You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / Happy birthday to Mohammad Rafi

Happy birthday to Mohammad Rafi

By Souvik Chatterji

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The listeners of music all over the world wish happy birthday to Mohammad Rafi on 24th December, 2011. The noble soul had left his admirers 31 years ago. Yet he is alive in numerous everlasting hit songs which are heard and cherished for generations.

A Mohammad Rafi Musical Academy should be opened in Mumbai. The aim and objective of the Academy should be to train singers in the art of playback singing. The way Pune Film and Development Institute had created acting talents like Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and others, in the same way Mohammad Rafi Academy and appoint singers of repute from different parts of the world to train young singers in the art of playback singing.

Mohammad Rafi had been the greatest playback singer ever to have been graced the Indian soil. No other singer can even imagine about visualizing the emotions of Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Bharat Bhushan, Pradip Kumar, Johnny Walker, all together in the same voice. After bringing about the acting quotients of the legendary actors Mohammad Rafi went one step further to fulfill the requirements of the best composers of the country like Naushad Ali, Shankar Jaikishan, Ghulam Mohammad, Roshan Lal Nagrath, Madanmohan Kohli, OP Nayyar, to name a few, and the greatest lyricists like Shakeel Badayani, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, and others. Rafi’s 26000 songs are invaluable musical treasure by listening to which any singer can improve his style of singing.

It is a huge question as to how can the singing parameters of Mohammad Rafi can be instilled in the new singers, because playback singing cannot be grammatically taught. But at least the new singers can be trained in classical singing, ghazals, qawallies and may be western style of singing also. The biggest thing is they can be made to listen to Rafi’s singing different types of songs. Few of the Indian classical singers like Suresh Wadkar, Yesu Das, Hariharan, can be few names who can regularly give training to new singers.

One big requirement for the present generation is to actually listen to the wide range of songs Mohammad Rafi had sung including the non-filmi albums. With the media shifting focus towards the new generation music of modern day giants like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohit Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, there is every possible chance of Rafi’s works not gaining media attention as majority of the works were during 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The young generations hardly know the grand compositions of Naushad Ali, or Shankar Jaikishan; nor the urdu-based poetry of Raja Mehendi Ali Khan or Sahir Ludhiyanvi. So the great works of Mohammad Rafi’s generation require very strong publicity and restoration. By better knowing Mohammad Rafi’s works, Indian music can be improved, because no other playback singer in India had given adequate expression to folk songs, pure classical songs, bhajans, rock and roll songs, soft music, ghazals and other forms of Indian music the way Mohammad Rafi had done over a span of 35 years.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

23 Blog Comments to “Happy birthday to Mohammad Rafi”

  1. Dinesh Verma says:

    Respected Mohammad Rafi Sahab,

    Its my immense pleasure to text you. I hope my words upgreed you….. wish you a very happy birthday to the best personality from the bottom of my heart. Sadly says that you are not alive but your words still stay in our heart.The songs that sings by you touches our heart ….a look at any of ur pic makes me positice…ur face directly emits positively…..i know so many peoples are ur big fans…bt i m one of them n i feel myself lucky to have birth on the same date….its my wish from my heart than i will be in touch with u if u feel the same den plz be in touch 9837162626 den i will think that god fulfill my every dream…at last i just want to dedicate this line to u—-u r just like a blooming of flower,in the garden of our life…


    hum thumse judha honge,mar jayengi ro ro ke

    mohamed rafi’s golden songs will be here for ever

  3. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Shashankji and Sanjeevji,
    Thanks for your comments.
    The study and research relating to Mohammad Rafi’s works can keep him alive for another 200 years.
    Many of his great works still require restoration and publicity, especially his private, non-filmy albums.
    Souvik Chatterji.

  4. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Dear souvik ji, A very Nice article & Very Happy Birthday to Respected Sri mohd. Rafi Sahab…
    Thanks for thr Article

  5. Nice article souvikji. Indeed consistently Rafisaab is No1. singer till now. Nobody can be another Rafisaab. He had a voice of every quality. the way he has to sing in such dedication to every actors the actors couldnt think it. There is numerous songs in that I want to tell you that the classic song “O duniya ke rakwale” from Baiju Bawra how his voice went so high nobody can beat him till now. It is a history till now.

