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True Voice – Mohd Rafi

The following article was brought to my notice when Sharad posted it on MAS. The article has been trimmed down a bit keeping afloat Rafi details. However, anyone interested can go visit the source at

I am Swaminatha Iyer and I am 78 years old. I hail from Tiruchi and I am a part of music associations in Tiruchi, M’as as well as in West Bengal and Maharashtra.

I think it is wrong to condemn music or artists on either side of Vindhyas. Our Indian music is one of the few which has not been cleaned off by the western music though there has always been a influence. It speaks a lot of the richness of our music. Sometime back director of MTV had said that MTV westernized the music wherever it went but in India , MTV had to be Indianized for it to be accepted. A lot of this credit goes to the Indian film music.

I have been fortunate to have close personal association with Rafi, Sirkali, TMS, Dr. BMK, Kishore, SPB & KJY, PS, Mannadey and the one and only Lata Mangeshkar.

Comparisons are bound to come, but almost every artist or I have met considers Lata to be beyond comparison. Her talents are beyond anyone’s reach. Even Sirkazi used to talk of her singing like a die-hard fan as do countless others.

Now coming to the Rafi-SPB discussion. It might be difficult to convince an South Indian to believe Rafi is the better and at the same time Rafi crowd will never believe any other male singer comes anywhere nearer. There is one more mobile crowd, which is well conversant with Hindi and some south Indian language. Majority of them tilt to either Rafi or Kishore.

During one of my stays in M’as I had stayed with SPB. While talking of true voices he said, I don’t feel like half a singer when listening to Rafi. True voice is not a tech term but many in circle use it. Perfect example would be lata, but to understand consider our own PS who within her range is superb. People who do not have such true voices can never do justice to original. They generally underplay many parts of the song or fake it with bass/superficial singing. True voices make people like Sirkazi, Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, Lata… Inimitable. However since Sirkazi and Nusrat did not have the filmy voices their “real” following is limited to their local arena.

In addition to the true voice if the singer has a very good voice then in “most” cases he/she can better songs of others. It is this combination which makes Rafi stand out among the other male singers. There are many here who seem to have mistaken notions on a good bass and also on high pitch.

Bryan Adams does not require a monster bass in “Summer of 69” to sound real manly. It is the punch which gives that feel and that is decided only by the comfort level in most ranges (that is by what your throat can support). This you CAN never disguise with bass. Since people have talked about lack of manly voice viz. a viz. Rafi it was necessary to bring this point out. I have had the fortune of listening to most singers in studio and some times without a mike, practicing with MD’s.When Lata or Rafi do, the level is so high that people hesitate to even hum. It felt silly to sing in their presence (and it feels silly when someone says his voice isn’t manly).

In RD’s tribute when SPB sang “Aaja Aaja mein hoon” or “Chaand mera dil” it sounded only sweet and lacked punch if you compare with Rafi’s original.

Yesu once told me God has been partial to Rafi. He said “god gift term anavasyamaa romba common aa ippo use aardu”.. but idu Rafi kee thaan 100% porundu”. This person could sing “as intricately as a lady without sounding thin”, “cover any mood”, “versatility odey perfect example Rafi”. Yesu said most important is the comfort level over ranges which makes you feel God has been partial to Rafi. (But Of course in Rafi’s early career (1950’s) the voice was relatively feeble).

To people exposed to Rafi’s talent, these or any amount of praise can only seem less. I just wish he was alive and you people could get a live chance to hear him. Probably you can get hold of the DD album for the Geet Gaata Chal series where the first four episodes were dedicated to Rafi. Rafi is on camera singing “O Duniya Ke Rakwaaley” and many other songs. If you see and hear the last part you will realize why SPB said “impossible”. I think particularly those people who have talked about scales w.r.t Rafi should see this album. Its a known fact in industry that Rafi ruled high pitch and there is no male singer better in switching notes so easily. There are artists who can go beyond but then they sound strained or they don’t have pleasant voices when they venture into those territories.

Many singers of today are his compulsive followers. But they end up inheriting only part of his quality. Md. Aziz ended up with a sad voice. Mahendra Kapoor with a thick nasal voice. Anwar with a nasal voice. Sonu Nigam with a feminine voice. Rafi neither had a soft voice nor a heavy (bass) voice he had a good voice. Importantly did not strain at high notes, and voice if at all only became better at higher notes. If you see him singing it will remind you of Janaki. However diff the song is or the note is he will be smiling and singing. It is unthinkable that he cannot sing something.

