DUAL VERSIONS OF THE SAME SONG BY MOHAMMED RAFI & LATA MANGESHKAR

By

Sharada Iyer

Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar have been the two glorious pillars of our Hindi film music whose invaluable contribution to playback-singing was instrumental in laying the foundation of the ‘Golden era’ of Hindi cinema. This was the era when melody reigned supreme and songs formed an integral and inseparable part of our films.

Together they have given us several incomparable solos and many remarkable duets which are embedded in the psyche of every cine-lover. In fact, many a time it was the expressive and evocative rendering of these singers which infused more life into the song and the on-screen character than the emotive ability of the actors who were lip-syncing!

Interestingly, there were also some rare songs where these two giants got the opportunity to sing different versions of the same song! In this musical blog, I bring to you 21 such songs and a little note on the situations in the films where these dual versions were inserted. Such songs appeared at different times during the narrative of the film and depending on the situation in the story and mood of the characters singing, the versions were either sad or happy.

In some songs the male version sounds superior while in some the female version sounds better but there is no doubt that these two great singers created magic with their divine voices making both the versions memorable in their own inimitable way …

YAKEEN (1969)

The melodious song ‘Gar tum bhula na doge…’ from the taut thriller has dual versions and both are sung in a happy mood. Dharmendra gets to portray a brilliant double role- that of a noble scientist and a ruthless killer. While the Rafi version is sung by the scientist Dharmendra declaring his love for Sharmila, the Lata version is sung by Sharmila to the killer Dharmendra who is incidentally impersonating the scientist and pretending to have a memory loss. She sings this to remind him of their happy times spent together.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

CHIRAAG (1969)

This film has the lovely number ‘Teri aankhon ke siva…’ sung in two versions. While the happy version is sung by Rafi where Sunil Dutt describes the beauty of Asha Parekh’s eyes, the sad version is sung by Lata after Asha Parekh loses her eyesight in a tragic way. In this case, though both the versions are nice, it is the Rafi version which became far more popular.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

JUNGLEE (1961)

Both versions of the song ‘Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar… are poignantly rendered as the words convey Shammi Kapoor and Saira Banu’s unwavering love for each other. In the movie the songs appear almost back to back with only a couple of scenes in between. The next scene after Shammi Kapoor pledges his love for Saira through this song, he has an argument with his mother where she forbids Shammi from marrying Saira Banu. To this Shammi Kapoor also tells his mother that if he cannot marry Saira then he would not marry anyone else either. A disillusioned Shammi then wonders what will happen to his promise to Saira! He feels guilty and then dreams of Saira singing this same song to him!

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

BHEEGI RAAT (1965)

The film is a triangular love-story. Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari love each other but by a quirk of fate she gets engaged to Ashok Kumar. The way music director Roshan has extracted two totally different versions from these two singers conveying contrasting emotions is just incredible. In fact, Roshan  gives Rafi one of his career-best songs in –‘Dil jo na keh saka wohi raaze dil kehne ki raat aayi…’ and the kind of hurt and pain Rafi Saab manages to convey in his version is unbelievable!  On the other hand Lataji infuses a quiet dignity to her sensuous romantic version,  Majrooh’s lyrics are simply awesome.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

JAB PYAAR KISISE HOTA HAI (1961)

Though both versions of the film’s title song ‘Jiya o jiya o jiya kuch bol do…’ are fast paced, one version conveys happiness and the other imparts a sad feeling. Rafi’s lively singing matches Dev Anand’s on-screen ebullience and also brings a unique ‘X’-factor to the song which is completely missing in the Lata version. The memorable image of Dev Anand atop a car singing to Asha Parekh sitting on the train remains etched in the viewer’s mind till date. (Incidentally the picturization of this song reminds one of the famous song ‘Mere sapnon ki rani …’ from Aaradhna where Rajesh Khanna sings from a jeep to Sharmila sitting on the train and both songs were picturized in Darjeeling.)

