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Remembering The Legend Rafi Saab on HIS 32nd Death Anniversary

By Sanjeev
for the MADAN MOHAN Family

Mohd Rafi with Sanjeev Kohli

Mohd Rafi with Sanjeev Kohli, taken  on  30th July1980, one of Sanjeev’s  Proudest  moments,  ever!

We were blessed that we had the good fortune to spend some memorable moments with the great Rafi Saab. We were blessed that, as Madanji’s children, we had this privilege during Madanji’s lifetime, including attending various memorable recordings. And then, later in 1979/80, when I produced various non-film albums with the legend.

I can never forget that I spent various hours with him on 30 July 1980 when we conducted a photo session with him at his home… he was so benevolent, ever smiling through the session, singing on his harmonium as he posed .. Tumhari Zulf Ke Saaye Mein Shaam, being one of his favorite songs…

and then the shattering news on 31st July 1980!!

We will never forget our dear Rafi Saab…

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35 Blog Comments to “Remembering The Legend Rafi Saab on HIS 32nd Death Anniversary”

  1. Ganesh Gheerow says:

    Hi brother thanks for sharing these special moments of the late grate RAFI his voice will always echo around the WORLD.

  2. Sanjana says:

    Listen to Rafi Sahab’s son in conversation with radio personality Mr. Rohit Jagessar, “the Music Merchant” of

    Here is the link:'sSonInterview.mp3

  3. Sanjeev Dixit says:

    “jai Rafi sahab”
    Now Rafi Sahab’s lead is 240 votes:-
    Click on the link given below and move your cursor on the picture of RAFI SAHAB & CHOOSE THE OPTION “FACEBOOK” FOR VOTE. PLZ HURRY

    You can vote twice… with your mobile numbers at +918082807871 living
    outside India, and on 08082807871 within India.

    Can also vote with your facebook account. So, please, do it today itself
    and ask your friends to vote Rafi Saheb, it will be very appreciated.

    Thanks a lot…

  4. mohamedparvez says:

    Dear Sanjeev Ji ,Thanx For Sharing Rare Picture Of Last Moment Of Rafi Sahab With You ,If You Have More Rare Pictures Of Rafi Sahab, Please Share With Us,Kindly Visit This Links,Take Care,

  5. Santanu Banerji says:

    Thank you so much kuttyji for informing that Md Rafi sahab occupied the 12th position in the “best Indian after Gandhi ” contest. I say so, not because he was ahead of Kishore kumar and other legend singers (except Lataji ), but because his exact position remained fuzzy in that competition. I am thankful to Binu Nairji too for giving an information which is important to every music lovers of India. Madanmohan – Md Rafi combination is not only great, but as important as SJ-Md Rafi or Naushad – Md Rafi combination, although being less in numbers. Here in Kolkata, a section of people are mindlessly crazy about RD-Kishore combine, although, there is a ‘begali media’ hype behind this combine. But after 2004 or so, I seriously feel, the opinion in support of RD-Kishore combination is gradually petering out, might be because You-tube exposure of both of their voice has revealed the truth that, in terms of divine sublimity, timbre quality and range Md Rafi is far ahead of Kishoreji, and even in some duets and solos, he has even supassed another divine voice e.i., Lataji. But the point I would like to raise here is, whether was it love and reverence for Kishore kumar in the minds of musicians ( RD & KA in particular ) of early 70s that led to the sudden eclipse of Md Rafi from the top, or their were some conspiracy from the end 60s ( which ripened due to the success of Aradhana ) that led to the downfall of the master for few years.I would urge upon Binu Nayarji, Mr Halderji to enlighten Md Rafi lovers on this. And here comes the greatness of Madanji as a great musician, who refused to buckle down under pressure of ‘RD wave’ made it loud and clear to the producer during Laila Majnu, he would not allow anybody other than great Md Rafi to sing for him in that film.

