Rafi Shraddanjali By Baar Baar Rafi
By Mr. H.V.Guru Murthy
The BAAR BAAR RAFI Fan Club at Bangalore organised a function REMEMBERING THE UNFORGOTTEN, a Shraddanjali for Rafi Saab on 01.08.09. The show was a stupendous success.
What an amazing sight? People thronging to the music hall for listening to his songs even twenty nine years after he departed for his heavenly abode. His fans are innumerable who also include persons born after his â€˜final departure’. His crazy fans want to listen to him again and again.
It was 29 years ago, to be precise on 31st July, 1980 that our legend with a divine voice, popularly known as Farishta or Guruji to his fans, left them all but not before leaving behind around 5000 of his songs for his fans to listen and re-listen. Mohammed Rafi Saab, aap jaise to na koi the, na hain aur shaayad bhavishya me bhi nahi aayenge.
August 1st, all roads in Bangalore led to â€˜Gayana Samaja’ and at 4.30 PM, as BAAR BAAR RAFI, the dedicated Rafi Fan Club of Bangalore had organized the evening program REMEMBERING THE UNFORGOTTEN, a â€˜shraddanjali’ to the departed singer on his death anniversary. Â The house was full with eager fans impatiently waiting to listen to their master’s songs. The persons disappointed at not getting the ticket were many, but the persons who were lucky to get ticket were not disappointed. The mixture of songs presented included Bhazan, romantic solos, gazals, duets, bidaai geets, yahoo type, foot tapping songs, etc. etc.
Evening commenced with a soulful bhazan Sukh Ke Sab Saathi and continued with romantic numbers like Dil Deke Dekho, Deewana Muzhsa Nahin, Teri Aankhon Ke Siva, Wadiyan Mera Daman, Mera Man Tera Pyaasa, Kaun Hai Jo Sapnon Me Aaya, Tumse Acha Kaun Hai, Ek Hasin Shaam Ko, Main Kahin Kavi Na Ban Jaun, Ab Kya Misal Dun, etc. etc.
The evening also included some soul stirring songs like Kyase Kya Hogaya, Babul Ki Duayen Leti Jaa, Kyaa Hua Tera Wada and Chahunga Main Tuzhe.
Foot tapping numbers like An Evening In Paris enthused the audience to move out of their chairs and show their dancing prowess, so also the duet O Hasina Zulfonwali as well as the male duet Yamma Yamma.
Duets also included romantic numbers like Wo Jab Yaad Aaye, Saare Shahar Me, Kitna Pyaar Wada, Wada Karle Sajana, Hum Aapki Aankhon Me, Dheere Dheere Chal, Raat Ke Humsafar, Tumhari Nazar, Dil Use Do, Maanga Ke Saath Tumhara, Jo Wada Kiya Wo, etc. etc.
As an experiment, BBR tried their untested singers from their Club with Karaoke music system, but looking at the response of the audience as well as the confident and professional way the Singers performed, hardly any body could make out that most of these singers were climbing on to the stage for a live singing performance for the first time. One of the objective of BBR to encourage local talent had been fulfilled.
The evening also had a slide presentation for each song giving details of the singers, lyricist, music directors, actors on whom picturised coupled with few still slides of the song. All the arrangements including the food were organized in a professional way with no cause for any complaint from any quarters. Kudos to the BBR team of President Mr. B.G. Raj, Secretary Mr. Ashok Dalmia, PRO Mr. P.Narayanan and a host of other enthusiastic executive committee members.
The male Singers included, Mr. B.G.Raj, Mr. Manish Kumar, Mr. Hemant Sharma as well as Mr. M.V. Devraj who were well supported by the female singers Mrs. Asha Vijay, Mrs. Alka Jain and Mrs. Ananya Ramprasad. It was heartening that Mr. Devraj, a diehard veteran Rafi fan, received a standing ovation for his rare courage in showing grit and determination in overcoming his disadvantage with his devotion to retro music in general and Rafi songs in particular with his booming voice. Mr. Raj sang his numbers with jest frequently interacting with the audience. He won the heart of the audience with all his songs especially Babul Ki Duayen with all those Rafi special effect of trembling voice. Mr Manish got good response for all the foot tapping numbers and duets. Mr. Hemant, the youngest of them all, won the audience appreciation especially by trying all the â€˜adaas’ usually associated with Rafiji singing.Â The female singers gave much more than just support and in fact, deserve a special exclusive session befitting their talent. The evening also saw Mr. Krishnamoorthy who enthralled the crowd with his Shammi Kapoor dances especially for Tumse Acha Kaun Hai, came out with a surprise Kannada number of Rafi, Neenelli Nadeve Doora much to the delight of the packed crowd.
The show was enthusiastically compared by the attractive Mrs. Snigda Kemkar, the Radio Jockey from FM Rainbow, Bangalore with her characteristic humour, tidbits and trivia for most of the songs keeping the audience engaged and feeding them with information now and then.
The participants also had an opportunity to witness a Film Division Documentary on Rafi Saab for about 70 minutes which had a detailed presentation on the emergence of Rafiji as well as interviews of some famous personalities like Music Directors Ravi, Pyarelal, Naushad, Usha Timoti, Shammi Kapoor, Biswajeet, etc. who were fortunate to have personal contacts with the legend. Mr. Shahid Rafi son of Rafiji was also interviewed and he explained how Rafiji was a great family man and a great father. Many moist eyes could be seen in the audience during this presentation.
The photograph of the singers can be seen at the following link.