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

MERE MEHBOOB (1963)

This Muslim-social of the sixties was not only a super-hit at the box-office but also had super-hit music with Naushad churning out some of his best tunes to give us outstanding songs. The title song Mere Mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam…’ had two versions and both are sung in a romantic mood. The Rafi version is sung by Rajender Kumar during a college poetry competition where he not only pours out his feelings for his unknown lover but also pleads with her to come out in the open and meet him again! Incidentally he had had only a brief chance encounter  with the heroine Sadhana during which he had actually seen only her beautiful eyes. Yet he falls crazily in love with her. Rafi is simply brilliant bringing in all these feelings in his singing.

The Lata version is sung by Sadhana to her friends where she sings the same song remembering her unknown admirer whom she had heard in college. So the feelings evoked in the female version are somewhat different and lack the passion he brings to it. So this turns out to be a light romantic number and was not half as popular as the Rafi version. 

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

BARSAAT KI RAAT (1960)

This musical film is remembered for the outstanding ‘qawaalis’ which are beautifully woven into the narrative of the film. Bharat Bhushan is a poet and his brief encounter with Madhubala on a stormy night not only makes him fall in love with her but also becomes his inspiration for his song which he sings on radio the bext day. The song ‘Zindagi bhar nahi bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat…’  is set to raag Yaman and once again the genius Roshan gives Rafi Saab another one of his career-best songs.

The second version or the duet version is sung under stressful circumstances. While these two are happy and in love with each other, Madhubala’s father  K N Singh is against their relationship.  Though she runs away from home to be with Bharat Bhushan, she is disillusioned by the circumstances and sings this song on a sad note. Rafi joins her at the end trying to pacify her and asking her to be positive. 

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar-Mohammed Rafi duet

LOVE IN TOKYO (1966)

Both versions of this haunting melody ‘O meri shahe khuma,o meri jaane janana…’ touch the inner recesses of our heart and leave a deep impact. Both the male and the female versions are happy with a touch of poignancy as the lovers are confessing their love but are missing each other.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

PAGLA KAHIN KA (1970)

This film is quite an atypical Shammi Kapoor film where he has only one dance number. He is crazily in love with Helen for a good part of the film and not the heroine Asha Parekh. Further for some time he pretendst to be  madman and gets admitted to a mental asylum and after a while he really becomes mad and comes back for actual treatmenrt this time! Phew!not exactly on e of Shammi’s best!!!

In the Rafi version of the song ‘Tum mujhe yun bhula na paaoge…, Shammi Kapoor sings this song thinking of Helen and tells Asha Parekh, who happens to be the doctor treating him, how much he loves Helen. Actually in the beginning of the film, he sings a few lines of this lovely song to Helen on the beach.  Because of the heartfelt meaning of the lyrics- ‘…jab kabhi bhi sunoge geet mere sung sung tum bhi gungunaaoge…’ (you cannot forget me for whenever you hear my songs you are bound to sing them with me), this song became an iconic song and was played on the sad occasions when both Rafi Saab and Shammi Kapoor passed away. The words are so truly applicable to both of them.

Meanwhile Asha Parekh falls in love with Shammi Kapoor and helps him recollect his old memories by singing this song. She ends up adding her own feelings also. In comparison, the Lata version was not able to match the male version and did not become popular…

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

GHAZAL (1964)

During the sixties, many Muslim socials were made which opened up the prospect of including lovely ‘ghazals’. This film had the beautiful ghazal ‘Naghma o sher ki saugaat kise pesh karoon…’ and is remembered for the haunting version of Lata Mangeshkar picturized on Meena Kumari. In the film, Sunil Dutt overhears this song, falls in love with the poetry and the voice but is unable to find out the person singing. The next day uses a few stanzas of the same ghazal to sing his version at a get-together of poets being held in the same house. He does this in a bid to come face to face with the woman behind the voice he had heard the day before. This Rafi version is  a playful romantic number and not an exact copy of the Lata version as the tune is slightly modified and though the song is very nice, this time it is the Lata version which scores.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

DEEDAR (1951)

The evergreen song- ‘Bachpan ke din bhula na dena…’ has a solo and duet version. The duet version is sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum and picturized on child artistes enacting the younger roles of Nargis and Dilip Kumar. In the film these two childhood friends get separated soon after the song as her father forces the boy to leave town with his mother. Years pass and she forgets about him and is happily engaged to Ashok Kumar. But Dilip Kumar  who had become blind after an accident had spent all these years thinking about her and yearning for her.