  6. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Binuji,
    Thanks for the analysis. I agree with you. More importantly if great standard of work took place in 40s, 50s and 60s, efforts should be made to restore and preserve them. Then the efforts are require to publicise them through devoted channels. As far as Rafi’s works are concerned, the works were the greatest in the history of playback in India.
    So it does not matter as to the taste of present generation. Many have not heard thousands of songs of Mohammad Rafi. The great works are required to be reached out.
    Souvik Chatterji

  7. Binu Nair says:

    my analysis of youngsters who listen to kolaveri’s and forget-ing within days is due to:

    the songs not entering their “one ear and emitting from the other”. todays songs go in from one ear and leaves from the “same ear out”. it does’nt stay there.

    youngster s get the songs free from internet and tv channels . they rarely need to buy these as against the old days buyig lp’s, listening from radios and chaaya geets later and making a collection of 5 paise Printed song lyrics was a habit….with music lovers.

    avid music lovers ‘then’ saw movies many times over for the songs.


    some hits by same persons on “internet” is enough to make the current day noise advertised as songs to be ‘runaway hits” and ‘popular’ for few weeks …. “there may be people employed to continuously hit the social media buttons ‘to’ popularise the voice pollution of these days,” its felt.

    relatives of big-wigs with fat moneyes are entering movies and their god fathers ‘often’ bend to do hook and crook methods to make their god children – a hit.

    inspite of all this,

    golden era music lives on for their lyrics, singing and music….and the new tribe of listeners neither can cope up with them nor compete.

    thats some available truth….

  8. Suhana Safar says:

    Binu ji

    younger generation needs exposure, the media and pay tv channels are worried about selling thrash and not class.
    Rafisaab is unique and exc eptional in every manner, the propoganda and bias of 70’s did not affect him or does the adulterated media, i get your point though.

  9. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Binuji, Bhagchandaniji, Sunilji and others,
    Happy new year. As far as Rafisahab’s works are concerned, efforts are required to reach them to the new generation.
    The big thing is ghazals, qawallies, hindustani classical songs were composed and created for Rafisahab by many musical giants. If the new generation dont get a scope to hear them, there is no way they can know the rich musical heritage of India.
    Satellite channels can be devoted to the works of Rafisahab.
    Souvik Chatterji.

  10. Binu Nair says:

    The younger generation definitely knows songs such as ‘abhi na jaao chod kar ke dil abhi….” or ‘mai zindagi ka saath nibata chala gaya’.

    they also know of many thrash songs which they will forget very soon .

    good and great songs have a bigger shelf life and they will always live in the hearts and minds of people.

    and its sad to see great singers like k l saighal, talat mehmood and others ‘fading away – to a great extent.

    i wish someone will prove me wrong…..

  11. sunil kumar says:

    Sir, Please accept my congratulations on a bold stand taken by you . That is what i want that this forum should take on the Challenges faced by the society . we have not go go by public taste but to change it. It is very easy to go with them and get popularity. It requires lot of commitment and pursuance . A leader like you has to show the path and change public taste for the good. This forum has given a ray of hope to millions of Indians who are really disturbed the trend which is following. Please accept my sincere thanks and regards sir and continue the good work you are doing.

  12. Binu Nair says:

    nice thoughts….

    singers are born, not made…. singers can be trained and groomed.

    but, what about the public tastes??

    these are the days of “Kolaveri di” sung by a third rated individual “who” happens to be a relative of a superstar.

    ” kolaveri ko lift kara de ” is the unofficial diktat and the media has jumped in
    amitabh ji too was seen ‘artificially’ clapping when this funster was performing live on idiot box. it could be for sheer commercial compulsions – it could be seen.

    today, there is ‘acute ‘ bankruptcy of creativity.

    musical tastes have to change sir. there are enough composers and singers to take charge once this happens.

    have a great musical and successful year in 2012.

