(traditional welcome address in Rajasthani)
Article by A S Murty, Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad ChapterThis title looks a bit strange on the columns where Rafi Sahab is the focal point of any discussion or debate. Normally we would discuss a singular style of Rafi Sahab’s unfathomable array of â€˜adayigi’ or his association with certain music directors, etc etc to quench the thirst of innumerable fans of Rafi Sahab.Â Sometimes we would write on the various bhajans, patriotic songs, romantic songs, quawwalis, duets or many other different topics that keep surfacing on the pages of this website at a very high frequency. Articles would also appear on the many other virtues of Rafi Sahab, as a person, as a family man, as a professional, etc. There would be reporting on the various musical shows in his memory arranged at various centres, only to emphasise the extent of his universal presence in the world of music.
Thus when the management of Dhola-Ri-Dhani, a Rajasthani fun-n-frolic resort on the outskirts of Hyderabad invited the Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad Chapter to hold a musical show in their exquisite and sprawling resort, we jumped at the offer without even as blinking an eyelid.Â We were provided with transport from a central point in Hyderabad, an exclusive open-air theatre, sound system and mikes, etc.Â The arrangement for the Birthday Cake cutting was impeccable again. The banner of Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad Chapter was placed prominently on the stage by the staff of Dhola-Ri-Dhani. Dinner was served to all our members at the end of the show. Advertisements were placed in prominent dailies by the Dhola-Ri-Dhani for general public to take notice of our programme.
We reached the picturesque location at around 4.00 p.m. and a good half hour was devoted for arranging the stage, sound system, banner, etc before the start of our actual programme. After garlanding the photograph of Rafi Sahab, we had to celebrate the 84th Birth Anniversary of Rafi Sahab by cutting of the cake.
The first of the visitors who had seen the advertisement in an English daily of Hyderabad were two ladies with the newspaper in their hands.Â The septuagenarian lady and her daughter, it was learnt later, were fans of Rafi Sahab for all of their life.Â They had traveled quite a distance to reach Dhola-Ri-Dhani to enjoy the celebration of Rafi Sahab’s Birthday and enjoy his songs. We invited this elderly lady to cut the cake on behalf ofÂ Rafi Foundation.Â Once this got over, the singing of songs were taken up by our members.Â Soon more music lovers still enjoying the lovely locates within Dhola-Ri-Dhani outside the open-air theatre started spilling in.Â These are the days of intense security checks at all public places and Dhola-Ri-Dhani enforces them like any other event holder.Â However, words like “Rafi” or “Rafi Programme” or “Rafi Foundation” had a mystical and magical effect on the security staff and they permitted everyone inside if they had anything to say on Rafi Sahab. All visitors to Dhola-Ri-Dhani are given traditional welcome at the entrance in typical Rajasthani style.Â There are these Rajasthani folk artistes too to join us in our entertainment programmes.
Our programme started with the famous “Duniya Na Bhaye Mohe Ab To Bula Le” from Basant Bahar and the impact of this songs reverberating the surroundings saw many visitors (holiday enjoyers) rushing towards our venue – Jhumar Ghumar (the name of the Open Air Auditorium). Soon members of Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad Chapter, belted out scores of songs in all classes – solos, duets, quawwalis, bhajans, romantic moods, etc. The two ladies sat through the entire four hours, relishing the sweetness of Rafi Sahab’s songs to their heart’s content. Braving the somewhat cold conditions at the Open Air Auditorium, these ladies declared that they will join Rafi Foundation and be our regular members.Â Our members presented close to 30 songs to the enjoyment of all. The small orchestra band accompanying us too gave a professional helping. The last song – Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawanon Ka from Naya Daur was rendered by a group of our singers and all the members and visitors came upto the stage to dance and cheer and clap to the beats of this rustic but very patriotic fervor song.Â This was sung as a tribute to the motherland’s martyrs who have defended our country against all evil forces from time immemorial.
Traditional Rajasthani delicacies were served in a sumptuous dinner to all our members and transport provided for us to reach Hyderabad late in the night.Â The success of the programme could not have come on a better occasion than the 84th Birth Anniversary of Rafi Sahab and we felt very elated.Â It was as though Rafi Sahab himself was welcoming all the music lovers of Hyderabad in typical Rajasthani style – PADHARO SE.