  6. Binu Nair says:

    But after the brief rest period which anyone would have granted him – Mohd Rafi Saheb had decided and told select people : ” I will go away as the Number One from the Industry. And, It Indeed Happened.

  7. Shahid says:

    Rafi Sahab was the most versatile singer ever born. He has sang song on almost all the situations and most of these had been discussed. However it is surprising that no one have ever tried to writeup on ‘beggar songs’ by Rafi Sahab. He has to his credit most songs on this and nearly all of them are super hits. Like have a writeup as soon as possible.

  8. Dear Shri Sanjeevji,
    I had the great opportunity of seeing Rafi saheb at Chennai, when he came on a concert at Madras University Centenary Auditorium; In the Interval I jumped on to the stage and could reach Rafi saheb behind the main stage and touched his feet befor taking his autograph! He asked me why I touched his feet – Yeh kya hai! I said- you are my Guru Saaheb!Thus I had his blessings! The tkt counter foil is still with me intact! I sing Rafi saheb’s hits with Shri V.Seetharamaiah’s Musiano and our performance videos are posted on seetharamaiah1 channel of youtube network!
    With regards
    Dr G.RamaNarayana

  9. Souvik Chatterji says:

    Dear Sanjeevji,
    I am delighted to read your article on Rafisahab. I basically feel very little had been written about the relationship of Madanmohan Sahab with Rafi sahab. The media had always tried to highlight the relationship of Lataji with Madanmohan Sahab.

    But it is amazing that Madanmohanji had used Rafisahab in everyone’f films. Madanmohan Rafi deadly combination reflected in Bharatbhushan’s Gateway of India, Dharmender’s Neela Akash, Sunil Dutt’s Ghazal, Raj kumar’s Heer Ranjha, Navin Nischal’s Hasnte Zakhm, Sanjeev Kumar’s Naunihal. The list can go on.

    Unless personalities like you write, the new generation cannot understand the brilliant relationship of Rafi Sahab with your father which produced gems after gems.

    My humble regards to you.
    Souvik Chatterji

  10. sunil kumar says:

    This controversy over KK should be closed after so many polls surveys it has been established that there is no body even closed to Rafi saheb let alone talk of equal . Singers like lata ji asha ji and Kishore Mukesh are also legendary singers and I respect them but they are not even close to Rafi shaeb this this has been established so we should put full stop to it. No need to rake it up again and again. In no Poll no survey held till date they have been able to come ahead of Rafi saheb. The variety and the range of the man is incomparable.
    We the have the qualities of lata ji , asha ji , kishore , mukesh, mannadey all in one man called Mohd. Rafi . After being selected as the greatest actor of Millennium Amitabh is called as ” SADI KA MAHNAYAK” by Media why can’t we give the title ” SADI KA MAHAGAYK” to RAFi saheb because he is also selected as the greatest singer of the Millennium. Because the Media wont give him that title which they have given to Amitbah. Let us call him hence on as “SADI KA MAHAGAYAK”. Rafi saheb Zindabad

  11. vikram says:

    The other day I was watching Indian Idol on Sony tv. They did a segment on Madan Mohan sahab. Salim of the Salim-Merchant musical duo said that Madan Mohan sahab is his most favorite composer and that he is inspired by him. I could see the pride and respect in his eyes when he spoke about the legend. No wonder salim-Merchant are churning out the most melodious songs these days.
    It is heartning to know that top notch music composers in Bollywood hold Madan Mohan sahab in such high regard.

  12. Ijaz Ahmad Khushi says:

    Is it really from 30th of july 1980 ? day before Rafi sahib’s death ?

  13. Ali says:

    who are telling rafi saab is not comfortable in low pitch songs? I don’t think anyone can say that even lata ji was not able to sing with mohd rafi in low pitch.
    Greatest Indian after Gandhi ji,the 12th is not mohd rafi real position also lata ji not in list of best 10 but it was a game the list was ready I think before people vote, in India there is no honest person who say mohd rafi is not the best…..
    I think S khan can get more vote to compare with mr Bachchan today but no singer can get more vote than mohd rafi even after 32 years after his death…
    As Gandhi ji was not in voting list for us mohd rafi was not in voting list .
    Bharat ratna award not given to both Gandhi ji and mohd rafi because they are the best …..