  13. love you rafi sahab and wish you a very very happy birthday. rafi sahab i am a common man and after my departure no one will remember me but you are the only one in this universe who will be rememberd not only every year on 24 Dec and 31 July but every day every movement till the unverse exist.
    Truely yours,
    Birendra Singh

  14. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Rafi Saheb, wish you a very happy birthday. You are, and will always be there in our hearts…

  15. Irshu says:

    Thank u thanx a lot souvik ji, really felt gud after reading ur article, its gud to knw that sum1 else also shares the same feeling.
    I wonder y no tv chanel evn showed anythin abt dis legend realy felt sad but after reading ur article no words to xplain hw i felt. Cant we creat a fan base website.v luv u rafi saab…

  16. Irshu says:

    Thank u thanx a lot souvik ji, really felt gud after reading ur article, its gud to knw that sum1 else also shares the same feeling.
    I wonder y no tv chanel evn showed anythin abt dis legend realy felt sad but after reading ur article no words to xplain hw i felt. Cant we creat a fan base website.v luv u rafi…

  17. sunil kumar says:

    Entirely agree with Bhagchandani ji Market forces definitely play their role we will have to counter them for that you need to have a dedicated FM channel which gives a choice to listeners right now there is now choice. Everything is now market driven. we have no market interest we are just Rafi fans and want to promote good music and revive the golden Era of Indian film music. We need to inform on the works of all greats as mentioned by Souvik ji likes of shankar jaikishan , madan mohan , O P Nayyar , S D , Burman, Guru Dutt , there are so many for this we can take the help of other groups like Shankar Jaikishan group who promotes works of the legendary music directors we can Channelization their efforts towards this cause I am sure all of them will come together on one platform and it will be tremendous.

  18. khaled says:

    Merci monsieur Souvik Chatterji..
    Mohammed Rafi Sahab est une légende vivante que le monde entier estime et aime,il a une voix unique incomparable.
    Il est le meilleur de tous….
    Khaled ..Rafi fan..

  19. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Souvik ji,

    Nice write-up on the occasion of birthday of ‘singer of the millennium’. The point you have raised is very important. We Rafi fans need to do more to make today’s generation aware of the gems that yesteryear singers, music directors and lyric writers have left behind. If there could be one dedicated FM channel playing only the old songs, it will be tremendous. I am sure many youngsters will switch over to old songs once fully exposed to them.

    Actually market forces play a very important role nowadays. The producers of latest films somehow ensure that their film songs are played again and again. For this I am sure all possible methodologies are adopted.

    But in-spite of all that Rafi saab’s name continues to be the foremost. Even youngsters revere the name.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  20. dr.J.Ketwaru says:

    This day I remember the Badsha Rafi,when I was busy with him with the Dutch text my brother Effendi and I writed for him on the melody of Baharo Phool Barsawo,when he was in the Netherlands.A very simple human being.Before writing, he sang a madly of his songs he wished to sing in Dutch language.I enjoyed of his voice.His natural voice is real very beautiful!

  21. aslam says:

    happy birthday to rafi saab.

  22. sunil kumar says:

    souvik sir, I would like to thank you for really touching the core issue. I have been harping over the point we write articles and admire rafi saheb’s work. But how to make it reach future generations. we will be failing in our duty as Rafi fans or Bhakts if we keep it with ourselves only. over the last few years since Lot of FM channels have come up and they play only recent songs so the new generation do not get chance to hear legends like Rafi. It is not their fault if they don’t know Shankar Jaikishan or Madan Mohan or S D burman. Rafi saheb work must be made to reach these people who are being fed with all trash songs and they are developing a liking for these songs. like a song ” Kolavar ” is very popular these days. why ? neither voice is very good nor are the lyrics a very ordinary song is getting limelight all due to media. But the Idea of an academy is good one to revive the golden era of Rafi and lata. I would also give a suggestion in this regard like we have Mohd. rafi radio on this site we should have FM channel of Mohd rafi songs playing 24 hours.
    Also with every song must give info about who is the music director or the lyricist ,singers . Academy will train new people and this channel would popularize among new generation. there are so many ways to tackle this situation where we are losing the melody and meaningful songs. once agin really appreciate what souvik sir has said. We all rafi fan should join hands
    in this effort.


    Thanks for the article on the occasion of Rafi sahab’s birthday.I spent a very long time yesterday hearing his songs and other artistes speaking about him on different channels on FM radio.It just felt fantastic,a feeling which cannot be described in words.
    One thing that you have mentioned here – 26000 songs.I have been hearing this number for the last 30 years, but recently the official record has been accorded to Asha Bhonsle with about 12000 songs. Can we, the fans of Rafi sahab, do something about it?A few regular writers on this site have also mentioned 7000-8000 as realistic. So, what is it really? We should try to get a comprehensive list made with the help of all Rafi lovers, and historians.

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration