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Mohd Rafi tu bahut yaad aaya…

This article is written by Mr. Achal Rangaswamy

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

It was a sticky morning in Delhi. 1st August 1980. 6 AM. I was packing my bag to load it on my Enfield Bullet. Time to get back to my HQ – Jaipur. I had just recovered from a bout of typhoid, that had left me with only enough energy to record over 250 songs on various audio cassettes (that’s what we used those days).Most reluctantly, as all of us do after a long stay at home, I picked up my bag. My father tuned into All India Radio to listen to the Morning English News.

The first few news items were mundane. The fourth news item stunned all of us. The first to react was my father, probably because he sat closest to the dining table where the compact radio was kept. “Noted playback singer Mohd Rafi passed away last night….”, said the pained voice of the news reader. Television existed those days, but the transmission ended early into the night, well before the great man breathed his last.

I couldn’t wait to hear more. I went down the stairs, tied the bag to the luggage carrier on my bike. Within a few minutes I was on my way. I didn’t even want my parents, who would always come down the stairs to see me off as I kicked my bike on the 260km journey back, to see my face which had already dissolved into tears.

Never before had a bike journey looked or felt so forlorn. Never before had I wept almost all the way back. Of course one never looks forward to going back to your station after leaving your parents’ home. But this was the worst day I could think of. At least four times on the journey of over four hours did my helmet’s visor cloud. I had to stop the bike, clear the cloud on the visor and start again.

No, the cloud on my visor was not from the dust. It was not the rain either. It had rained a day earlier in Delhi. And I had learnt by then through the radio news from the roadside dhaabhas on NH 8 that it had poured in Mumbai, then called Bombay. The gods must have cried too, I was sure. Who wouldn’t have cried?

The most unfortunate day of all..

The most unfortunate day of all..

“jaane waley kabhi nahi aatey, jaane walon ki yaad aati hai”, Rafi had soulfully started this title song from Dil Ek Mandir. How true,I thought to myself. Who would now sing “Meri Awaaz Suno, Pyar ka Raaz suno” the way he did? No wonder we would always think that he was so right when he said “thaa juda sabse mere ishq ka andaaz, suno”.

All the way from Delhi to Jaipur all I could do was compile my own list of all those soul-stirring and awe-inspiring songs that my idol had put his heart and soul into.

The first thought, the first song, and how most unusual!!! Of all the places,Madras. Of all the people I accompanied to the movie, my mother and my grandmother (a person who knew not a single word of Hindi, leave alone Urdu), a rainy evening. And walking out of this cinema hall in Madras humming the first song to enchant me, as it did all my life. Dev Anand, a  black and white movie. And Mohd Rafi’s caressingly sweet voice calling out “khoya khoya chaand, khula aasmaan”.

I have never ever forgotten the fact that Dev Anand, Jeetendra, Shammi Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee could never have romanced all those leading ladies on the screen had my idol not let the words come out from his heart through his throat and lips even as he smiled so benignly into the microphone. (just look at any pic or video of Rafi and you will know what I mean). I remember my younger sister telling me one day, long long back that Rafi smiled through his songs. Today I say, Rafi’s songs smiled into our hearts. You could hear the smile. You get me???

And how can one ever not accept the fact that the Pradeep Kumars, the Rajeevs, the Ajits, the  Rajendra Kumars and of course the Bharat Bhushans  were elevated on the silver screen and watched again and again by the money- paying public only to hear them. Not see them, no offence meant. But HE made all the difference. I am sure you will agree. Or else how could you have a Barsaat ki Raat, or a Zindagi or a Taj Mahal or a Nayi Umar ki Nayi Fasal.

When he suggested, “maine shaayad tumhe pehle bhi kahin dekha hai” or declared clearly that “jo baat tujh mein hai teri tasveer mein nahin”, the actor on the screen must have been utterly grateful to the voice that catapulted him to fame and the record books.

Kishore Kumar had him sing “man mora baanwaraa”, amply testifying to the benchmark set by Rafi. So many filmgoers and music lovers would have agreed that “aaj toh tere bina neend nahi aayegi”.

