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An Open Letter to Rafi Demeanors

by: J.K. Bhagchandani

Mohd Rafi

Book writing is a serious business. And if the book is about a person who left this world more than 35 years ago, the task becomes all the more tedious as the references and contact persons of that time become fewer and hard to locate. But this tediousness of the task cannot be a reason for populating the book with inaccuracies, half-truths, flawed interpretations and biased narrations of the events of that time. The writer has the responsibility of providing truths as happened with positive focus on the person the book is intended to be written about. The latest book on Mohd. Rafi saab in Hindi “Mohd. Rafi- Wo Jab Yaad Aaye Bahut Yaad Aaye” is a prime example of such distortions. Many portions of the book are defamatory in nature, demeaning to Rafi saab. Like in many such instances, capturing publicity by such devoid-of-truth-writings seems to be the main rationale for such indulgence.

 Certain facts like Rafi saab and Mahendra Kapoor not singing together (perhaps barring one song of “Aadmi”) and one song of movie “Mela” being ‘grabbed’ by Rafi saab (which according to authors should have gone to Mukesh) are some of the instances where the authors have used their own faulty imaginations for filling the pages of the book. In the process they have presented Rafi saab in a poor light, demeaned his pious name.                 

 Above said two instances of the book have been refuted by Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Dixit (an ardent Rafi fan from Lucknow) on facebook. Mr. Dixit has also provided the correct versions of above instances. He intends to take up more such instances one by one.

 Yours truly has also sent a mail (and shared it on facebook) to two writers Mr. Rajeev Srivastava and Mr. Sanjeev Srivastava on other issues of the book which is reproduced below (Copy-pasted)

Dear Mr. Rajeev Srivastava and Mr. Sanjeev Srivastava,

Let me start with introducing myself. I am Jagdish Bhagchandani, an Architect by profession and an ardent music lover by temperament, nature and choice; old film songs of golden era being my area of interest.

Recently I came across the fact that you have written some narratives in a book on Mohd. Rafi saab. By another chance I read some of the portions of your write-ups, which have saddened and shocked us (the Rafi fans) to the core. The contents of those portions are rubbish in nature and defamatory in intent to that giant singer and border around sacrilege. It is more than obvious that capturing publicity through such derogatory writings is the principal purpose that you had in mind. It is unfortunate that in your burning desire to garner publicity you forgot that the book was about the singer Mohd. Rafi, the purpose of which (ideally) should have been to focus on his qualities and nuance of his singing horizons. And any negative comparisons with other singers is uncalled for and unethical, to put it mildly.

You have written about the song “बाबुल की दुआएं लेती जा..…..” and have needlessly gone on to compare with another song “चल री सजनी अब क्या सोचे…”. Let me enlighten you with some facts that should have been considered by you before venturing into this unholy comparison. The song “बाबुल की दुआएं लेती जा..…..” is a father’s song for his daughter getting married and leaving his home. It represents the feelings and emotions of that moment of a father. So sobbing (or crying) is a natural outcome. On the other hand “चल री सजनी अब क्या सोचे……”, though also a vidaai song, but it is a description of the feelings of various people present there through the eyes of a third person or an observer/ bystander, singer being in the role of an ‘anchor’. The song is not only about feelings of father (described not by father but a bystander), but also of the bride (again described not by bride herself but by a bystander), of mother, of friends etc. Please go through the lyrics again:

चल री सजनी, अब क्या सोचे
कजरा ना बह जाये रोते रोते

बाबुल पछताये हाथों को मल के
काहे दिया परदेस टूकड़े को दिल के
आँसू लिये सोच रहा दूर खड़ा रे

ममता का आँचल, गुडीयों का कंगना
छोटी बड़ी सखियाँ, घर गली अंगना
छूट गया, छूट गया, छूट गया रे

दुल्हन बनके गोरी खड़ी है
कोई नहीं अपना कैसी घड़ी है
कोई यहाँ, कोई वहाँ, कोई कहाँ रे

Now read the lyrics of the “बाबुल की दुआएं लेती जा..…..”  song:


बाबुल की दुआयें लेती जा, जा तुझ को सुखी संसार मिले
मयके की कभी न याद आए, ससुराल में इतना प्यार मिले

नाज़ों से तुझे पाला मैंने, कलियों की तरह फूलों की तरह
बचपन में झुलाया है तुझको, बाहों ने मेरी झुलों की तरह
मेरे बाग की ऐ नाज़ूक डाली, तुझे हरपल नयी बहार मिले

जिस घर से बँधे हैं भाग तेरे, उस घर में सदा तेरा राज रहे
होठों पे हँसी की धूप खिले, माथे पे खुशी का ताज रहे
कभी जिसकी ज्योत न हो फ़िकी, तुझे ऐसा रूप सिंगार मिले

बीते तेरे जीवन की घड़ीयां, आराम की ठंडी छाँव में
कांट़ा भी ना चुभने पाये कभी, मेरी लाडली तेरे पाँव में
उस द्वार से भी दुःख दूर रहे, जिस द्वार से तेरा द्वार मिले

I hope after reading the lyrics of both the songs, you are able to understand the difference in the nuance of both the similar looking but different situation songs. Mukesh saab has sung the song excellently in the given situation, so has Rafi saab (in the given/ different situation). It is unfortunate that without understanding this difference you have ventured into writing about (and comparing) the two songs. It only demonstrates the shallowness of your knowledge about playback singing.

