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The nation remembers Rafi on his death anniversary

This article is written by Mr. Souvik Chatterji

The nation remembers Mohammad Rafi on his death anniversary on 31st july, 2009. It was a very painful experience for most of the music lovers of India and abroad to recollect the experience of 31st July, 1980. 29 years had passed since his death and yet time could not heal the wound inflicted in the hearts of numerous music lovers of the country.

He is still alive in the hearts of millions of Indians with his 26000 songs. He had given expression to almost all the leading stars of bollywood and also the poets and composers of the golden age. He had created such an invaluable treasure of songs most of which can be termed as masterpieces, that the listeners can cherish his work for ever.

Admirers of Naushad can hear Rafi’s “do sitaron ka zameen par hai Milan“, “man tarpat“, “koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi“, “ek shahenshahne banwake haseen tajmahal” thousand times, admirers of Shankar Jaikishan search Rafi in “o mere shahekhuba“, “chalke teri ankhose“, “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar“, etc., admirers of Roshan find peace in Rafi’s “jo wada kiya ho“, “dil jo na keh saka“, “ab kya misaal doon“, “man re“, etc., admirers of Madan Mohan hear “tumhari zulfonki saye me“, “aap ke pehlu me“, “baad muddat key eh ghari aye“, etc., again and again. Besides Rafi had galvanized the fortunes of Laxmikant Pyarellal, OP Nayyar, SD Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, RD Burman and many other composers of the 50s, 60s, 70s. Articles after articles can be devoted to Rafi’s combination with the musical giants.

On the other hand Rafi had raised the standard of playback singing in the golden age which had become a benchmark which is difficult reach but can be followed by singers of the present day. Rafi had given different types of expressions for Dilip Kumar (madhuban me radhika, aaj purani rahon par), Shammi Kapoor (akele akele, diwana hua badal), Rajender Kumar (mere mehboob tujhe, o priya), Johnny Walker (ay dil mushkil, jangal me mor nacha), Pradeep Kumar (dil jo na keh saka, hum intezar karenge), Guru Dutt (chaudavi ka chand, yeh mahalon), Biswajeet (pukarta chala hoon mai, a gale lag ja) Bharat Bhushan (zindagi bhar nahi, kisiki yaad me), Joy Mukherjee (bahut shukriya, japan love in tokyo, Dharmender (naja kabhi ab na ja, gair tum bhula na doge), Jeetender (dhal gaya din, baar baar din yeh aye) and others. Rafi’s combination with these evergreen stars had been glorified and is still being revisited.

In respect of Rafi lovers all across the world, there is one big challenge to unearth many unheard songs including Rafi’s private albums. A number of songs sung in the regional languages had been preserved, including Bengali songs like songs of Nazrul Islam. Songs like “alga korogo khopar badhon“, “pakhitar buke“, “ekhono biday bolona“, “tomar nil dopati chok“, “e jibone mor“, amused the Bengali audience as well.

The playback singers of the present age like Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan and others pay immense respect to Mohammad Rafi and still consider him as the legend of legends in the field of music. Sonu Nigam  in the program Mohammad Rafi resurrected tried to sing Rafi’s classics in Europe. The listeners realized that the singing of versatile singer Sonu Nigam even could not match Rafi’s level of excellence and as such most of his songs can challenge the leading singers of India and Pakistan even today. With change in demands of music at this present moment with pop, rap, western collections becoming prevalent, Rafi is probably the only legend of the 50s, 60s, and 70s whose songs had still remained young.

The listeners should revisit the songs of Rafi and restore the creations to pay homage to the noble soul who departed the music -lovers 29 years ago.

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

Souvik Chatterji, the author of this article

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15 Blog Comments to “The nation remembers Rafi on his death anniversary”

  1. utpal kumar sarma says:

    I am a big fan of Rafi Sir. I want to meet the lagendary singer’s family. I want to spend atleast one hour with his family.

  2. utpal kumar sarma says:

    Rafi Sir is an Asset to India.

  3. Raza Husaini says:

    Rafi Sahab was undoubtedly best singer that India had produced, be it devotional, romantic or any other nature of song. The versatility of adjusting as per the face on the screen was done by him and was the first one to innovate singing of this nature.