  14. Ali says:

    Happy independence day to all Indian

  15. Ahamed Kutty says:

    it is a fact these so called anti rafi saab elements are trying to
    sideline rafi saab in so many ways.especially some of the fans
    of kk.they know their idol is nowhere to rafi saab but doing so
    many things against rafi saab.i had an experience here in
    bangalore that in one fm station they have played two songs
    of rafi saab (tere dar pe aayaa hum from laila majnu and
    teri aankhom ke siva duniyaa mein from chiraag) and
    announced it is sung by kk.this is very pity and disastrouse
    to project somebody.shame…………. no word to say.

    i am a fan of rafi saab more than 35 tears and still i am
    hearing songs which is not yet heard.the types of songs
    rafi saab had sung – it is unbelievable.recently i could
    hear a gazal sung by rafi saab “kaash khaabom mein…”
    and it is a good answer for those who are telling rafi
    saab is not comfortable in low pitch songs.

    lastly these kk fans are spreading so many things and
    dreaming so many things which will not come true.when
    the “star dust – hero honda” poll selected rafi saab as
    the “singer of the millennium” they do not know what to
    do.rafi saab got 70% of the votes polled and in the
    selection of the “greatest indian after Mahatma gandhi”,
    rafi saab was on 12th position and kk was on 32th position.
    our duty to be civilized in each and every action but the
    jelous people who are trying to preach like this forced us
    to tell like this about a legend like kk.

  16. josh says: hello rafi fans
    this group is mohd rafi fans club all join this new group and keep the memory going

  17. salim k says:

    Thanks Sanjeev ji for this photo. There is so much of charm and happiness on Rafisaabs face.

    Wonderful photo!!!

  18. Samshad says:

    Thank you Sajeev ji..

  19. Ashok Parekh says:

    no one could believe that rafisaab’s photo with sanjeevji was taken just a day before rafisaab left for his heavenly abode. we saw this great picture for the first time, thanks due to sanjeev kohli saab – son of legendary madanmohan saab – one of the greatest music directors of hindi cinema but unlucky to be remained under rated during his lifetime.

    while endorsing all the songs of rafisaab-modanmohanji listed here by esteemed writers as great, i would make special mention of one particular song which i personally believe is so romantic and seductive that no other songs in this category can even come close to it. this is the song from the film ‘suhagan’ – ‘tu mere samne hai teri zulfe hain khuli tera anchal hai dhala, main bhala honsh me kaise rahu’. the music, song and its picturisation on great gurudutt and mala sinhaji is just to be seen to believed.

    sanjeevji, while the picture you have kindly posted in this forum is great and everyone is thankful for the same, we all would eager to know much much more from your treasure of memoirs with rafisaab, his recordings with your great father modanmohanji, your personal experiences with both these gem of persons of hindi cinema. so, please do us this favour.

    with warm ragards
    ashok parekh

  20. Rahul Singh says:

    Dear Sanjeev,
    I was very much delightful after gng through ur comments about the melody king our beloved Rafi Sab. There was amazing musical chemistry between the two great legends i mean to say between one n only the legendry Madan Mohan Jee n Rafi Sab. Whenever we listen the immortal songs composed by Madan Jee n sang by Rafi Sab they directly touches our soul. Songs like tum jo mil gaye, teri anko key siwa, mei yeh sooch kar, rang aur noor ki, tumari zulfo ke, ek haseen shyam ko, dor reh kar na, ap ke pehlo mei, kabi na kabi, barbade mohabat ki, kisi ki yad mei, yeh dunya yeh mehfil and many more r the golden gifts that the two great legends have presented to all of us. But it is very unfortune that both of these legends and many other great musical builders of our film music industry like Naushad Sab, Roshan Sab, Shankar Jaikishen jee, OP Nayer jee, Mukesh jee, Manaday Dada, Talat Mehmood, etc have been always given less weightage by our monopoly media. In our media there are only two main legengs RD Burman and Kishore Kumar and rest of others are nothing. Even Kishore Kumar n Sonu Nigam have been rated best singers than Rafi Sab by a magazine. How sad it is that the main builders of our hindhi music are given less importance. Realy ‘Our Incredible India’