You have also questioned the genuineness of the Rafi saab’s crying in that “babul….”song. I hope you must have heard that while recording the song Rafi got so emotionally involved (as he had got his daughter married off just 2-3 days back) that sobbing just came out naturally. To say that रोते हुए आप गा नहीं सकते..” implies that you think that it was not genuine. In plain, simple words you are factually wrong by mistake or by design, I cannot say.

Other places you have also tried to put across the point that in sad songs the swar itself should have that dard (or pain) inbuilt to carry the song. Right you are. But why do you again have to bring in Mukesh and Kishore in this matter. You have tried to convey that songs of Mukesh and Kishore have natural pain in their voice for sad songs and not in Rafi’s sad songs and he has to bring in sobbing effect to infuse the right impact (correct me if I have not understood your contention). If my contention is correct then let me convey you my total disagreement with your observation. Here you have considered Rafi saab’s only those sad songs where he has provided a sobbing effect, and completely ignored the ‘underplay’ kind of sad songs which also he has rendered with great distinction. Let me give you some examples:

  1. जितनी लिखी थी मुककदर में हम उतनी पी चुके….
  2. पत्थर के सनम तुझे हमने मोहब्बत का खुदा जाना…
  3. सदके हीर तुझ पे हम फकीर सदके…
  4. लगता हैं है दिल मेरा उजड़े दयार मे..
  5. न किसी की आँखा का नूर हूँ…
  6. वो खुशी मिली है मुझको मैं खुशी से मर न जाऊँ…
  7. कोई सागर दिल को बहलाता नहीं…
  8. याद न जाये बीते दिनों की….
  9. टुकड़े हैं मेरे दिल के हैं यार तेरे आँसू…
  10. जाने क्या ढूँढती रहती हैं ये आंखे मुझ में…
  11. मुझे ले चलो आज उस गली मैं….
  12. दिन ढाल जाये हाये रात न जाये….
  13. सारी खुशियाँ हैं मोहब्बत की जमाने के लिए…
  14. मैं ये सोचकर उसके दर से उठा था…
  15. हुई शाम उनका ख्याल आ गया….
  16. 16. कभी खुद पे कभी हालात पे रोना आया…

The list is endless… In all these songs he has excelled and all these songs fully comply to the concept of ‘underplay of emotions in sad songs’.

Srivastava saab, playback singing is an art where the singer complies to the character on screen, incorporates his mannerism, his emotions, his reactions to various situations in life. The singer does it through his voice modulation. While ‘underplay’ of expression (in gloom, with in-built sadness in voice) is a wonderful concept and a brilliant aspect of a sad song, but all people do not react that way in a sad situations. Some cry, some complain, some don’t (and hide their gloom within themselves), some take refuge in bottle. To say that first type (underplay of expression in gloom) is the only way of rendering a sad song (which you have tried to convey) is over-simplification of matter. In fact it was only Rafi saab who provided various shades or should we say various sub-genres to the genre of sad songs. For him a sad song can be rendered in more than one way depending upon the character that is portrayed on screen, situation in the film etc. Rafi saab’s sad songs’ portfolio has the canvass which is wide enough to include almost all human reactions to life’s adverse situations. It consists of songs of an introvert lover (some examples are among the songs mentioned above), a pleading/ complaining person (ओ दुनिया के रखवाले….), an over-reactive lover (मेरे दुश्मन तू मेरी दोस्तो को तरसे।…), a loner (कोई सागर दिल को बहलाता नहीं….), a disaster song (वक़्त के दिन और आज.…), an absolute tragic struck song (सपने झरे फूल से ….), a dejected lover hitting the bottle (कोई सागर दिल को बहलाता नहीं… etc.)… etc. you name it and there are, not one, but many songs specific to the situation, to the character. If you had explored this aspect of playback singing the very idea of comparison of Rafi saab would never have crossed your mind. Because he stands tallest among all.

And let me add here it is not only sad songs that he has provided us with different shades/ sub-genres but almost all genres of songs sung by him have that diversity factor. Each such genre needs an in-depth study and deep understanding and each genre can be a thesis in itself for any genuine music lover.

