If you don’t know the taste of piping hot chocolate, then you probably aren’t familiar with Mohammed Rafi’s voice. Rich, smooth, warm, sweet, soft, kind, liquid, milky, creamy, bubbly, nutty, buttery, melty, luscious, mellifluous, just like that frothy treat. His voice is so irresistible, and so are his songs. My original plan was to make an alphabet of his songs, using only one song per letter, like sunheriyaadein and bollyviewer, but there were too many songs coming to my mind and I wasn’t sure which rules or criteria to set for the songs, so I decided to jot down every possible song in my head and put them into playlists. And making those playlists of these songs sorted by letter is so fun and even more fun than choosing only one song or sticking to any rule, it’s even a useful tool for that game called antakshari, where the next song should begin with the last letter of the previous song, and if you were asked to sing a song with K, here are your options!
Kya Hua Tera Wada-Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin(1977): This is a superhit, booming, rocking song picturized on the underappreciated actor Tariq Khan and composed by R. D. Burman. It simply speaks of not wanting to forget your love or promises. I used to listen to this song on my cassette when I was very little. And this has to be one of Rafi sahab’s greatest, most unforgettable songs, with his booming, flashing, neon voice and dynamic range.
Kabhi Khud Pe-Hum Dono(1961): Dev Anand mourns the absence of his clone with this light, somber Jaidev composition based on raga Gaara(no, not that Naruto character, but that includes songs like “Aise To Na Dekho,” “Mohe Panghat Pe,” “Aap Aaye To Khayale,” “Jeevan Mein Piya,” etc.). Reminds me of my senior year of high school, where I felt very sentimental then.
Koyal Kyon Gaaye-Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi(1971): I remember watching this song for the first time back in winter break of third grade, where the charming pair of Rajendra Kumar and Sadhana dance in the enchanted forest as they hear a cuckoo singing, as the name says, with Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s magic. Rafi really had a cuckoo voice, for its sweet, high-pitched, melodious sound, and you know many would label Lata as the nightingale voice, for the same reasons and traits. Reminds me of those fairytales, Christmas songs, classic ballet shows, especially the Nutcracker, the sugar plum fairies, Swan Lake, Shrek’s Karaoke Dance Party, and the “I Like to Move It” song in the movie Madagascar, because of them dancing under the trees and complex nature. A great, jolly, merry, happy number. Gives me memories.
Kaise Samjhaoon-Suraj(1966): I remember listening to this song a lot on tape in my third and fourth grade days. I really feel Rafi outshines Asha out of this world with his really rich, smooth, warm, sweet, liquid, soft, pearly, silky, creamy, milky, chocolatey voice(hers reminds me of an alien) in this classical Shankar-Jaikishan composition based on raga Bhairavi, penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, and picturized on Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayantimala doing a jugalbandi in the castle. The cuteness overload in Rafi’s voice is what I love the most about this song, just like a piece of chocolate cake or a Pany Pang or Smitten Kitten. And no, don’t even call me stupid, nasamajh nahin hoon, it really hurts and annoys me!
Kitna Pyara Wada-Caravan(1971): Jeetendra and Asha Parekh dance together in the misty nature with this jubilant R. D. Burman track. Gives me memories when I watched Vinit singing this lovely number in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005.
Kuch Kehta Hai Yeh Sawan-Mera Gaon Mera Desh(1971): Dharmendra and Asha Parekh enjoy the open nature with this jolly Laxmikant-Pyarelal mist.
Koi Sagar Dil Ko-Dil Diya Dard Liya(1966): Another memory from the days I used to listen to songs on tape, where Dilip Kumar broods with this lovely Naushad gem and proves with Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrics that he is not a stone but a human(“Main koi patthar nahin, insaan hoon”).
Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya-Guide(1965): It’s time Dev Anand feels lonely from his breakup with Waheeda Rehman, so he sings this S. D. Burman gem to show his sentiment. And listen to the echoes of Rafi’s soft, warm, steamy, liquid voice.
Kabhi Tera Daaman-Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare(1966): Shashi and Nanda take a bliss in the park with this jolly, light qawwali-type duet, sung beautifully by both the rambunctious voice of Rafi and the baby chipmunk voice of Asha, under the composition by the genius Madan Mohan. Reminds me of my eighth grade days, when I first listened to this song.