Rafi was not just a singer. He was not just a human. His voice clearly showed that God sang for us through him. Or else how could you have someone maintain the same quality the same affection, the same divinity ranging from “aaja ke intezaar mein, jaane ko hai bahaar bhi” all the way down to “ shirdi waley sai baba, aaya hai tere dar pe sawaali”, which was among the last few songs he sang. How could he put so much zest and vigour into a “ae mohabbat zindabad” and give us “ab tumhare hawaale watan saathiyon” with the same energy. How could he be so youthful in “pukarta chala hoon main” and keep it going the same way in something as late as “tera jalwa tauba hai tera jalwa” or “tum jo mil gaye ho”?

God must surely have resided in his throat. Correction, in his heart.

We haven’t heard of many controversies surrounding this great man, except for the tiff with Lata Mangeshkar over the royalty issue. And who would not side with this god-fearing simple man, who apparently accepted only a rupee as singing fee from the composer Naushad Ali, as a thanksgiving for giving him an opportunity to sing in Baiju Baawra.

Naushad was not the only one to be asked for a rupee. Composer Nisar Bazmi, not at all well-off, was made a similar request by Rafi Saab. “Just a rupee, please.”

And who cannot thank him for fanning the fire of national integration when he combined with Naushad the composer and Shakeel Badayuni the lyricist, to give us the heart-warming “Man tarpat Hari Darshan ko Aaj”. Of course he did this again and again when he smiled his way through “radhike tuney bansuri churaayi”, arrested everybody with his “sukh ke sab saathi, dukh mein na koi”, made us weep with his “oh duniya ke rakhwaaley”, and stopped us in our tracks with “kahaan jaa raha hai tu ae jaaney waaley, andhera hai man ka diya toh jala le”. He made us dance to “madhuban mein radhika naache re”, and sing along with him the simple yet sweet “brindaavan ka Krishna kanhaiya”. One of his greatest Ghair Filmi Bhajans was “Paaoon padoon toreh Shyam, Brij mein laut chalo..”

Of course he excelled in the quawwalis and the ghazals and even made a “purdah hai purdah” sound far far above the ordinary levels one had got used to in that period of film music. The only song where I didn’t agree with Rafi was his refrain “meri tasveer lekar kya karogey tum meri tasveer lekar”, because Rafi was so photogenic- I mean his smile touched you. And he always smiled.

Human that he was, he broke down and sobbed as he ended “babul ki duvaaen leti jaa”. His son Shahid clarified later that only a day before the recording of this song had this great man seen his daughter off at her wedding. I have seen the short clip of the Bidaai, and Rafi smiled for his daughter the way only a proud and loving father would. He had probably kept all the pathos at bay till the recording the next day.

What Rafi said many times through his songs was- the man above me has given me this song to sing. What more can one want?

Have you heard him talk? I have. He had only a few words at any time. But the words were sweet. They were respectful. And they showed us the man who many of us would do well to follow in terms of humility. No wonder he sang for Dev Anand the ice-cream seller in the film Maya, “Zindagi hai kya sun meri jaan, pyaar bhara dil, meethi zubaan”.

God –fearing, simple, soft-spoken and humble–Does this sound at all like a man connected with films and film songs?

Perhaps the only singer to lend a voice of dignity to the comedian, Rafi combined with Johnny Walker to give us some gems like “Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan” and “sar jo tera chakraaye”. He immortalized Mehmood as the lungi -clad Hyderabadi with his “hum kaley hain to kya hua dilwale hain”. Lyricst and comedian Gulshan Bawra must thank Rafi profusely for lending his voice to the Amitabh Bacchan trend setter -Zanjeer where he sang “Deewane hain deewane ko na dar chahiye”. He became childlike as he sang for Johnny Walker again in “hum bhi agar bachhe hotey…happy birthday to you”.