Further you have written that after Mukesh’s death, the space left by him was taken up by Kishore Kumar and not by Rafi. What kind of bogus argument is this! Even Mukesh’s presence never had any adverse impact on Rafi saab’s popularity or career, so where is the question of his demise being an opportunity-providing instance to Rafi saab? Mukesh passed away in 1975 and Kishore Kumar was on top at that point of time, so obviously you are conveniently concluding that Mukesh’s space was taken by Kishore da. Your reference to movie Anand’s songs going to Mukesh to prove your above point is also misplaced as Salil Chaudhary always preferred Mukesh (and Manna Dey) for his songs even during pre-1970 era. Are you not aware of songs of ‘Madhumati’, ‘Chhaya’ etc. Had the Anand been a 1967 movie, even then the songs would have been sung by Mukesh.

At another place you have written about Rafi saab’s records being confined in the cupboards. Please do not worry. We the Rafi fans are millions in numbers, and his musical wealth will never (never ever) see such extinction. On his birth and death anniversaries nearly 10000 shows are held world-wide which is an ample proof of his ever growing popularity in-spite of government’s apathy, media’s bias and ignorant writers. And let me also add here that even you have selected the topic of Rafi saab to display your writing skills.

I see no harm in anyone venturing into writings of topics of his interest (after all this is a free country) but when such writings are defamatory in nature, factually incorrect and dubious in intent, they should be treated as such. It will not be an exaggeration to say that we consider such contents to be almost blasphemy.

Consider this mail to have been written on behalf of millions of Rafi fans. It is hoped that you and the publishers of this book realize the folly of such ill-conceived contents and delete/ rectify the same.

If by chance this mail has inadvertently demeaned any singer, I sincerely regret that. That is not the intention of this mail. We respect all singers and admire heartily their immense contribution to the golden era of Hindi film music.

Jai Rafi saab.

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37 Blog Comments to “An Open Letter to Rafi Demeanors”

  1. Satish says:

    Dear Rafi fans,
    Like you all I am an ardent Rafi fan. I haven’t seen the book nor do I wish to see the same. Rafi Sahab was beyond comparison. He was a true artist and above all a great human being. I am proud of him having taken birth in India. His greatness lie in the fact that he was always humble with his feet grounded despite being a towering human being who always helped without thinking of returns. He never ever indulged in criticising leave aside speaking I’ll of others. As far as conferring of Bharat Ratna to him will be award for the title itself. As far as pitting late mukesh kishore against Rafi Sahab is concerned that is a bullshit of a mind filled of shit. All the three greats had respect for each other. They gave innumerable melodies which have been soothing our souls for the past present and future. Can any asshole indulging in mudslinging on Rafi Mukesh or KK can match their performance. Late Rafi always had two things in his life Namaz and Riyaz he always worked for any music director who made a good tune. No one except for some aliens can imagine him of taking others work Late KK always stood up whenever Rafi Sahab entered the Recording room, Mukesh always told his son to look towards Rafi as inspiration instead of him and what to say for a farishta like Rafi who was the first to rush to Airport to get the body of his brother Mukesh cleared. These things show us that the era was called golden era not only because of music but also because of the qualities of these great artists. Being a rafi fan demands great restraint and being forgiving toward such so called writers or at least non responsive towards such so called books. Responding to such crap gives the attention which they tend to get by such so called research. It also proves one fact that stone is hurled at tree with fruits.

  2. Yasmin Banu says:

    Respected Sir,
    Accept our heartfelt gratitude for upholding the worth of the Individual who entertained us for years and after his demise more than three decades successfully pulls our heartstrings. It is not feasible to summarize emotions as a mathematical variable and therefore, each individual emotes in a distinct manner to situations. We are all here as Rafians fans but individualistic depth is never measured but from your narrative, the excruciating is obvious. Each singer had his own platform performing to the best of their ability and built their fan base. Therefore, comparison between artisans is a sacrilege and venom or hatred spilled in order to create a controversy for the selling quotient is unbecoming. There are so many songs of Rafi Sahab that are painful but for unknown reason my throats forms a lump immediate whenever I hear the song Chahunga Main Tujhe (film Dosti) especially when the lines Dard Bhi Tu, Chain Bhi Tu Daras Bhi Tu, Nain Bhi Tu. The timeless composition of Laxmikant Pyarelal and the lyrical genius of Majrooh Sultanpuri can never be compromised. Rafi Ji took it to the next level unparalleled. If you pose this hypothetical question for academic research there can be answers showering light in various directions.
    On this age where each day survival has become a miracle Rafi Sahab was quintessential the face of a pluralistic India. Innumerable new composters and countless people benefited from his benevolence. If people do not consider him, approbation for his renditions let them at least not ridicule him.

  3. Your response to those writers of “THAT BOOK” full of inaccuracies and
    comparisons was so simple, I thought I was reading YOUR BOOK. I am from
    Guyana and loved listening to Mohd. Rafi’s songs since the early 50’s and still
    do now. When it is July I feel sad because of my birth anniversary and moreso
    a few days later, the death anniversary of this great soul and human being.
    The golden era of Indian music will last forever in the hearts of music lovers
    who love good listening music with which we grew up, on the radio
    plus the various singers, males,females, musicians etc. who participated in
    bringing it to life left us their legacies to cherish, for the stalwarts that
    made it possible have left us for the heavens. Music has not been the same since.

