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Versatility, Thy Name is Mohammed Rafi

Two Rafi Songs from the Film ‘Naya Raasta’- A Study in Contrast
Mrs. Usha G Rao- a Senior Member of ‘Baar Baar Rafi’- The Fan Club, Bangalore, India

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

Call it a cliché, an oft-repeated statement or stating the obvious, I would still like to dwell on this topic and say- ‘Versatility, thy name is Mohammed Rafi’. For me, a discussion on any aspect of Rafi Sahab’s singing amounts to a joyful celebration of his music. Each time I look at the prism of his songs, I see a new angle, a new dimension hitherto unseen by me.

I wish to present here a study of two of his songs from the 1967 film Naya Raasta. The mood and the ethos of the two songs are at total variance with each other and hence are perfect examples for the topic under discussion. The music is composed by Narayan Dutta, better known as N Dutta and the lyrics written by Sahir Ludhianvi Sahab are some of the most meaningful lyrics ever written for films. The two songs are:

  1. “Ponchh kar ashq apni aankhon se”
  2. Main ne pi sharaab, tum ne kya piya”

A brief outlining of the film’s story is necessary so as to understand the mood of the two songs. Balraj Sahni and his screen sister Asha Parekh belong to the economically and socially backward section of society. They are abused, insulted and ill-treated by people belonging to the affluent upper class. Jeetendra who is the love interest of Asha Parekh in the film plays the role of a sheet-anchor in her troubled life.

The first song ‘ponchh kar ashq apni aankhon se’ is happy, upbeat and full of hope and optimism. Saddened by her circumstances, the heroine Asha Parekh is in tears and the hero Jeetendra implores her not to wallow in self-pity and despair but to challenge the existing system and dream of a new social order.

The second antara has some of the most eloquent and thought-provoking words. They are as follows:

Rang aur nasl, jaat aur mazhab,
jo bhi ho aadmi se kamtar hai,
is haqeeqat ko tum bhi meri tarah maan jaao
toh koyi baat bane.”

Rafi Sahab, as always, breathes life into the poignant lyrics. Gauging the mood of the song, his voice, flowing like a gentle stream, assumes a tender yet cheerful demeanour that is both soothing and comforting. As he sings this song, his voice encapsulates so much of hope, promise and happiness that it encourages the listener to think positively in life.

The second song is “Mainne pi sharaab, tum ne kya piya”.

This song is complex and multi-layered as varied emotions are portrayed in it. There is a sense of doom and despair, anger, frustration, bitterness and even defiance-emotions that are incongruent with each other.

As is evident from the lyrics, the character played by Balraj Sahni is in a drunken stupor while singing this song. Defeated and frustrated by the trials and tribulations he has to undergo in life, he gives vent to his feelings in this song.

As for Rafi Sahab’s singing, well, this is a Rafi song par excellence. This sing should definitely be counted among his best. Rafi Sahab, a teetotaller in real life, does a perfect imitation of a drunken man’s ways of enunciating the words. Notice his slurring and the slight incoherence while singing. When he repeats the mukhda, after each antara, notice how he sings the line ‘main ne pi sharab’ dragging the word ‘pi’.

The second antara begins with the words:

“Tum  kaho toh sach, hum kahe toh jhooth,
Tum ko sab maaf, zulm ho ke loot”

While singing the line ‘hum kahe toh jhooth’, he lets out a snigger, a derisive laugh to show the character’s utter contempt, bitterness and a deep sense of hurt towards an unjust society.

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

The last antara brings out strongly the discrepancies between the haves and the have-nots.

“Reet aur riwaaz sab tumhare saath,
dharm aur samaaj sab tumhare saath
apne saath kya dhool aur dhuan,
aaj chahe tum noch lo zubaan,
aanewala daur lega sab hisaab.”

The intensity of emotion comes out so well in Rafi Sahab’s voice when he sings this antara, especially in the last two lines:

aaj chahe tum…
……sab hisaab”
where he (that is the character played by Balraj Sahni) throws a challenge and warns people around him that future generations would make them pay for their misdeeds.

I urge all Rafi bhakths to watch the video clipping (if they have not done so already) of this song in which Rafi Sahab’s soulful rendition brings out all the subtle nuances of the song and enhances the brilliant performance of veteran actor Balraj Sahni. The entire song sequence, embellished by the two great artistes, makes for a moving visual and aural experience for the viewers.