They say the ultimate test of a singer is when he has to sing the same song as another singer. And each time Rafi did it, he scored. Just listen to “Waadiyan mera daaman” where he outdid Lata, without intending to. Or the utterly romantic“Tum bin jaaoon kahan” where his protégé Kishore also sang his heart out. Rafi emerges clearly as more romantic and more hummable. “O mere shaahe khuba o meri jaane jaana na” had Rafi surpassing Lata in every line. He did it again in Beti Bete with “Aaj kal mein dhal gaya”. Asha Bhosle got a taste of it in the twin- pack song “Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai”.

The piece de resistance was perhaps “Zindagi to bewafa hai ek din thukraayegi” in Muqaddar ka Sikandar where Rafi just got to sing the first four lines as Amitabh Bachhan lay dying. He didn’t need to sing the entire song to tell who was the greater singer. And this song was amongst his last.

His duets with other male singers amplified this fact. Manna Dey, the trained classical singer sounds nervous singing along with Rafi in the catchy and utterly enjoyable “Ek janib sham e mehfil”, Kishore was being coached and coaxed by Rafi in “Sa Re Ga Ma” in Chupke Chupke. All the others in the memorable “Hoke Majboor mujhe usney bhulaya hoga” faded into pedestrian voices when Rafi sang “Usney ghabraa ke nazar laakh bachayi hogi”. Even the sophisticated and gentle Talat Mahmood had to contend with severe competition in “Kaisi haseen aaj bahaaron ki raat hai”, the fight being as stiff as Dilip Kumar Vs Manoj Kumar!!! One sided, no doubt.

As I rode into Jaipur via Amer I decided to call up Munna and spend the evening with him and my roommate Vijay. We sat singing into the night all the Rafi songs that we could think of. The night turned into day, and we had not finished singing. The eyes were wet, the throats were dry, but we knew that the fountain of music would never stop. The only regret was-

“chaley jaayenge hum musafir hain saarey, magar ek shikwa hai lab pe hamaare, tujhe kitni jaldi khuda ne bulaaya

And was Rafi Saab being prophetic when he sang “waqt mere geeton ka khazaana dhoondega, mujhko mere baad zamaana dhoondega”? Yes, very true. Dil ka soona saaz taraana dhoondega. Music has never been the same after that. The 80s saw a severe drop in the quality of film music. Noise took over.

That rainy day in Bombay many eyes would have looked skywards as if to ask the Gods – Has he safely reached you there, where he always belonged?

I am told more than ten thousand people braved the rain to be there for his last journey.. The others, I am sure, were mourning silently at home. I mourned for him all the way on NH8.

I still do.

“shaam kyon phir udas hai dost ? tu kahin aas paas hai dost”

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64 Blog Comments to “Mohd Rafi tu bahut yaad aaya…”

  1. Jay Iyer says:

    Dear Rangaswamyji, It was a great reading your touching article of the day the KING passed away. We were all blessed to be in an era when music was so good with ofcourse Rafi at the top. Thanks.


  2. AHAMED KUTTY says:

    Dear swamiji,
    what a touching article.yes,indeed it is written from your
    heart.who can narrate better than this?
    “rafi was not just a singer.he was not just a human.his voice
    clearly showed that “god” sang for us through him.what a nice
    as i have commented before, let me narrate the same again
    to have a peace of mind.on 1st of august 1980 in “chaya geet” at
    10 pm in vividh bharati,kanta gupta announced “if you hear
    this song can you believe rafi saab is no more with us and
    played the song “tum muje yum bhula na pavoge……….’
    the same time i had started crying like a small boy.

  3. i thank each one of you for your very kind and encouraging words. i truly wonder if i deserve such compliments. i do however realize and appreciate the fact that all fans of Rafi Saab are respectful and very very warm by nature. the posts written above clearly indicate this realization of mine.

    i genuinely wanted to thank each one of you personally for your feedback but due to the fact that the mail id of some you is not mentioned i couldnt do the same.

    at the same time my most respectful thanks to each one. some of the posts above made me feel overwhelmed and shook me up.

    thank you, one and all. i gracefully accept your compliments.
    you have inspired me to write more, and often !!!

