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Rafi, the singing God

By Utthara Kumari B

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Can one describe God? In 1,000 words? Even in 10,000 words? It is impossible to capture the magic and genius of Mohammed Rafi, the singing God, whose voice you can go on listening to forever.

He lifted mediocre into sparkling gem. His usual was better than the best around him. The kind of range and brilliance he had is unparalleled. From low-pitched whispering songs like Tum se ek baar to high-pitched ones like the O duniya ke rakhwale climax, Rafi sang with ease. Another song which comes to mind is the thought-provoking number in Pyaasa. The song __ Yeh mehlon, yeh takhton __ Rafi begins the song as a murmur, gradually his voice rises and in the end, he gives full rein to his vocal prowess when he exposes the hypocrisy of the society __ his voice soars saying Jalado jalado ise phoonk dalo yeh duniya. Is it possible to imagine anyone else singing this song bringing out all the frustration, bitterness and helpless anger?

Any song, any mood, any artiste, any music director, any lyricist ___ Rafi breathed life into every song and sang with the same dedication and sincerity.

He was the voice of all stars __from a Dev Anand, a Pradeep Kumar, a Bharat Bhushan and a Shammi Kapoor to a Rajesh Khanna, a Rishi Kapoor and a Johny Walker. Rafi had this unique talent of varying his voice to suit the persona of the star he was singing for. If it was for Shammi Kapoor, Rafi sang with all gay abandon __ doing voice gymnastics __ exuberant, energetic, passionate. Tarif karoon kya uski brings Shammi Kapoor to life. You can close your eyes, listen to the song and imagine Shammi Kapoor doing all those acrobatics. Can you imagine a staid and sober Rafi singing such a song? He did and made generations of people his life-long admirers.

Again he sang in an entirely different style for Dev Anand __ the drawl, the romanticism __ he gave rich imagery through his brilliant singing. In a song like Khoya khoya chand, a typical Dev number, you can visualise him strolling over hills and valleys __ Rafi captured this and brought it out through his singing.

For Johny Walker, it was something else. Rafi disguised his voice superbly and mimiced the comedian __ in inimitable songs like Sar jo tera and Hum bhi agar bachche hote. If it was for Dharmendra, Rafi sang in a slightly nasal tone __ the soothing Hui sham unka is a fine example of this combo.

For Rajendra Kumar, Rafi again disguised his voice. You would think Rajendra Kumar was actually singing the song. Be it the nashafying Chalke teri ankhon mein or the mesmerising Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aya or the romantic Baharon phool barsao or the tearful Yaad na jaye or Yeh ansoo mere dil ki zubaan hai.

When you think of `jani‘ Raaj Kumar, Rafi brought out this `jani-ism‘. The songs are many __ Tujhko pukare mera pyar, Choolenedo nazuk hoton ko. Only Rafi could bring out the navrasas through his unmatched talent. In everyone’s favourite Suhani raat dhal chuki, Rafi’s smooth voice glides over you like honey. And the way he sings this intezar number in his intense voice makes this song everyone’s favourite.

Then take the romantic Hum aur tum aur yeh samaa __ Rafi who has sung almost all of Shammi Kapoor’s foot-tapping numbers, sings this in a soft, breezy way infusing it with gentle romanticism.

Yeh ansoo mere dil ki zubaan hai or Kabhi khud pe __ Rafi renders these songs with so much emotion and dard. They make you cry.

Rafi also sang all those-tear-jerkers for Dilip Kumar, the tragedy king who would sit alone in a corner and drown his sorrows singing dard-bhari gaane in Rafi’s pathos-filled voice __ Koi sagar dil ko behlata nahin.

The same Rafi also makes you jump and dance and fall all over while singing an Aaja aaja main hun pyar tera or a Mast baharon ka. This proves his versatility.

When it comes to qawwalis, there are no peers. Rafi’s voice has that teasing quality which is so essential for these type of songs. Be it Parda hai or Tumhe husn deke khuda ne or Pal do pal ka, Rafi mesmerises you.

In Na toh carvan ki talash hai __ the all-time classic __ Rafi makes a late entry and dominates the song with his soft voice bringing out the various meanings and nuances of `ishq‘.