  4. waseem khawar says:

    I have grown up enjoyed listening to Rafi Sahab’s songs and his voice is so unique forever awesome.

    Rafi Sahab is the source of so much musical joy that I personally do not feel that any negative reports about his personal life true or false matter it just is not important at all for me.

  5. shakeel Ahmed says:

    Thank u immensely Bhatia ji for Ur invaluable comments. I am much solaced . I am indebted to u for showing me the way to deal with such people .I am expecting from Ur sir shortly another fine writeup on Rafi Saheb .people like u should be given mantle to preserve the National treasure called Rafi


    Shakeel sahib, I can understand your agony in this regard. This kind of pang is enshrined not only in you, but millions of RAFIANS would have same kind of feelings in their hearts as well. But here we should be quite precautious & careful in dealing with such kinds of sporadic people, who come out with the intentions of gaining cheap popularity by expressing their baseless, absurd & sundry ideas & that too without any knowledge, diligence & preparations. It is learnt that such kind of novice & immature people do not even have the basic knowledge of music. Theirs grip on the subject matter happens to be so feeble & weak that very famous saying, “a little knowledge is dangerous” can be very well applied on them. Therefore, we should not give much importance & heeds to those irrelevant people. Here we should bear in our minds that:
    1. The stature of our beloved RAFI SAHAB is like a shinning SUN, whereby millions of music lovers get vigor of music & all other kinds of stray lights gets disappeared into him.
    2. Since Sun is unique & universal, similarly Rafi sahib is unique & universal. His A to Z singing traits are far from comparison with any other singers (
    3. Each singer has his own mastery & specialization in some particular facet of singing. But it is incredible to see mastery of Rafi sahib in every facet of singing equally & that too with ease. Therefore, no singers (present or past- male or female) can be compared with him, as it would be irrelevant.
    4. Respectability of Rafi sahib is homogeneously spread all over the world, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, time & boundary. This is the only reason that after 36 years of his demise; he is still stood by with us as one of the most popular personalities of the musical world.


  7. shammi says:

    Shakeelji, the lady interviwer who you referr to in your comments is obviously very ignorant and stupid as Mohd Rafi had and stiill has such a huge following in India where the vast population is not muslims and he did not even change his name like stars such as Dilip Kumar to gain fame and fortune as his unbeatable versatility and talent was more than enough. All those music directors who favoured Mohd Rafi which in all honesty was the majority of them were not muslims and had a job to do which was to employ the best singer to get the best results for the films and they chose Mohd Rafi, so this woman was obviously trying to get attention by making these nonsense comments. Let her go head to head with us fans and we’ll put her in her place.

    I’m all for everyone having an opinion but not if it’s inaccurate or full of nonsense which is definitely the case here, in fact I think had Mohd Rafi not being muslim he’d have received the Bharat Bhusan by now just like Lata who for the record is not muslim.

  8. shakeel Ahmed says:

    I watched an uploaded page dated 25.4.2016 on website the other day where in a Pakistani T.v host was talking with a lady interviewer .In his talk T.v host or guest or may be anchor of that T.v channel or whoever was saying that kishore Kumar is a better singer than Mohd Rafi and Rafi is popular only because Muslims love and favour him since he ( Rafi) is a Muslim. His first remark that k.k ( kishore Kumar ) is better singer than Rafi did not bother me since it is a settled issue that it is vice versa and on several occasions over several debates its established that Rafi is far more superior singer than his contemporaries. Who else than legendary singer Manna dey has time and again substantiated this fact .The second remark of the Pakistani t.v anchor has left me disturbed and in utter anguish.His remark that only Muslims love Rafi is nonsense and baseless and devoid of any sanity .There is no discrimination of fans as for as Rafi sahab is concerned I feel pity on his knowledge of Rafians and urge millions of Rafi fans to condemn his lamentable silly foolish and absurd remarks.

  9. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Thanks you very much Rafi-lovers for the wonderful comments. I feel overwhelmed. I would especially like to convey my gratitude to Nasreen ji, Mercy saab for their apt and thought-provoking observations. My thanks also go to Sanjeev Kumar Dixit ji, Nasir Ali, Binu Nair, Ahamed Kutty, Raj Kumar Akela, Gagan Sal Rafi and all the Rafi lovers (it will difficult to include all the names here who have commented; my apologies for the ones I missed out)

    Nasreen ji your second comment (2nd May 2016) sums up all. Very well written.

    Some comments here and on facebook have suggested that we should not bother about such writers who try to demean Rafi saab through their motivated writings (as Rafi saab is above such petty things and his name can never be spoiled by such misguided attempts). With all humility and due respect to this ‘idealistic’ thoughts, my contention is that it is our divine duty to contest such distortions and ensure that people with vested interests are shown the mirror. Hindi film music of golden era and especially musical legacy of Rafi saab is nothing short of national heritage, preservation of which is the obligation of all genuine music lovers.