  4. Denis says:

    Dear Rangaswami sir,
    fantastic, i know you personally, however something differt face i could see in you. I can’t belive that you love so much to the great legend Mohammed Rafi saheb. I salute you and salute to all the fan of Mohd Rafi, who have shared their fellings and appriciate Mr Rangaswami for his sweet memory of the day and exprssing the love and passion to our all time great singer.
    Thank you so much.

    With lots of love and regards,

  5. Dilip says:

    Thank you very much for a wonderful article on the legendary rafisaab.
    It brought back all the nostalgic memories of the golden age of Hindi music.
    1st of August 1980 was a very sad day indeed. I mourned the passing away of the immortal voice along with millions of his fans.
    The magic of rafisaab turned ordinary actors into popular heros. But for rafisaab, the careers of many actors would have come to grinding halts prematurely(No disrespect meant to the actors).
    I feel very proud to be an ardent rafi fan. I also feel lucky to have seen him at close quarters & to have listened to him live during a rafi nite in the late 70’s in Bangalore.
    It is very true that noise & unorganised sound has taken over from 1980 onwards. Fortunately there are countless collection of the divine voice to keep us happy & engaged for the rest of our lives. Wish I could sing & request…… ABHI NA JAO CHOD KAR KE DIL ABHI BARA NAHIN…..


  6. unknow says:

    i didn’t knew about Mohd Rafi that time when I was only 11 years old. But after many years I became his fan,i I saw mohd rafi in the magazines (photos) with A Bachchan I was thinking who is this man(Mohd Rafi)that Mr Bachchan sitting near his dead body but after few year I understood that Mohd Rafi the only greatest man in the bollywood.
    on 1 Aug I didn’t criy but today i am crying for mohd rafi lost

  7. Nagesh Sidhanti says:

    Dear Achal Rangaswamyji,

    They say journey is more important than the destination and this 260 km
    ride between delhi to jaipur, has all the makings of a most significant
    one in a Rafi bhakt’s life.

    Thanks to your great story telling, I felt as if I was on that Enfield bullet
    myself, fondly recalling those soul stirring songs, evoking a wide range
    of emotions.

    Indeed it was ‘allah’ who resided in his heart, who used Rafi sab’s voice
    as medium of communication. Inshallah, hope he’d be born again.

    Sincere thanks Achalji and it made a great reading.

    Nagesh Sidhanti

  8. rafi bhakt janon,

    everybody is recollecting where they were, when rafi saheb passed away on 31st July 1980.


    my penchant for regularly listening to BBC ( even now ) gave me this tragic news and i spent a sleepless day and night trying to zero down on details over satelite calls and burning my money.

    it was so devastating – ” mai bayaan nahi kar saktaa ” felt like an orphan.

    passing away of a living singing saint ( son of god ) a magical voice

    left back a treasure trove of divine songs for his bhakts.

    ramesh narain kurpad.

  9. ranga sahab,

    if ever i have the privilege of meeting you – the first thing i would like to do is greet you with an ” embrace “, cause i would be actually embracing ” mohd rafi saheb ” too.

    only a genuine rafi bhakt could ever express the way you have done enough to melt even the yellow metal.

    ranga sahab close your eyes for a moment and just think of rafi saheb and your will visualise rafi saheb actually blessing you. a father blessing his son.

    all the rafi bhakts having read your tribute also stand blessed by him and above all how happy rafi saheb himself will be, when he can see how his tribe of bhakts are mushrooming on this planet.

    eloguence of your kind is hard to find or replicate – keep it burning sahab.

    ranga khush – jai ho jai ho jai ho – rafi saheb

    tussi great ho.

    adaab rafi,

    ramesh narain kurpad,

  10. Anwar-ul-Haque says:

    Mr. Achal,

    Now what can I say, as every thing for this wonderfully exceptional article has been already written by all the Rafians. Yes! You have written a brilliantly well-composed and fantastically narrated article. Yes! You have written right from your heart.