Man tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj __ this is one bhajan which became an anthem. Rafi sang this with devotional fervour making people swoon in bhakti.

When we come to romantic numbers, it is difficult to choose any one song as an example. Bahosh-o-hawas main deewana __ in this rapturous number, Rafi fills each note and phrase with heavenly romanticism.

What amazes everyone is how Rafi, a teetotaller, could bring in so much nasha into the intoxicating melodies. Aaj is darja pilado __ the andaz with which he says `pilado‘ gives you nasha.

If you are in the mood for ghazals, then Rafi’s rendering of the gems of the golden era like Tumhari zulf ke saaye mein and Na kisiki aankh ka noor hoon will entrance you.

As for patriotic fervour, just listen to Rafi’s Yeh watan yeh watan or Jahan dal dal or Kar chale hum fida __ you will definitely be proud to be an Indian.

For classical numbers, again it is Rafi __ Madhuban mein and Kuhu kuhu __ are two shining examples.

Rafi had this unique way of breathing life into a song __ he would go slightly high-pitch(like in Hum bekhudi mein tumko where he says `chaleeeeeegaye‘). In Ehsaan tera hoga, just hear him say `mohabbat‘ when he sings mujhe tumse mohabbat hogayi hai. He puts in all the mohabbat into that one word. In Achchaji mein hari, listen to the way he says sarcastically `mera dil jalaaaaaaaonna‘. In mein nigahen ter chehre se, it is definitely wow the way he drawls `tauba tauba taubaa tauba‘. No one, I stress, no one can sing with his andaz and adas.

Mohd Rafi with Ravi and his son, Shakeel, Minoo Kartik and others

Mohd Rafi with Ravi and his son, Shakeel, Minoo Kartik and others

Rich and pure, Rafi’s voice is tinged with the kind of magic that is guaranteed to get to the heartstrings. And it enchanted generations.

After his death, the film industry has been desperately trying to find a replacement. The clones are many. But there will never be another Mohammed Rafi.   It is impossible to capture the magic of Mohammad Rafi. The moods and genres he sang is unparalleled. Here I have tried to list out his songs sung in various moods and in different genres.

Kar chale/Yeh watan yeh watan__ patriotic
Man tarpat/Man ri tu kahe na__bhajan
Kaliyon ne ghoonghat khole __ happy, lively song
Jane bahar husn/Mein nigahen tere chehre se __ romantic
Ye ankhen uf yumma __ romantic song full of nasha
Yehsaan tera hoga mujh par/Bahosh o hawas__ soothing romantic song
Aaja re aa zara __ hatke se trembling romantic solo
Aaja aaja mein hun pyar tera __ hatke se trembling romantic duet
Baad muddat ki yeh/Tum toh pyar ho/Dil pukare arey __ happy romantic duet
Abhi na jao chodkar/Thehriye hosh mein aloo __ parting romantic duet
Aapko pyar chupane ki/Mizaze garami dua hai aapki __ teasing romantic duet
Tarif karoon/Ayyayyo karoon mein kya __ mad, crazy numbers
Duniya na bhaye mohe/Kabhi khud pe__sad
Humsafar saath apna chod chale/Mujhe teri mohabbat ka__ sad duet
Aaj is darja pilado/maine pee sharab __ nasha songs
Tujhko pukare mera pyar/hum tumse juda hoke __ haunting songs
O duniya ke rakhwale/Dil ke jharoke mein__high-pitch song
Tum se kahoon ek baar __ whispering song
Tumhe husn deke khuda ne/Pal do pal ka saath hamara__ qawwali
Yeh duniya agar milbhi jaye __ I hate-this-world song
Guzre hain aaj ishq __ I hate-love song
Madhosh hawa/o aaj mausam__ on nature
Madhuban mein radhika/kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya __ classical
Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai ___ baraat song
Babul ki duaen leti jaa __ bidaayi song
Rakhi daagon ka tyohaar __ on brotherly love
Mein zindagi ka saath nibhatha chalagaya __ philosophical song
Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon/tumhari zulfke saaye mein__ghazal
Hum intezar karenge/Din dhal jaye__ intezar song
Tu kahan yeh bata __ birah geet
Bade miya dewaane/Sarjo tera__fun songs
Nain lad jaihen __ folk
Hum bhi agar bachche hote__ children’s song
Mein gaoon tum sojao __ lullaby
Jan pehchan ho __ Rock ‘n roll
Mast baharon ka __ foot-tapping number

Aaja tujhko pukare mere geet re; Jab kabhi bhi sunoge geet meretum mujhe yun bhulana paoge___ I don’t think we Rafi fans need any entreaty or appeal to listen to his songs.

