Friday, August 1, 2014

Remembering Mohd Rafi ‘Tere Bin Soone Nayan Hamare…’ - Part III

In the last issue you read about Mohammad Rafi’s penchant for music and his rise as a commanding playback singer in Bollywood. Now read about his brief downfall that he faced during the Rajesh Khanna era, when Kishore Kumar began to be identified as Voice of Rajesh Khanna

During the 70’s Rafi’s craze got a jolt due to the phenomenal rise of Kishore Kumar. A dejected Rafi lamented:

Film makers neglected him and Rafi said to himself:
‘Matlab nikal gaya hain to pehchante nahin…’

Listen to Mohammad Rafi Songs on Raaga.com

Further with Amitabh’s action era and Mithun’s disco fever Rafi thought of retiring as he felt:

And prayed to almighty:

At this juncture Rafi’s old pal Naushad injected words of encouragement saying:
‘Raat bhar ka hain mehmaan andhera…’

Rafi understood the underlying meaning and made up his mind:

Soon success followed with hits like LAILA MAJNU, HUM KISI SE KUM NAHIN, AMAR AKBAR ANOTHONY, SARGAM ETC. and Rafi breathe a sigh of relief:
Listen to Mohammad Rafi Songs on Raaga.com

Once again producers stood making serpentine queue praying:

Everything was going smoothly. Even the Government of India, acknowledged Rafi’s contribution by bestowing on him the Padmashree Award which Rafi received thanking:
Woh khushi mili hain mujhko, is kushi se mein maar na jahoon…’

And as he thought so it happened!

31st july 1980.

As it was on this fateful rainy night the mighty death over powered Rafi Sahab. Among the infinite condolence the best tribute came from Rafi’s own song which he incidentally, recorded last evening:
‘Tere aane ki aas hain dost, sham phir aaj udas hain dost, dil ki meheki fiza yeh kehti hain, tu kahi aas paas hain dost…’

Apt word indeed! because Rafi sahab is always ‘aas paas’ - thanks to the electronic media.

People like Rafi never die, they dissolve in air like a sweet fragrance like his own song:

‘Rahen na rahen hum, meheka karenge banke kali,

banke saba, bagh-e-wafa mein…’

Meena Kumari : Epitome of Tragedy Part – I

chand tanha hai asman tanha 

dil mila hai kahan kahan tanha 

zindagi kya isi ko kahte hain 

jism tanha hai aur jan tanha

This grief striken verse is penned by eminent actress of Bollywood Meena Kumari, whose life was a bagful of sorrows. Blessed with eternal beauty her natural elegance and her pain-filled voice made her a legend as one of India’s greatest actresses. August 1 marks the birth annivessary of the legendary actress who gave many super hits in the 50 and 60’s like PAKEEZA, BAIJU BAWRA, AAZAD, MISS MARY, SAHAB BIWI AUR GULAM etc. Raaga.Com remembers her and enlightens about the actress in a three part series.

Listen to Meena Kumari Songs on Raaga.com

Tragedy for Meena Kumari began with her birth when she was almost thrown away by her angry father who was frustrated over his wife for delivering a third consecutive daughter. Further at the tender age of six, when other children of her age played carefree, little Meena was put under the harsh glare of studio lights to support her family. It is reported that her father – a Parsi theatre Music Director wanted to make big in Bollywood but when he failed miserably he introduced all his daughters, Khursheed, Madhuri and Mahjabeen into films to fulfill his unfulfilled dream. 

While his other two daughters went into oblivion his youngest daughter – Mahjabeen – caught the attention of film maker – Vijay Bhatt – who introduced her in his movie – ‘LEATHER FACE’ (1938) as a child artist giving her a new ‘screen name’ as – Baby Meena – From ‘LEATHER FACE’ to ‘BAIJU BAWRA’ it took 14 long years for Meena Kumari to come into limelight. In fact she became so famous after this movie that for many years she was ‘Lux’s star of India’. Moreover her market rate from Rs. 15000/- escalated to whooping Rs 1 lakh per movie!!!.

After the phenomenal success of ‘BAIJU BAWRA’ she did Bimal Roy’s PARINEETA. In this movie with her natural performance she introduced a ‘new era’ in the acting department of Indian cinema – where histrionics took over glamour as epitomized earlier by such supreme beauties of the 30’s & 40’s like Devika Rani Naseem Banu, Veena, Jayshree etc.

NOTE: In the next issue read about relation with Kamal Amrohi