    I was (almost) a four year child that day, hence even did not know about the maestro, Muhammad Rafi Sahab. My uncle once, when looked me listening the songs of Rafi Sahab, remembered that day and told me that he was in college and when the news reached to the college, one of his female class fellow started crying in the college. All the class mates found it very hard to make her silent. This incidence was occurred in a college of rural area of Sindh province of Pakistan. One can feel the popularity of Rafi Sahab and gravity of sorrow of his demise by this incidence too.

    Thanks and best regards.


  11. dost aapney mujhey aansoon key samundar mey dubaa diyaa hai – mai phut phut kar ro rahaa hoon aur kucchh likh nahi paa rahaa hoon.

    jab samhal paoongaa tab – tikaa tippani hongee

    adaab rafi


  12. A S MURTY says:

    shocking as it, the demise of shri pawan of delhi unit of the rafi foundation is a big blow to all of us. I had met shri pawan when i last visited delhi and found him to be full of zeal and enthusiasm. may his soul rest in peace. we from rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter convey our heartfelt sympathies to the family of mr pawan.

  13. Asif says:

    Ehsaan mera dil pe tumhara hai doostoon, Rangaswamy ji ka article ne dil jeet liya dostoon. Again hats off to Mr. Rangawamy for saying what we wanted to say but haven’t said yet it.

  14. satyendra says:

    @binu ji
    Its very sad to hear about a huge rafian passing away.
    May his soul rest in peace.

  15. satyendra says:

    @achal ji
    bade logo ne itna aur itna sahi kaha ki mujhe kehne ke liye kuchh bacha nahi.
    sirf yahi kahunga aapne dil ki baat ekdam utar di hai.
    padh ke aankho me aansoo aa gaye.

  16. Dr.Vasudha says:

    Rangaswamy jee
    Your article, interlaced with emotions, knowledge and love for the legend made excellent reading.I experienced every lap of your journey as it took me to the sublime world of Rafi saab.You have penned your thoughts so beautifully as if to strike a melodious chord in the hearts of the reader.Great job sir!

  17. Abhinav says:

    Shri ANR is a very passionate and intense human being!!!! He has the memory of an elephant!!!! and the expression of Ganesha!!!!!

    For the newer generation he has very beautifully captured the essence of the greatest singer of the silver screen!!!!

  18. binu nair says:


    MR.PAWAN JI – ACTIVE MEMBER OF RAFI FOUNDATION EXPIRED YESTERDAY and the funeral will be held today : 3rd sept at 12… Noon.


    Mr. Pawan was an enthusiastic rafi saaheb lover and worked for the great success of the delhi rafi foundation events. he received a stroke just days after our delhi event of july 31st.
    we had met in delhi and was passionately discussing future event plans of Dec.24 with me at the rafi event hosted by rafi lover shri g.b.mathur.
    may his aspirations and dreams come true through the great team of rafi lovers in delhi.
    we bow our heads to one “great” rafi lover and pass our sympatheties to his family members and the delhi team of rafi foundation.

    binu nair. mumbai…

  19. Asif says:

    Mr Rangaswamy, you done an incredible job of capturing the feelings of so many Rafi fans in this article. I cannot thank you enough for saying all the right words describing our emotions. I too cannot forget that day. I was in USA on that fateful day, and had just finished breakfast when my brother called and told me that Rafi had passed away. For the new few minutes everything stood still. I was so upset with the news I refused to beleive it, and told myself it cannot be true. How I wish that was the case. Being in this emotional state of shock I called in sick that day, as my going to work day day would have been useless. A singer like Rafi will never be born again. What a shame he has not yet received Bharat Ratna.

  20. JAWAID NASEEM says:

    Rangaswamy ji…
    kya kahoon kisse kahoon kaise kahoon????? nothing has been left to commemorate the memories and greatness of rafi sb. tujh mein sab dikhta hai yaara main kya karoon?? tu hi noor hai tu hi sangeet ka guroor (pride) hai. maana tu humse bahut door hai per mere dil mein teri muhabbat zaroor hai. nice article, enlighten the flame in the hearts of the listeners, keep on writting about this legend, thespian, veteran, immortal, incomparable person whom we call “RAFI SAHEB”.