Kabhi Raat Din Hum Door The-Aamne Saamne(1967): There goes Shashi again, hanging out with Sharmila in the open nature with this light, lovely, refreshing Rafi-Lata duet under the music direction of the great duo Kalyanji-Anandji. Reminds me of my junior year of high school.
Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya-Suvarna Sundari(1958): I remember listening to this classical duet on tape in my elementary days, based on multiple ragas, like Sohni, Miyan Malhar, Jaunpuri, and Yaman, by Aditya Narayan Rao. Like “Koyal Kyon Gaye,” it speaks of a cuckoo singing in the garden. And both voices are sounding so poetic, dramatic, and dynamic. This song is so popular that I have heard many versions of it on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa shows, like Poonam, Anamika, Prateeksha, and Parthiv and Vaishali, in my late elementary(fourth and fifth) to early middle school(sixth grade) days. And I later found out that there were Tamil and Telugu versions of this song.
Khoya Khoya Chand-Kala Bazaar(1960): Dev Anand dances in the open sky with this blissful S. D. Burman track. And “khoya khoya chand” means that the moon seems invisible, implying the new moon days, or “dooj ka chand,” while a full moon is a “chaudhavin ka chand,” like that Sleeping Beauty-type song picturized on Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman.
Kabhi Kabhi Aisa Bhi-Waris(1969): Jeetendra and Hema Malini go on a car ride in the twilight with this blissful love duet, sung by Rafi and Lata, and composed by R. D. Burman. I love going on car rides in the twilight.
Kal Raat Zindagi Se-Palki(1967): Rajendra Kumar sings out his little bible with this serious, classical Naushad track. It even reminds me of those songs from the movie Mere Mehboob.
Kahan Chal Diye-Jhuk Gaya Aasman(1968): A rambunctious one, as Rajendra Kumar chases a naughty Saira Banu in the park with this uplifting Shankar-Jaikishan track. Reminds me of my middle school days.
Kisi Na Kisi Se-Kashmir Ki Kali(1964): Shammi rides his car all alone in the hills like a Turner Falls ride with this O. P. Nayyar track. I used to go to Turner Falls back in fourth grade. It was a very hilly area.
Kaise Kategi Zindagi Tere Baghair-Non-filmi song: This is a well-known non-filmi song, with Madan Mohan’s magic, and it speaks of the sorrows of the world(“saara jahaan udaas hai”).
Kaan Mein Jhumka-Sawan Bhadon(1970): This is the debut film of both Navin Nischal and Rekha, with music given by Sonik-Omi. It’s a peppy, shaky, rambunctious solo by Rafi, where Navin teases and plays with Rekha in the fields.
Kya Miliye Aise Logon Se-Izzat(1968): Dharmendra renders this emotional Laxmikant-Pyarelal number with Rafi’s smooth, dynamic, liquid voice, like a hot, steamy pudding straight from the oven.
Kal Raat Wali Mulaqat Kijiye-Raja Saab(1969): Shashi and Nanda get on this Kalyanji-Anandji boat ride and romance in the gardens. Reminds me of the titular song of Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi, because of the boat and garden scenes.
Kya Mil Gaya Kya Kho Gaya-Sasural(1961): Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi romance with this light, blissful Shankar-Jaikishan duet.
Karke Jiska Intezar-Hamrahi(1963): Here come Rajendra Kumar and Shankar-Jaikishan again, serenading with Jamuna in this lovely duet.
Kaun Hai Jo Sapnon Mein Aaya-Jhuk Gaya Aasman(1968): The great combo of Rajendra Kumar and Shankar-Jaikishan again, going on a jeep ride. Inspired by Elvis Presley’s song “Margarita.”
Kahan Ja Raha Hai-Seema(1955): What an emotional, heart-touching composition of Shankar-Jaikishan. I guess that’s Balraj Sahni on the piano. And Rafi’s voice is so rich and thick as cream.
Kya Kar Diya Bata To Zara-Rani Aur Jaani(1972): Anil Dhawan and Bindu flirt in the open nature with this rare gem composed by the lesser-known Satyam. And the setting reminds me of the Teletubbies, a favorite show of mine when I was a baby.
