Calling all Rafi lovers! Let’s put our hands and make an alphabet of his songs!
It all started when I came across a page called The A to Z of Mohammed Rafi, an alphabet consisting exclusively of his songs, by sunheriyaadein. That page was so cool and inspiring that I wanted to make my own, but the toughest part was picking just one song per letter, so I decided to stretch out every song I could think of, and there are too many songs to think of from this letter, well, trillions. But sunheriyaadein wasn’t the only one who made such an alphabet, bollyviewer and Achal Rangaswamy made theirs too, and now I want to follow them and do my own version. Not only does it dedicate to our beloved singer, but it even makes a useful tool for that game called antakshari, where the next song should start with the last letter of the previous, and it’s such a fun, lovable game.
And the first time I played antakshari with my family, we were stuck on T, that we needed to search such songs and increase our vocabulary in songs, but I already had too many songs stored in my memory, like “Tu Hi Tu”, “Tunak Tunak Tun”, “Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai”, “Tadap Tadap”, and many, but remember, this is a Rafi territory(like in the show Emperor’s New School, Yzma said in her song, “This is an Yzma territory”), so I’m totally limiting to this charming gentleman’s songs, be it a solo or duet, black and white or color, regardless of actor, music director, mood, year, etc., well, any Rafi song can work, as long as it starts with a T for true love.
Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho-Hanste Zakhm(1973): This superhit, booming classic has to be on the top of the list, because it’s one of my most favorites, with Madan Mohan’s magic picturized on a bright, neon, colorful scene of Navin Nischal and Priya Rajvansh going on a car ride on a rainy evening to the beach. With Kaifi Azmi’s passionate lyrics, it speaks of Navin getting lost and trying to search for Priya(“ek bhatke hue raahi ko, caravan mil gaya”). What a neon, booming, liquid voice Rafi has, like a piping hot chocolate. I also remember its covers from Debojit in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005 and Parthiv in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge. Like them, I too love singing these songs, especially this one. I tend to follow those contestants and get their influence too, like Ron Weasley(from Harry Potter) says, “Follow the butterflies”. Every time I dream of this song, it comes on the radio. It has been so popular that it has to be a gem, a beauty, a heaven, and true love of a song. This is one of the best songs ever sung on the planet. Makes me wanna feel good and hum along. So much to say about this song…
Tu Mere Saamne Hai-Suhagan(1964): Another irresistible piece of chocolate from Madan Mohan, where Guru Dutt compliments Mala Sinha’s beauty, especially her hairstyle, in Rafi’s rich, smooth, soft, warm, suave, melty, chocolatey voice in this black and white classic. This is another beauty and another of the best songs ever sung. Feels like a surprise gift. Reminds me of my mid-high school days. I can’t resist this one either.
Tere Mere Sapne-Guide(1965): Dev Anand tries to still show his love on Waheeda Rehman, but she cries. But why? What happened? Maybe it’s the end of their love story, that their love is deteriorating and splitting, like look at that jolly song Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, where they used to love each other. But this song, from S. D. Burman’s score, is a poignant, emotional one, yet so irresistible, that it’s a touching one. And besides, this song is based on raga Gaara(nope, not a namesake of Naruto’s Gaara), like “Aise To Na Dekho”, “Kabhi Khud Pe”, and “Mohe Panghat Pe”.
Tumne Mujhe Dekha-Teesri Manzil(1966): Like “Tere Mere Sapne”, this feels like another poignant song, but now it’s Shammi Kapoor singing and making Asha Parekh cry in this R. D. Burman classic with Majrooh Sultanpuri’s mesmerizing lyrics. And look at her tears dropping on her paper, like a light rain.
Tu Ganga Ki Mauj Main Jamuna Ka Dhara-Baiju Bawra(1952): I remember listening to this vintage Naushad composition on raga Bhairavi on my cassette in my elementary school days, seems like the folks, especially Bharat Bhushan and Meena Kumari, are enjoying their time in those eponymous rivers.
Tumse O Haseena-Farz(1967): Very surprising to see Babita do a classical-type dance, like Vyjayantimala or Padmini, with Jeetendra’s jazzy dance in this jolly duet from Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Teri Bindiya Re-Abhimaan(1973): Amitabh Bachchan compliments wife Jaya Bachchan’s beauty with this lovely bunch of flowers from Sachinda to classical roots probably from raga Gaara. I even remember the Rajasthani team of Raja, Dilshad, and Priyanka singing this beautiful duet in the S. D. Burman episode of the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge show.