Is it possible to forget him or his songs?

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122 Blog Comments to “Rafi, the singing God”

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  1. Utthara says:

    Dear friends,
    bahut shukriya badi meherbani.

    I am told there was some problem with the hard drive of this site. Hence letters were not updated the whole of last week. Only today I got to read the mails.

    Thank you all for your appreciation.

    Will thank you individually later.



  2. Ali says:

    Sir Binu ji,
    we don’t need people to give there vote to Mohd rafi but we can reguest them to be honest when they give vote because if people gave there vote when they are honest that mean mohd rafi get 100% ……

  3. Ali says:

    thanks for link of vote but I think it is so funny that great singer Lata ji only have one vote!!!!????????????mohd rafi got 70% of vote last time so what that mean if mohd rafi got 100% so what? boz vote should given by people who know about music and they said Mohd rafi is the best…..

  4. BINU NAIR says:

    Post 24 ….. Whoever made Mohd Rafi – it’s clear that the creater took more time creating this “jewel” and endowing him with all the great qualities associated with a grand human being. rafi himself used to say : jo bhi mai hoon, allah ke wajah se hai…..
    i think god never discriminates against any group of people or individuals. rafi also never did it, in fact the humble rafi loved people.
    when he saw mr.karanjia a parsi priest in his priestly uniform – rafi had bowed in reverence.
    we love god for many good and great reasons. we love god’s great creations for the very same reason. we love rafi . he is a god in one another form for many of us. please dont bother too much over it.

    peace and soulful music to all……

  5. J.K. Bhagchandani says:


    Magnificant write-up. Please accept my compliments.

    Rafi saab’s towering stature in the music very aptly reflected in the beautiful article. The more one writes about Rafi saab, the more there is to write. Sometimes 1000 words are not enough but sometimes just the 3 words ‘the singing God’ describe the phenomenon called ‘Mohd. Rafi’.

  6. b.venkatadri says:

    I just felt like saying this.

    Mohammed Rafi is my ‘everything’ in this life!! Many times, I burst into weeping when I am hearing some of his soul-stirrers!! His Voice and the way he varies and modulates that great Voice, at will, are simply divine, without an iota of exaggeration!!

    Now, I only pray to God to unite me with Rafi Saab after this life!!

  7. Ria Sen says:

    No doubt, Rafi Saheb was the singing God !!!

  8. Vinaya Hegde says:

    Can one describe Utthara’s felicity in writing? In 1,000 words? Even in 10,000 words? It is impossible to capture the magic and genius of Utthara, the Rafi fan, whose article you can go on reading forever.

    Absolutely tongue-tied by her amazing knowledge, I’m doing an Utthara on Utthara — by listing my fav passages from this superlative piece:

    * “Rafi begins the song as a murmur, gradually his voice rises and in the end, he gives full rein to his vocal prowess when he exposes the hypocrisy of the society __ his voice soars saying Jalado jalado ise phoonk dalo yeh duniya. Is it possible to imagine anyone else singing this song bringing out all the frustration, bitterness and helpless anger?”

    * “Rafi’s smooth voice glides over you like honey.”

    * “a soft, breezy way infusing it with gentle romanticism.”

    * “What amazes everyone is how Rafi, a teetotaller, could bring in so much nasha into the intoxicating melodies.”

    * “When you think of `jani‘ Raaj Kumar, Rafi brought out this `jani-ism’.”

    * “the tragedy king who would sit alone in a corner and drown his sorrows singing dard-bhari gaane in Rafi’s pathos-filled voice”

    * “in this rapturous number, Rafi fills each note and phrase with heavenly romanticism.”