Koi Deewana Tumhe Chahega-Teri Talash Mein(probably 1965 or 1968): Lesser-known Rafi-Asha duet, but the film was never picturized, though the cast is said to have consisted of Sailesh Kumar and Kumkum. Music by Sapan Jagmohan. Reminds me of “Tu Hi Woh Haseen Hai” from Khwab.
Khuli Palak Mein Jhoota Gussa-Professor(1962): Shammi serenades the lovely Kalpana with this light Shankar-Jaikishan number.
Kitni Rahat Hai Dil Toot Jaane Ke Baad-Non-filmi song: Rafi’s voice feels like a spicy nacho cheese sauce in this classical Taj Ahmed Khan ghazal, sounds like rich, smooth, and warm, yet explosive, dynamic and kicking. Yet the lyrics speak of relieving after a broken heart, like when I try to do something fun when I’m having problems.
Khudaya Khair-Aaye Din Bahaar Ke(1966): Dharmendra sways this jubilant Laxmikant-Pyarelal solo track to Asha Parekh.
Keh Do Koi Na Kare Yahan Pyar-Goonj Uthi Shehnai(1959): Another memory from those cassette days. So roller coaster voice, Rafi sings so dynamically with his rich, thick, powerful, high-pitched for Rajendra Kumar in this Vasant Desai composition.
Khilona Jaan Kar Tum To-Khilona(1970): An imprisoned Sanjeev Kumar expresses his feelings through Rafi’s soulful voice and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s sheer magic.
Kar Chale Hum Fida Jaan-O-Tan Saathiyo-Haqeeqat(1964): Very popular patriotic song composed by Madan Mohan, speaks of the Indo-Chinese war, and because the Chinese were involved there, it even reminds me of Mulan. And look at Rafi’s bold, dynamic, loud, powerful voice in this rebellious song.
Kahin Ek Masoom Nazuk Si Ladki-Shankar Hussain(1977): I know this Khayyam gem is from a 1977 movie, but Rafi’s voice, picturized on Kanwaljit Singh in his prime, sounds so cute, young, soft, quiet, juvenile, and pastel as the 60s, and so charming as a fairytale, like a unicorn, or even Prince Charming describing his princess. So if Rafi were Prince Charming, who would be his princess? Snow White? Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? Belle? Rapunzel? Well, there are so many princesses around, not necessarily just Disney princesses, but there can only be one prince charming, so that’s why there can never be another Mohammed Rafi. So speechless song. And Kanwaljit used to appear in the 90’s show Family No. 1, at the time of Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, etc.
Kahe Itna Ghuman Goriye-Bharosa(1963): What a thrilling Ravi composition as Guru Dutt and Asha Parekh dance around at the fair that wouldn’t last forever!
Khud To Badnaam Hue-Chanda Aur Bijli(1969): So classical duet with Shankar-Jaikishan’s magic, rendered on Sanjeev Kumar and Padmini. I’m guessing it’s based on raga Kalavati.
Kahe Ko Bulaya-Humshakal(1974): Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja romance in the woods with this light R. D. Burman track.
Koyal Boli Duniya Doli-Sargam(1979): This dreamy Laxmikant-Pyarelal song speaks of a bird chirping.
Kehdo Kehdo-April Fool(1964): Biswajeet and Saira Banu go on a boat ride on a sunny day with this Shankar-Jaikishan track.
Koi Jab Raah Na Paye-Dosti(1964): Here comes blind Sudhir Kumar again, singing this Laxmi-Pyare classic to the people in the public.
Kitna Rangeen Hai Yeh-Picnic(unreleased): Wished Guru Dutt and Sadhana had made more movies together, but too bad Guru hung himself in his prime way too soon in 1964, so this seems to have been filmed in the early 60s or so. Like, take the movie Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, his last movie as a director. He was going to play the lead role, but he eventually got replaced with Dharmendra, and the songs, that were planned to be done by S. D. Burman, were finally given by O. P. Nayyar. But this song is composed by N. Dutta, a duet beautifully rendered by Rafi and Asha.
Koi Pyar Ki Dekhe Jadugari-Kohinoor(1960): Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari go horse riding with this crazy Naushad track.
Kya Kehne Masha Allah-Jee Chahta Hai(1964): Rare classical Rafi-Suman duet with Kalyanji-Anandji’s magic, picturized on Joy Mukherjee and Rajshree. And see that Rafiology label? I miss that channel very much. They got killed due to so many copyright problems. They used to be very inactive during their last few years, not posting anything then.
