Visit to ‘RAFI MANSION’ a pilgrimage
This article is written by Mr. Subnavis Ramakrishna.
From my very childhood I used love the songs of Rafi Sahab. That was the time when I was not understanding Hindi or Urdu ( my mother tongue is Telugu ), but neverthless the heart touching melody & softness in rendering had developed a prominent position in my deep within, which has become an inseparable bondage. I started craving for Rafi sahab. I used to get sleep while listening to these melodies. I dint know when my mother had switched off the radio. That was the time when I was in a small village Sakhigopal in Orissa.
During the year 1967 I was excited to visit Bombay ( now Mumbai) to the house of my paternal uncle. An idea of visiting Rafi sahab’s house had cropped up several times then. I expressed my desire before my uncle. I used to get the reply that they are very busy people, its not easy to get their appointment etc. My wishes were shelved with utmost sadness & dissatisfaction. Subsequently my studies, job and family commitments had encircled me. Being far from the dwelling place of Rafi Sahab I was not fortunate to have his DARSHAN.
Years passed by & over a period of time I came across the site mohdrafi.com. This site has inspired me so much that I became its regular visitor & through this site I got the news of inauguration of Rafi sahab foundation, I was mad with joy. I was determined to meet the organisers so that I can see Rafi Sahab through them. I was in mumbai in the morning of 30th july. Was with my friend Sirish. Evening Mr Binu came down & we had discussion regarding the event of the following day… the day of Rafi sahab’s anniversary. And during the course of discussions I was stunned to know that in an hour we are going to visit Rafi sahab’s house. I felt my dream came true. I was screaming with joy.
The same evening we ( Binu, Sirish & me ) proceded to Rafi mansion. It was altogether a thrilling experience for me. At the entrance when i saw the marble plaque ” RAFI MANSION’ my eyes were full of tears. Then we got permission to enter into the room where there was the display of all the valuables of Rafi Sahab. We were greeted by Parvez sahab the youngest son in law of Rafi Sahab.
Rafi sahab’s small Table, Revolving Chair, Telephone & his personal favourite small Sharp Radio. I was smearing my hand on these personal favourites of Rafi sahab & was feeling as if I was getting the personal touch of that great legend. I dont know how long I stood at his table & chair looking at them with great excitement. I was breathing heavily & moving round the room while looking at the huge pile of 78 RPM & 45 RPM records. I had the golden opportunity of having the DARSHAN of the trophies mainly the prestegious PADMASHREE award that is preserved nicely in a glass case. Its there I saw Rafi sahab in Mr Parvez’s hospitality towards us. I feel thats the training given by Rafi Sahab to his kith and kin. The training of HUMILITY.
I feel its not a visit to the residence of a celebrity but it is a pilgrimage for me. Because with the visit we feel happy for the time being and forget as the time passes but when we go on a pilgrimage we are charged with positive vibrations which are retained in us with the same potential till we visit that shrine next time. And this maiden visit to this shrine has created such a vibration in me that I have decided to take my wife and my son to this shrine during the month of December the month when the legend was born.