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Rafi’s popularity in Suriname

This article is written by Mr. Azad Ilahibaks.

My name is Azad Ilahibaks. I am forty years old and live since 1991 in Holland. Before this I lived in Suriname, a country in South-America. I am a fan of Rafi. I am collecting Rafi songs. Now I have approximately 1.700 mp3 of Rafi. I have never seen a show of Rafi. I know that he has given shows in many country, also in Suriname and in Holland. When I meet people who saw the shows of Rafi, I liked to talk with those people and try to ask so many question as possible. Also I like to talk about Rafi with others fan. In Holland, Suriname and all over the world there are millions of fan of Rafi.

When Rafi came to Suriname he did sing a song in the Suriname language on the melody of Sukoo from the film Junglee. The song begins as follow: Aya ya ya , mi lob sranan sukoo sukoo. With this song Rafi wins the heart of all Suriname people. Not only the hindustanis, but also the negros, chinese, etc.

Mohd Rafi Live

I have heard that in Nickerie, a place where I was born, you did have two camps. One was the fan of Rafi and the other of Mukesh. When there was a picture in which Rafi has playbacked, the cinema was full of Rafi fans. When there was a film with songs of Mukesh, the cinema was full of Mukesh fans. There are also films in which there are songs of both singers. In that case when the Mukesh songs began, his fans began to clap and when Rafi songs began, Rafi fans began to do the same. I have heard also that some time after a film the fans of both camps fight with each other on the street. Of course this was not good. Rafi and Mukesh were friends and they would not like to hear something like this.

Rafi has died on 31st July 1980. It was Ramadan and it was the 27 of Ramadan. Moslims believes that when a person dies in Ramadan he will go to the Paradise. Rafi was a good moslims. I believe that he will go to the paradise.

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65 Blog Comments to “Rafi’s popularity in Suriname”

  1. Ganesh says:

    If u count who is better on Filmfare Basis It neans Amit Kumar is better than Kishore Kumar because Amit won film Fare in 1985 for the film Love Story while KK was nominated same year with two songs

  2. binus2000 says:

    Post 48 is just a friendly advice to Pearl with whom
    music lovers will share lot of similarities – the foremost being
    that he is a great rafi f a n ..
    So Pearl lets share our thoughts … together..

    binu nair

  3. binus2000 says:

    Only laughable is your statement…

    I think its better to hear and enjoy the blissful vocals of rafi saab
    than going around sniffing and thinking : why this person is liking
    rafi saab ; what is his background….whe is he doing this?
    such thinking and the writing on a international site will see u going
    to a place – where many would be just scared to go;..
    so correct yourself , is my friendly advice to you – before any damage
    is done to put it very mildly.
    Lets close this issue and enjoy the soulful numbers of all singers
    whom we love… and which our ears yearn….


  4. mohamed parvez says:

    dear rafi saab fans my name is mohamed parvez iam from cochin i would like to share my collection of rafi saab songs if any body is looking for rafi saabs song please write i will try to send song my email address is & contact me in any emai address

  5. javifazl says:

    dear friends plz
    send me kahaniyan sunati hy pawan aati jaati film rajput
    javed from pakistan

  6. Pearl says:

    I am not dragging religion here. I am just saying the truth. I am pure Rafi fan, he is a great
    singer and so good as a human being. But I see many people who just idolise because of
    the religion thing. These people are the main problems. I am just expressing what’s going

    Problem is them who are religiously blind.

  7. Raajkumar Akela says:

    Hi rafians !
    Rafi Sahab…amar rahe !
    On comming 31st July we will have another death anniversary of a
    great singer as well as a great human Mohammad Rafi who conquered
    the heart of millions and billions all over the world.
    Often I think we are very lucky as we are the contemporary of
    this legendary singer. We heard him…we enjoyed his heavenly sweet
    voice…and few very fortunate people met him personally and shook
    hands with him…and talked to him…and took lunch or dinner with him !
    What if we would have borb in last century !
    We would have surely missed this heavenly bliss !
    So I request all all all Rafians and music lovers..please do not fight.
    This kind of quarrel will never end.
    And his divine soul will remain restless…

  8. javifazl says:

    thanks sir binu nair ji aap khush nasib ho jo rafi sahab ke mazar par jasakte ho ur pry kar sakty ho hum tu un se buhut door hean
    javed from pakistan.