    In this regard Sanjeev Kumar Dixit ji’s meticulous efforts in demolishing authors distorted versions point by point are to be applauded. This site is publishing Sanjeev ji’s write-ups (in Hindi) in parts. Great work.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  10. Hemant Sampagaonkar says:

    Hats off to Mr. Bhagchanddani ! He has not only made the things crystal clear, but has represented / pleaded the minds of millions of Rafi Sahab fans. The author/s seem not to even know the difference between `crying’ and `expression of sentiments’. Not wanting to keep idle, they seem to have authored something.

  11. shakeel Ahmed says:

    The culprits should be dealt with seriously.Those who write nonsense about our Saheb should be taught a lesson.Hats off to Mr Bhagchandani for the manner in which he has silenced the stupidity.. We love Rafi Saheb more than ourselves. Rafi saheb is greater than the greatest and taller than the tallest .His voice is the pride of our country.

  12. Nasreen says:

    Mercy-ji and all Rafi Sahab fans: Well said!! As I said in my own post before, it is the authors’ names that will be dragged down – as we can see here at least, it’s already happening.

    If the gentle sweetness and piety of Rafi sahab’s demeanour and character goes over someone’s head, it means that that person’s eyes, ears, heart and mind are all sealed. In fact, there are allusions to this kind of thing in all great books of wisdom.

    Mohammad Rafi Sahab was great and so well beloved not only because of his talent but because of the angel like human that he was. It hurts those who love him when anyone tries to point a finger at him and demean him.

    There are some singers who have stood tall around the world. Umm Kulthumn, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Pavarotti, Rocio Durcal, Mario Lanza and many others. But it is soley their music or performing ability that people swarmed to. They felt a personal attraction towards these singers, they wanted to be like them and copy the way they dressed or sounded and do it to this day. Which is all good.

    But Rafi Sahab’s fans are a thing apart. They don’t try to dress like him or do impersonations. It is not possible. Neither is there any “amor” involved. He was a simple human being, not a “hero”. But he made heroes. And how many! From the time he stepped in to the playback scene till the day he died, he made heroes of almost everyone he sang for. Dilip, Dev, Dhamendra, Jeetendra, Biswajit, Joy Mukherjee, Shammi K, Shashi K, Rishi K

    But wait there’s more…..Pradeep Kumar, Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan, Guru Dutt, Sunil Dutt,

    But wait, there’s even more….:) Rajendra Kumar, Bharat Bhushan, Rajesh Khanna, Manoj Kumar…..

    And he made comedians: Mehmood, Johnny Walker.

    Believe it or not, there is more. But you get what I mean.

    So what do his fans do, if they don’t do Rafi dress-ups and so on? They acknowledge the greatness of this human being. Not just a singer par excellence but also a human being par excellence. Where can you get this combination? Nowhere to the degree that it is with Rafi Sahab.

    Does anyone think that what two mere unknown mortals say in a book (published possibly with the backing of a group of other money hungry mortals) will actually do anything to lessen the deep passion we feel for the music of Rafi Sahab.

    This love will never ever diminish, in fact it keeps growing. Koyi kuch nahi kar sakega, chaahe jitna bhi koshish kar le.

    There is a song from the film “Meri chaahat rahegi hamesha jawaan, jism dhalne se jazbaa pighalta nahi” penned by the poet Sahir and sung by who else….but Rafi Sahab? I will echo this sentiment on behalf of all Rafi fans and say “hamara pyaar rahega hamesha jawaan”.

  13. mercy says:

    I would like to offer a prayer for the authors of said book. But before that let me say this. Even the most ardent “Rafi Bhakts” might have couple of Rafi songs that he or she doesn’t like. It is unavoidable as he sang in many different voices, languages, moods and styles. It could be a mocking or teasing song, a song with a “cry in his voice”(to paraphrase a Neil Diamond song), a vengeful, hate filled or crazy song, a disturbing song, a song where he purposely sang off key -eg tasveer teri dil mera from Devar Bhabi -or just a song that didn’t fit the listener’s personality. To know the difference one has to wise and unbiased. But to pick couple of songs out of thousands upon thousands of songs sung by India’s best singer and hold them up as examples of bad singing is downright mean spirited to say the least. Doing this and bending the truth about the character of person known to be considerate,generous, good natured and humble, to write a book is nothing but an act of desperation. It only serves to highlight the abysmal minds of the perpetrators of this devious act. As time goes on they might get wiser and realize their folly. With age and maturity come introspection but only if you have a moral fiber. God help them with this, that is my prayer for them.

