A Voice that touched every soul
Badshah-E-Mausiqui Mohd Rafi.
From The Rafi Foundation, Mumbai. Cell: 9833 250 701. Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s rare that a singer’s giant sized pictures are splashed on giant bill boards and hoardings three decades after his moving away from us.
Yes friends. It’s Dec 24th. The smiling picture of Badshah-E-Mausiqui Mohd Rafi Sahib looms across Mumbai Suburbs on the occasion of his 87th birth anniversary celebration which will honor ‘Chaudvin Ka Chand Ho’ composer Ravi Sahib along with another Co-singer going by the name Shailendra Singh.
The musical event will be held at Rangsharada at Bandra and hosted by Ashish Shelar, Corporator and avid Mohd Rafi Lover.
“Artists Never Die” said a Mohd Rafi enthusiast the other day showing some sketches of the legendary singer.
He was echoing the feelings of millions of fans who think Mohd Rafi is still around entertaining them with his time-less melodies.
Even today 70% of all old songs played by various radio stations are Rafi songs – proving the uninterrupted popularity of music creations.
Mohd Rafi songs sounds so easy when you listen to them but its complications realized only when one tries to copy them says G.B. Mathur who has arranged several musicals in the capitol.
“Each of Rafi songs carries his signature. It’s like software that can’t be hijacked. Many singers are trying to copy the soul of his songs without much success” adds Mathur sahib.
One can’t stop eulogizing Mohd Rafi’s multi-faceted, multi-dimensional repertoire says an eminent Rafi commentator.
That, Rafi could sing all kinds of songs with equal finesse and could go on the lips of Dilip Kumar with the same ease as he could on Johnny Walker’s.
Mohd Rafi – was known as a paragon of virtues and God’s own emissary in many ways. Tales of his generosity, singing prowess and glittering career are far too well known to mention a repetition. Even the best of platitudes will fall short when we talk of Rafi Sahib.
Such was Rafi’s perfection that when Filmfare used to have a single award for the Best Singer, he won it more times than legendary Lata Mangeshkar.
And, in the “tel maalish ” song it was felt that Johnny Walker was himself singing the Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye number.
Says Naushad Sahib : At the recording of Baiju Bawra, Rafi Sahib left the audience flabbergasted by climbing one note higher in the climax of ‘Oh duniya ke rakhwale‘ towards the end. The audience was too stunned to even clap as the singer gave a mind boggling demonstration of lung power and breathe control.
If music is the poetry of life, Rafi’s voice is the flame that soothened our soul. The versatile voice moved from the deep yellow mustard fields of Punjab to large territorial landscapes across continents – never stopping or tiring itself during the glorious four plus decade of a singing career.
The voice burns continuously on CD Players, heard on iPods and radios, at road side dhabas and tea stalls, at night clubs and college canteens, stirring millions of forgotten memories in private rooms and evoking devotion at puja pandals.
Mohd Rafi is still there. Still conquering hearts – in this age of meaningless shors dished in the name of music in the times of hard selling clones, 24 hour ear hurting blitzkrieg from the FM blaring out loud-and-leud Punjabi Pop, “amidst” the mediocre stuff being rolled out week after week.
The Dj’s and RJ’s thrive on Rafi songs. Singers, musicians, music companies live off them.
Even foreign companies could not resist the temptation of using a Mohd Rafi number. The Dutch, makers of Heineken drink recently used it for advertising their product in far-away English speaking America.
The song : Jaan Pehchaan Ho from Gumnaam with music by Shankar Jaikishan recorded some four decades back.
Nearer home it is Ranbir Kapoor driving away a brand new car happily singing “Savere waali gaadi se chale jaaayenge.” Rafi songs do make big commercial sense each day.
During the heady days of soulful golden era music, several heroes and character artists depended on the Rafi grace to shoulder their careers. There was a Rafi clause written in various music agreements by prime actors.
An entire industry sang in the vocals of one man. An entire generation was set aflame by one-voice-many-faceted Mohammad Rafi.
Any other nation would have been proud to brand Mohd Rafi as their most notable and noble citizen. Any other country – would have knighted Mohd Rafi with their highest award.
Alas, not our country. Bharat Ratna for Mohd Rafi seems to be too far away as politicians , lobby-sits and string pullers wish to garner it for their masters.
Innumerable music lovers have therefore decided to keep their hero Badshah-E-Mausiqui Mohd Rafi well entrenched in their hearts. And, gone one step ahead and declared him as their “Bharat Ka Ratna”.
An apt title which no one will dispute.