  21. Tahir says:

    I was in fifth grade and distinctly remember the news of Mohammad Rafi’s sad demise published as a 2nd or 3rd lead headline on the front page of Pakistan’s leading Urdu daily Nawa-i-Waqt. His popularity till today transcends borders!

  22. Harini says:

    Its a really nice post Sir.
    The thoughts have been beautifully penned.
    Looking forward for more such posts.

  23. Majeed Khan says:


  24. vinod mehru says:

    dear sir,
    yasden rah jati hai peeche peeche. sahi hai tum mujhe yuon bhula naa paaoge.koi bhi din aisa nahi hai jab yaad naa aaye unki.

  25. It is not just an article but it is an echo of a sound of soul. Very thick flow of genunineness. No artificial galaxy of feelings. Keep it up.

  26. Lalit Sharma says:

    Dear Sir,

    I read the blog and like all your other blogs, it is remarkable and SOUL-STIRRING…….
    Though i was not even born at that time this LEGEND passed away but I am a fan of the songs he sang(which I listen to almost daily) ….
    I can’t even imagine the turmoil his fans might have gone through …although your article comes close to illustrating it explicitly………

  27. gopinath says:

    Great , great Mr Rangaswamy, GREAT. I am a 59 year old man and all the time thought that there may not be a greater fan of Rafi than me – I was wrong. Great Sir, your report of the various songs of Rafi is well organised and as others have said drew tears from my eyes – I started singing (when reminded of the songs) in front of the computer .

  28. Dear Sir,
    Such an amazing blog!
    I pride myself for being a bit of a writer myself, enough to quit my job and start a business into content development.
    This post about Rafi saab has brought tears to my eyes too, just like most of your readers!
    Although I was not even born then (in fact 3 yrs later), I now feel I lost something I never knew I had..
    I think I should share this with my dad, I am sure he too will have a story to share…

  29. dear friends, thanks so much for your wonderful words. you are all very kind to me.
    i am desperately looking for that issue of Filmfare which had the cover story on Mohd Rafi and Uttam Kumar since both of them passed away around the same time. this issue of the first fortnight of August 1980 carried a lovely black and white pic of each of these stalwarts. i shall be truly grateful to anybody who can let me have (even a soft copy will do) of this issue of Filmfare. can anybody help ?

  30. JYOTI MOHANTY says:


  31. Anmol Singh says:

    I was too young then in 1980 and wasn’t really aware who Rafi was exactly. But on the day of 1st Aug 1980 I could listen people talking about Rafi Sahab and how great as a person and a singer he was. I could feel the sadness in the atmosphere while travelling in the bus back home from school and on the streets.

    In the evening news on Doordarshan the recorded telecast of the Rafi Sahab’s funeral was shown. Name the film personality almost every one was present.

    There after speacial problems were telecast with film actors like Dharmendra (appearing very disturbed), Dev Anand, Man Mohan Desai, Naushad, Lata Mangeshkar, etc paying their tributes.

  32. nasreen says:

    Dear Achal Sahab

    I have just seen your article, and have moist eyes so that i can hardly see what I am typing. You brought back the pain of that dark day. We were all shocked at the news, but just as I have grown older my devotion has also grown deeper and stronger. At the time he left us, I did not even know all his songs as i was younger – you live and listen to more songs. His songs are an integral part of every single day for all his admirers on this site and outside.

    Isn’t it a wondrous thing that we all feel the same deep devotion to this great man, the same happiness when we listen to his timeless songs which simply carry us into another world of sweetness. It is actually perhaps not so surprising that he did not live in this world for too long – it is not a suitable place for a person like him.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings, you touched our hearts – when you can make someone cry with your words, there’s something of substance there.