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288 Blog Comments to “Versatility, Thy Name is Mohammed Rafi”

  1. Vikram says:

    hi sir ali
    u miss understood me.i never called kk or any singer bad.but u r 4getting one fact that i might b more current on music history as compared to u.this forum is not 4 placing some legend at a higher place over another.this is what v call immaturety.ahmed rushdi had amazing variation in his voice and he is widely respected in south asian music industry.mohammad rafi is also a big name and master of all moods but u cant place kk or mukesh with him.i respect kk also and he is also a legend.its a request that u must not use this forum for controversial statements.4 me rafi is an institution but mind u legends r incompareable and i nevr considered kk a bad singer.v have to give mature statements.thanks

  2. A S MURTY says:

    Umairbhai, ali bhai and others. I have seen references to some exceptional singers like ahmed rushdi. i too have heard a few of his songs on youtube. But let me be emphatical, without an iota of disrespect to any singer, that some of the songs of Rafi Sahab can never be repeated in the same level by any one else. I will give only two examples of songs – from the film Ghazal the Sahir penned ghazal – MERI MEHBOOB KAHIN AUR MILA KAR MUJHSE and the second is from the film Palki – KAL RAAT ZINDAGI SE MULAQAT HO GAYI. The second song for instance goes beyond mere playback singing. It is an on-the-spot creation by Rafi Sahab. It looks like a fabled singer is presenting the richness of his art in front of a very distinguished and musically enriched audience – a la great concerts. And that this audience is awestruck by the sheer brilliance of the rendition. Listening to this rendition has made me feel like that on several occasions. Naushad Sahab was rewarded for compositing such a soulful tune by Rafi Sahab in his exceptional and out of this world singing. No one can ever reach anywhere this rendition friends. Every singer has had his/her share of very good compositions and they have excelled in their songs. Many have gone beyond imaginations too. Rafi Sahab overdid all these. He presented the exact thoughts of the shayar, the poet, the lyricist and matched the storyline and the sequence of the song in every word of the song. If anyone can present a singer who can render songs of the above kind in the same fashion, I will be happy to follow such a singer too. But until then, Rafi Sahab sits on top of that musical pyramid, where there is space for just himself.

  3. Ali says:

    Hi Radha I agree with ,thanks

    Sir Umair,
    i am sorry about worng link of Rushdi ji songs boz jest I copied it from youtube really I am sorry……..
    yes that true I am only mohd rafi fan and I only listen to mohd rafi most of time…A long time back I saw a program on Pakistan TV if I am not wrong it was on Rushdi ji and they say about his one sad song that this song only can be sing by Rushdi ji or mohd rafi no one else can sing it….

  4. Dhani Ram says:

    post 199

    well,there can be no arguing with hardened sceptiics and is an exercise in futility.those who have no respect for rafi will probably not think very high of pandit ravi shankar.this is what the sitar maestro said in an interview with Shekhar Gupta,editor in chief indian express.ravi shankar was composing for some film .rafi was called for audition.ravi says,’ rafi sang classically.he had such a tuneful voice’. Ravi chose only one film singer for a glowing tribute.the interview was telecast in walk the talk programme (probably on ndtv) and its script was printed in the indian express the next point is when rafi draws such adulation from the leading classiciists,need we bother about the fulminations of the scum of the earth.?

  5. Umair says:

    dear sir ali
    i apriciate your concern but last three songs you mentioned are not of Ahmed Rushdi.First song was sung by Rushdi sahab but the second one is in the voice of Mujeeb alam and last two were sung by Masood Rana(a copier of Rafi).

  6. Radha says:

    ali bro

    I kno rafi is the great name and no doubt abt it.ahmed rushdi is a pakistani singer but m also an admirer of rushdi though m an indian because no body competes him in expressions.kishore cannot b compared wid rafi because being a student of classical music i kno dat.i greatly respect u but v r suposed 2 b impartial and must not b biased.if i love rafi i cant undermine manna dey’s importanci in classical singing or rushdi’s versatility.but kishore cant b placed wid rafi thouh he is a very goog singer.thanks 4 replying.

  7. Umair says:

    Thanks for replying sir Ali
    Songs you reffered are the greatest hits of Ahmed Rushdi and with his own unique style no where sound like great Rafi. Infact you are a fan of Rafi sahab thats why you felt like that.In fact evey legend has a place and no one out of Rafi,Rushdi,Kishore or Mehdi Hassan ever declaired any one their coppier so why should we bothered about that???Every great name has his own place.I love Rafi sahab also.When Rushdi sahab started his career in 1949,Rafi sahab himself was singing in KL Sehgal’s style(for example song “yeh zindagi Ke meley”) and then later on he developed his own lovely style.Likewise when Rafi sahab met singer Masood rana, he declaired Ahmed Rushdi his favourate voice.On the death of Rafi sahab, Rushdi sahab wept and gave him a tribute.Once in an interview great singer Hemant kumar declaired Rafi his favourate singer.But it doesnt mean Hemant kumar was a mimic of Rafi. So we must respect every legend in true latter and spirit.Mohammad rafi is great.Ahmed Rushdi is great and playback singing is because of these big names.