  9. prakash shah says:

    Dear fan of rafiji and kishoreda:- Its a good luck and kudarat ka karishma ke Rafiji got chance to sing with all the samrats and newcomers Music director of his time ,now how long you will fight when kudarat hi Rafiji pe Meharbaan thi.and Rafiji jaise singer sadiya gujar jaane ke baad bhi hona Mushakil hi nahin Na-Munkin hey.
    Amitabh can not be compare with thespiean like dilipkumar as same as aaj ka chhora shahrukh with Amitabh.
    So for godsack – and kishoresack chhodo bekaar ki baato ko and make healthy this site with real and reality incidents with anecdotes with rafi.

  10. binus2000 says:

    Javi fazal ji: shukriya……
    Hum to yehi kehenge… ke bhagwan in bachon ko thoda sa akkal
    de.. jo ek farishta sa insaan par keechad… phenkte hai…

    aur inke kaanon ko thoda sa madhurta de : taake ye : rafi : talat :
    saighal :manna dey : mukesh saaaaab ke gaanon ka khusboo
    le… in logon ke zindagi se kuch seekhe – aur mahaan insaan bane..

    But it seems if you read the lines of ashu/ashwin in this site :
    the words: bundhar kya jaane adrak ka swaad.. sticks on them
    better than F E V I C O L .



  11. javifazl says:

    dear binu nair ji .aap ke respons aksar parta hoon aap sachy rafi lover ho .
    kiya hum rafians key liye a sa koee foram hey jahaan per live chating kar
    saken. javed

  12. akmal jangvi says:

    binus give me u email adress?

  13. binus2000 says:

    Dear Pearl ji…

    After my morning prayers …… I pray before the hallowed photograph
    of rafi saab ….. for it gives us peace… and tranquility… happiness
    and sublime love in our daily chores…
    Please keep religion out as rafi saab appeals to millions of people
    all over transcending all barriers… It will hurt our feelings….
    There is no religion involved here…. pl. correct ur mindset and come
    back for a fruiitful discussions on the arts of these great men whom
    we worship..

    binu nair..

  14. Raajkumar akela says:

    why mr. pearl is misguided ?
    the golden voice of rafi saab is a gift of nature to us !!!
    like the sun…like the moon…like the cool breeze…
    they have no religiou boundaries.
    please make your discussions more healthy and more
    enlightening…so that we can have some more good
    information about this legendary singer.
    aaj ka insaan itna ‘chhota’ ho gaya hai ki agar uska bus
    chale to wo sooraj aur chand ko bhi talwar ya trishool se
    kaat kar aadha aadha karle !!!

  15. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Mind you, please do not drag the religion in this site.

  16. Pearl says:

    Rafi is so great,

    but foolish are the people who are religously blind. I can see that in some of the posts.

  17. Azad Ilahibaks says:

    Raajkumar Akela has written on June 11th, 2007 at 9:24 pm: Another glory of rafi saab in africa by Mr. azad ilahibaks.

    I want to tell to Raajkumar that Suriname is not in Africa, but in South-America. Suriname is beside Brazil where the best soccerplayer of the world comes from. Suriname has also very good soccerplayer. Most of them plays in Europe. In Suriname lives approximately 450.000 people. 150.000 are hindustanis whose ancestors came from India to work on the plantations. We are children of those ancestors. We speak hindustani what is a mix of hindi, urdu, english, dutch, etc. We like Bollywood films and Bollywood songs. Amost all of the famous singers and stars has given shows in Suriname, for example, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Atma, Johnny Lever, Kader Khan, Babla and Kanchan and many more.

  18. @nil says:

    mr. azad, beautiful piece of writing.
    keep on going.