  14. Nasir Ali says:

    An utter ignorance of songs, playback singing, singers and music has been displayed by writer of that book. Mr Bhagchandani has given a fitting reply. It is to be remembered that it was not a piece of cake for Rafi Sahaab to occupy numero uno position in the field of playback singing in the face of daunting challenges of such talents as Talat Saab, Mukesh, GM Durrani, Manna Da, Kishore Kumar, and even music directors such as Hemant da and CR who used to sing too. Perhaps the author is also ignorant of the fact that Mukesh Saab had himself advised his son Nitin to learn Rafi Sahaab’s songs if he wanted to venture into playback singing: Nitin Mukesh recently disclosed that his dad, the legendary playback singer Mukesh, had advised him: “Tuu Rafi ke gaane gaa. Gaanaa seekhna hai, Gaane waala banna hai, achchaa Gulukaar banna hai, Mohammed Rafi ke gaane gaa.” He adds that his father was right! According to Yesudas, “Studying Mohammed Rafi can help a budding singer more than any textbook on music can do.”

  15. Sanjeev Kumar Dixit says:

    Jagdish Sir, Very nicely written by you and a perfect reply to the authors and editor of the book. This reply of ours was necessary because people who are not much familiar about Farishta should know the truth, otherwise they will create a wrong mindset about the Farishta.. That’s why it is necessary to bring the truth in front of all.
    Jai Rafi Sahab

  16. Murali says:

    Any individual who tries to defame Rafi Saab will never ever forgiven by even the Almighty. Rafi Saab was the epitome of an IDEAL HUMAN BEING. His voice is accepted as GOD’s Voice even today. His songs are IMMORTAL…….The Authors do not realise as to what they have done. I am pretty sure that they are alienated from the ‘World of Music’, otherwise how in God’s name can they write such rubbish and total crap about such a Gentle Soul with a Magical Voice which rules the hearts of BILLIONS even today…..Jai Mohd.Rafi Saab.

  17. Ahamed Kutty says:

    It is a way of getting noticed and making money.Through
    the words of veterans of Indian cinema already made it
    clear that it is difficult to get a singer like Rafi Saab again.
    These people even not deserve to utter the word “Rafi

  18. Binu Nair says:


    Rafi saab gave so many songs to Singers by RECOMMENDATION and by his pressing busy engagements.

    Shakti Samanta and many producers would go to the MUMBAI AIRPORT to receive Rafi Saheb on Mondays and take him direct to the Recording Studios

    Usha Timothy ji and other seniors have many anecdotes about RAFI SAABS kindness to Singers, Musicians, Composers and Producers.

    When Mukesh ji died, RAFI SAAB WENT TO THE MUMBAI AIRPORT to fetch the Lifeless Body.

    He told the Customs officer – Mere bhai ko lene aaya hun….

    Mukesh jis body was released in No Time with the Least of Formalities.

    These Blind Men who decry Rafi Saheb will Never Improve. They are Jaundiced . Rafi Bakhts : Pls leave them alone…. Ignore them. Let us Not shout at Barking Dogs…..Leave them alone.


  19. RAJKUMAR aKELA says:


  20. mercy says:

    Rafi was a special and unique creation of God or whatever supreme power one believes in. He was given multiple voices with an inherent sweetness and soul as well as an ability to tackle any style. Then he was given to the universe as a gift. India was blessed as the land where he would grow to fulfill his mission he was sent to earth for. Let us not squander this blessing. God never created anybody perfect but in Rafi we see near perfection of creation and to insult him is to insult, mock and offend God.

  21. Sal Rafi says:

    Dear J.K.

    I agree with you completely. So do millions of Rafi Saab fans.

    I am experiencing for the first someone pitching Rafi Saab against Mukesh. That shows how these authors want to demean the legend. I like Mukesh, KK and most of the singers, no bias. I have a lot of friends who like Mukesh but agree that Mukesh is nowhere to Rafi Saab. Many people knows and agree that Mukesh with his very limited singing quality was very lucky to be considered one among three legends.

    These authors doesn’t know much about music. Any music lover would vouch for Rafi Saab’s singing quality unless he has a vested interest like he is a fanatic fan of some other singer or ethnic/religious fanatic.

    Moreover, the authors’ selection of the title focus on Rafi Saab is proving the point how good Rafi Saab is and he is saleable even now. If not they would have this titled in the name of KK or any other so called good singers right?

    Basically, these book is to be ignored. These Srivastavas are low life.

    There are really very bad people there who can’t stand Rafi Saabs prowess and try to demean him in every way they could. There are so many groups on internet and one is even called “The Rafi haters”. Now you know how good Rafi Saab is. The vested interests are trying hard and had some sort of success that shows in the FM stations and TVs and popularity that KK enjoying. There are lot of youngsters don’t even know Rafi Saab exists! Why you think Rafi Saab was not honored anything more than Padmashri?!

    But the real music lovers know real talent that is the reason there are 9000 concerts happening in the legend’s name every anniversary.

    Keep up the good work JK, Love you and all the Rafians.

  22. Bhim says:

    I’m an ardent fan of Rafi Sahab and consider Rafi Sahab as the greatest male playback singer ever blessed our country. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the fine letter written by J.K Sir to clear lot of erroneous facts written by the writer.

