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Tribute To Rafisaab

Written By : Suneil Makwana

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

I am Suneil Makwana from Mumbai and I am a big fan of The Legend Immortal & Eternal Singer Mohd. Rafisaab. I like to listen Rafisaab’s melodious songs and his voice give me peace to my mind. Unfortunately, I have not met the Legend because I have born in 1985 and I think it’s my bad luck Rafisaab left us in the year of 1980 but when I listen songs rendered by the legend I feel that he is somewhere around.

He was a man of God and also a very humble & kind hearted person and his career spanned for decades. He won a National Award and 6 Filmfare Awards and was honored with the Padma Shree by the Government of India in 1967. Rafisaab’s first public performance was at the age of 13, when he was allowed to sing at a concert in Lahore featuring K. L. Saigal. In 1941, Rafisaab made his debut , under Shyam Sunder, in Lahore as a playback singer in the duet “Soniye nee, Heeriye nee” with Zeenat Begum in the Punjabi film Gul Baloch (the film was released in 1944) and in the same year Rafisaab was invited by All India Radio Lahore Station to sing for them.

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafisaab also did brief roles in movies like Laila-Majnu (1945) and Jugnu. In Laila-Majnu, he was seen singing ‘tera jalwa’ as a part of the chorus. Rafisaab sang 26,000 film songs and he also rendered the classical numbers and patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers. He also rendered qawwalis, ghazals and bhajans. He sang in many Indian languages including Hindi, Konkani, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Oriya,Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Maghi, Maithili and Assamese. He also recorded a few English, Persian, Spanish and Dutch songs.

Rafisaab was associated with many music directors of his time such as Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad, S.D.Burman, O.P.Nayyer, Ravi, Madan Mohan, Chitragupta, Roshan, C.Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, Ghulam Mohd. Sajjad Husaain, Kalyandji aandji, L.Pyarelal. Usha Khanna, Iqbal Qurshi, Bipin Babul. Rafisaab’s association with Naushad helped the former establish himself as one of the most prominent playback singers in Hindi Cinema. Songs from Baiju Bawra (1952) like “O duniya ke rakhwale” and “Man tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj” furthered Rafisaab’s credentials. S. D. Burman also patronized Rafisaab as the singing voice of Dev Anand and Guru Dutt. Rafisaab has worked with S.D.Burman in movies like Pyaasa (1957), Tere Ghar ke Saamne (1962), Guide (1965) and many more hits films.

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Under Shankar-Jaikishan, Rafisaab has rendered some of his songs for actors like Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar. Rafisaab has a record number of Filmfare Award nominations Twenty Three Times and he won it six times and out of six Filmfare Awards he won three for the Shankar-Jaikishan’s songs like “Teri pyari pyari soorat ko“, “Baharon phool barsao“, and “Dil ke jharokhe mein“. Rafisaab got his first Filmfare Award for the title song of Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), composed by Ravi. He also received National Award for “Babul Ki Duaen Leti Ja” from the film Neel Kamal (1968), also composed by Ravi. Rafisaab first solo with Madan Mohan was in Ankhen (1950),”Hum ishq mein barbad hain barbad rahenge“. Rafisaab was the favorite singer of Madan Mohan his songs including “Teri Aankhon ke Siva“, “Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil” and “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” rendered by Rafisaab. The composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) also worked with Rafisaab and from there first film Parasmani (1963). Rafisaab and the the Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) won the Filmfare Awards for the song “Chahoonga main tujhe saanjh savere” from Dosti (1964).

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafi Sahab's Final Resting Place

Rafisaab has also rendered songs in Marathi for Shrikant Thackeray. Ha rusava sod sakhe, re mana as koni, etc are some of the most hummed tunes in Marathi, which were composed by Shrikant Thackeray and sung by Rafisaab.

Honorary Awards :

  1. 1948 – Rafisaab won a silver medal from the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru,on the first anniversary of the Indian Independence Day.
  2. 1967 – Honoured with the Padma Shree by the Government of India.
  3. 1974 – Film World magazine Best Singer Award for the song “Teree Galiyon Mein Na Rakhenge Qadam Aaj Ke Baad” (Hawas 1974).
  4. 2001 – Rafisaab was honored with the “Best Singer Of The Millennium” by Hero Honda and Stardust magazine in Mumbai on Jan 7, 2001. Rafisaab won with 70% of the votes.