Teri Galiyon Mein Na-Hawas(1974): Scored by Usha Khanna, Anil Dhawan is emotional about his love and flashbacks about Neetu Singh. And look at that nerd, and that aging Pradeep Kumar. And what a soft, charming voice Rafi has…
Teri Pyari Pyari Surat Ko-Sasural(1961): Rajendra Kumar tries to compliment an innocent B. Saroja Devi’s beauty with this light love solo from Shankar-Jaikishan’s sheer magic. And when I try to sing this song, I act as if I’m looking at something super cute, like my two pet squirrels Misu and Risu(nope, they aren’t real squirrels, they’re just carved out of wood into one sculpture). Really a song of cuteness overload, like a Pany Pang or a piece of chocolate cake.
Tumse Izhaar-E-Haal Kar Baithe-Mere Mehboob(1963): Now it’s time for Raju to praise Sadhana in Naushad’s score. Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrics speak of doing wonders, like when I looked at other Rafi alphabets, the authors picked only one song per letter, but me, I’ve been trying to list down as many songs as I could think of per letter, and whew, that felt even more challenging than just one. But that even boosts my song vocabulary. Based on raga Yaman, tune reminds me of “Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi” from Raja Hindustani.
Tasveer Teri Dil Mein-Maya(1961): Mala Sinha and Dev Anand sing this cute duet from Salil Choudhry.
Tere Paas Aake Mera Waqt-Neela Akash(1965): Dharmendra and Mala Sinha wander around the Pinjore Gardens with this light, flirty Madan Mohan duet.
Tujhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se-Asli Naqli(1962): I used to listen to this lovely Rafi-Lata duet on Dev and Sadhana in my cassette in my elementary school memories. Feels so magical as a fairytale. This is even one of Dad’s favorite songs. Even Dharmendra and Jaya Bachchan sang this charming song in Guddi.
Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paoge-Pagla Kahin Ka(1970): This is an ideal song to pay tribute to Rafiji on his death anniversary, that’s July 31st, ever since 1980. It felt a bit too early for him to leave the world like that, but he had a severe dard-e-dil at just 55 years. But it was just a natural, intrinsic cause. BTW, this song was made way before his passing, with Shankar-Jaikishan’s composition on raga Jhinjhoti, picturized on Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh.
Teri Ankhon Ke Siva-Chirag(1969): Another root from raga Jhinjhoti, Sunil Dutt praises Asha Parekh’s lovely eyes under Madan Mohan’s direction. Asha later gets blinded at a mystery incident in the middle of this movie, due to her inability to bear a baby, that she sings it back to Sunil.
Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan-Pyar Ka Mausam(1969): Now it’s time for the charming Shashi Kapoor to praise Asha Parekh with this rocking R. D. Burman track. There is also a Kishore version of this song picturized on Bharat Bhushan.
Tujhe Pyar Karte Hain-April Fool(1964): Biswajeet and Saira Banu wish upon a star in the twilight with this love duet from Shankar-Jaikishan. Feels like Cinderella and Prince Charming waltzing at the garden in the ball.
Tu Hi Woh Haseen Hai-Khwab(1980): Mithun Chakraborty was one lucky actor in the newer generation to have Rafi sahab singing for him, complimenting Rajneeta’s beauty in blind musician Ravindra Jain’s score. Many of you would have wondered that if Rafi lived longer, he would have sung for even newer actors, like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, and many, but they have had newer singers like Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Abhijeet, Sonu Nigam, KK, Shaan, etc. And now there are rappers like Honey Singh and Badshah, that many complain that music is deteriorating nowadays. Time flies. Kahin beetein na yeh raatein, kahin beete na yeh din.
Tumne Pukara Aur Hum Chale Aaye-Rajkumar(1964): Shammi and Sadhana gaze around the enchanted forest in this Shankar-Jaikishan fairytale. I guess it sounds like raga Darbari.
Tujhe Dekha Tujhe Chaha-Chhoti Si Mulaqat(1967): Uttam Kumar and Vyjayantimala romance in the wintry scene in this lovely, light duet from Shankar-Jaikishan’s score. But Vyjayantimala looks chubby in that orange vest, so I’m putting her purple sweater instead.
Teri Zulfon Se Judai-Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai(1961): Dev sahab sings at the court that he didn’t want to detach from Asha Parekh. Score by Shankar-Jaikishan and lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri.
Tik Tik Tik-Humjoli(1970): Brilliant cabaret song on Jeetendra and Mumtaz with score by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Tere Bin Soone Nain Hamare-Meri Surat Teri Ankhen(1963): Ashok Kumar plays a nice guy who looks like a beast, like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, or Shrek. But unlike the Beast or Shrek, his character is a talented classical singer, like see “Poocho Na Kaise Maine” and “Nache Man Mora Magan”. That is, a hideous guy with a charming voice.