  23. Jameel Ahmed Sheikh says:

    Rafi saab’s sad songs’ portfolio has the canvass which is wide enough to include almost all human reactions to life’s adverse situations. It consists of songs of an introvert lover (some examples are among the songs mentioned above), a pleading/ complaining person (ओ दुनिया के रखवाले….), an over-reactive lover (मेरे दुश्मन तू मेरी दोस्तो को तरसे।…), a loner (कोई सागर दिल को बहलाता नहीं….), a disaster song (वक़्त के दिन और आज.…), an absolute tragic struck song (सपने झरे फूल से ….), a dejected lover hitting the bottle (कोई सागर दिल को बहलाता नहीं… etc.)… etc. you name it and there are, not one, but many songs specific to the situation, to the character
    Resected sir
    I am happy to read your kind reply… you have proved सांच को आंच नहीं..

  24. Gagan says:

    Rafi Saab was, is, and will remain the greatest singer the planet Earth has ever seen…especially I can vouch for that fact….I was just a 4-year-old when Rafi Saab left for this heavenly abode…we had a radio at home as all middle class families in the 80s had…was based in Lucknow/Delhi…I used to react to his voice like no other from the anecdotes from my parents and elder sister who herself was a huge follower of the Nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar…at that time I used to distinctly remember without an iota of knowledge aboout singing/playback singing…that either Mr. Dharmendra/Jeetendra are singing…those two of our legendary heroes/actors come readily to my mind because I used to immediately associate his voice with them…without even realizing that the divine voice which was having a profound effect on a child was of the greatest human voice one has ever heard of Rafi Saab…the Greatest of all time…from then on my musical admiration following for him no bounds….I bought cassettes/CDs/DVDs…doing all sorts of permutation and combination on them to improve the sound quality/recordings of the golden era which was the only drawback of that time as they all used to have a humming sound which to my pleasure was not there during video songs or while watching on TV…or may be it was not audible. so I used to do tv recordings to audio cassettes by some means, so that I could listen to Rafi Saab – the divine voice & a human being par excellence the likes of which we will never see again in all its pristine glory…for me a book is just not enough to encapsulate the magical qualities he/his voice possesed… I am as big a music afficando/audiophile can be…my three main languages of command being Hindi, English, and Punjabi…and I have listened to music in all these primary languages across all genres one could possibly think of for the past 36 years major area of interest being HFM and even dabbled in Arabic music…on all kind of sources one could possibly think of…as I was obseesed with music/music systems right from my childhood…primary amongst them being able to listen to Rafi Saab songs the way they were meant to be even at that time by all the great MDs of the Golden Era of HFM…anyways an encyclopedia is not enough to describe him/my feelings for him some of which are very very personal to share…one used to ask me in childhood if there was any wish/one celebrity you would like to meet…my eyes would swell up…would like to end it here….as I could go on and on as memories keep flooding back…hum naa rehengay…tum naa rahogay…bus reh jaayegi Rafi Saab air unki awaaz…lately I have coined a new term for him He was-is-will be THE VOICE…would end it here…long live the memoirs/memories/moments…Gagan from Delhi

  25. SANJAY ARORA says:

    its a matter of comparison of a saint with professional singers

  26. Vijay Lazarus says:

    Very-very aptly expressed. I agree with you a 101%. You are truly a keen observer. may your tribe (type) increase in this age of widespread cacophony.

  27. jasjit singh grewal says:

    Rafiji jaisa mahan singer aur insan naa kabhee hua hai naa kabhee hoo gaa Aap naye bahut khoob surat likha hai dhanyewad.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Is there a simple site where I can view and print the songs in Hindi? I know about and

    I am from Guyana (South America) and can read Hindi, but do not understand it. I just love the songs and music.

    With the actual Hindi words, I can get the correct pronunciation.


  29. N.G.Ramaswamy says:

    Excellent Jagdishji. Well said. Impartial & true comments with valid facts and figures. Rafi saheb towers above all no doubt.

  30. mercy says:

    These disingenuous brothers do not realize that as you try to drag down a great man his stature only grows bigger while their own value as human beings diminishes. I did not want to bring in religion here, but cannot help thinking that these opportunistic people are trying to take advantage of the current political/religious sentiments prevalent in today’s India. But this too shall pass. Most people cannot continue to live in stupidity for long.

  31. r.vasudevan says:

    In my comment the first sentence should read quote
    The author of the book has not done his homework unquote
    and not what was started earlier. That is in the first sentence
    the word NOT was I missed typing.

  32. Dr Lateef M Khan says:

    I am a great fan of Mohd Rafi Saab from my childhood,at the same time I am great lover of bollywood music, and therefore equally admire Mukesh Saab and Kishore Saab.I think it is the song composer who can better understand who can render a particular song in the best possible way and therefore great composer like S D Burman in Guide utilized the voice of both Mohd Rafi Saab and Kishore Saab for the same hero or Salil Chaudhri used Mukesh Saab and Mohd Rafi Saab for the same hero in Madhumati. These great singers are like institution for the singer who came after them, hence it seems to be foolishness to raise such controversy.
    Instead praise and thank the creator of these great voices.