  19. Hussein Sheikh says:

    ‘Rafi’s popularity in Suriname’ – this article was posted in this site on 10th of June and so far till 12th of June, 30 comments/responses have been received on this article, whereas in Kishore Kumar’s site, ‘Kishore-S.D. Burman- A Relationship that began with Aradhana’ was posted on 06th of June and so far till 12th of June, only 7 comments/responses have been received on this article. Now this show Rafi saheb has much more fans than Kishore Kumar.

  20. binus2000 says:

    Post 29 Unknown : I do not understand your language. Pl. use
    straight english language or take the help of a proficient english
    person. U will benefit… the site will benefit and U will will will
    b e n e f i t .. within 4 months..
    sorry… i have to be a little nasty for some common good.


  21. vamsee says:

    Hello (from India) Azad,
    Nice to know Rafi’s voice crossed boundaries. Keep singing!


  22. unknow1 says:

    About basic education If I am not wrong that mohd Rafi jest passed class 4 and same in music he had only basic education but he worked with my great MD……………………………not like other singers…hit song not mean that he or she is great singer if it is like that it mean Aamir Khan and Mr Bachchan are greatest singer……………

  23. akmal jangvi says:

    dear haldar
    what is stoping you to give email asdress?
    i will give u some beautiful gems.
    any problem dear?

  24. Azad Ilahibaks says:

    Hi DJ

    I would also like to exchange songs with you and other fans. My emailadress is:


  25. akmal jangvi says:

    dear azad
    send me song please.
    dear haldar
    give me u email adress.
    dear friends
    send me also chanda ka dil toot giya…..

  26. P. Haldar says:

    The person in the picture standing behind Rafi saab is probably Narinder Kumar Kaka, the ace saxophone and clarinet player.

  27. dj says:

    Hi Azad,this is an very nice article. My father told me everything about that show in Surinam. I live in Holland too. I am a very big fan of Rafi saab too and i am collecting his songs too. I have almost 10000 songs of Rafi saab. Maybe you can give me your email adress then we can exchange songs of Rafi saab if you like.

  28. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Mr. Azad, please mail me the song, thanks.

  29. Azad Ilahibaks says:

    To Munesh Dhondai

    Hi Munesh, if i did have your emailadress, i would sent the song to you.

  30. binus2000 says:

    Rafi saab had only basic education in urdu….
    But see his english diction – its impeccable in the two english songs
    he has sung..

    I saw his handwriting on an autographed photograph last week…
    This too is impeccable and neat….. What a great person the legend…
    mohd rafi….

  31. Raajkumar Akela says:

    Another glory of rafi saab in africa by Mr. azad ilahibaksh. Nice and
    savable article. Thanks Mr. azad for being a part of this website.
    I was socked to know about the sad demise of veteran music director
    Duttaram. May god bless eternal peace to his devine soul !

  32. Hussein Sheikh says:

    sayed zaka, hear Rafi Saheb’s interview on BBC where he himself said he sang 26000 songs.

  33. sanjeev says:

    hi AZAD —- i am really happy to have read your article and indeed rafisaab was such a gifted singer that he could transform a tune and sing it in another language,for example-aiyaya sukoo sukoo transformed into surinam language.This indeed is a collectors item and moreover rafisaab took only about 15-20 minutes to rehearse this particular number in surinam.Just imagine a person who didnt even speak ENGLISH sang 2 songs in english.After listening to the songs in english one can only think that its not a great song but coming straight from a maestro,its indeed a feat to commend upon.The pronunciation used in this language is upto the mark.
    Not only did Rafisaab sing in surinam but also in Arabic,Persian,Dutch and it is also reported that rafisaab has sung a song in French.Apart from these languages rafisaab has sung in different dialects of India such as konkani,rajasthani,punjabi,gujurati,bhojpuri,marathi,sindhi,avadhi,magadhi,
    maithili,chattisghadi,assamese,telegu,oriya and kannada.
    Only a genious of Rafisaabs calibre could claim such a feat.Long live rafisaab in our hearts

  34. Anmol Singh says:

    It is great to know of Rafi saab’s popularity existing across the globe in various continents.

  35. Munesh Dhondai says:

    I heard that rafi also had a show in Holland. And he sung few lines in dutch from his famous song “Bahaaro phool barsaawo” on stage.
    I Can’t find anything on the net about this song.

