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Main Gaaoon Tum So Jaao- the voice of Empathy and Comfort

By Achal Rangaswamy

An Illustrative Art

As a little schoolboy, sleeping on the Barsaati (open roof) of our middle class house in a traditionally cosmopolitan colony of New Delhi, on a hot summer Iate evening I used to lie on the cool bedsheet, looking at the sky and the stars and the moon in its various forms and shapes from time to time. The beautiful sky, the stars, the moon and the very light breeze which picked up momentum as the night descended on us, kept me awake and sleep would evade me.

And wafting from a radio in another building in the neighborhood would come the somewhat distant voice of a kind- hearted man (I imagined he would be tall, strong, smiling and extremely caring) singing the song Main Gaaoon Tum So Jaao, Sukh Sapnon Mein Kho Jaao, and I would simply doze off, traveling to a distant land in my dreams, a land of rivers and mountains, and chocolates and sweets and lots of young children that I could play with. Little did I know that it required a marvel of a scientific discovery to let that musical sound travel towards me from hundreds or thousands of kilometres, or at least from Akashvani Bhavan which was at least over 10 kilometres from our home.

All I knew was that this gentleman was so kindly and so concerned about me that he would gently put me to a comfortable and deep slumber without a worry in the world, almost telling me that I should not even think about any problems in the world since he was there. The lines garrdish mein thakey haaron ka maatha sehlata jaaon….though I didn’t understand much of it, was reassuring and providing absolute solace. I would just drift off….

On another night the song would be Aaj Kal Mein Dhal Gaya, Din Hua Tamaam Tu bhi so jaa so gayi rang bhari Shaam, a song with simpler words, almost telling me, look everything has gone to sleep, now you too must sleep. And sleep peacefully you must. I almost obediently would do so. I began to love this voice and waited each night for the same gentleman to coax me to sleep, throwing away my fears, my anxiety and any apprehensions that I had about the coming tomorrow. I started to look forward to the neighbour’s radio to be tuned to Vividh Bharati every night.

Also Read: Rafi Sahab – The Master of the complete Range

At times, I would go upstairs to the terrace with my bedroll, totally in a tizzy about the forthcoming monthly tests in Maths or Hindi, or about a difficult cricket match the next Saturday against some formidable opposition. And almost like magic, this kind Uncle would gently tell me Gham ki Andheri Raat Mein Dil Ko Na Beqarar Kar, Subah Zuroor Aayegi, Subah Ka Intezaar Kar. I would simply surrender myself to the magical words and the calming and comforting voice. My inner strength was awakened, and I went to sleep, sure that there would be a way out tomorrow morning. I had begun realizing that there was a guiding spirit, almost reading my mind, and telling me that there would always be someone to hold me by the hand and take me through difficult times, and uneasy paths.

As I grew older and moved up in school to a senior class I got to know a bit more about this kind man, got to know his name, got to know that he was a famous playback singer, not exactly the same in terms of looks as I had imagined, but surely kind, friendly, unassuming and someone who put people at ease. I always heard people refer to him with extra respect than the others, they all called him Rafi Sahab. And perhaps long before I got to hear that the great film maker Manmohan Desai referred to his voice as the voice of God, I had already started thinking about him as a godly, saintly and wise man who would ensure that no trouble befell you, or that you would never ever face troubles or tragedy.

His absolutely calming and reassuring lullaby So Ja Baba Mera So Ja put me at complete ease as he sang Tu Saharon ki Ungli Pakadna Teri Ungli Pakad Lengi Raahein.. I had yet not seen the picturization of this heartwarming lullaby from the film Koshish, a story that tugged at the heartstrings. But I knew that there would be thousands of people grieving, feeling lost, feeling the weight of painful existence, who would perhaps go to sleep, maybe on an empty stomach, but with a comforted heart thanks only to this miraculous saintly voice, the prophet of music.

Then I saw the movie Pavitra Paapi, and the wandering mendicant with his ektara, almost every now and then in the film, recalling and assuring the bewildered and lost protagonist that all would be well and that God would take care of things. And the lines Sukh de Chaahe Dukh de Daata, Hans ke Jholi Bhar Pyaare Bhai Allah hi Allah…or Jab Tak Saaf Hai Dil ka Sheesha Duniya Se Na Dar Pyaare Bhai Allah hi Allah…. I almost began to follow this dictum of the fakir. And by then I had heard about Rafi Sahab’s own childhood experience of following a wandering fakir to the end of the village as the fakir sang that life has 4 days of play and 4 days of regret and that all would eventually be all right. I often wondered if the song had been inserted in the movie every and then to signify the impact of that fakir on Rafi Sahab’s life and philosophy.

From then on, almost every other day I would chance upon a song or two which brought out this particular quality and aspect of Rafi Sahab’s singing and his songs. Kindness, empathy, peace, solace, comfort, consolation and reassurance. And I began thinking, after all this is what the world requires more than anything else.

And two songs of Dev Saab, one quite early in his career, and another, towards the end, both featuring salespeople, an ice cream seller and a datun seller, made me note on particular thing. Life was about winning hearts with a smile, a pleasant tone, and a clean conscience. Zindagi hai kya sun meri Jaan Pyaar bhara Dil Meethi Zubaan said one. The other said Logon Ka Dil Agar Jeetna Tumko Hai Toh Bas Meetha Meetha Bolo.

I started calling Rafi Sahab the ambassador of love, peace and kindness.

And that is how I always think of him. Oh yes, he has been romantic, he has been patriotic, he has been hurt, he has been valour personified, he has been vengeful to, in various songs of his.

But to me Rafi Sahab shall always be the kind Uncle, the warm and friendly neighbour through the radio, who simply ensured that I went to sleep peacefully even as he sang his heart out for me.

And that is how I would like to go one day. Peacefully, listening to him sing Main Gaaoon Tum So Jaao, Sukh Sapnon Mein Kho Jaao……

And when I go up there, I would like to meet him, touch his feet and feel totally comforted and all sorted.

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2 Blog Comments to “Main Gaaoon Tum So Jaao- the voice of Empathy and Comfort”

  1. Chand Rai says:

    Each and every song of Rafi sahib is a treasure .
    I often sing his songs whenever I am in a mood to sing. His singing takes my breath away.

  2. AshisD says:

    Achal-ji, excellent write up, conveying similar feelings for many about this great legend on this special day, thank you.
    My heartfelt tribute to Rafi Badshaah!

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