  8. Ali says:

    HI Radha,
    we mohd rafi fan don’t like to speak about great actor Kishore da..
    As u said “Mohd Rafi is just like a university of singing to me.He will remain the last word in every type of singing”but I want to say he is the first and last word in sining,mohd rafi like the sun for music world which give light to moon.
    Hi Vikram sir,
    I think should not say anything about a singer he or she bad singer and also we should not compare any one with mohd rafi…as Actor Dilip kummar said that mohd rafi songs giving aswer to who said that there is better singer then mohd rafi…
    I like all singers but I listen only mohd rafi boz i get what ever I want so why should i listen to some one else

  9. Ali says:

    hI Umair SIR

  10. Radha says:

    Kishore Kumar has no comparison with Rafi.I listened to Ahmed Rushdi’s songs also and would agree that Rushdi is far a head than Kishore.Rafi is the greatest name and Rushdi occupies 2nd position.Ahmed Rushdi has a different style and he didnt copy Mohammad Rafi anywhere.My father is also a classical singer and he introduced me to Rafi,Ahmed Rushdi and Tallat Mahmood.In terms of Expressions, Rafi and Rushdi enjoys a batter shade.Then Tallat comes.Kishore is a good singer but we can call him Kumar Sanu of 70s.I also respect Pakistani singers and Umair Bhayya is absolutely right about Ahmed Rushdi,a great singer from Pakistan.Mohd Rafi is just like a university of singing to me.He will remain the last word in every type of singing.

  11. Vikram says:

    m a great fan of both rafi and ahmed rushdi.initially i was only a rafi freak but by chance when i listened to rushdi, he also inspired me a lot.i agree that these 2 big names of subcontinent have their own unique styles.Kishore has no match with rafi, actually kishore was a light singer and he gained popularity when great rafi was out of scene.

  12. Umair says:

    Nisar Bazmi started his career in India and you are right sir ali that Mohammad Rafi sang a couple of songs in his compositions. Bazmi came to Pakistan in 1963 and got Ahmed Rushdi sab as a playback singer for his first film “Aisa bhi hota hai”. he made Rushdi sab to sing a sad duet with madam noor jahan” mohabbat mei tere sir ki kasam ” which became very popular. after that Ahmed Rushdi gave a playback in his every film.For example Saiqa, aag, jaise jantey nahi, andaleeb, anjuman, mohabbat…and the list goes on. Nisar Bazmi’s opinion is of much more importance as he has worked with both Rafi sab and Rushdi sab. In Pakistan many singers like Massod Rana, Akhlaq ahmedetc coppied Rafi’s style but Ahmed Rushdi is an exception. For your convenience, i am mentioning some songs here. you can listen these songs on you tube. bhooli hue hoon dastan(film doraha0), Akeley na jana(arman), Raat chali hai jhoom ke(josh), Aey mere diwaney dil(Jahan tum wahan hum), Kabhi toe tum ko yaad ayen gi(chakori), Aey abr-e-karam aaj itna baras(naseeb apna apna).do listen to these songs and then post your reply.thanks.

  13. Umair says:

    Sir Ali
    I highly apreciate ur concern.As far as ur question is concerned, this is on record that Ahmed Rushdi never coppied Rafi or any other singer. Rushdi started his career in 1950 and at that time Rafi sab himself was singing in KL Sehgal’s style. Mohammad Rafi is no doubt a great voice of subcontinent but I assure you that Ahmed Rushdi had his own unique style. For example, you listen to his first song “Bander road se kemari” to his last song” Ban ke misra Ghazal ka”. You will agree to my statement which is actually not mine but critics have this opinion.

  14. Ali(unknow) says:

    Sir Umair
    I don’t know about Pakistani music but if i am not wrong that Ahmed Rusdhi copied Mohd rafi sining way……..if am not wrong music director Nisar Bazmi was of of the top and start with Mohd rafi songs and mohd rafi charged him only 1Rs

  15. Umair says:

    No doubt Rafi is a great singer of subcontinent but here I would like to bring in someone we are forgetting and that is’ Melody Prince’ Ahmed Rushdi from Pakistan. He is considered to be one of the most versatile singers of subcontinent. Ahmed Rushdi was master of expressions and was an expert of singing every type of song, ghazal, qawali. His voice quality was amazing. Once famous music director Nisar Bazmi said that Mohammad Rafi and Ahmed Rushdi are amongst those few singers of south asia whose voices cannot form ‘cones’ once they rose to touch the higher notes. As far as Kishore Kumar is concerned, he is also a big name but got no comparison with Mohammad Rafi. He gained fame as a playback singer in 1970s when Rafi was not singing that much due to obvious reasons. I think Kishore occupies third position after Mohammad Rafi and Ahmed Rushdi.

