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And then there still is Rafi Saab…

By Devdatta P. Bijoor

Mohd Rafi

Mohd Rafi

As a kid born in the eighties, growing up in the nineties in Mumbai, I was exposed to a lot of hindi film music and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. The beauty of our industry’s film songs are they are created for a situation in a film that we know to be an illusion, however the emotions in the songs and lyrics are usually something we do relate to.

It wasn’t until I was 13, in the year 1999, that I got to listen to the songs of the generations preceding the 80s and 90s. First it was just because my father wanted me to listen to these songs.  I would sit like every teenager sulking away, blaming the world for the position he/she is in. I didn’t want to listen to them at first but slowly these songs started to grow on me and the sulking expressions that I first had were slowly replaced with a smile. Then the interest to listen to these songs developed further but there was still something missing.

Even before 1999, as a child I loved one movie more than the others, it was Vijay Anand’s ‘Teesri Manzil’ starring Shaami Kapoorji. There was something about the scenes and the songs…particularly one song…”Tumne mujhe dekha..” I never knew what the lyrics meant. I just loved the tune and the drumroll that preceeds the song. I had no idea who the singer was and at that age you could pardon me for not caring.

Post 1999 though I decided to find out who this singer was, My Dad said, “Beta..this is one of the gems of our hindi film industry. The amazing Mohammad Rafi” My reaction was not as amazing as his build up though and I promptly said, “Ok…” and left.

But I remember the look on his face, he was not disappointed at my lack of interest. Instead there was a smile on his face, a knowing smile. He knew that one day I will realize why he did use the words ‘gem’ and ‘amazing’.

In my adolescent years, just like every teenager, I fell in love and though the songs of my generation were wonderful, at 16-17 years old, there was one particular song that I always wanted to listen to…it was ‘Din Dhal Jaaye’ from Guide. As many people have said it before, when things are normal, this song receives polite recognition from all men, but ‘jab sahi waqt aata hain toh janaab isi gaane ki zarurat hoti hain!

Ever since that time, some special song of Rafi Saab has somehow always managed to make perfect sense to a particular situation in my life.

And then I realized, there is more to songs than just the lyrics, sometimes you fall in love with it also because it’s the singer’s voice, his mannerisms and tone that drag you towards it.

It was since then I realized I found the reason why every emotion just feels so much more pronounced when I listen to these songs….It was the magic of Rafi Saab.

To talk about Rafi Saab’s immaculate voice would be too repetitive and hence all I will say is, “Maine poocha chaand se ke dekha hain kahin….Rafi Saab sa koi….chaand ne kahan, chandani ki kasam…nahi…nahi…nahi

To the icon who will always remain in our hearts through his soulful renditions.

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4 Blog Comments to “And then there still is Rafi Saab…”

  1. drfmeerza says:

    we will never forget you, yes all your chanewallah miss mohd rafi.

  2. Ali says:

    Missing u mohd rafi

  3. Dr.Vasudha says:

    Rafi saab pervades and hides in each and every heart.Such is the power of his voice
    Very nice article on the legend.Liked the way you expressed indignation and then slowly and unconsciously got hooked to the voice.Long live Rafi saab!

  4. Makarand Saraf says:

    A very well written written article Mr.Bijoor. Yes its right that you have chosen to present the article in the way that you have- without the usual anecdotes.That takes our Rafi saab to another level and so does your love for the voice we all love.We cannot thank Rafi saab enough.

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