When Mohd. Rafi sang “Tum mujhe youn bhula na paooge, jab kabhi bhi sunoghe geet mere”, he may have little realized how true his words would be. Be it classical numbers, patriotic songs, romantic melodies, qawwalis, bhajans or ghazals; Mohd. Rafi could manage it with ease of a hot knife passing through a slab of butter. Many actors owe their fame to the sheer genius Mohd. Rafi was. From actors like Biswajeet, Bharat Bhushan and Joy Mukherjee to successful heroes like Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Rajender Kumar, and Dev Anand, in addition to comedians like Bhagwan and Johnny Walker, Mohd. Rafi was successful in molding his voice to match the screen appearance of the actor. Though there is no doubt that this legendary singer has become immemorial for his soulful songs, it is amazing that people remember him for being a humble, down to earth and helpful person he was, even 33 after his death. Apart from a conflict with Lata Mangeshkar and Guinness book of world records, he has a spotless career record in the film industry. It is very tough to choose 9 songs or for that matter 90 songs for which we remember Mohd. Rafi as many of them stand at par with each other.
9. Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja:
Movie : Neel Kamal
Music : Ravi
This is the most touching and emotional song that is played during wedding ceremonies. It is said that Mohd. Rafi became emotional thinking about his own daughter’s wedding and sobbed in real towards the end of the song. Matching the emotional voice of Rafi, another stalwart Balraj Sahni gave equally powerful performance to make this song immemorial. It is said that touched by the theme of the song, Mohd. Rafi did not charge any fees for singing this song.
8. Chahe Mujhe Koi Junglee Kahe:
Movie : Junglee
Music : Shankar- Jaikishan
The song is remembered for the wayward antics of Shammi Kapoor as much for the boisterous voice of Mohd. Rafi. The fast paced, peppy song was an instant hit, especially with the youth and to this day is remembered as a cult number among the songs of Bollywood. This song stands apart from rest of the songs of Mohd. Rafi. The song is so popular that when yahoo was launched; many confused it to be a website of Shammi Kapoor.
7. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahan (Bombay Meri Jaan):
Music : O. P. Nayyar
A classic song also known popularly as ’Bombay Meri Jaan’ was recorded on evergreen comedian Johnny Walker. It is amazing how Mohd. Rafi brilliantly rendered the song, which many believed was sung by Johnny Walker himself. He is said to have spent some time with Johnny Walker before recording the song. That is the kind of dedication that brings out classics.
6. Kya Hua Tera Wada:
Film: Hum Kisise Kum Naheen
Music : R. D. Burman
The endearing romantic song touched the heart of every Bollywood music lover and shot Mohd. Rafi into prominence once again, after a long period he was overshadowed by Kishore Kumar for quite some time. The song remains the only song for which Mohammad Rafi got a National Award, though many consider he deserved many more. He also won Filmfare award for this song.
5. Baharon Phool Barsao:
Movie : Suraj
Music : Shankar-Jaikishan
This is one among more than 150 songs Mohd. Rafi voiced for Rajendra Kumar. It is said that whenever Shankar-Jaikishan, Mohd. Rafi and Rajender Kuamr came together; they created musical history in Bollywood. The song won Filmfare award not just for playback singer Mohd. Rafi; but also best lyricist award for Hasrat Jaipuri.
4. Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya:
Movie : Hum Dono
Music : Jaidev
This is one of the evergreen hits of Dev Anand and Rafi, which is remembered fondly by the fans of both the actor and singer even to this day. Accompanied by powerful lyrics and performance; Mohd. Rafi could pull off another magical hit with this song. The film also has another popular hit Mohd. Rafi rendered with Asha Bhonsle – Abhi na jaao chhodkar which is one of the best romantic songs of Bollywood.
3. Jab Jab Bahar Aayi:
Movie : Taqdeer
Music : Laximikant- Pyarelal
Coming from an era when good story, plot, direction and music carried the movie instead of super stars, the soft and sweet song rendered my Mohd. Rafi directly connects with your heart. It takes you back in memories and reminds you of your loved one and the sweet moments you shared together. The song with light music has kind of tranquilizing and relaxing effect on mind. Clearly one of those mesmerizing songs which highlights the smooth , flawless voice of Rafi and keeps him alive among music lovers.
2. Aaj Purani Rahon Se:
Movie : Aadmi
Music : Naushad
This is just one of those magical songs created by the trio of Dilip Kumar, Naushad and Mohd. Rafi. The songs voiced by Mohd. Rafi for Dilip Kumar are considered classics, especially those sentimental sad songs which touched the hearts of music lovers. It is very tough to choose best song from the songs Rafi sang for Dilip Kumar, as most of them are classics in their own way.
1. Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho:
Movie : Chaudhvin Ka Chand
Music : Ravi
52 years down the lane, the breathtaking melody from the film Chaudivin ka Chand, still enthralls and entertains music lovers. The romantic song is popular all over the world for amazing lyrics of Shakeel Badayuni, music of Ravi and soulful voice of Mohd. Rafi. The romantic song was well matched by the ‘Quintessential Beauty of Bollywood’ Waheeda Rehman. The numerous hits and likes the song gets on internet says much about its popularity among today’s generation.