  33. Dinesh Shah says:

    Dear Bhagchnadani,

    With refrence to your letter i completely agree what uou have mentioned but sorry to mention that in the 16 songs how could you have forgotten these songs which i believe are in the best Top Twenty of Rafi’s Choice namely..Yahan mein ajnabi hoon,Watan pe jo fida hoga ,Pardesiyon se (sad version)etc ,,

  34. Rajiv Dutta says:

    Commenting on the singing of Rafi sahib (A great Soul and a figure of worship) or his genuineness is nothing but indication of one’s bankruptcy of music sense and feel. Such people have to be just ignored as they are writing or commenting just to gain cheap publicity. The saying goes very right here that “Bunder Kya Jaaney Adrak Kaa Swaad “

  35. r vasudevan says:

    The author of the book has done his homework properly and has not
    known Mohd. Rafi sahib fully and nor has listened – I presume – Rafi’s
    songs in good many number especially the pathos which he should have
    before writing the book. That was a basic requirement.

    Mr JK Bhabchandani’s fitting replies soothens the heart of millions of
    Rafi fan the world over.

    A singer like Rafi will never be born. Even in our advanced age we may
    forget our own close people but not Rafi and his songs that is the effect Rafi the man and the singer has on us.

  36. Nasreen says:

    Mr Bhagchandani and the two above mentioned Srivasatava’s – I have not read the referred book – and don’t intend to. Am not going to accord that respect to something so undeserving of any respect. I have on the other hand, read the above excellent response by Mr Bhagchandani which has given enough information to me to know that I should not waste my time.

    Look at the title chosen – even in that, there is design – born of greed. It aims to attract people (like billions of Rafi Saab fans around the world) to buy the book so that these guys can make money using his name and the words of his song. And obviously, it is misleading (dishonesty right from the word go! Just the total antithesis of what Rafi Sahab stood for and practised in his lifetime).

    Thank you Bhagchandani-ji for giving voice to the sentiments of those who understand real music and the value of Rafi Sahab. And that it is blasphemous indeed to malign him in any way. From your words, I can get that these Rajeev & Sanjeev Srivastava guys know how to use words to manipulate people for their own lowly ends. From your words, I can also get that these guys are not qualified enough to take the name of leave alone Rafi Sahab, even that of Mukesh or Kishore; who would themselves have shown their ire at such lack of understanding of the super lofty quality of Rafi Sahab’s persona, his character and talent, especially voice and delivery of each and every song that he ever sang. Some people just don’t get it. These two gentlemen seem to be a prime example. It is their book which will not see the light of day and may well be rotting in closed cupboards. That will not happen to Rafi Saab’s records. I have them for many years and yes, regular use has frayed the edges of the album covers. But the songs enrich our lives 36 years after his death and are far more fresh in my mind than songs that came out yesterday. I am one of millions who have organised a “shraddhanjali” event in honour and memory of Rafi Sahab. Just out of love and respect. And it was titled “Yaad na Jaaye”. Because he is unforgettable. I love the songs of Mukesh and Kishore too. But without any hint of doubt, Rafi Sahab’s voice and talent stand taller than all others.

    Will anyone buy your book even 3 years after it’s been published? I wonder. Will anyone remember your names? If they do, will it be with respect, honour and love at the fact that you tried to demean Rafi Sahab?

    I never write such strong words about anything – but please don’t tamper with the name of Rafi Sahab. It may not end well for you. Spend your talent more wisely if you are able – and more specially with good intentions. Not wicked and selfish ones please. If you try to drag the name of Rafi Sahab low, it is your own that will find its way to the mud.


  37. mercy says:

    Dear Mr. Bhagchandani
    Thank you for such an elegant letter. You must have used a lot of restraint in responding to what seems to be a malicious and hurtful attempt to vilify Rafi-the great singer and human being, but I am not going to be doing that. I know very little Hindi but that wouldn’t be the only reason for me not to read this book. I admit, I do not know what the general tone of the book is and have to surmise it from your response. Even if the rest of the book contains many praises for Rafi, the segments you have quoted make me believe the writers are Kishore fans and have simply thrown in Mukesh and other singers in an attempt to give credence. It is laughable that anybody would compare Kishore to Rafi. Even Kishore wouldn’t agree with them. Kishore was popular solely on the strength of his voice. His singing was mediocre; one doesn’t have to be a connoisseur of music to know that. Mukesh was comparable to Rafi in some areas, same with Manna Dey and Mahendra Kapoor. But Rafi stands alone as an all around playback singer and no one has been born yet to equal him. What a shame that fans of other singers, Kishore in particular, would go to this extent to defame our beloved singer to make theirs look good. What motivates them must be pure jealousy. And a wish to exalt their idol in the only way they know how- put down Rafi. By comparing with Rafi Kishore fans make poor Kishore look a worse singer than he really was. Rafi fans are just lucky that they don’t have a need to resort to such low tactics because they know Rafi is the best.

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