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Rafis memories fade in native place

In most of the articles that I have read on this site, the native place of Rafi Saab has been mentioned to be in Pakistan. All of my life, I knew it was in India. The following article has been taken from THE TRIBUNE, Chandigarh, written by Navjot Sidhu, dated 2nd. December,1999 and this should clear all doubts – Mohan Flora.

KOTLA SULTAN SINGH (Amritsar), Dec 1 Memories of the great music legend Mohammad Rafi are fading away in his own village as nothing that belonged to him has been preserved. No remains of his ancestral house can be seen. Yet, he is alive in the hearts of those who shared great moments with him.

Kotla Sultan Singh is at a distance of about 25 km from the holy city and falls in Majitha district. Nothing on the way shows that Mohammad Rafi belonged here. Only on the outskirts of the village there is a signboard saying Mohammad Rafi Marg. It has also recently been put up after great efforts. As one walks down the village and inquires about his ancestral house, one comes across blank faces as it has not been preserved. New houses have been built where his house used to be.

Interestingly, he wrote his name on the trunk of a mango tree when he was a child. He told the villagers not t! o cut it because it should remind them of him when he left for Lahore in 1935 with his family. But this tree has also been cut.

His close friend, Kundan Singh, who studied with him till class IV in the local primary school, says. The memories are still fresh in my mind. How can I forget the days we spent together. I still remember he used to sing so well even when he was very young.

He further said Rafis house was adjoining theirs and both the families shared very good relations but since their financial condition was not too good his father started some business in Lahore and later in 1935-36 he took his entire family along.

He said Rafis father Ali Mohammad was also a nice person. They returned here only once after leaving this place when Mohammad Rafi got married. His marriage was solemnised in this village only. After that he never returned to ! this place.

Kundan Singh said he met Rafi again in 1954 when he came to Attari. He took a few of them in his car with him to his programme and throughout the night kept announcing that he belonged to Kotla Sultan Singh village. We feel sad that there is no yaadgar kept of him and we were not able to establish close contact with him. We always felt proud that a great singer belonged to our village. We want some monument to be erected and every year a function to be held on his birth anniversary, he said.

Bakhshish Singh, another close friend of Rafi, says he was a nice friend. He misses him because he was unable to meet him again after he left the village. When he became a great singer and a known personality we felt very proud, also felt bad that he never came to his village, he said.
Only recently, after great efforts the school has been named! after him. He wants a hospital to be constructed in Rafis name in the village which will benefit them all and keep his name alive forever.

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One Comment to “Rafis memories fade in native place”

  1. Anmol Singh says:

    Our rottan political system is no value for art at all.

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