave” of the early 70s). While reading the book “RAFINAMA” by eminent film historian Isak Mujawar, I collected some interesting data. Some of it was discussed about 4-5 years ago, but now I have added some more to it . Here it is for our readers.

Mohd. Rafi, no doubt, was a versatile singer. Like Lata, when he came on the scene of playback singing-after considerable hard work and struggle- one by one, he replaced the old singers who sang in the films.

Ashok Kumar’s singing spree stopped when Rafi sang for him in the film Saajan-47.
Ishwarlal stopped singing when Rafi sang for him in film Sharbati Aankhen-45.
Shahu Modak stopped after Chakradhari-54.
W.M.Khan after Aalam Ara-56.
G.M.Durrani after Lal Pathar-71.
Karan Dewan after Duniya-49.
N M Charlie after Zameen ke Tare-60.
Balak Ram after Shri Ram Bharat Milan-65.
Moti Sagar after Paak Daman-57.
Man Mohan krishna after Basant bahar-56.

Mohd. Rafi even sang for some composers who used to sing in films
S N Tripathi -Pawanputra hanuman-57
Snehal Bhatkar-Bawre Nain-50 ( he was doing a Beggar’s role) and
Sudhir Sen- Saat Phere-70

Rafi was the only male playback singer who sang with 3 major singer actresses
Khursheed- Aage Badho-47 and
Suraiya- many (13) films.

Coming from a very humble beginning and after hard work and struggle, Rafi had his ups and downs in his career. Like any other big and popular star, he too had his critics,detractors and people who tried to use him. Though he understood their game, he never reacted adversely and always acted very professionally. Ace composer Anil Biswas never liked Rafi’s singing and he had openly passed a remark to that effect ( which,of course, he denied later). However whenever Anil ji called him to sing for him, Rafi always did it professionally, without indicating anything else. Similarly, C.Ramchandra, Roshan, Salil Chaudhari and R D Burman were also not amongst his fans, but he sang for them all, whenever called to do so.

Mohd. Rafi, on his part, had no enemies. He had a clash with leading singer Lata on two counts. One when Lata raised the Royalty issue and two, when Lata’s name came in the Guinness Book for 25000 songs. He however, patched up readily, when interested composers intervened, because his nature was not vengeful basically.

Rafi understood how a small singer would feel and he never refused or hesitated to sing with less known or small time singers( unlike Lata ). Thus Rafi sang with singers like Gandhari (Rane), Razia Begum (sister of actress Suraiya Zulfi), Chandbala, Chand Burke, Kumudini Dikshit, Malti Pandey, Paro Devi, Laxmi Roy ( Geeta Dutt’s sister and Pramod Chakravarty’s wife), Laxmi Shankar, Pramodini Desai Patkar,Nirmala devi, Ramola,Uma Devi, meena Kapoor,Pushpa Huns etc etc. Some of these became well known later on.

Rafi had sung with old timers like Rajkumari ( she was the first female playback singer to sing with him in his career), Zohrabai,Hameeda bano,Lalita Deulkar, Mohantara Talpade etc etc. However when these old timers eclipsed, he sang with the remaining major singers like Asha Bhosle ( 806 songs), Lata ( 344 songs ), Shamshad Begum ( 160 songs ), Suman kalyanpur ( 141 songs ) and also Geeta Dutt, Mubarak Begum, Sudha Malhotra, Usha Mangeshkar etc etc.

Rafi probably was the only male singer who sang for maximum number of father son pairs, viz:
Raj Kapoor- Randhir/Rishi Kapoor
Mumtaz ali-Mehmood
Jayant- Amjad
Premnath-Prem kishen
Agha- Jalal Agha
Jeevan- Kiran kumar etc etc

During his career Rafi saw many child stars graduating to adult Heroes. He sang for such actors like Suresh, Anant Marathe, Jagdeep,Vinod Mehra, Sachin, Mahesh kumar, Sudhir Kumar etc .

Among Heroes, he sang maximum songs for Shammi Kapoor-183 songs. In the film Basant, he sang 8 songs and in Kashmir ki kali, he sang 7 songs for Shammi kapoor. Rafi sang many songs for Dev and Dilip. For a long time Mukesh and Manna Dey were considered Raj Kapoor’s voice. Rafi sang 31 songs for Raj Kapoor – 7 solos and 24 duets. When Rafi first sang in the film Deedar for Dilip Kumar, Mehboob Khan told Dilip, ” This is your voice. Hereafter sing only in this voice.” Dilip followed the advice till he was lured by Kishore’s voice later on.