  9. BINU NAIR says:


    it will take just 30 seconds to vote for rafi and more – it’s interesting.

    happy results – yours truly,

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

  10. Narayan says:

    Uttaraji .. incredible feelings depicted by you to describe our singing God.. Yes he is that Farishta of God who came to this universe to entertain us with his soothing melodies..
    It is not a surprise if some one says that the best way to de-stress in our mechanical life is to hear his singing.. all anxieties, worries, tensions vanish into the thin air…
    No wonder Rafi Sahab has devotees all over the globe even after 30 years of his leaving this mortal world and the list is increasing…
    Jab thak Chand aur Suraj rahnege hamare Rafi sahab ki yaad hamesha logon ke dil mein rahega…
    Rafi sahab amar hai..

  11. K Jayanthi says:

    Dear Utthara,
    What an analysis! Your nasha for Rafi’s singing comes out in every line. Your list highlighting the songs to suit the various heroes/moods is complete. Rafi had that incomparable ability to hide behind the voice. He made you feel Shammi or Devji were singing and not himself. Your article brings out this aspect very well. Tributes like this come from the heart, from enjoying every nuance of Rafi’s singing. You have proved to be a true devotee of this rare god.

  12. shrirang nawathe says:


    What a writeup…..Salaam.. aapki meethi KALAM ko salaam..…JAISE RAFI SAHAB VAISE HI UNKE AAP JAISE BHAKT….
    Uttharaji, Likhna to koi aapse seekhe….Shabdon ka itna sundar sangam…aur samanvay aapne kiya hai ki kya kahen?? Bas baar baar padhne ko jee chaahta hai….
    Like Rafi Sahab, You equally moulded yourself in any type of writing …Your writeups are always a treat for all and particularly to novice like me. The more you read, the more dimensions of Rafi sahab are discovered and this takes you to a very different plane of mindset and thoughts, where reader just enjoys the ultimate company of Rafi Sahab…Don’t you think when we listen these ANMOL RATAN..we find that Rafi sahab is our HAMSAFAR…this thought itself gives us eternal bliss..NIRMAL ANAND…
    Rafi sahab ke kaaran aap jaise vidvaano ke beech bahut kuchh achha padhne aur sunane mil jaata hai , isase badi baat mere liye kya ho sakti hai…
    Aap yun hi likhti rahen ..aur hamko achhee achhee baaten padhne milti rahe,,yehi bhagwaan ke charno me prarthanaa hai…



  13. Raghunaath says:

    You have brought out Rafisaab totality in this article.Well narrated actual facts of Rafisaab..

  14. Rajkumar Akela says:

    i don’t know why people discuss about rafi sahab and sometimes compare his golden voice with some other contemporary singers !
    Rafi sahab was as unique as the sun. i have never seen anybody discussing about sun.
    you will perhaps waste your time if you dare praising the sun…and likewise
    rafi sahab was also incomparable.
    some mourn that he was not bestowed with the “bharat ratn”…
    we all know that he was a god-sent singer.
    his golden voice was a gift from God himself to the mankind.
    so what if this unworthy government does not think of giving an award named “bharat ratn” to rafi sahab …who was a reral jewel (ratn) of this world ?

  15. BINU NAIR says:

    Utthara ji…. Talking about Rafi Songs, there are innumerable songs which has made listeners shift to rafi saaheb songs – for their whole life and known as rafi bakhts.

    if for my friend rakesh ji – a kishore kumar lover in his teens – the song was from Naunihal namely : meri aawaaz suno, dard ka raaz suno, the song which changed my music taste and shift to rafi saaheb : (in class Tenth) was : teri pyaari pyaari soorat ko and the song : Baharon phool barsaao way back in the seventies.
    there would be many many soul ‘s who are rafi lovers who could name their favourite song which changed their musical tastes.

    an article about them would enliven this space – its felt.

    binu nair, mumbai , rafi foundation…..

  16. sudha says:

    Rafi could sing any type of songs. I love vividh bharati because they play old songs. TV channels seldom show old songs. Total recall is one programme i enjoy.
    uttara, that was a very informative article. Your article clearly brings out the unparalleled talent of rafi.

    can we expect more such articles from you?

    thank you


  17. Ananth Krishnan M. says:

    Nice piece. Flows like a river. Even Rafi would have like it. And, he would have read it twice, like me and many others.