National Film Awards :

Year Song Film MD Lyricist
1977 Kya Hua Tera Wada Hum Kisi Se Kab Nahi R.D.Burman Majrooh  Sultanpuri

Filmfare Awards :

Year Song Film MD
1960 Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ravi
1961 Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko Sasural Shankar Jaikishan
1964 Chahunga Main Tujhe Dosti Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1966 Baharo Phool Barsao Suraj Shankar Jaikishan
1968 Dil Ke Jharoke Mein Brahmachari Shankar Jaikishan
1977 Kya Hua Tera Wada Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin R.D.Burman

Bengal Film Journalist’s Awards:

Year Film MD Lyricist
1957 Tumsa Nahi Dekha O.P.Nayyar Majrooh Sultanpuri
1965 Dosti Laxmikant Pyarelal Majrooh Sultanpuri
1966 Arzoo Shankar Jaikishan Hasrat Jaipuri

Sur Sringar Awards:

Year Film MD Lyricist
1964 Chitralekha Roshan Sahir Ludhyanvi


Year Song Film MD Lyricist
1961 Husnwale tera jawab nahi Gharana Ravi Shakeel Badayuni
1962 Aye Gulbadan Aye Gulbadan Professor Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra
1963 Mere Mehboob Tuhje Mere Mehboob Naushad Shakeel Badayuni
1965 Chhoo Lene Do Nazuk Kaajal Ravi Sahir Ludhyanvi
1968 Mein Gaaon Tum Sojaao Brahmachari Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra
1969 Badi Mastani Hai Jeene Ki Raah Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1970 Khilona Jaan Kar Khilona Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1973 Hum Ko To Jaan Se Pyaari Naina Shankar Jaikishan Hasrat Jaipuri
1974 Achha Hi Huva Dil Toot Gaya Maa Behen Aur Beti Sharda Qamar Jalalabadi, Vedpal Varma
1977 Pardah Hai Pardah Amar Akbar Anthony Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1978 Aadmi Musaafir Hai Apnapan Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1979 Chalo Re Doli Uthao Kahaar Jaani Dushman Laxmikant Pyarelal Varma Malik
1980 Mere Dost Kissa Yeh Dostana Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1980 Dard-e-dil Dard-e-jigar Karz Laxmikant Pyarelal Anand Bakshi
1980 Maine Poocha Chand Se Abdullah R.D.Burman Anand Bakshi


I Have Written A Though Also For Rafisaab.

Sangeet Ne Dee Hai Humein Khushiyan Tammam,
Sangeet Ne Dee Hai Humein Khushiyan Tammam,
Aur Iss Sangeet Ko Jisne Hai Sanvaraa
Mohd. Rafi Hai Uunka Naam.

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24 Blog Comments to “Tribute To Rafisaab”

  1. Anonymous says:

    31 july 1980 tak sab se zada gane wale rafi sahab hi thay ,unke death ke 5 saal baad asha ji aagey aaee , sabse zada hit gane bhi rafi sahab ke hain ,rafi sahab lata ji se bhi do kadam aagye thay ,rafi sahab ki gayeki ustadi gayki thi ,jo ustad ko hi samaj mein aati hai ,

  2. Suneil Makwana says:

    Sunilji It’s Is In Santacruz West Just Few Minutes Walk From The Santacruz Railway Station, Behind Raheja College.

  3. Suneil Makwana says:

    I Agree With You Gautamji. Jai Rafisaab.

  4. Suneil Makwana says:

    Thanks Mukesh Joshiji. Jai Rafisaab.

  5. Suneil Makwana says:

    Thanks Shashank chickermaneji. Jai Rafisaab.

  6. Muzakir Khan says:

    Rafi saheb has sang around 30000 songs and this figure is the total number of songs sung by md. Rafi saheb overall..

  7. Manoj Tyagi says:

    Dear Sunil, I intend to recognize information as furnished by you for Rafi sahib , its shown your great affection and honor for the greatest singer. I also a devote of Rafi, since 1970, in the age of 6 yrs , after watching the movie Jeena Ki Raha I started the sing song of that movie , Badi Mastani Hey, I becomes his fan ,in fact he is inside of my heart which I feels in routine . Further I would like to correct the information about the songs sung by Rafi in 36 years ( 1944 to 1980 ), which is total 4965,including 4525 Hindi film songs + 112 non hindi film songs +328private non film songs .So it is the fact that Rafi never went beyond 5000 songs. However it does not effect the image of great Rafi sahib .

  8. Dear Friends: I watched Rafi Saheb’s show in 1972 in Toronto, Rafi Saheb’s voice is God’s voice….I listen to his heart touching songs before I go to bed…one of them is: Basti Basti Parvat parvat…
    My best wishes to all the listeners….

  9. Gautam says:


  10. sunil kumar says:

    sir, what authorities do is not up to us but we can do our bit. I would also like place my respects love to Rafi saheb whenever I visit Mumbai.I would like to know where is that place in Mumbai where Rafi saheb is resting in peace. If we are his true follower we have keep the legacy of Rafi saheb alive . today music is
    dying and look at today’s songs they are ruining what was built over the years. We have to keep it alive . I also request all to join rafi fan club and make it a big success. It is my wish to make it largest fan club at least we can do that.

  11. Peruvian says:

    For such a great legend, a tree to mark his final resting place. I live in a different continent and would one day like to visit his graveside. Can someone in authority at least give him what he deserves.

  12. Mukesh Joshi says:

    Nice article, pleasure to meet u at Khar on 26.09.2011, regards to Kishorebhai

  13. Thanks sunil for sharing lovely photos along with information.

  14. Ahad Purdhun says:

    It’s good to learn zat Rafi Sahab sang in so many languages. I would like to point out zat during his unique visit in my country, Mauritius, he sang ‘ayaya soukou soukou” in creol,my mother tongue.