  21. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Sanjeev ji,

    Thank you very much for enriching this forum and sharing your experiences. Indeed you father is one of the most revered musical personality not only among common people but also in musical circles. Madanmohan- Rafi and Madanmohan-Lata were two of the most sweet combinations one can think of. I concur with haldar saab’s view that your father’s songs of Rafi saab are some of the most complex compositions. ‘Tum jo mil gaye ho…’ is the example… Other Madan-Rafi gems too are great in their own way… the list is pretty long.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  22. Sachin Sharma says:

    Dear Sanjeev ji
    Thanks alot for sharing some moments with great RAFI SAHAB and also your photograph with RAFI SAHAB.
    As per my view after great legend Shanker Jaikishan ,Madan Mohan is the only legend composer with whom RAFI SAHAB has given very memorable songs.

    Sachin Sharma

  23. sunil kumar says:

    anjeev ji your father and Rafi saheb had a magical chemistry which is evident in their work . The songs of “Haqeeqat” , “Aap Ki Parchaiyan”, “Naunihaal”, “Mera Saya”, “Gazal”, “Jahanaara”, ” Sharabi”, “Neela aakash”, “Dulhan Ek Raat Ki”, ” Hanste Zakhm” were some of the great works by these Great artists. Their work will be written in Golden Letters in the history as a masterly work.
    One song of the film ” Naunihal ” was dedicated to Pandit Nehru it was the highlight of that Movie. The Rendition of that song By Rafi sahab gave ample evidence How to sing a soulful song. People who want to learn how to throw words in such songs like “Meri Awaz suno” and “Tumahri Zulf ke saaye mein Shaam “. You have to be very precise while singing such songs not much of a force but a delicate push is required It is like a delicate shot played without using much force where a class batsman knows where and how much push he has to apply. Another Soulful song from Haqeeqat “Mai Yeh Soch Kar” the use of Violin is beautiful it ripples your heart what a composition and rendition by the Rafi sahab again an ample proof of their Chemistry at work. These are Incomparable songs and can only be heard today and not created again. Sanjiv sir It is our good fortune that you have thought to pen down some of the last moments of Rafi sahab . But what to do we want to know more as “Dil abhi Bhara Nahin” aur kabhi bharega bhi nahin.
    Thank You once again sir for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
    I am sorry i have pasted in other story also if possible please delete that

  24. Binu Nair says:

    Sanjeev ji…

    Let’s recollect some old memories ..

    I was specially priveleged when my colleague came and told me at my first rafi saaheb event :

    Mr sanjeev kohli has come , purchased a ticket and is now at the green room.

    this is what a real rafi saaheb lover and music lover will ‘do’ and i will remember this until the last days of my life…..

    then, on my request you penned an article in our ‘sargam’ magazine. this won many a hearts.

    then, at another musical event mr ajay kohli attended but asked me for tickets to attend. them, i had send no tickets for you as i will be ‘ungrateful to madan mohan saaheb’.

    ajay ji spoke on the song : “tum jo mil gaye ho – recording which was rehearsed for many months by rafi saaaheb.”

    pls pen a few lines on the ‘monumental’ song sung by rafi saaheb and tuned by madan saaheb.

    we all greet you to this great site… to air our views and music.

    thankyou from the rafi foundation.