  16. Umair says:

    No doubt that Rafi is one of the great playback singers of subcontinent but here I would like to bring someone we are forgetting and that is Melody Prince Ahmed Rushdi, a great playback singer from Pakistan. Ahmed Rushdi is considered to be one of the most versatile singer of south asia. His voice quality was amazing and I hear critics saying that nobody competes him in giving expressions to the melody. Once famous music director Nisar Bazmi said that Mohammad Rafi and Ahmed Rushdi are amongst those few singers from south asia whose voices cannot form “cones” once they rose to touch the higher notes. Ahmed Rushdi is also credited as ‘Magician Of Voice’ because he was master of all moods. As far as Kishore Kumar is concerned, he is also a great name but no comparison with Rafi. Kisore gained fame during early 1970s when Rafi was not singing that much due to obvious reasons. I think Kishore’s name comes on third position after Mohammad Rafi and Ahmed Rushdi.

  17. Unknow says:

    Sir sid
    I can’t ignori kk fans because i am having sun light with me that is Mohd Rafi and they are only have a light made by media ….
    i never said anything wrong about KK as a singer also I like KK as actor.
    I like the the best as mD i like SJ,As actor Mr Bachchan,as female singer Lata ji,offourse i like many more but on my list they are number one..
    Mohd rafi is like sun light when sun light comes out we will not see the stars and moon light

  18. sid says:

    @dhani ram:

    that piece of info is the best new i’ve heard all day!

  19. sid says:


    did you read what the kk fans wrote? 😡

    PRATIKHA (4 days ago) :
    Kishoreda is? the best singer,Rafi with his boring voice is nothing in front of the genius Kishoreda.

    doovle (4 days ago):

    I really dont understand the fascination? Rafi fans have with his voice. Sure he was a great classical singer but thats about all he had. No variation whatsoever. He sounded almost identical in every song he sang. Unless he wasnt given a superhit composition to sing by the music director he sounded very average. He sounded feminine, no bass, no depth. Kishore could have turned a rubbish composition in2 a work of genius.

    Just reading the above posts shows you how brain dead some kk fans are. so please ignore these morons!

  20. sid says:

    Odd! only 215 posts but the link i clicked on said 230 posts.. mods plz update!

    also yes sudip mm lata is a fantastic combo tho i have not heard many songs.. can you tell me abt the range of songs the duo did? thanks.

  21. Dhani Ram says:

    Dear anil

    on farishta channel of radio world space a three part interview with santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar,Padam vibhushan,was broadcast over three saturdays recently.shiv kumar is of shiv hari duo fame film music composer also.shiv kumar is among the top classicists in the country.the only one singer that he praised in his marathon interview was rafi sahib.he didn’t say a word in praise of any other film singer including lata.with such classical heavyweights certifying rafi’s greatness,do we need to bother about the ranting and raving of hoi ploi?

  22. Humza Chaudhry says:

    Respected Anilji,

    I read your comment and I totally agree with your point. I personally believe as I have mentioned earlier ; singing is a gift of GOD! Not every has it , not to the extent of Rafi Sahib. I can’t imagine actually any1 with minimal classical training sing with fully classically trained professionals , sing Raag Darbari etc. I mean if people do not agree with me , then just go to youtube , play Raag darbari , or various raags in which Rafi sahib has sung and then compare the notes to Rafi Sahab’s rendered song ; you will be amazed. Another thing I would like you to point to the classical singer you were mentioning ; have her listen to the song : “kaash khawabon mein hi a jao” ,

    Just pay attention to the lower notes , and ask her if any training in the world could help in producing such lower notes. Aisay notes khuda deta hai yaar bus khuda deta hai.

    Another one is :
    and as someone in the comments rightly pointed that the sa during the beginning of the raaga gungkali is so high that even trained professionals might have trouble with it , so to sum it up rafi sahib is one in a million.. and truly god gifted.

  23. Imran Rustam says:

    Well said ……………………mohd Rafi like a sun when sun comes out we will not able to see moon and stars…

    Facts are facts and no one can change facts. Rafi sb is unmatchable.

    Rafi Sb…..Zindabaad.


  24. unknow says:

    To KK fans by KK himself

    In KK voice

    In Mohd Rafi Voice
    We are happy at mohd rafi site why we should visit KK site and what we have there we are not able to write there the true there.
    As you know that KK changed his name and became a Muslim because a girl so shame.
    If am not wrong they gave KK award last time to great actor Manoj Kummar for not using KK voice so shame to KK fans and I hope next award to Raj Kapoor after that to shammi Kapoor or Naushand who used KK only for one song so shame………………….
    KK stop to sing for Mr Bachchan but the loser was KK but when mohd Rafi stop to sing for Dilip kumar but KK was not able gave magic to Dilip Kumar…also Dilip Kumar lost his place……..
    Your RD Burman never was at the top but you KK fans made him at top also RD Burman switch to Mohd Rafi when KK was not able give him great songs as done by Mohd rafi please go to history you will see that RD used mohd Rafi more than KK from 1977 to 1980 so shame
    I think KK is good singer but you KK fans force us to say the truth which we don’t to say it also so shame to KK fans that KK sang only for money
    mohd Rafi like a sun when sun comes out we will not able to see moon and stars