On getting his eyesight back he is shocked to see that not only is his childhood friend engaged to the doctor who had restored his eyesight but sadly has no recollection of him from her younger days. One evening when the three are out on a horse-cart, Dilip Kumar is unable to control his emotions and sings the same song hoping to revive her memory. But here Rafi Saab’s version is totally eclipsed by the duet version and Lataji’s innocent voice resonates in our ears to this day giving the song the status of a classic…

Lata Mangeshkar-Shamshad Begum

Mohammed Rafi

BETI BETE (1964)

This is a highly emotional and very interesting family drama where three siblings (Baby Farida, Master Shahid and a small baby) abandoned by their blind father are left to fend for themselves. Things become worse when the three get separated from one another tragically and grow up under different circumstances with different people. The adult actors in the role of the siblings are Jamuna, Sunil Dutt and Mehmood. Incidentally this film has the famous Rafi song ‘Raadhike tune bansuri churaayi…‘ which became so popular that it eclipsed the beautiful dual version song from the film.

Baby Farida is shown to sing this beautiful lullaby ‘Aaj kal mein dhal gaya…’ to put her younger brothers to sleep. Her brilliant acting along with Lata Mangeshkar’s evocative singing and the scene of the poor orphaned kids leaves an indelible and deep mark in the viewer’s heart. The duet version is sung when they are adults, as the sister and brother ( Jamuna and Sunil Dutt) sing this sad song remembering their childhood days and feel the pain of separation.  

Lata Mangeshkar

Mohammed Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar duet

JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE (1965)

This super-hit film with superb songs turned the ‘jodi’ of  Shashi-Kapoor-Nanda into a popular pair. Here Mohammed Rafi gets to sing a happy and a sad version of the super-hit song ‘Pardesiyon se na akhiyaan milana….’. The happy one he sings  as a happy-go-lucky boatman and guide in Kashmir and the sad one comes in the film when the rich tourist Nanda whom he falls in love with, goes back to her city after her visit and he thinks she is engaged to someone else. Both are superb songs conveying the perfect emotions. There is also a Lata version of the song which is a happy song and one in which Shashi Kapoor imagines Nanda singing on the boat just like him.

Interestingly the Rafi version became a super-hit while the Lata version is hardly known to many.

Mohammed Rafi-happy version

Mohammed Rafi-sad version

Lata Mangeshkar

ISHAARA (1964)

Both the male and female versions of this beautiful song ‘Dil beqaraar sa hai humko khumaar sa hai…’ set to tune by Kalyanji-Anandji are happy romantic numbers. The film belonged to the typical ‘family-drama’ genre so popular and prevalent in the sixties. While the happy version by Rafi was sung by Joy Mukherjee to Vyjayantimala, the Lata version comes as a flashback to Vyjayantimala when she reminisces their happy days as now they have been separated due to a misunderstanding. Once again Rafi Saab scores as his version definitely had an edge and that soft ‘x-factor’ required for such songs!

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

RAAT KE ANDHERE MEIN (1969)

The hit songAgar bewafaa tujhko pehchaan jaate…is from this unheard of film which starred Sonia Shani and Dev Kumar. Not much information is available about the film and the video for the male version is also missing. Will update as and when I get more information. For now the two versions of the song can be heard and the Lata version can be seen and both are sad songs sung under some hurtful circumstances.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

TAQDEER (1967)

This family drama of separation and reunion had enough scope for multiple versions of the popular song- ‘Jab jab bahaar aaye aur phool muskuraye…’ to appear at different times in the narrative. The Rafi version is sung in happier times by Bharat Bhushan to his family. He plays a music teacher and teaches the song to his students also. But one night returning from an overseas trip his ship is caught in a storm and life takes an ugly turn. He gets separated from his family and he is thought to be dead. His wife ends up marrying the very person whom Bharat Bhushan had disliked. The Lata version is sung by one of his students as part of a program at a school function. She is now a music teacher there and is touched to meet her teacher after so many years. This version is also a happy version. (There is also a third version of the song which is a sad version sung by his three grown up children at a party but the singers are Mahendra Kapoor and Usha Mangeshkar).

