You're browsing: Home / Web / You are some where around, Mohammed Rafi

You are some where around, Mohammed Rafi

This article is from Indiatimes.

Tu kahin aas paas hai dost (You are some where around, my friend) – the last song sung by Mohammed Rafi sums up what millions of music lovers feel about the legendary playback singer even 26 years after his death. Rafi, among the most imitated singers of Indian cinema, passed away on July 31, 1980 at the age of 56.

Such has been the singer’s talent that even some of the other legendary singers like Mahendra Kapoor and the south’s K.J. Yesudas have said that Rafisaab – as he was fondly called – was the one artiste by whom they were inspired.

Much has been written about his versatility – his ability to sing peppy tunes to the most romance-soaked numbers – and the reported 26,000 songs that he rendered in his lifetime.

There was never a singer and never will there be another like him. I challenge any singer today to do a repeat of anything that Rafisaab did, music director Ravi told IANS.

Ravi had brought out some of the most popular and melodious hits with Rafi like Chaudahvin Ka Chand (title song, 1960), Choo Lene Do Naazuk Hothon Ko (“Kajal”, 1965) and Bhari Duniya Mein Aa kar Dil (“Do Badan”, 1966).

Rafi began his career with a Punjabi film “Gul Baloch” in 1944 under music director Shyam Sunder. His strong command of Urdu as well as Hindi endeared him to most music directors of the 1940s till the 70s like Naushad Ali, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan, S.D. Burman and R.D Burman.

The only disadvantage for some music directors was Rafi’s strong earthy Punjabi accent while what they wanted was a more refined Urdu, according to a fan. Perhaps the only great music director who did not make full use of Rafi was the legendary Anil Biswas, who is known to be responsible for the basic structure of film songs that we know today with its mukhra (opening that recurs as a refrain)-interlude-antara (main body of the song) format.

The only other controversy Rafi was involved in apart from the spat with Lata Mangeshkar was when Anil Biswas, after working with Rafi in a few forgettable projects, reportedly said, Rafi is not my kind of a singer at all, and a media report – inadvertently or otherwise – deleted the “my kind of” part from the quote.

Known to be soft-spoken, Rafi was one of the most humble and humane members of the film fraternity of that era. He was the most generous and most human of people I have ever met. He was a great friend. When he died I lost 50 percent of myself, Naushad said.

I do not want to say much about his singing because his talent was above debates and discussions, Naushad said. A glimpse of Rafi’s humility was seen during his long spat with melody queen Lata Mangeshkar over the issue of royalty to singers. While Lata contended that singers should also receive royalty on songs they have sung throughout their lives, Rafi took the stand that when singers do not share the losses of music companies, they should not look to share the profits either. Basically Rafi’s point was that a singer should just sing for the love of singing and not be motivated by monetary benefits, said Manohar Iyyer of Keep Alive, a Mumbai-based organisation working to maintain the interest of the public in vintage Bollywoods’ legendary musical contribution.

The love for the singer was visible when the Shanmukhananda Hall (Mumbai’s biggest public concert hall) was packed for a concert held on the eve of Rafi’s 25th death anniversary despite the city just recovering from last week’s flash-foods, Iyyer said. To be crowned greatest by music directors and fans is one thing. But to be given the same status by Manna Dey – a contemporary of Rafi and perhaps the only artiste who posed any competition to the former – proves the point. Many may disagree with me. But I know for a fact that Rafi was not very well trained classically. Yet he was the greatest and there can be none like him, Dey had said.

Yet, no one else could have sung songs like Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Rey (“Kohinoor”, 1960), Man Tadapata Hari Darshana Ko Aaj (“Baiju Bawra”, 1955) which are seeped in classical intonations. Dey claimed that Rafi had even sung under him when he was an assistant music director at the beginning of both their careers.

Though Rafi survived the Kishore Kumar onslaught post-“Aradhana” (1969) with some memorable numbers like Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho (“Hanste Zakhm”, 1970), Teri Galiyon Mein… (“Hawas”, 1974) and Kya Hua Tera Wada (“Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin”, 1977), the musical language had changed beyond recognition by the late 70s.

The song that perhaps would have suited his mood best at the end of his career was Chal Ud Jaa Rey Panchi Ke Ab Yeh Des Hua Begaana (fly away o bird, this land is turned a stranger to you now) from the 1957 “Bhabhi”.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

3 Blog Comments to “You are some where around, Mohammed Rafi”

  1. picco says:

    I m PICCO and leave in Kolkata.I have seen this world for just 15 yrs.

    Too kahin aas paas hain dost.this was the last song of Rafi sahab.He is to sing for the people.So it tells that we people are telling that woh kahin aas paas hain and referring him as the friend.

    If anybody of u people have the song “Suno Suno Ms.Chatterjee” and “O Bade miyan Deewane aise na bano”plzzzzzzz send at

  2. sjh says:

    “I challenge any singer today to do a repeat of anything that Rafisaab did, music director Ravi told IANS”.

    Ravi sahab you are not the only one to throw this challenge several others have shared the same, some of them include

    1. Naushad
    2. Laxmikant Payarela
    3. Sonik Omi
    4. OP Nayar
    5. Usha Khanna
    6. Mana Dey
    7. Iqbal Qureshi
    8. Prihvi raaj kappor
    9. Majrooh
    10. Hasrat
    11. Sahilendra
    12. Husnlal Bhagatram
    13. Nasir Hussain
    14. Shammi Kappor
    15. Dharmendra
    16. Yesudas
    17. Ravindra Jain
    18. Shabbir Kumar
    19. Mohd Aziz
    20. Madan Mohan

    and millions of other knowledgeable music lovers and fans.

    Anmol ji…very well said.

  3. Anmol Singh says:

    As long as the world will be there, Rafi Saab will always be somewhere near us.

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration