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Mohd Rafi is second to none…

By Mr. K.S. Ramachandran

Mohd RafiI firmly believe that it is a universal truth that Rafi Sahab is par excellence in every sphere of voice. He had that incredible combination of the best of the best possible factors that contribute to good singing. He was a gentleman who was ever smiling and pleasant. Good manners are seen from one’s face and Rafi Sahab was a perfect example. His music as Godly and literally all music directors exploited the inherent and invisible talents of the great legend. His voice had that magic spell. He had depth beyond limits when it came to pathos. Can anyone dare try singing “Din Dal Jaye Raat Na Jaye“, Kabhi Kudh Pe Kabhi Haalatpe Roma Aaya“?

K.S.RamachandranI am 56 years old and I live in Chennai. I have lived with the songs of Rafi right from my childhood. When I was just a child, my eldest brother took me alongwith other members of our large family, to the movie “Babhi”. When I heard the song “Chal Udjaa Re Panchi“, I was spell bound by this magical voice. Right from that moment, I became a die hard fan of this great legend. I have now heard Rafi songs innumerable times – in fact same songs a thousand times and am still listening to it unending, but never seem tired of it. Every time I hear the same Rafi song, I see a new angle to his voice and rendition.

I don’t think there can be ever another Rafi in times to come and I really feel blessed and proud to have been born when Rafi was at his peak of singing. Long live Rafi and his memories….

I freezed when I heard about the death of Rafi Sahib…

Mohd Rafi's body being carried to Juhu cemetery

I vividly remember the day of 31st July 1980 when I was in Mumbai and I was traveling in the local western line. There was this uneasy calm in the train when the news of Rafi Sahib’s demise must have broken out. There was this sudden rush of emotions in me that I decided to drop off the train and wanted to sit down in a place (unfortunately Dadar West Station like any other local station in Mumbai, was crowded) and weep to my hearts content. I wept and wept and never for a moment realized that I was in fact going to my office at Nariman Point. I was weak in my physical motion and truly very tired mentally to realise that Rafi Sahib is no more. Many wonderful songs of Rafi Sahib came to my mind like an avalanche and I had gone through an experience of extreme discomfort and melancholy. 31st July is still a black day for me and I am sure for most of us. “Music and the Seven Notes” had lost Rafi Sahib and I was feeling that some of the notes have died along with Rafi Sahib on the 31st July. This is very well demonstrated by the quality of music today and the singers who lend their vocal chord to them…

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29 Blog Comments to “Mohd Rafi is second to none…”

  1. Javed Ali says:

    I have read with great interest the many sentiments expressed on this forum by Rafi fans and I respect these sentiments. Rafi sahab was a very gifted singer and a wonderful human being.
    But to say that Rafi was the greatest singer ever is being carried away by emotions and is quite wrong. The King Rafi sahab was dethroned by Kishore Kumar in 1969 after the super hit Aradhana and Kishore sahab remained the number one singer till he died in 1987. these are true facts which we should respect instead of being carried away by emotions.
    How can one say that only rafi sahab was the greatest. What about the great songs sung by Kishore sahab in his great voice and full of emotions and soul.

    Probably the greatest singer ever produced by India is the Telgu singer Ghantasala. Great voice and great control of Surs and Raags. Techinical wizrd.
    Listen to him and you will know what I am talking about.


  2. binus2000 says:

    Rafi lovers : Please click the SARGAM Music caption where u will
    find the costs for delivering it to your doorsteps. Only three issues
    will be published yearly and the Magazine will be about
    “vintage music and Mohd Rafi” .

    Its an attempt to reach music and rafi lovers who are at a distance
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    A attractive collectable “gift pack” will be sent along and u also can
    avail the option of subscribing to just four copies instead of the nine

    Please write to me at

    binu nair.,

  3. binus2000 says:

    Many singers are still afraid of rafi saab’s popularity even after
    27 years of not being in the field. Mr.Khalid rashid saab : why are
    u bothered about this Kumar Sanus views .

    Please do not give much importance to such matters when u know
    well that rafi saab resides in the hearts of millions of music lovers.

    and after 50 years most of these singers will be history : this is
    as clear as daylight.

    Please do not bother about these Kumar sanus who are out of the
    race. Lets all enjoy the rafi songs sung by our own sonu, srikkanth,
    Nari Ahuja, Anil Bajpai, rana chaterjee , sunil menon, mangalore
    based haneef mohd, chiraag panchal , zorawar, raju korte,
    rajeev vijaykar, dr. suresh, aawez darbar and iqbal darbar,
    vilas paranjape, dr. ashok khare, g.d. mathur and many many many
    more dedicated rafi saab singers who are around spreading the sweet

    binu nair : the rafi foundation : sargam music & magazine.

  4. Khalid Rashid says:

    Re Post 17 Harvinder

    Notice how in interviews when they ask Kumar Sanu his favourite artists he says Kishore da of course but he also says Lataji Ashaji Manna Dey BUT never Rafi saab.

    As for the insistence of payment by Kumar Sanu well pure greed I say.

    God does not make people like Mohd Rafi saab everyday now does he

    Rafi saab you are the best of the best no doubt

    Khalid Rashid

  5. Md. Azmal Hossain, Dhaka, Bangladesh says:

    He was a man of great. I am a great fan of Mohammad Rafi. He was unbelieveable voice and never comes in our history of muisc in the subcontinent. I am firm worshipper of Mohammad Rafi. I have great admire of him. His voice always hunting me. I will always remain with his voice until my death. He was incredible voice and God given him an utmost position. I alwyas pray for his eternal soul.

  6. Md. Azmal Hossain says:

    I am a great fan of Mohammad Rafi. He was unbelieveable voice and never comes in our history of muisc in the subcontinent. I am firm worshipper of Mohammad Rafi. I have great admire of him. His voice always hunting me. I will always remain with his voice until my death. He was incredible voice and God given him an utmost position. I alwyas pray for his eternal soul.

  7. Anmol Singh says:

    Going back memory, yes I do recall 31st July 1980. I was 10 yrs then living in Bombay, perhaps not a Rafi fan at that moment. But I could feel from the atmosphere at that moment some great peronality had passed away. Tributes from various film personalities one after the other on the Doordarshan (the only TV channel at that time) and on the Radio (Vivid Bharati). Tributes continued for several days. All most filmy mazagines were highlighting his greatness, his photos, etc.

    But in 1983 when I realized who Rafi was, I felt extremely Sad & Dejected. I wish I could have come to this world earlier, at least to get a glimpse of this ultimate personality. My sadness continued for quiet long time when ever I heard his songs, thinking that though the physically this peronality is not present, but his voice makes us feel that he is some where around us. And we are waiting that some day he will show a glimpse. But thats a dream because “Jaane Waale Khabhi Nahi Aate, Jaane Waalon Ki Yaad Aati Hai”

  8. Aamir Khurshid says:

    Manmohan Desai commented on Rafi’s death that ‘perhaps God himself wanted to hear him personally, otherwise his untimely death cannot be justified in any way’.

    I am 28 yeas old and have grown up by hearing LPs and EPs of Rafisaab. I wish I would have born 50 years earlier and had personally been a witness to greatness of this man’s voice.

  9. KRISHNA says:

    I am visiting Mumbai for the first time and wish to pray before Rafi Saab. Can fellow rafians provide me the address and way to reach the same pl. I will be thankful to you…

  10. KRISHNA says:

    Aaj Galo Muskuralo – Mehfile Sajaalo, Kya Jaane Kal koyi Saathi Choot jaayen – This is what Rafi Saab said in the movie Lalkar. We felt the song which went deeply into our souls. Today we understand the value of it. Tears rolled down from my eyes today morning when I heard this song. We really miss you Rafi Saab. Din Dhal jaaye hai.. Raat Na Jaay, tu to na aaye teri yaad sathai.. Din Dhal Jaaye hai… Long Live Rafi Saab. We miss you.

  11. Usha Ramesh says:

    Dear Chandan, I can completely relate to your wonderful words about the legend. In fact i never really realised or was alert to the soulfulness of his music until our musical association started with you. I must say that it is you who truly got out the emotions quite like rafi saheb…and ever since i am a die hard fan and am unable to accept anyone can ever take RAfi saheb s place.