  18. janaki narasimhan, mumbai says:

    I enjoy reading articles about great Rafi ji in these column. They make very interesting reading. My husband is an ardent Rafi ji fan. Even my son born much later who is 21 years old now loves to hum those golden melodies. He luves to hum :Gulabi Ankhen from The Train(1970) sung my Rafi ji during his peak days. Good write up(s) and the man rightly deserves all the admiration and accolodes. Rafi ji(s) name will resonate for generations to come.

  19. M V Krishnan says:


    Your article invoked fond memories of the timeless classics of Rafisaab. The various moods of Rafisaab and singing for different actors have been well brought out by you. The songs listed by you are very comprehensive and these examples stand out and speak volumes for Rafisaab’s amazing talent. A very well written and analytical article! Thank you Uttaraji!

    M V Krishnan

  20. BINU NAIR says:

    NEWS ABOUT ONE MORE OFFERING TO THE MELODY KING…from screen : Musical Notes column.

    SCREEN MAGAZINE DATED FEB 5-11 reported ON THE FIRST MOHD RAFI AWARDS AT MUMBAI… ON JAN 22.. titled Udit Narayan wins first Mohd Rafi Award….. it states :

    HE recorded his first song “live” with the late titan . He also openly says that Mohammad Rafi has been his role model and icon and that he follows his pattern of singing for from the heart and from deep in his throat.

    Padma Shri Udit Narayan was conferred the inaugural Mohd Rafi Award at a musical evening arranged by the Rafi Foundatiion in Mumbai.
    While accepting the award, the singer recounted his first recording for the film ‘Unees Bees’ under composer Rajesh Roshan. “Rafi saaheb has been my inspiration and I trained myself singing rafi saab songs and listening to them on the village radio set.”
    Udit’s live rendition of papa kehte hai bada naam karega on public demand was the showstopper and had the audiences asking for more.
    The rafi foundation is an umbrella organisation of mohd rafi lovers and it will honour music legends every years said mr.binu nair.
    On that evening Prabhanjan Marathe, Chiragh Panchal, Hanif Mohd, Aparna and Vandana Bhardweaj sang several vintage songs from the golden era.

    this programme was planned some 5 months in advane and mr.narayanan of bangalore was aware of it. a line from him would have cleared the “air” about who hijacked the rafi foundation awards function and thus created an unnecessary controversey . however, its never too late .

  21. Rajkumar Akela says:

    My dear rafian friends !
    tTere is a “country ranking” for Indian musical artists named “Whopopular” and I request you all to vote for Rafi Sahab in the following link and glorify him…

    Rajkumar Akela

  22. achal rangaswamy says:


    i am not proclaiming that i am an atheist. but i normally dont visit a temple just to pray. god is everywhere. it is with a similar belief that i visit a church or gurudwara or a mosque..or for that matter a dargah of a pir. this write up of yours was like a visit to such a place. to see god. to talk to him. to feel his presence and to tell him- thank you, for giving me so much.

    the other day i stood at Mohd Rafi Chowk in Mumbai. you cant expect that place to be quiet, peaceful or silent even late in the night. but even the slab of stone that carried his name gave out a simple message. you are here. so you will be at peace.

    marvellously drawn sketch of god. thanks for the darshan.

    yes, you sounded very much like that guide to that temple. or like a pujari showing off god to the devotees.

    thanks once again uttharaji.

    we are all blessed to have seen, heard or even written about Rafi Saab. may he continue to bless us all.

    warm regards

    achal rangaswamy

  23. ranganayaki says:

    uttaraji, i have read the comments with interest. i agree with all of them that you are a very good writer. I have not read so much about rafi saab in one article. Lot of informatin in one article. Great. Rafi saab has sung all types of songs. he is fantastic. No one can match him. Na kisi ki ankh ka noor hoon is beautiful. So little music. We can enjoy the magic of rafi saab’s voice in this song.

    thank you for such a beautiful article.


  24. He is the only versentile singer who sung bhajans, quwalies,romantic,classical,vocal,gazals & all types of songs.I think the versentality like Rafi Sahab is not observed in any other singer in the world. I also observed Rafi Sahab sung withthe 100% feelings of that songs.This art is also rarely observed in any other singer.