  25. varun says:

    all of you damn don’t create any nuisance and don’t try to write this type of vulgar language or anything about rafi saab saab baap baap hata hai you dirty mind
    “mount everst jitna ucha uth jaye rahta aasman se nache hai
    hire nikalta hai koyle ki khan se par uski chamak or uska rang kabhi phika nahin padta”.
    samjhe you all
    i am quote this statements who jealous the legendary singer “rafi saab” and trying to be x smart
    please don’t try to make dirty this rafians site just go to hell you all who hate rafi saab
    BINU SIR they are disgusting don’t think about them they are bloody mad dogs just think of rafi saab feel them i request to all of you guys who love rafi saab
    please don’t give any reply those who trying to criticize or trying to show himself by using vulgarize language

    BINU SIR please take care and my friends who love rafi saab a lot

  26. Kapil says:

    Dear Friends,

    Let’s not abuse great Artist and a great singer Kishore Da, it is very well documented that he was too fond of Rafi Sahab, and the *only* HF personality who reacted so sharply on the stupid comments by Biswas and Jagjeet. Of course i like him for his lovely contribution to HF as well.

    As for Kishore fans, no matter where they write, they mostly write a sort of garbage, so let’s safely ignore them and enjoy discussing Rafi Sahab Gems here.

  27. toufique says:

    50 great voices: send your nominations


    “Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 16, we’re asking you — NPR listeners and readers — to tell us who in the whole world possesses the most beautiful, singular voice you have ever heard. Leave your picks, along with a sentence defending each choice and a link to an audio clip if possible, in the comments below, or email”

    Please post your choice as a comment in the following link or submit your nomination to the email address (

    I would ask all rafinans to send their nominations.

  28. anand gupta says:

    kishore fan jab paagal khane se nikalta hai to woh “courageous” ho jaata hai and bak bak bak bak karne lagta hai. sleep me aur jagte waqt, woh gillie gillie akka , gillie gillie akka bhi karta hai……..

    hamare moderator saaheb ko duwa do ke yahan kishore paaglon ko bhi yahan space milta hai…………..

    one more real life “clown” amidst us like kishore’s acting in movies….., enjoy the fool’s paagal-pan…….

  29. Mohammed Irfan says:

    Kishorefan , you guys come here bcoz you have ‘khujli’, tumko hazam nahi hota ke tumhari site pe koi nahi aata aur koi article post nahi karta naahi koi itne comments deta hai , so you visit this site and on seeing rafisaab’s popularity you go crazy and write your stupPid comments.

  30. vivek says:

    Is the moderator same for this site and the kishore kumar site. Could anybody clarify please. I had got this doubt because, in this page on the top if you click kishore kumar, it goes directly to his site.

  31. anand gupta says:

    JUST LIKE KISHORE HAD “MAJOR” DRAWBACKS IN PLAYBACK SINGING THE KISHOR SITE TOO HAS MAJOR and definitive shorticomings…..grow up kishore frogs is my message to them . also, thank the moderator for giving u room for all ur stupid and ignorant lines.

  32. Priya sanyal says:

    Jokers r Ignored Mr Nair,for we don`t like cheap comedy (ki)shores or noise,Thanx for ur advice!!!

  33. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 217: We are not interested at all in KK site…. Better you go there and try to write some nice and/or interesting articles…. as no one needs you here. So, try to understand, and leave this site.

  34. kishorefan says:

    Hello rafi lovers,

    same stories, hence no serious taking. We courageously write here because we have facts. You fans cannot come to kishore site, because you know very well what you will get there.

  35. Samina says:

    You are absolutely right Cherian saab. I would be the happiest person at every single growing fan-following of Rafi Saab. He is not just a singer but like a soulmate to me. I am just trying to bring the youth angle here. How are they being kept away from true gems like Rafi Saab. Since youth is the future of our country and they will only carry the legacy of Rafi Saab ahead, we should not turn blind eye to this fact. I really appreciate the effort of Rafi Foundation in trying to materialize this big task in various ways.


  36. BINU NAIR says:

    Post 199: ARRE BHAI, ANDHA (BLIND) AND BHAIRA (deaf) KA ACTING KARNEWAALA KISHORE frog KO “SACHAAI” kya DIKHEGA aur kya samjehga music ke baare me???

    he needs to clean his ears first and then listen to music. please dont take these “jokers” seriously.