  12. he is the king of melody..peerless.

  13. Harvinder says:

    Unfortunately, I learnt of Rafi Saheb’s untimely death about a month later while in Europe. Media was not as good as today and I had been cut off from India. But I can recall that subconciously tears trickled down my eyes. Till this date, whenever I hear some of his songs or learn more about this noble soul, I find my eyes turning moist.

    I am 53 now and share most of the memories with the author of this article Mr Ramachandran. Many of Rafi Saheb’s songs like Bhabhi song “Chal ud ja re panchhi” has so much of magic and one feels that it is some eternal voice coming from the throat of a singer.

    I saw Kumar Sanu/Alka Yagnik show last night. Kumar Sanu made a statement “I am not Mohd Rafi Saheb who would not ask for money upon completing a recording, I insist on payment as soon as the song is recorded.”
    Well the treasure of Rafi saheb will never end, whereas the wealth and popularity of Kumar Sanu will dwindle.

    For people of my age group, during the formative years also heard some of the patriotic songs that were aired during Indo-China conflict in 1962. I still feel that if we go into specifics of Rafi Sahebs peak, I would say late 50’s to mid 60’s – I am only saying relatively. He was extra ordinarily brilliant and rightly called “Man with the golden voice”. To me he was pure gold with perfect voice.

    I will salute him till my last breath.

  14. A S MURTY says:

    Very truly said Mr. Ramachandran, and like I commented to your previous article too, you have the gift of the “gab” in writing. Certainly, like you, all of us felt jolted and shaken on that fateful day. But like Mr. Venkatadri said, Rafi Saheb tops the charts of all musicians and there is no question of his being second to none. Also Mr. Binu Nair remarked that “Rafi cannot die” yes, He lives in the hearts of not only all of us die-hard RAFIANS but in the hearts of millions of others throughout the world. A good article and expression of thought though.

  15. KRISHNA says:

    I remember I was 7 years old then and read in a local newspaper that Rafi saab was no more. I still remember, I felt something really uneasy those times as my Dad used to play his favourite Ye Duniya Ye Mehfil tere kaam ki nahi and he telling me that Rafi saab is no more. Today, even though we miss him physically, he is still present in all our hearts, minds and souls. He will reign for ever. The greatest legend of singing any one can see on Earth will never die because he is still with us through his Golden voice. Its our responsibility to educate our younger generation about him, his songs and their purity of touching everybody’s hearts. Its really our responsibility. Our children should know the past and the chain of struggle in getting Bharat Ratna should continue.. Even Padmashri is not enough for him pl.

  16. Azad Ilahibaks says:

    I was at home when i heard that Rafi has died. This news i heard from the radio. I was 14 years old. That day it was like the whole world has died. Everybody talked about this big sad news. I am very gratefull for being a hindustani who can listen and understand Rafi songs. When everybody in this world practise the following text of one of the songs of Rafi, this world can become like a paradise. Jis din is duniya se nafrat aur gudgarsi meet jayengie, us rooz ye insaan nache ga us rooz ye dharti gayegie.

  17. suhana says:

    Thanks Narayanan, very kind of you.

  18. B.Venkatadri says:


    Very nice write-up. But, your title “Mohd Rafi is second to none” is quite an understatement! Rafi Saab is not only second to none, but is way above everyone!