    binu nair, cell : 0 9833 250 701

  25. Siva says:

    Dear Sanjeev ji
    It is so touching to see this photo taken just a day before the greatest singer left us all , leaving behind such a rich legacy of evergreen melodies that even generations to come would cherish. Can anyone believe that even a day before his demise he was so charming with his trademark smile.
    I take this opportunity to thank you for sharing this special moment with us and also take the liberty of thanking the “Ghazal King” Swargeeya Madanmohanji for all his masterpieces. There are hundreds of Madanmohan-Rafi gems, but one song that stands totally unique and may remian so even after hunderds of years is “Mein ye soch kar us ke dar se utha tha” . This is a brilliant composition but not much talked about-a very short but powerful composition which only genius like Madanmohan & Rafi can ever think of composing & rendering.

  26. PRAVEEN KUMAR says:

    rafi saheb was something exceptional. god creates such personality only once in every lakh of years. we love him.

  27. B says:

    Sanjeev ji…..

    Industry people discared the real talents many a times…. you are aware that of ‘many’ dirts carried by the so-called ratnas of the singing industry.

    mohd rafi saaheb and madan mohan saaheb were the gems who are ‘unforgettables’.

    we have met at our events and let me say that many songs of madan saaheb are so well taken by the listeners.

    so many songs come to the mind sanjeevji…….. and hanste zakhma songs stand out. the diamond being the challenging songs….. ‘ tum jo mil gaye hi ‘

    thanks for the opening write up in

  28. Ali says:

    When films makers forsed music directors in 1970″s to use kishore da in place of mohd rafi but madan mohan was one of few who said to films makers that i will give music only if mohd rafi is playback singer.
    It said that mohd rafi came back 1970″s with rd music but in real mohd rafi was there with madan ji and lp but it was rd back …….

  29. jai ketwaru says:

    Who too Whooo tha.He was and is the singing miracle of the world !jai.ketwaru

  30. Jas Bhakar says:

    Mohammed Rafi ji will always remain in our hearts , No one can ever replace Rafi Ji


  31. with madan ji rafi saah sung some immortal songs like ‘hoke majboor mujhe, kar chale hum fida jane tan saathio.., main ye sochkar uske dar se and who can forget the songs of ‘heer ranjha and many more. rafi saab was a ‘kohinoor’ of hindi film industry and each song rafi saab sang in his life time became a ‘jewel’ ifself. Rafi saab ka jawab nahi.
    Birendra Singh Bisht

  32. Zafar Ahmad says:

    Madan Ji is a famous compositor in Indian music history. There are lot of films songs are imortal with Rafi Sahib of Modan Ji. If I compile the the list of music directors of India one by one Naushad Ali is the first, second Shankir Jaikashan, thrid S.D. Burman, on the foruth position Madan Mohan, Roshan, Ravi, Salil Chaudhari, Chitergupt come before us. Definitely, contribution of Modan Ji is very important in indian music. His songs with rafi sahib and Talat Mahmood are remarkable.

  33. we can imagine what would have been you position when you came to know of rafi saab’s sudden demise, a day after you happened to meet him.. please tell us more about your last meeting and also some thing more about the relationship your father had with rafi saab, the meetings, the discussions , the sittings, the rehearsals etc etc which used to take place then..

  34. The professional relatioship of Madan Mohan and Mohammad Rafi has given some of the most unforgttebale gems that find place in any Hall of Fame of the Hindi Film music.
    Only the ignorant few may carry the impression that Rafisaa’ab and Madan Mohan did not work closely enough.

  35. P. Haldar says:

    Dear Sanjeev ji,

    Every single Rafian I know simply adores your dad. One of the greatest composers the industry has ever produced. I am too ordinary a person to comment on Madan ji’s compositions for Rafi saab; suffice it to say that they are some of the most complex compositions I’ve heard. If one were to compile a list of the top 25 Rafi songs, it would be hard not to include at least six of your dad’s compositions. In my humble opinion, no one — and I repeat, no one — composed the quality of songs that Madan ji did for Rafi saab in the 70s.

    With warm regards,
    P. Haldar

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