  33. ashish kapoor says:

    dear achal rangaswamy sahab, a brilliant write-up, straight from the core of a true rafi lovers heart.
    one thing that u mentioned was about a song that had various male artists in it. sir there are numerous such songs and rafi sahab towers over every body. another such song that comes to my mind is from “rustam sohrab” and the song is “phir tumhaari yaad aaye ae sanam, hum naa bhulenge tumhe allah kasam”. Rafi sahab sings the third stanza and then in the fourth stanza he is the last singer. he puts the soul into the song.
    ashish kapoor, , 09212587414, 09810087414
    rafi foundation, delhi

  34. t k nandi says:


  35. Musharraf says:

    I fully agree with Rangswamyjee that Rafi outdid his co-singers in almost every song. If you listen to “Mere mehboob tujhe, mere mohabbat ki kasam” of the film “Mere Mehboob” sung by both Rafi and Lata, one can easily understand why the Rafi’s song became the legend. Same goes with the song “Ehsan tera hoga mujh par” from the film “Junglee” where also Rafi outdid Lata. In the song “Ramayya vasta vaiya” Rafi outdid Mukesh. The list will be longer. Rafi Saab was simply uncomparable.

  36. Gyan Prakash Agarwal says:

    It took much longer time to complete reading (sometime impossible to read with tears in eyes) your soulful rendering of that unforgettable day-the very first day when our beloved rafi saheb was no more with us. i just want to cry loudly…

  37. shrirang nawathe says:

    dear Achal sb,

    what a description…yes, it is really straight from the heart undoubtedly,but more important is that the details are so accurately given in the write up that even after 29 years, the reader and Rafi fan goes back to 1st August 1980…
    superb article..and this rememberance has brought tears to my eyes even now….great tribute to a great soul…Rafi sb…was just great….

  38. santosh says:

    Dear Achal Sir,

    great great article indeed.After a long time such an article has come and moved me to tears and also those who have read this article.Rafi saab is an epitome of greatness combined with humility and a child’s heart.I always try to replicate his simplicity in my personal life.True not a single day passes without visiting this site and hearing his divine voice.

    Once again great article .

  39. bina says:

    You have penned an extremely touching article Rangaswamy sir…you have put down very soulfully in words exactly the way Rafi Saab’s Bhakts felt when he passed away…yes, the heavens wept and our hearts cried…

    Rula diya aapne sachmuch us din ki yaad dilaakar…and even now.its a rare day that a Rafi Saab song does not fail to move me as much..

    Kind regards

  40. What should I say now? u made me emotional. But the fact i didnt knew abt this playback singer that time when I was too small. But after many years i just heard his voice but after that I saw him in the newspapers/magazines (photos) and now I am watching him in the youtube also and in sites.
    Mohdrafi is still there with us.

  41. Narayan says:

    Achal sir,
    You have correctly ehoed the emotional sentiments of all Rafi bakts including your’s truly who was a part of that 10,000 crowd and it is true that God’s cried from the heavens…

    Adaab Rafi sahab
    Jai Rafi sahab


  42. pvksraju mumbai says:

    Great writeup. Definitely very moving.
    Well in those days (ist of Aug, 1980) I used to reside in Hyderabad. I first saw the small headline in the front page of the old Deccan Chroincle paper “Mohd Rafi Dead”. It read 31st July, 1980 (Bombay) Noted Hindi Playback Singer Mohd Rafi died yesterday in Bombay due to a massive heart attack. Funeral to take place today(1st Aug, 1980 Friday). I felt very depressed. As Radio SriLanka was tuned in (Shortwave frequency in radio) at around 7.30 am on 1st of August, 1980, all old songs were being played without break and advertisement. On the 2nd of August, 1980 – a headline in the DC paper read “Mohd.Rafi laid to rest”. 1st August, 1980 Bombay— Mortal remains of Noted Hindi Playback Singer Mohd Rafi who passed away yesterday due to massive heart attack at Bombay were laid to rest at Juhu Cemetry. Inspite of continous rain, thousands of mourners attended the funeral. A fortnight later when I had gone to a theater in Hyderabad (Dilshad Talkies-now closed) a newreel by Films Division in black and white was being shown wherein the last journey of Uttam Kumar, Bengal thespian was first shown followed by a still photograph of Mohd Rafi with the song being played in the background – Ek Din Padaga Jaana Kya Waqt Kya Zamana and later his last journey through the roads of Bombay(now Mumbai) was shown. A bit of the song Ah Zindage Ke Melaa, Duniya Mein Kum Na Honge Afassos Humna Hogein was also played.