  19. Rehman, Bangladesh says:

    Indian subcontinent is so fortunate to have a great legend like Rafi Sb. who has given liefeline to the music and his contribution to the hindi music can’t be evaluated by words or awards or by anything. In a sence it is very certain that a human being like Raf Sb’s soul is created by God in heaven 1000 years before his arrival to this earth. It is GOD’s kindness to the world that GOD has allowed him to be in earth for just 50 years to flourish the world with his lighthouse and his heavenly voice. When I was around 16yrs of age in 80s there was songs all over the place songs like: Jhon Jani Jonardhan, Slamat Rahe Dostana Humara etc.. I use to wonder who is the singer who’s songs being played in Tape Rcorder all over the city. but when I came to understand that he is the subcontinent’s no.1 singer Mohd. Raif, I start listening his other songs too from 60s,70s and became his fan. In fact today when I hear any of those golden golden era song of Raf Sb I wonder how that great man would have sung those so difficult songs with such ease? it is certainly was too far away from any of his era and from present era or eras to come to reirritate or try to sing even 10% closer to his quality/level. No other singer was there, at present or will be in the future till end of this earch (QYAMAAT) who’s songs can be listened day after day, hour after hour without getting tired. When I hear his each of every song and every time find something is new in his voice and hidden magic laid out in every line of song which struck mind and heart. My 9yr & 3yr old daughters are also Rafi Sb fan and my little daughter just statred to speak, heard Rafi Sb song: Pattah Pattah, Botha Botha in ZEE TV Sareama.. she only remember this song and sings few few word of this song.. It is amaging the power of Rafi Sb. voice … When we hear Rafi Sb. it is like you are in ocean and searching for banks…

  20. binus2000 says:

    Rafi can n e v e r die…. he is immortal….

    binu nair. Mumbai..

  21. Narayanan says:

    Excellent tributes especiallt post 3 of Suhaana…..
    For millions of Rafi-ians the legend has not died he is with us with gems n collections from 1944…………
    Rafi saab u are immortal n eternal forever……..

  22. javifazl says:

    rafi sahab kr intiqal ke waqat mein 6 saal ka tha woh din tu hain yad nahin magar bachpan ki yadoon main rafi sahab ki awaaz jesy juri huey hy.
    woh songs jo mere kano mein bachpan se pare woh aaj tak zahin nahi bhula na bhulega. rafi sahab we love u


    I was in class 5th when I heard the news of Rafi Sahab’s passing away on Doordarshan. I just couldn’t believe. I have grown up listening to the very very old songs of Mohd. Rafi on Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corproation (most popularly known as Radio Ceylon ) on 25m Band on Short Wave. I even remembered many of these old songs even by heart. Even now, when I am married, whenever there is a film having very old songs of Mohd Rafi on TV, I just sing the song along beforehand and my wife just doesn’t believe of hearing a song which she hasn’t ever heard. Rafi Sahab, as I have read in several newspapers has sung free of cost for several actors.

    Indeed, the world will never produce a singer like Rafi Sahab.

    I salute Rafi Sahab for his tremendous contribution to Indian Cinema.

  24. sawant says:

    I was just 7 month old, but I can feel that how this news was piognant, that Rafi is no more.

  25. mohanflora says:

    I was working at the Salal Hydroelectric Project, J&K, and I heard the the news in the company bus which was taking us to the Dam site.The whole day and the next I called sick and listened to his songs! When I think back, I am surprised at the emotions at play and guys these days including my sons, don’t seem to fathom!

  26. I was in Sirsi, North Kanara on 31 July, 1980. I was working as a Medical representative based at Hubli, Karnataka. I was on tour as part of my job and was to return back to Hubli that evening. I got up early morning and called for my regular cup of coffee and morning newspaper. When i opened the newspaper, i saw this news. I started weeping uncontrollably and just sat in the corner of the hotel room for god knows how many hours. Although death is inevitable for we mortals, it was beyond my comprehension to take his passing away in that spirit. 27 years after his death, i realise that a part of me died that day.

  27. suhana says:

    Very touching and beautiful write up Mr. Ramchandran. Yes Rafisaab is indeed the best ever and it does not take much to explain that, all one need is a couple of normal ears.

    His singing standards are to high and hence a benchmark of excellenece. One could write a book on about this unmtached melodious and gentle giant of HFM.

    His renditions are impeccable, as if he knew ever minute aspect of the mood and rythym so well that he acheived a complete and comprehensive result, the only complete singer of HFM, simply amazing.

    Please visit my thread at that discusses in length about the unique and rare phenomenon.

    The link is

  28. javifazl says:

    Mohammad parvez sahab aap ne theek kaha woh hein hamare sath aur rahengy.woh hamari dilon main hen uaur rahengy

  29. mohamed parvez says:

    i was also shocked when i read in the news paper that rafi saab is no more even today i am not able to believe that rafi saab is not with us rafi saab will be always with us

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