Tere Ghar Ke Saamne-Tere Ghar Ke Saamne(1963): Dev Anand sees Nutan in his glass in this titular song of Sachinda.
Tere Sang Jeena Tere Sang Marna-Nach Uthe Sansar(1976): Shashi Kapoor and Hema Malini unite in this Laxmikant-Pyarelal gem. And Rafi’s voice really feels so soft and smooth as pudding in here…
Tere Ishq Ka Mujh Pe-Nagin(1976): What a sensual duet picturized on Sunil Dutt and Rekha, scored by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Rafi’s voice sounds really charming as a fairytale.
Tumhari Zulf Ke Saaye Mein-Naunihal(1967): Sanjeev Kumar sways around his love Indrani Mukherjee in this soft, smooth, silky Madan Mohan ghazal.
Tu Kahan Yeh Bata-Tere Ghar Ke Saamne(1963): Dev Anand wanders the streets in this Sachinda classic.
Tujhe Kya Sunaoon Main Dilruba-Aakhri Dao(1958): Madan Mohan got inspired by the tune of Talat Mehmood’s song “Yeh Hawa Yeh Raat”, taken from Sangdil, composed by Sajjad Hussain, and picturized on the charming Dilip Kumar. But this song is picturized on Nutan and the lesser-known Shekhar.
Talkhi-E-Maye Mein Zara-Non-filmi song: This ghazal from Taj Ahmed Khan feels like waking up with a warm cup of tea.
Tu Hai Mera Prem Devta-Kalpana(1960): In this classical Rafi-Manna duet, Padmini and Ragini are dancing classically and devoting to God with O. P. Nayyar’s composition on raga Lalit.
Tumse Acchha Kaun Hai-Janwar(1965): I first heard this song when Paresh sang it in the 2005 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge. Shammi falls in the lake with Shankar-Jaikishan’s peppy beats.
Tayyab Ali Pyar Ka Dushman-Amar Akbar Anthony(1974): Rishi Kapoor and company sing this jolly Islamic prayer song of Laxmikant-Pyarelal on the sunny streets. Better than that remix from Once Upon a Time in Mumbai 2.
Tum Chali Jaogi-Shagoon(1964): This soft Khayyam ghazal is picturized on real-life jodi Kamaljeet and Waheeda Rehman strolling through the woods.
Teri Neeli Neeli Ankhon Ke-Jane Anjane(1971): Shammi and Leena Chandavarkar hang out at the beach with this Shankar-Jaikishan spice.
Tere Nain Nashe De Pyale-Gora Aur Kala(1972): Rajendra Kumar, dressed as a Sultan, compliments Hema’s beauty in the palace, like an Aladdin story. Score by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Tukde Hain Mere Dil Ke-Mere Sanam(1965): Heartbreaking lyrics from Majrooh Sultanpuri, but this O. P. Nayyar piece wakes me up like a warm cup of coffee.
Thehriye Hosh Mein Aa Loon-Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain(1965): Light duet from Khayyam, featuring the charming jodi of Shashi Kapoor and Nanda. Suman sounds like Asha B. at the humming part.
Tum Jo Hue Mere Humsafar-12 O’Clock(1957): Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman flirt at the orchards with this O. P. Nayyar classic.
Tere Husn Ki Kya Tareef Karoon-Leader(1964): Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala converse at the patio with this light, lovely duet from Naushad. And look at Vyjayantimala doing the moves from different countries.
Tum Meri Ho Mere Siva-Aan Ban(1972): Cute duet from Shankar-Jaikishan, depicting Rajendra Kumar and Rakhee Gulzar at the garden. Kawaii!
Tum Apni Saheli Ko-Samaj Ko Badal Dalo(1970): Prem Chopra is usually known to play the bad guy in many of his movies, but he’s playing the hero here, and I bet the heroine is Kanchan of Andhra Pradesh. Music by Ravi.
Tere Mere Yaraane Ho-Nagin(1976): Feroz Khan and Mumtaz go around the enchanted fairytale land with this Laxmikant-Pyarelal track.
Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat-Dastak(1970): Sanjeev Kumar renders this love song of Madan Mohan to Rehana Sultan in Rafi’s soft, whispery voice like an autumn breeze or a waterfall.
Toote Hue Khwabon Ne-Madhumati(1958): Dilip Kumar broods around with this memorable Salil Choudhry composition.
Tumhe Dekha Hai-Chandan Ka Palna(1967): Dharmendra blesses Meena Kumari on her wedding in this R. D. Burman piece of gold.
Teri Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi-Suhaag(1979): Bhangra song featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, and Rekha. You can see in the end of the song that Amitabh’s beard is fake.