    It is unfortunate that we don’t honour this great singer by organising a tribute concert on his death anniversary. Seasons will come and seasons will go but Rafi’s memories would go manifold.

  4. It is very sad to mention here sir, despite a huge fan following to the extent of 50,000 and above (evident through orkut) no move is being materialized towards honouring Rafisahaab with Bharat ratna. All the fans seems to be busy in playing Antakshari based on Rafi sahaab songs and also they are busy in making endless comparision between Rafi sahaab and others. May God bless them all and May God Rafisahaab’s soul rest in peace.

  5. Nasreen says:

    Ref Post 3 , Ms Zaman – I agree with you that no award of this finite world could be equal to the stature of Rafi Saab. But this world does give awards, we are here and it is not for him but for us that the award should be given to him. Not just a Bharat Ratna, he should get an international award – he is bringing joy to millions of people around the world not just in India. And he will never stop doing that. Even from this site, you can find that there are young kids as young as 12 years old who are saying that they love his songs. There will never be another Rafi Saab but there will always be those who appreciate and love him. He will never ever die.
    I find it shocking that he has not been given a Bharat Ratna yet, how can the government be so ungrateful?

  6. santosh says:

    It is really a sad and happy day for all rafi fans.It is happy because today we remember more about our dear rafi saab.We do remember him everyday but today it is more pronounced.The sad part is ofcourse the grim and painful fact that he is no more with us.

    I salute the master and pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace.I am sure somewhere up there he is sitting and smiling and showering his graceful blessings on us.

    today as u hear the new songs and rubbish singers like sonu who sounds like a feminine voice,We realise how great rafi saab was.

    Once again rafi saab we all miss you and remember you.

  7. ziaul islam says:

    On Rafi saheb’s death anniversary I checked various websites in which most prominent is HMV’S, its shame on the part of SAREGAMA to ignore Rafi Saheb who still providing them bread. Anyhow we Rafians do not need any such support or publicity, Rafi Sahab stays in our hearts. We love him so much that on this ocassion we pray Allah Subhanahu Tala that his soul may rest in peace.

  8. A S MURTY says:

    souvikji namaskar. fantastic tribute to rafi sahab by you. i enjoyed reading this immensely. i agree when you say that “In respect of Rafi lovers all across the world, there is one big challenge to unearth many unheard songs including Rafi’s private albums. A number of songs sung in the regional languages had been preserved,…..”. they are national musical treasures.

  9. Anmol Singh says:

    Good Write Up,

    Would differ on one point. Considering the reality shows and the standard music in the present era, I would saw Sonu Nigam sang exceptionally well in the Live concert in London. Plus the music redention by British musicians was outstanding. One of the live concerts I enjoyed in the present era.

  10. Jalaja Harish says:

    Iam a great fan of Mohd. Rafi since thirty years. Today on his death anniversary I would like to share the remembrance of him with all Mohd. rafi fans . I salute him with all my heart

  11. Sultan Mustafijul Hoque says:

    Rafi was an angel to the history of music. We selute him.

  12. Sagnik Chatterjee says:

    your article encompasses the total range of Rafi Saab. Keep it up.

  13. ms zaman says:

    Mohammad Rafi, the most revered singer of all times was a boon to India from God. Often people say it s injustice to deny him Bharat Ratana while the fact is that he was a divine blessing to India and no award of this finite world can be equal to his stature. The love only that trespasses the boundaries of generations, times, ages and, of courses, geographical may be the best award that we can offer to him….Rafi Sahab….you are simply the real Tansen or Baiju Bawra of our country and we love you for all you are….Long Live Rafi

  14. Priya Sanyal says:

    it would be enough if just any one person with true love remember this embodiment of Love n divinity Md rafi ji,,,,,,but with our Rafiji,,there r so many,,,really countable r those who truly adore,Rafiji,,,may God grant peace to this massiah of Melody!!!

  15. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Yes, the nation remembers Rafi Saheb on his death anniversary…. but I believe the world remembers the legend of the legends, on this day. And for sure, he’ll not be forgotten till world ends. May his soul rest in peace, Ameen.

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