  37. Priya Sanyal says:

    Jelous fans of Kishore Kumar,,,,,,u r here determined to remain misconducted and also defame great kishore kumar by ur mindless statements,,,Kishore kumar always concider rafi sahab greatest and kishore kumar is no where compare to rafi sahab,,either with popularity or class,,u Apple merchant,,,u compared Rafi sahab with apple,saying people may get fed up of apple so is rafi sahab,,,,,,,,this is nothing but imaginative stupidity that is sickness of ur mind,,,
    ,u know when a person become very sick n weak,,the person don`t like apple anymore out of sickness n physical disability,,,,,But does it ever harm Apple???? Apple is always in market and will remain in market for its taste n usefullness,,,,n so is Rafi sahab,,but u sicks can never understand it,,,,,but even ur sickness can be cured by rafi sahab`s voice,,,but u don`t desrve Rafi sahab`s song,,,as u don`t have respect for people discriminating lover of musical art by saying them old n young is ur frustration,,,U apear to be a materialistic freak for to u Good human being is of no importance,,,and u attacked saintly nature of rafi sahab,,,,now take my advice u leave music altogather u don`t deserve it,,,,just go and eat some apple,,,it would make u healthy,,,only in healthy Body u`ll have healthy mind,,,,go enjoy apple….

  38. Anil Cherian says:

    As the respected gentlemen here have ponted out, the number of memberships in orkut/face book communities or the popularity in campus is not a true indicator of real popularity. For a singer, the indicator of real popularity is his/her appeal across various section of true (or serious) music lovers- across genders, age-groups, regions etc. Looking from this angle, Rafisahab leads by miles fom any other Indian singer (including Lataji). I am a Keralite who can’t speak fluent Hindi and who can’t really tolerate most of the Hindi movies. But listening to Rafisahab is almost a ritual and I can’t have enough of it and I’m not the only one in my state who share this passion.
    I was debating the same thing with a friend of mine (who happens to be state-level prize winner in classical singing). Rafisahab was so gifted by the Almighty that he reached a stage (with limited training) which singers as great and as thoroughly trained as Mannada and Das sir think they have not reached. This friend was explaining to me the complexity in executing those slow and subtle ‘taans’ of ‘sari khushiyan hain…..’. She says all the training in the world doesn’t equip one to do that song the way Rafisahab did.

  39. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Post 199 is extremely annoying, disgusting and repulsive. To use sentences like “……. I have never heard anybody praising or remembering rafi to the extent some rafi fans are projecting here, excepting few die hard rafi fans (that too mainly old generation people) rafi is not remembered by many today ……. “ is blatant and shameless exhibition of ignorance or should we call it mental bankruptcy? The writer goes on to compare music and singing to food habits. What an ultimate degradation of thought process!!.

    But perhaps may be the only purpose of the post is to create some chaos. Some people with sadistic tendencies do draw pleasure in doing such negative activities.

    We all Rafi fans have nothing against Kishore or any other singer. But these Kishore fans ….. loose the sense of logic in putting forward their view point.

    In this regard it will not be out of place to reproduce below my post which I sent to KK site nearly a month ago and till date it has not made its appearance at that site. The post is a comment on a misleading article (The Divine voice of ‘Devotional’ Kishore) wherein the writer has tried to project Kishore as an excellent Bhajan singer…. What a joke!!!

    The post is:

    I am basically a music lover but leaned more towards Rafi. Today for the first time I visited this site and read this article. I respect writer’s devotion to KK (whatever be the reasons) and have no issues on that. Everyone is entitled to his or her likes and dislikes. That is the reason I disliked the war of words on the ‘other community site’ (that is how this writer calls it). But I find that same thing is happening here also, in fact more vigorously and more aggressively.
    Leaving the mud slinging part apart, what shocked me on this site is (and in this article) is that in a systematic and orchestered way the mediocrity is glorified. KK’s devotional songs that are mentioned in write-up (for example Bhole o bhole…., krishna Krishna bolo Krishna….., “Jai Bholenath Jai Ho Prabhu” etc.) do not come even in the category of ‘good songs’ (leave aside dubbing them as ‘classics’). I know all KK fans are going to jump on this. The write-up is a poor attempt to project KK as a singer who could also sing bhajans (which was not his forte… let us admit it).
    Kishore has many great songs to his credit. No one denies his talent… but let us also admit his limitations. The site should concentrate more on his good work rather than trying hopelessly to project him above other stalwarts.
    Lalit Ganpathy’s posts are in poor taste. If he says that he can sing ‘Man tadpat hari darshan ko aaj…’ better than Rafi…. well I can only sympathize with his sense of self-judgement. Naushad must be a fool not to have discovered Mr Lalit Ganapaty.
    And then there is one Mr. Paramjit …. left to him he might resort to real hard core gaalis.
    Trust me I like Kishore very much. But this kind of amateurish and at times fanatic approach will only hurt Kishore’s reputation