As far as Music Directors are concerned, Rafi sang maximum songs for Laxmikant Pyarelal, 369-186 solos, followed by Shankar Jaikishan, 341-216 solo. Surprisingly third number is Chitragupta with 247 songs, Ravi-235, R D Burman-222, O P Nayyar-197-57 solos, Naushad- 149-81 solos and Usha Khanna-114 songs.

Mohd. Rafi respected Chitragupta very much and had always given priority to his recordings. Rafi had said that he truly enjoyed singing Chitragupta’s songs due to their melody.

Of all the singers ( including Saigal) who sang Hindi songs, I consider Rafi a complete, versatile and perfect singer. He was, additionally, a very religious, honest, simple and kind person.

Film Ghunghat-46 was a social film made by Prakash Pictures. Directed by Dr. Shanti Kumar, its music was composed by Shankar rao Vyas, the favourite MD of the prakash Pictures. The cast of the film was Nirmala, Arun Ahuja, Ramesh Sinha, Umakant, Leela Mishra and Khurshid Jr.

Khurshid Jr. – the film’s Heroine – was the eldest daughter of Master Ali Baksh, Music Director and Iqbal Begum, film artiste and one time a famous and popular stage artist of Madon, Alfred and other Drama companies in the Eastern India. The family actually belonged to Sargodha in Punjab, but Khurshid was born in Bombay on 10-4-1930. Being born in a filmi family, the atmosphere was very conducive for Khurshid to join films.

After getting school education upto 12 years of age, she entered films. Her first film was Zameen-43 as a side Heroine. Then came Minerva’s Dr. Kumar-44 and Naghma E Sehra-45 – in which she was the Heroine of Master Vithal. Due to her good acting skill, there was no shortage of film offers. She had to add Jr. to her name , as there was a more famous actress singer Khurshid Bano, already in the film line, in the same period.

Khurshid’s younger sisters Baby Meena (later Meena Kumari) and Baby Madhuri Later actress Madhu- Mehmood’s wife) were also working in films. Khurshid Jr. married her handsome co-star Altaf. who did few films as a Hero but then shifted to side roles soon. After Partition, the couple considered shifting to Pakistan, but decided to stay here as both of her sisters were here and doing better.

As long as Meena Kumari was alive, they were comfortable, but after her demise, they became helpless and went down financially. They had to live in smaller tenement and roles also dwindled. Khurshid Jr. acted in 65 films. Her last film was Oh Bewafa-80. Altaf acted in just 21 films from Sipahi-41 to Pakiza-71. Even Khurshid had also acted in it.

Here is a duet of Nirmala and Mohd. Rafi from this film. Enjoy.

Song-Bhool jaa apne geet puraane naye taraane gaaye jaa (Ghoonghat)(1946) Singers-Nirmala Devi, Rafi, Lyrics-Ramesh Gupta, MD-Shankar Rao Vyas
Both + Chorus



haan gaaye ja gaaye ja gaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja
door gaye vipda ke baadal
sukh ka sooraj aaya
sukh ka sooraj aaya
nayi umangen nayi tarangen
nayi raushni laaya
nayi raushni laaya
tu bhi apne armaanon ki dunia nayi basaaye ja
basaaye ja basaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja

chali hawa lahraati gaati
mahak uthi phulwaari
mahak uthi phulwaari
chali hawa lahraati gaati
mahak uthi phulwaari
mahak uthi phulwaari
jhoom rahi hai aaj meri aasha ki daari daari
jhoom rahi hai aaj meri aasha ki daari daari
naach naach mere man mor
naach naach mere man mor
?? milaaye ja milaaye ja milaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja


gaaye ja gaaye ja gaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye ja
bhool ja apne geet puraane
naye taraane gaaye jaa
door gaye vipda ke baadal
sukh ka sooraj aaya
sukh ka sooraj aaya

nayi umangen nayi tarange nayi roshni laaya
nayi roshni laaya

tu bhi apne armaanon ki
dunia nayi basaaye ja basaaye ja basaaye ja
gaaye jaa
gaaye jaa
gaaye jaa
gaaye jaa
gaaye jaa
gaaye jaa

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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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