  36. Roy Amirullah says:

    Verry good article about Rafi, I’m sure he will be remembered by his many fans, his sweet voice is legendary….along with Mukesh and Kishore Kumar…


  37. Sayed Zaka says:

    Husaain saab and asu. I m also a great fan of one and only Rafi Saab. Hussain plz dont say anything if you have no confirmed knowledge Rafi Saab got 6 film fare awards while KK got 8 it happend because in starting for 4 or 5 year there was no award for play back catagory and when it startted from 1959 it had combined category male and female till 1964 So u can feel why there is difference and one thing more whatever u read in magzine or paper it is totally wrong that Rafi saab sang more than 26000 songs. Actually he sang in his entire carrier in all languages not more than 6000 songs while KK sang only 3500 songs

    And Mr asu U r an emotional fan so u prefer KK. Rafi Saab started his carrier in 1944 and kk in 1948 there was only 4 years difference and u can imagine the difference of success between them before 1969 why KK was not established because there was only era of clasiical or semi classical music and our music directors were more tallented so it was very difficult to KK to proof himself. KK was helpless to sing for himself or Dev Anand for his starting period, after along time he prooved himself when Rafi Saab was on tour. I think Rafi Saab throughout in his carrier he maintained hs position if u dont ignore his beautiful nunbers between 1969 to 1976 U raised a point Rafi regained his position when KK was banned. For how many days KK was banned do u know ? There was a great hand of Rafi Saab to release him from banned

  38. Sahaded says:

    Azad saheb, I am very pleased with your article. Indeed Mohd. Rafi saheb was blessed with the most beautiful voice ever. And you are a true fan of Rafi saheb to share “ay yay ya, me lobee sranang suku suku” with Mohd Rafi fans all over the world.

    You will not believe this, but I was only 4 and a half years old when I was along with my father withness of the famous LAST concert of Mohd Rafi saheb in May 1966 in Paramaribo/Surinam. I can only recall some fractions of this event. The concert was in a open air arena and halfway it began to rain and thunder heavely. Most of the people stayed in their places and missed not one second of this concert. Now and then everybody screamed like crazy, especially with songs like “ay yay ya, me lobee sranang suku suku”. Because of this I can still recall these special moments and I can even “see” Mohd Rafi saheb standing in his white kurta/kameez singing the most beatiful hitsongs of those days.

  39. P. Haldar says:

    As rightly pointed out by mr. shah, dattaram was an assistant to sj. He arranged music for most of sj’s films, along with the other legend, sebastian d’souza.

    The less said about the media the better. They announced “jhumka gira re” (composed by MM) as one of op’s greatest compositions! And look at the film industry. A giant like o. p. nayyar passed away earlier this year and how many industry-wallahs took the time to pay tribute to him?

    And, as expected, no one heard a peep from asha! At least lata had the decency to say some good things about the composer though she had never sung for him.

  40. Azad Ilahibaks says:

    I like to thank the webmaster to put my article on this site. I like to thank also te fans who have react on this article or will react in the future.

    Azad Ilahibaks

  41. Piroe.M.A. says:

    May God bless all these great Music Directors who passed away.
    They are unforgettable especially what they have done for these great Singers of India. I think they will be remenbered forever, they are “AMAR”.

  42. binus2000 says:

    Thankyou Azad I…
    for the article… two points here : I love the : aiya ya suku suke
    song in Surinam language….. it sounds like a konkani number and
    its great…. rafi saab has put in unprecedented mischief in the number.

    Second if you say rafi saab has gone to heaven : i too wish to
    go there to be with rafi saab… i can now only imagine the long
    list of people – who would want to go there and be with the

  43. Ali Baluch says:

    sham on media not from today

  44. binus2000 says:

    Dear Prakash Shah and rafians

    W e lost composer Snehal Bhatkar who has given music for about
    25 films., including the hit number : Kabhi tanhaiyon me tumhari
    yaad aayegi… from film hamari yaad aayegi: singer Mubarak Begum..
    Snehal Batkar passed away a week back in Mumbai at his sons
    house at Bandra..