  25. Shyam says:

    mindblowing!!! superb article!!!
    one thing that I would like to say, Rafi’s voice is…not was…is the voice of God. I can prove it. Just close your eyes and think that God is saying something to you…the voice, which will come in your attention, will not be of anyone else than “Mohd. Rafi Saheb”. This formula is not for just rafi bhakts…..anyone can try this. When you listen “Sukh ke sab saathi dukh me na koi”…it seems like God is singing these lines.

  26. sunita nair says:

    Uttara, thanks again for another beautifully written piece on Rafi. You took me on a journey to the 40s, 50, and 60s, the golden era of Hindi film music. So many singers later, tried to sing his songs, but came nowhere close to him. He is truely unmatchable. I loved the way you have stressed on some words like `mohabbat’ in `mujhe tumse mohabbat ho gaye hai’. Rafi gave his life to every song. Keep writing Uttara, I’m waiting for your next article.

  27. Kadeer says:

    I’m a Mohammed Rafi fan and I’m disgusted to hear that M.Rafi is God or has the voice of God! The truth is that nothing is compared to Allah (God). Just because Allah swt (God) gave him such a great voice does’nt make Rafi equal to him! We are told in all religious scriptures to worship one God & nothing is compared to him!

    This sickness that God could be man or is man is made by humans. If God becomes a man he loses his quality! M.Rafi was a muslim & he never praised himself, but Allah swt (God) only. The word Rafi is of Arabic origin, and its meaning is “holding high” or “servant of the exalted one”.


  28. A S MURTY says:

    ref post 15 Shantanu Mukherjee sahab. Uttara Kumari is a veteran columnist and has written several articles, including a few on this website and most of her articles are laced with anecdotes, facts and many amusing stories which we generally are not aware. being from the media, she has had close access to many film personalities herself, having interviewed the best of them and carries her memories afresh. Here is the link of this website where one of earlier articles appeared :

    If you go to the back pages of this website you will find some exceptional articles, including a few more from uttara kumari.


  29. nirmala rao says:

    wah wah wah! bahut khoob uttaraji. you have presented rafi saab’s vishwaroopa — his singing range. apni toh har aah ek toofan hai is a favourite of mine. I love the duet achcha ji mein hari.
    other favourites..huyi shaam unka, aapke haseen rukh pe, jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga, tasveer teri dil mein, tu kahan yeh bata, kabhi khud pe, rang aur noor ki. I can say every song is a favourite.


  30. aarthi gopal says:

    i grew up listening to rafi saab’s songs. I could never be parted from my transistor. Even during exams, i would have his songs playing in the background.

    uttaraji, your brilliant article has taken me back to my golden childhood. It brought back those days when i would hum rafi saab’s songs throughout the day much to the annoyance of my brother.

    thank you very much


  31. Lt Col Javed Sayyed says:

    What an all encompassing writeup-flow of prose, anecdotes, emotions moods & melodies. U have covered it all. Thats typical of a rafi admirer-so full of zest & emotions. Why compare rafi sahab or his renditions with anyone? we are talking about a farishta-unparalled in any sphere of life or talent. And we are fortunate to be blessed to know, realise, feel & appreciate his showerings on us thru his renditions as were his actors who tried to match up to emote it all on the screen with varying successes!! My compliments to U for it all.

  32. teja says:

    so much gyaan. you have written about rafi saab’s singing style beautifully. i like both his happy and sad songs. You have given a very comprehensive list of his songs and style. Kar chale is my favourite song.

    thank you for this wonderful article.