  40. Narayan says:

    Adaab Rafi !
    To all music lovers and Rafi poojaris…
    The post of the 199 made amusing reading and felt like some ignorant soul and frustated person who is envious of the evergrowing popularity of Faristha Rafi sahab……
    Iam from south and we come across show like Rafi – Nite which are always packed to the hilt. if anyone comes for the tickets at the last minute the person unfortunately doesnt get the same.
    Iam not referring to sonu Nigam show or SPB saab show as tribute to their guruji but talented singers from South who accompanied by local talented musicians conduct Rafi sahab ki Yaadein and needless to say the brand name of the legend of legends is so stronger even after 29 years of his departure that music lovers want more shows…
    Rafi sahab is popular where retro-music is liked and pls do not go by the orkut babes or some twitter figure as u will be surprised to note that more than 23 lakhs babes of the groups like himesh Reshmiya…
    So should we conclude that this singer is popular than Rafi sahab, Lataji or any other legends ?
    Kundan lal Saigal started the playback singing which was continued in full vigour by other artistes notably Lataji, Rafi sahab,mukeshji, Hemanda,Talat sahab,manna da, Kishoreda and Ashaji..
    If you feel that way you are free to have ur opinion but do not hurt lovers of Rafi sahb by making some statements inferring from quotes…
    Mannda has clearly said ‘ Rafi is better than me ”
    Jai Rafi sahab Jai Hind

  41. SANJAY ARORA says:


  42. unknow says:

    Dearest Kishorefan
    I don’t understant what is wrong with you KK fans and RD Burman,If you are RD Burman fan you should know that RD had his best songs with Mohd Rafi,
    So sample jest answer RD BURMAN made BY KK or KK made by RD? Rajesh Khanna and Mr Bachchan became superstar because of KK for KK songs became hit because of them?
    Can you say that there is greater actor than Mr Bachchan?
    we mohd Rafi fans never try to compare Mohd Rafi with KK orany other singer but you KK fans try to compare them with Mohd Rafi!!!!!
    why RD Burman used Mohd Rafi more than any other singer from1977 to 1980?
    Why KK said that I am Mohd Rafi fan?
    many of us never saw Pela to play football but we don’t like Maradono we say Pela is greastest Football player in world!!!!!I hope you understood what me.
    There are many in India when they listening Mohd rafi song they say KK is singing!!!!
    I think we should feel shame when we say something bad about this great human Mohd Rafi

  43. Rajan says:

    post 199
    Dear Friend,
    You seem to envy the evergrowing popularity of Rafi sahab who has mesmerised and will mesemerise not only his fans but all true music lovers across the globe.
    Iam a resident of Bangalore and any musical nite associated with Rafi sahab is a total housefull. The demand for his songs are increasing inspite of the fact that he departed in 1980.
    There are many youngsters who get immersed in the elixir of this melodious king and the older generation are very fortunate to be associated with the backbone of Playback singing field because of the variety n versatility he offers to sooth the soul.
    We have nothing against other singers but do not get misled by your world of orkut or facebook. They are not the benchmark to ascertain anyone”s popularity. Go to villages from UP to Kerala and from Gujarat to orrissa and do the research as 90 crores indians live on the villages.
    Agree fully with Priyaji that Madhuri is a gem of actress and upstart like Rakhee savant may be popular amongst Kfans who has shown his ignorant views as per post 199

  44. binu nair says:

    Post 199….

    Kishore ji ke “atma” ko dukh dene ke waaste ek baar phir yeh paagal chooha yahan par aa gaya hai.

  45. Samina says:

    Post 199, kishorefan
    The point I was trying to make was that kishore was unnecessarily being hyped by media which influence popularity. Priya in the above post gave perfect example in rakhi sawant who is being popularized by media despite the fact that she is ‘well we all know’. Do you get the point? Film ‘Gunda’ of mithun da which is considered a C grade movie, is the most popular movie in campus, in fact it is shown to juniors like a ritual and everybody is made to use the ‘gaalis’ of that movie. Does it mean it’s a great? The underline is media is being biased in selling kishor than Rafi saab and todays youth take pride in having wierd taste. But Rafi saab sells himself despite zero media support. Does it ring a bell??? Thanks to one elective in our curriculum in which we were made to listen to various gems of rafi saab . many of my batchmates started wondering if such magical numbers existed? They started playing those songs on youtube, most popular being ‘aise toh na dekh’. They literally went crazy at that song. If only they had heard it before on radio/TV it would beaten any kishore/lata song… In fact, if you guys have little respect for kishor and want him not to toss with uneasiness in his grave (it’s a metaphor), stop such illogical comments… May God give peace to both Rafi and Kishor.
    Bottomline is :
    MEDIA impies BIAS
    POPULARITY doesn’t imply GREATNESS
    FUTURE implies RENAISSANCE of MUSIC in the form of RAFI…

  46. anand gupta says:

    Post 199… kishor fan : u are being just jealous, jealous and jealous. go to sleep baby else jal jal ke mar jaaoooge…..