    Dattaram passed away two days back in Goa and he gave tunes
    for Parvarish, Boot Polish and many other songs.
    Remember the rafi hit :chun chun karti aayee chidhiya with the sounds
    of birds and animals; this song enjoyed by children and
    adults as well…..

    the media gave scant coverage to both these events as they
    are too modern to report such developments… Shame on such
    a media in the country who does’nt recognise the important
    cultural ethos provided by such great artistes.

    The music lovers send their condolences to the families of
    Snehal Bhatkar and Dattaram and pray their souls rest in
    peace…. we will never forget them…

    binu nair

  45. unknow1 says:

    Sir Nair,
    for KK show 1200 and Mohd Rfai 10000 do u kwon why?as I think KK fans will say it is wrong and if they say it is right they will say that Mohd Rafi was singing only for 1 Rs ticket and in KK show the ticket was 1200 Rs!!
    Dear fans
    No way to compare Mohd Rafi with Mukesh brcause Mukesh by himself was Mohd Rafi fan,Mukesh was a great singer he was voice of Raj Kapoor,when we lost Mukesh Raj Kapoor said who will sing for me after him because he was my voice same said by Shammi Kapoor on Mohd Rafi but Mr Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna never said on KK that why?!!!!!!!
    I love Mukesh songs and I never compare him with any one and Mohd Rafi voice was a gift of God and he made his voice gift to the God said by great singer Talat Ji……
    Mosty people like to compare singer they like with Mohd Rafi,WHY?!!

  46. prakash shah says:

    Dattaram has given music in raj kapoor starrer shriman satyavadi,parvarish,and lastly he given nadiadwalas Parivar (a jeetendra nanda and balraj sahani )starrer.

  47. prakash shah says:

    a music director dattaram passed away on 8th june 07 , He was director of shankar jaikishan since barsaat.he individually scored music for hindi movies also.

  48. binus2000 says:

    Piroe and hussein… saab..

    Great thoughts and inputs about the inimitable rafi saab…

    In kerala there were two concerts of rafi saab… and Kishore ‘s.
    On a sunday it happened that Kishore Kumar was singing at
    trichur in a hall (capacity 1200 people) and the same evening
    rafi saab was singing at Calicut – in a stadium which can accommodate
    10000 persons…
    Everywhere people used to gather in large numbers greeting
    rafi saaab…. So Much popular … he was.
    Rafi saab mostly gave performances in huge grounds or stadiums
    which readers would recollect… now…
    I have seen arabs and yemenis belting out rafi numbers in the uae
    in restaurants and tea shops….
    binu nair

  49. Piroe. M.A. says:

    Indeed, fans
    Rafi Saheb and Mukesh ji were The only two singers who were very popular in Surinam. When Rafi Saheb visited Suriname in May 1966 there was a crowd along the streets and the airport to greet him. People coud not wait till the plane stopped and rush out to the Plane to catch a glimps of that great man who everybody admired in the Country. Even the queen of Holland did not get such a humble welcome in Suriname as Rafi Saheb got. (Surinam was a Colony of Holland in that time) I stood with a flag With his name on it, along the street to greet this great man. I was eleven years at that time but loved him very much.
    Rafi Saheb visited the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Suriname and sang a few lines of some songs which was requested by the audience (crowd) there. It was a great time and it was unbelievable to see the great Rafi saheb singing. Believe me, The hole nation was in such a gladness that such a great Singer who was heard every day on the different radio stations in Suriname, was in the country. People became crazy. They could not believe it. Yes…Even in the schools they had spend time to talk about that visit.
    Mr. A.Piroe

  50. Hussein Sheikh says:

    This time a different article, but interesting! Rafi Saheb was very popular in Africa also, specially in Kenya. In those days, I took a negro friend with me to watch “Farz”, then came a song ‘Mast baharon ka mein aashiq…’, he was very impressed with Rafi Saheb’s song, but later another song he heard was ‘Hum to tere aashiq hai sadiyon purane…’ in the same movie and that was of Mukesh, he was surprised and asked me how come the same hero sing in two voices, he was not accually happy with Mukesh’s song. This was Rafi Saheb’s magic.

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