  33. Priya Sanyal says:

    Utthara`s last line in above tribute,”Is it possible to forget him or his songs?”
    Now ask every rafian(rafi lover/bhakta etc) present here, Is it possible to forget utthara ji now or her so many articles here after reading such a beutiful articles like this one…

    good Job Utthara! Keep it up plz for whoever write here expresses feelings of millions of heart as we all love Rafi sahab so much. we can never describe him completly as who cares now for mere words when we still have that divine voice of Rafi with all of us.
    there is a line from Rafi sahab`s song,” mohabbat ki ye inteha ho gayi ki masti me tumko khuda keh gya, jamana ye insaf kadta rahe bura keh gya ki bhala keh gya”…
    Yes he is our farista as we have never felt so much love as much love every moment every time we feel by his voice. we all miss him as we want to talk to him meet him.Our friends told me that they all wanna touch Rafi sahab as Rafi sahab touch me as a child but as its impossible to describe him we don`t know that Rafi sahab all the moment touch our heart and yes he also talks with us but only difference is he talks with our soul now and lives in divinity thats present everywhere. Hence, he is eternal.
    Nice Tribue utthara thanx!

  34. Prakash shah says:


    A beautiful writing with mentioning some of the rare songs like Raj hath,Teen deviya,soothing,whispering,with apropriate title is to b noted.write more and more on rafiji.

    God bless u

    Prakash Shah

  35. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    Good article, especially for people who are STILL in doubt about Rafiji’s versatality. One more category can be added to the list of songs you have given. Songs perhaps which would have fitted in today’s MTV shows. Rafiji’s songs like Laal Laal Gaal, Jaan Pehchaan Ho, Ghar Ki Murgi Daal Barabar, Kisko Pyaar Karun, etc. came much much before the genre of MTVs. What do you say? As you have clearly pointed out RAFI was God as his voice was divine.

  36. Shantanu mukherjee says:

    I grew up listening to rafiji’s songs. I have read many articles on rafi. But yours is the best. It brought out all the fascinating aspects of rafi saab’s singing. Whether it is 1,000 or 10,000 words, you have given us an unforgettable treat. I am bowled over by your writing magic. I love all the songs you have mentioned. Your article made me hum those songs.
    Have you written any articles earlier? I want to read them.

    Looking forward to more such treats from you.

    bahut shukriya

  37. binu nair says:



    this is the only truth about the writer of above words – majrooh sultanpuri saaheb who must have had the many legends in his mind while writing these universal words of wisdom.

    mohd rafi, the rafi bakhts and men of letters are all doing the great work of keeping our rich cultural legacy moving and going forward. ur attempts in bringing forth the rich songs of the golden era will “surely” ring a welcome tone in the hearts of atleast some youngsters – who constitute a massive 45 %
    of india’s burgeoning population.
    even music now-a-days has become like the macdonald burger – quickly eaten and forgotten – like the current new songs cd releases.

    what i mean is that u have researched the golden era songs one more time and brought it’s sublime glory to the forefront.
    congrats on a great and interesting write-up and may more power be given to your pen.

    binu nair, rafi foundation, mumbai

  38. M V Devraj says:

    Hi Uttara:You have brought out the multi-faceted singing prowess of Rafisaab very adeptly and with all the possible examples.It is indeed very true that come whatever the type of song or come whoever the actor Rafisaab could sing the song as a perfect fit.He could sing for Dilip Kumar,Joy Mukherjee,Pradeep Kumar,Mehmood etc.with all the subtle differences and nuances without ever losing the melody or the power of his singing.Just to highlight the issue have a look at the following video:
    Do we need to say anything more? There can never be another Rafisaab.
    Best wishes.
    M V Devraj

  39. Priya patil says:

    Uttaraji, wonderful, fantastic, fabulous. I am at a loss for words. your article made me hum all those songs you listed. It is superb.

    yeh dil maangey more


  40. Jay Iyer says:

    Hello UKji,
    Everytime I think I have seen the best from u, u go one up and give us a better one. Wow !!! We could see the passion u had for Rafi and his songs. 1000 words ??? I counted about 150 lines and at an average of 10 words per line it comes to about (let me use a calculator) 1500. I am waiting for the next (use the calculator again) 8500 words, which comes down to another 850 lines (I did not use the calculator as i got smarter slowly after reading ur article). All jokes aside it was a great article. I loved reading it and want to see more of it.


  41. Nagesh Sidhanti says:

    Dear Utthara,

    This is one stop shop for ‘All-You-want-to-know-about
    Mohd Rafi, but Didn’t-know-whom-to-ask’.

    Your write up is as comprehensive as it is concise.This is a
    fine example for anyone who wishes to write an essay.