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

SEHRA (1963)

This film directed by V Shantaram tells the story of two warring tribal groups set in the deserts of Rajasthan. Not surprisingly, the hero and heroine who belong to these opposite groups fall in love and face extreme opposition from their families. In fact the heroine Sandhya is then forcibly married off to another much against her wishes. Both the versions of the song ‘Taqdeer ka fasana jaakar kise sunayen.…’ are sad as they convey the hurt and pain of lovers who have been separated permanently. The Rafi version is sung on the day of Sandhya’s marriage and Lataji’s version echoes the same feelings before marriage. The film’s super-hit music was given by a now-forgotten composer Ramlal. He was the music director of the film ‘Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne‘ also

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

YAADON KI BARAAT (1973)

This super-hit musical thriller based on the ‘lost & found’ theme had the perfect script for the inclusion of a dual version song- a Lata Mangeshkar solo and a Rafi-Kishore duet. The Lata Mangeshkar version of the title song ‘Yaadon ki baraat nikli hai aaj dil ke dwaare… is sung by the mother to her three sons in happier times. However, soon after this happy family song tragedy strikes. The parents are assassinated and the three sons are separated. Years later they are reunited through the same song which the youngest son sings every day in a club in a bid to attract attention and to get in touch with his elder brothers…

Mohammed Rafi-Kishore Kumar duet

Lata Mangeshkar

AAYEE MILAN KI BELA (1964)

In this musical rom-com, Dharmendra and Rajendra Kumar play twin brothers (wow!) separated at birth but as their mother has been sworn to secrecy they grow up without knowing this truth about their identity. Rajendra Kumar and Saira Banu fall in love with each other and interestingly both the versions of this song Tum Kamsin ho nadaan ho…’ appear in the film almost successively with just one scene in between. Both are happy numbers sung equally brilliantly by the two greats.While the Rafi version has a little teasing quality to it, the Lata version is slightly more subdued but both bring out the love between the hero and heroine in their own subtle way.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar

JEEVAN MRITYU (1970)

Directed by Satyen Bose this Dharmendra-Raakhee starrer had an interesting plot with Dharmendra coming up with one of his best performances. Music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave us the evergreen haunting number ‘Jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga…’ which had two versions. The happy version is a Lata-Rafi duet which is fast-paced romantic number sung in happier times by them. But fate intervenes and their marriage never takes place. Dharmendra is wrongly framed of a crime he does not commit and sent to jail. Later she gets the wrong news that he is dead and decides to don the garb of a widow and live her life in his memory. Out of jail, Dharmendra changes his appearance to that of a Sikh businessman to take revenge. One day when he enters Raakhee’s house he hears her singing the sad version. Both versions are wonderful but the duet became far more popular and remains so even today.

Mohammed Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar duet

Lata Mangeshkar

GEET (1970)

This Ramanand Sagar directed film had the immensely popular duet ‘Aaja tujhko pukaare mere geet re…’ composed by Kalyanji-Anandji . Not many are aware that there was a fabulous solo version also of the same song by Rafi Saab. This solo version comes in the film when Mala Sinha, a stage artiste from the city, comes to Kulu for a holiday and is mesmerized by the cowherd Rajender Kumar’s voice! The duet version is sung by both after they fall in love with each other.

Mohammed Rafi

Lata Mangeshkar-Mohammed Rafi duet

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18 thoughts on “DUAL VERSIONS OF THE SAME SONG BY MOHAMMED RAFI & LATA MANGESHKAR

  1. Hey took a long time to go through each and every song…All of them very very melodious and soothing. Both maestro’s excelling each other in every song. Beti bête was a revelation. It was a superb treat! Thank you for this brilliant compilation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mala… 🙂 Super thrilled that you enjoyed the post… Beti Bete film is also v nice and Baby Farida is brilliant… Our industry has indeed produced some of the finest child artistes ever… 👍

      Like

    1. Hey! Thanks so much Purnima… 🙂 Hope you are doing well… 👍
      Great to hear from you and thrilled to note you enjoy my posts… Thank you once again… 🙂

      Like

  2. One more Song is missing…. Aji rooth kar ab kahan jaiyega…. Film Arzoo.. Starring Rajendra kumar and Sadhana

    Like

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