Tumhare Bin Guzare Hai-Aatmaram(1977): Based on raga Bhimpalasi, this song reminds me of “Nainon Mein Badra Chhaye”. But composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and picturized on Shatrughan Sinha and Vidya Sinha in a castle setting that reminds me of the Hogwarts corridor halls.
Taare Taare Kitne Neel Gagan Pe Taare-Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi(1971): Like “Baar Baar Din Yeh Aaye”, this is a jolly birthday song of Laxmikant-Pyarelal, but picturized on Rajendra Kumar. What a jubilee party song it is, not like Yo Yo Honey Singh’s “Party All Night”!
Tu Mera Main Teri-Pyar Hi Pyar(1969): Dharmendra disguises as a blind musician here, but tries to show love to an angry Vyjayantimala on her birthday in this rock-and-roll Shankar-Jaikishan track. Didn’t like the ending, where Vyjayantimala punched Dharmendra. Reminds me of my eighth grade year. But wish they made more movies together. What a pity…
Tumhare Pyar Mein-Shikar(1968): Dharmendra and Asha Parekh go jeep riding with this Shankar-Jaikishan track.
Tu Is Tarah Se Meri Zindagi-Aap To Aise Na The(1980): Jolly party song from Usha Khanna’s score. Two other versions are there, a romantic one by Manhar Udhas and a sentimental one by Hemlata. But too bad my dad doesn’t like this song. I remember one day in the car, this song was playing on the radio, and Dad turned it off, probably because of the voice. But I’m sure he does like Rafi’s voice in general, in the earlier times, like on Dev Anand or Guru Dutt, etc. But the voices he really can’t stand are of Spongebob, Patrick, and Atif Aslam. But I do like those voices. We have different tastes, you know.
Tum Akele To Kabhi-Aao Pyar Karein(1964): Playful duet from Usha Khanna’s score, picturized on Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu. Very lovely song in the courtyard.
Tumhein Main Agar Apna-Shatranj(1969): Rajendra Kumar and Waheeda Rehman roam around the open nature with this breezy Shankar-Jaikishan track.
Teri Meharbani Hogi-Raaka(1965): Feisty qawwali song from Dattaram, featuring Roopesh Kumar and qawwali queen Shakeela Bano Bhopali.
Tu Jangal Ki Morni-Raja Saab(1969): A snappy tune by Kalyanji-Anandji, where Shashi and Nanda dance to the summer vibes.
Tera Sheeshe Ka Samaan-Chacha Bhatija(1977): Dharmendra and Hema Malini set sail on the pirate ship with this LP duet.
Tere Dar Pe Aaya Hoon-Laila Majnu(1976): A terrorized Rishi Kapoor haunts through this Madan Mohan air.
Tumhari Nazar Kyon Khafa-Do Kaliyan(1968): Biswajeet and Mala Sinha jazz up this ched-chad love duet from Ravi’s score.
Tere Nain-Rakhwala(1971): Dharmendra and Leena swing through this playful duet in Kalyanji-Anandji’s composition.
Tum Hi Tum Ho-Ek Dil Sau Afsane(1963): Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman waltz through this golden Shankar-Jaikishan silk.
Tumhe Husn Deke Khuda Ne-Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai(1963): Shammi and Shashi get to be there together, with Kumkum and Shyama in this battle-of-the-sexes qawwali composed by Dattaram in raga Kedar.
Tere Naam Ka Deewana-Chand Aur Suraj(1973): Sanjeev Kumar comes in Bindu’s dreams in this Laxmikant-Pyarelal fairytale.
Tu Jo Nahin Koi Mera-Darinda(1977): Rafi’s voice echoes in this haunting rare gem as Parveen Babi walks through the darkness.
Teri Awaaz Ki Jadugari Se-Teri Talash Mein(1968): Another haunting one, an unseen melody with music by Sapan Jagmohan.
Tum Bin Sajan Barse Nayan-Gaban(1966): Sunil Dutt and Sadhana are apart from each other in this sentimental duet of Shankar-Jaikishan.
Tu Raat Khadi Thi Chhat Pe-Himalay Ki Godmein(1965): Superb bhangra duet song of Kalyanji-Anandji, picturized on Manoj Kumar and Mala Sinha.
Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost-Aas Paas(1981): This is Rafi’s swan song, in other words, his last song recorded before his untimely passing, that many wish he had lived longer. Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and picturized on a lonely Dharmendra lost in the rocks.
And that felt like a huge, giant, colossal collection with trillions of songs, that one might feel tired after reading this whole post, BUT, the series isn’t over yet, so stay tuned for more Rafi alphabets!