  43. sabnavees says:

    mr rangaswamy,

    what a beauatiful naration indeed. I was in Nagaland then. When I came to know about the departure of Rafi sahab conveyed to me by my friend mr mukherjee at around 8 pm on 1st August 1980 I was speechless. The whole night I was crying. Next day in the office I had severe head ache & came to my residence taking half day leave.

    And now after three decades of this incidence when this topic is discussed again my eyes are getting moist, they are not listening to me.

  44. Siva says:

    Rangaswamy ji–straight from the heart article. I still remember that fateful day -I was in 10th standard when I came to know in the school only that Rafi sahab had left us all alone. I have forgotten so many things during my school days, but you would not beleive this-I still remember the class room in which we were sitting when my friends told me about this news. I even remember in the evening old Doordarshan played the song “Duniya na bhaye mohe ab to bula le charnon mein , charnon mein ” from Basant Bahar.
    Please keep writing such articles through which we can only play a small tribute to this legend.

  45. Anil Cherian says:

    Very touching narration, Achalji. You’ve made me cry too..

  46. i am grateful to all the Rafi Fans who have written such beautiful and wonderful words to encourage me. all i can say is- i wrote from my heart, because the Great Man touched all our hearts.
    thank you all for your inspiring feedback and comments. you made my day !!

  47. binu nair says:

    Reams upon Reams of paper could be used up in describing the plight of mohd rafi lovers on that fateful day of aug 1, 1980 when the dark news arrived in the newspapers and radios.

    i know of a person who was at the tata institute of cancer with his wife for his treatment of stomach cancer.
    as soon as he came to know of the “dark news”, he sat down and started crying loudly. he forgot his pains for some time and cried for rafi saaheb s going.

    another lad of 15 years went to the school bath and cried and cried on hearing the news in far-a-way mangalore.
    yes i could not attend the funeral but we all had dreary eyes and have soul touching memories of the legend rafi saaheb – whenever we look at his picture, hear his songs or when hear others singing songs and murdering music in the name of music itself.

    yes the proudest moment of my life has been buying tickets and taking two rafi fans to his live concert at goregoan’s st.thomas school grounds (opp. the rlwy. station).
    the two rafi lovers happened to be my mom & sis.

    a great write-up sir. keep it up and be in touch mr.achal

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai : cell 9833 250 701

  48. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    You made me emotional and also forced me to recall Aug 1st, 1980, when I heard the news first. It was our training period in BHEL and when I glanced thru the next day paper, in the front sheet, LHS Corner, they had given the news. Next few days I was totally ‘mood out’ as I had never imagined a life without Rafi Saab. We grew listening to his songs, we dreamt with his songs and even today, the day is not complete if we dont listen him. But of course, his body might have made its last journey, but his ‘atma’ is always with his fans thru his songs.

  49. A S MURTY says:

    achal rangaswamyji. this is straight from your heart. first it is your way of expression of your feelings that leave us stunned. just impeccable. and then your thoughts on the greatest of all the legends – rafi sahab. you have named two of your friends too in the article, showing that as a group you have always been rafi-fans. since most of us belong to that fraternity, we can easily comprehend your feelings and echo the same. reading your write up seemed as though you have put my own feelings into such fine words. there cannot be a better essay than what has appeared on these pages and so refreshingly.

  50. Mr D P BIJOOR says:

    Dearest Achal Rangaswamyjee,
    This cannot be an article Dost mainly since the memories of the greatest ever Mohammed Rafi Saab have directly flown from the core of your heart to ours. Fantastic, Superb, extraordinary.
    Dost tumhane mujhe roola diya aur woh din yaad dilaya jis din ek paigambar hame chod kar chala gaya.
    Hats of to you dost

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