    In the opening line you have asked ‘ can anyone describe
    god in 1000 words?’. Let me answer. Give Utthara 500
    more and she would come very close to doing that.
    To those friends of mine, who were eager to understand
    what makes Rafi sab the singing god, I have an excellent
    commentry on hand.

    Nagesh Sidhanti

  42. Ali says:

    There are many who said that there was God who was singing in mohd Rafi voice because jest look on his face u see it looked the same for sad songs and happy song……
    There be no life without the sun on this earth and I think there is no music in Bollywood without Mohd rafi…..I don’t think we are looking for replacement of Mohd rafi but only we are looking 50% of Mohd rafi in other singer,when ever there a good singer we try to compare him with mohd Rafi…
    Mohd Rafi is Mohd rafi……………the word of RAFI in Arabic it mean the God

  43. Padmanabhan NR says:


    For quite some time this forum – and many others too – felt your absence. What a resurrection!! You have covered almost all the abstract feelings that a person can evoke and who else but rafi saahab would have been able to execute them to such melodious perfection? In fact, many of his songs invoke different feelings depending upon your mood of the day. they have there own universality. to each his own.

    We tend to christen him god or avataar or superman or whatever only because of our own limiting factors. we are unable to come to terms with ourselves that one single person can be so much and much, much more.He is beyond even our wildest imagination and thus we separate him from us normal human beings.

    A living god who happens to sing also. How can he be no more when his voice reverberates with such emotions, pathos and human sentiments which are ageless, timeless and ever-fresh?

    An excellent article which not only says so much but also gives you a peek as to how much more can be said.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Padmanabhan NR

  44. rajesh a says:


    A great article. It is comprehensive and I loved it. rafi saab is the greatest. he can sing any type of song.

    want more articles from you.


  45. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    Utthara didi,
    Very well said that Rafi sahab is a singing of GOD in true meaning. Rafi sahab is not only the God of singing but he is a GOD in all aspects. As God gives the life to us, in the same manner Rafi Sahab gave me a another life by his philosophical song-= “Kahan jaa raha hai tu aie jaane wale, andhera hai man ka diya to jala le …” on 29th sep. 1988. like this song there are so many philosophical songs which inspired me so many time in my life.
    He is not only the singer, agreat human being but NEXT TO GOD FOR ME.
    This is the incomplete dream of my life that i never will meet with our GOD.
    Sanjeev Dixit

  46. ikram khan says:


    I have read your abhi na jao review. I am 23. You have superbly taken my generation on a journey of this great song. Learnt so many things. your language and aap ka likhne ki andaz…is great.

    I am a great rafi fan. I have become your fn after reading this writeup on rafi saab. wah! kya taarif ki apne rafi saab ka! you have writen about his style and moods of singing.
    I read the article at least half a dozen times.

    bahut shukriya uttharaji. want more articles from you. it is like an education for me.



  47. Dr. Vasudha says:

    My! My! My! Utthara, what an analysis dost. You should have been in the Bureau of song investigation – So aptly and so vividly given description. You become one with the song and make the reader feel as if you have closely been associated with the song and the singer. Give us such treats often.

  48. Khaja Aliuddin,MD says:

    Utthara Bahen, Adab,
    Bahut khoob, hamesha ki tarah phir se aapne ghazab dhadiya.
    An ardent fan of Rafi Sahab,
    Dr. Khaja Aliuddin

  49. KSMANI says:

    Wah Utharaji,

    Tussi really great ho. Kya oomda vocabulary payee hain aapne aur rafisaab ke baare mein likhte samay, aap laajawab ho.
    Baharon phool barsao, hamari Utharaji aa chuki hain.
    Keep up the shandar work, Utharaji.
    God bless you with a mightier kalam.
    with best wishes,

  50. A S MURTY says:

    Uttaraji many thanks for this wonderful write up which brought to the fore once again the unmatchable and unconquered style of rafi sahab’s singing. you have given almost all the aspects of his singing style and with sufficient examples too. rafi sahab can never be copied or imitated. whoever tried, failed. there can never be any one who can be said to be even a close second. thanks for also highlighting the song – aaj is darja pila do – which is also my favourite song among the nasheela ones.

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