Kajre Ki Kasam-Ram Kasam(1978): Rekha does a snake dance in this Sonik-Omi snake charm.
Kisko Pyar Karoon-Tumse Acchha Kaun Hai(1969): Shammi rocks and rolls in this booming Shankar-Jaikishan track with Rafi’s wild, loud, roaring, rambunctious lion voice, holding so many phones. Tanmay from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil’ Champs brought me here.
Koi Bata De Dil Hai Jahan-Main Chup Rahoongi(1962): What a sweet, adorable Rafi-Lata duet composed by Chitragupt, picturized on Meena Kumari and Sunil Dutt swinging in the lovely garden. I just love this jodi of singing, their voices pair really well like chocolate-covered strawberries.
Kaise Jeet Lete Hain-Sajan Bina Suhagan(1978): Vinod Mehra lip-synchs to Rafi’s soft voice in the enchanted forest with this Usha Khanna composition.
Kya Hua Maine Agar Ishq Ka Izhaar Kiya-Yeh Dil Kisko Doon(1963): Shashi and Ragini party along with the masses with this rare, yet snappy Iqbal Qureshi gem. And both voices of Rafi and Asha are sounding kinda like chipmunks.
Khanke To Khanke-Vallah Kya Baat Hai(1962): Music by Roshan, but doesn’t feel like him, rather more like O. P. Nayyar’s style, picturized on Shammi Kapoor and Bina Rai. A jolly one.
Koi Bole Ram Ram-Guru Manyo Granth(1977): So enchanting and charming, even more than the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan version, which has more of a qawwali background. But Rafi has a smooth, soft, pudding-type voice, and his rendering of this song is such a fairytale bhajan-type song. This one is Punjabi, while others are Hindi.
Karam Nahin Bikta-Kaun Saccha Kaun Jhoota(1977): Feels like a disco party background song, but it’s actually picturized in a desert setting with the guy on his horse. Strange.
Ki Aaja Teri Yaad Aayi-Charas(1976): Dharmendra and Hema Malini roam around the streets with this Laxmikant-Pyarelal number.
Kya Tumne Dil Liya Nahin-Non-filmi song: Rare, speechless, classical ghazal…
Kitni Haseen Ho Tum-Yeh Dil Kisko Doon(1963): Shashi and Ragini go on a carriage-type ride with this soft, light Iqbal Qureshi number.
Kitni Jawan Hai Zindagi-Shehnai(1964): Here it comes again, Rafi singing for both Johnny Walker and Biswajeet in the garden, like “Bagh Mein Phool Kisne” from Night in London, except that is a duet composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and this is a “solo” composed by Ravi.
Kya Dekhte Ho-Qurbani(1980): What a chic, summery duet picturized on Zeenat Aman and Feroz Khan, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji. And when I listen to this song on my headphones, it gives me a funny feeling where Asha is singing in my left ear and Rafi in right, LOL!
Kya Kya Rang Dikhaye Zindagi-Badi Didi(1969): Poignant, situational Ravi song as Nanda broods and cries on her chair in the living room. Probably sounds like raga Shivaranjani.
Khush Rahe Tu Sada-Khilona(1970): What an emotional bidaai song with a rich, warm, liquid voice of Rafi sahab in Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s pixie dust, reminds me of “Babul Ki Duayein” very much.
Kaisi Haseen Aaj-Aadmi(1968): This Naushad duet, picturized on Dilip Kumar and Manoj Kumar, has two versions, both with Rafi singing for Dilip. The original version had Talat Mehmood singing for Manoj, but Manoj felt it didn’t suit him, so Talat was replaced by Mahendra Kapoor in the final version.
Kabhi Ithla Ke Chalte Ho-Aap Ki Parchhaiyan(1964): Dharmendra compliments Supriya’s moves with this snappy, blissful duet by Madan Mohan behind the woods.
Kya Kya Na Sahe-Mere Huzoor(1968): What a top-knotch, clappy qawwali song composed by Shankar-Jaikishan with picturization in Jeetendra and Mala Sinha…
And it’s been a long, huge kilo collection of songs. Feels like a Rafi kingdom, where Rafi would be considered as the king of the singers. Thanks for reading!