  47. hussein Sheikh says:

    Post 199: Rafi Saheb is still popular and will remain so. KK was a good singer, but Rafi Saheb had some extra talent that KK did not have. KK himself had admitted that Rafi Saheb was best…. so….? Rafi Saheb was a good human being and best singer no doubt at all.

  48. Siva says:

    I have been so far dead against writing anything on articles or posts comparing Rafi with Kishore or other singers. But for once I would like to mention with reference to your post 199. You mentioned being a nice human is nothing great!!!! Dear sir-if it so easy as you have mentioned this world would have been a much more better place to live. All scriptures, saints’ jobs would become so easy if being a nice human being is so easy!!
    It is because of Rafi sahab being such a great human being every fan of his loves him so much. In the cut throat world of film and film music , he shone like a beacon of virtues. Assuming for a second that Rafi was not the best singer and was not so popular why, dear sir, there are so many artcles and posts in this site whereas the other sites about other singers( who as you say is very popular) does not have so many articles or posts.
    One last line, I listen to the songs of Kishore , Mukesh ,Talat, Manna da, Hemant kumar(and I really some of the good songs of Kishore also) but I would never say anything bad about the other singers just because I love Rafi more than all others. We all hear Rafi with our hearts and not our ears, and hence whatever others may say, and even if the entire world says that there are many better singers than Rafi, I (and like me many million Rafi fans) would still love him more as a human being first and then as the best playback singer the world has ever seen

  49. Humza Chaudhry says:


    I have been reading through the comments… There is something I would like to point out in particular. As someone has said that Rafi Sahib was not as strong in terms of singing as compared to Lata mangeshkar or Manna Dey. I would like you all to see one specific interview which is very recent , I think it dates May 2009. In this interview Manna Dey has clearly said that Rafi sahib was unmatchable and that no one came close to him. When people argue without proofs the weight of their persuasion becomes infinitely small. I tend to oppose the latter statement , and as quoted would provide you with the link , which is as follows:

    This is a pretty reputable website , and I would like to quote which you all should particularly pay attention to:

    “I sang classical songs better than others, but soon came a time when I was called for every kind of song along with Rafi. The rest were all great singers, but had their limitations. Rafi and I could sing everything, and he was such a gentleman. He was a better singer than me, and I will say this – that no one came even close to him! He deserved everything he got!”

    I hail from Pakistan , but if there is a singer that stands out from all at least in the subcontinent that would be Mohammad Rafi Sahib. Rafi Sahib died in 1980s , which is approximately 9 years before I was born!!. Basically , people are not aware of his singing prowess. He was in his 50s in 1970’s and his singing capability relative to his prime age to some extent suffered. 1960s is believed to be the best decade for Rafi Sahib according to me. And how many 1960s , or 50s songs can you list out of Rafi Sahib ? (this is to all rafi critics) Not a lot , right?! I urge you to listen to this wonder of the world and you would convert from being a kishore fan to a rafian ; as was the case with me. Even in 1970s Rafi sahib was unmatchable , because he was naturally gifted as yesudas said , god was partial to Rafi and I believe “fankaar banta naheen hai , kudrati hota hai” To wrap it up , I am being honest “Rafi sahib is simply unbeatable” In 50s and 60s no one came close , not even Lata , or Manna.

    Rafi sahib sang classical songs , semi-classical songs , bhajans (being a muslim) , high pitched songs , low pitched songs , qawwalis , ghazals , muslim naats , hamds , shabads , comedy songs , cocky songs , a farsi song , english songs , sindhi songs , marathi songs , bengali songs ………. the list goes on ,

    You should open your eyes and realize the phenomenon that Pak-India ever produced.


  50. dr drako says:

    Kishore fan,

    that is nonsense. Mohd Rafi is STILL the most requested voice on radio, I have read a few times recently.. and I dont mean the fm radio’s which are run by the 70’s kids, but the big radio stations.

    plus in stardust and hero honda magazine in the polls amitabh,rafi,lata etc got the best in their fields.

    amitabh ji: 60% votes for actor (male)
    lata: 45% votes for femlae singer
    rafi 70% votes! that proves who is really popular.

    and as someone on youtube once commented: “who is kishore? i heard rafi songs being played in the famous casinos of las vegas. no sign of “kishore” here”

    let us take mohd rafi’s and kishore’s funerals, singe you brought up the topic of death.

    rafi’s was probably one of the biggest in india! and it was raining, mind you.

    we have all seen the kishore funeral on youtube which looks more like any common function.. nothing to see here…

    also these orkut communities just have almost all of the cult fans of kishore kumar…

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