  15. Deepak Kirpalani says:

    Vishal. your figures are on the right track. As regards the Guinness Book of World Records, claims made for Rafi Sahab and Lata in the 1970s were later removed from the book when the facts came to light. Harminder Singh Hamraaz’s epic work Hindi Film Geet Kosh ne dudh ka dudh, pani ka pani kar diya.

    And finally, the genius of Rafi Sahab or the others doesn’t depend on the number of songs they sang but in the quality. Which is why the singers and their songs will live in our hearts forever.

  16. Deepak Kirpalani says:

    Thanks for the support, Vishal.

    There is yet another way of getting to the truth behind these exaggerated claims made by singers and their PR machinery. A year has 365 days, 100 years have 36525 days including leap days. For the sake of argument, if each of these singers have been singing for 40 years each (a rare phenomenon that only Manna Dey, Asha and Lata among Hindi film singers have enjoyed), it works out to 40×365=14600 days of a singing career.

    How is it possible to sing 25000 or whatever figure is claimed, in a 14600-day career? I don’t think even bathroom singers can claim to have sung 25000 songs in their life. And we are talking of professional singing here with days of rehearsals in earlier years. Add to that, days devoted to foreign and domestic tours, illness, personal and social commitments and holidays, and a singer with a 40-year career is left with about 7500 days devoted to professional recording.

    These inflated claims are only possible if a singer records at least 3 songs a day, every day for 7500 days or if he/she is a superman/superwoman. So please let’s stick to facts, the truth and solid evidence. Shun the hype.

    Rafi Sahab’s list of songs can be found in the compilation Mere Geet Tumhare. Likewise, there are published compilations of Asha, Lata (by Vishwas Nerurkar) and Mukesh. Manna Dey’s list can be found in his autobiography.

  17. Vishal says:

    Post 6 deepak ji appears to be correct.

    According to me, the list goes as rafi – close to 5000, kishore 3000, manna 3500, talat around 900, mukesh around 1000, lata around 6000 (?) asha 13000, kumar sanu 1500, and among the major south singers : Ghantasala 14,800 (incl. all private and stage recordings, film songs including padyams and sanskrit slokas), s p balasubrahmanyam 40,000, k j yesudas 40,000, p suseela 30,000,

    The south singer numbers may be boggling, but it is stated that the numbers include songs from all languages put together. In general, spb, k j yesudas and suseela, many people and articles claim stake for such numbers whereas ghantasala as per the encyclopaedia, the number is put at around 10,000 songs. Regarding rafi and others the information is available from research conducted in their encyclopaeadia. It is also claimed that rafi ji had indeed put a figure of 28000 when the mention was made in guiness book of records (as per encyclopaedia) but is stated that it is disputed and number is close to 5000 songs.

  18. Deepak Kirpalani says:

    All ballpark figures: Rafi Sahab 5000, Lata 7500, Asha 12000, Mukesh 1000, Talat less than 1000. Please note that it is almost physically impossible to sing the number of songs mentioned. These artistes sang about 90% of their tally for Hindi films. The total number of songs for Hindi films since the advent of the talkies in 1931 is about 80000. Please back these claims with evidence.

  19. prince says:

    According my research SP Bala Subramanyam sang 35000, Lata Mangeshkar 30000, MOHD. Rafi 28000, Mahendra Kapoor 25000, Asha Bhosle 12000, Manna Dey 3500, Kishore Kumar 2905, Mukesh 1200.

  20. Ali says:

    Mohd Rafi said on interview that he sang aroung 260000 songs but he was not sure about the numbers but it is not important the numbers of songs but any of mohd rafi songs we can hear it 26000 time still you like to hear it again again that was the magic in his voice,about votes he is number one for who know about him…….

  21. m.s.nadkarni says:

    Dear Rafisaab fans,
    It is not the Quantity but the Quality matters.

  22. VIJAY BAVDEKAR says:

    Dear Suneil Makwana,you have mentioned rafisaab has rendered 26000 songs which is not true.For your information,i wish to give here the approximate number of songs rendered by our main singers.LATAJI 7500 AASHAJI 11000 RAFISAAB 5200 KISHORDA 2900 MANNADA 2600,MUKESH 1800 TALAT 900,duets rafi-lata450,rafi-asha800,you can verify exact figures from geetkosh of each singer available in the market.

  23. mohamedparvez says:

    Dear Sunil Makwana Ji Thanx For Sharing Your Views About Rafi Saab, Also Thanx Thanx For Sharing Pictures Of Rafi saab”s Resting Place,And Pictures Of His Music Room, I would Like To Share A Link Of The Blog, Dedicated To Rafi Saab,Total Over 700 Pages Are There,To Go To Next Page,Kindly Click Older posts,You Will Find Bottom Of Every Page,Please Dont Miss Any Page,Kindly Visit This Links Take care


    Mohamed Parvez

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