There seems to be lot of talk about “Shankara Bharanamo” song. SPB has sung many a great numbers and things being said about this song in this forum are rather amusing, particularly b’cos 3 out of 4 people who can be called as singers will be able sing it and at least one out of 10 will sing it with the same effect. There are lot of other songs of SPB where this great singer has played with songs in total control. You will find most south Indian singers who have had a good exposure say that it is beneficial to learn Hindustani as it gives better breath control and improves expression.

Rafi was not only able to glide over a song, the important thing was that he could express each word/sound when singing. It is one thing to hold your breath, start and reach a crescendo (high note), as like in “Shankara”, “Anbey (Yennai kaan villaye)” it is different ballgame if you have to do it from low notes or suddenly switch notes. With practice the former can be done, latter requires a special gift. Rafi had a natural ability to do the latter. In “Tum joh mil gaye ho” there is such a transition in the “karwaan mil gaya” part. I have never seen anyone do justice to most of his songs in my life time. In “parda hai parda” quawaali the similar part is “kar doon to, Akbar mera naam”. In fact most of his songs will have these specialty as it was his natural ability to sing freely in a wide range at the same time giving that extra expression.

Whereas SPB takes us to heavens with “Idu oru pon maali”,”Ilaya nila” “bisiladarenu”(kannada), when he sings Rafi’s song it lacks the punch or expression, though it has the bass. But at least most agree that SPB does some justice to original, whereas most others murder the original.

One trivial point I would like to add is that singing in Hindi is harder. There are more “JHA”,”CHA”,”HA”,”THA”, “KHA”,”JA”,”FA”. These take away the breath faster. The more expressive you are the more air you are using up. Just singing from Nabhi will not help, your throat also needs to do a lot, for singing in Hindi, Bengali etc. SPB makes you fall in love with his south Indian songs but same cannot be said about his Hindi songs. If you just glide through words having these sounds, you will never be expressive. Doing this as well as reaching high notes is not easy. Rafi had this gift and that’s why it is difficult to imagine anyone else in his shoes. Song “Chalkaaye jaam” has so much expression that it is unthinkable how anyone can sing it. When Rafi switches to a high note with “Mitwaa” in the song “Chaahunga mein tughey” you cannot replicate it with bass. Most others will sound as if they are shouting in such cases. That man’s throat had the ability to freely sing at such levels.

Versatility is not just the ability to sing in various styles, more important is how good you are singing in those styles. You have lot of Ghazal singers today but when Rafi sings a Ghazal you will sit up and take notice. You don’t have to be part of the Ghazal listeners crowd. This is one important aspect. Whatever style you sing you should be able to pull the common man to listen and not just a particular crowd. Pick “parda hai parda” or any qawalli and it will stand tall among other qawalli’s.

Variety is amazing :

songs of Guru Dutt’s Khagaz key phool or songs like abhi naa jao chod key, Aaja teri yaad aayi, Aaj kal mein dhal gaya, Aaj kal terey merey pyaar, Aasmaan sey aaya farishta, Dil ney pyaar kiya hai, Deewana mujh saa nahi, Din dhal jaaye, Duniya paagal hai, Jaane walon jara, Dil joh na kaha saka, Dil key jharokon mein, Dil kaa bhavar, Chalkey teri aakkhon sey, Kar chaley hum fida, khilona jaan kar tum, Woh jab yaad aay, Woh hain jara khafa, Vaadian mera daaman, Pathar key sanam, Chaand mera dil, Main zindagi kaa saath, Mainey poocha chaand sey, sun sun jaalima, Koi jab raah na paay, hum to chaley pardes, badan pey sitaarey, laal chadi maidaan, Tum jo mil gaye, O meri shaahey, Sau baar janam lengey, Tum mujhey yoon bhula, Tumney mujhey dekha, Terey merey sapney, Tumny pukaara hum chaley aay

Name a situation/mood and Rafi’s song will be there on the top.


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3,776 Blog Comments to “True Voice – Mohd Rafi”

  1. ashwani says:

    Dear Narayanan,

    I am not asking you to change ur view. I am writing what i am thinking.
    I have never written anything against Rafi apart from my like and dislike to his songs.
    But there are few nonsense Rafi fans who has written nonsense words to KISHORE or other singers.

    For me KISHORE was/is/will always remain no. 1 and noone can chnage my view and i don’t want to change other’s view.

    We are living in democratic country and everyone has rights to say his like and dislike.
    My opinion differ from you, does it mean u people know everything.
    No Boss get doctor check-up.

    You are saying that you don’t like “PAG GHUNGHAROO BANDH”, fair enough, u have rights to say but according to me noone except KISHORE could do justice to this songs.
    You have written few Rafi’s melidious songs which can’t be compared with “PAG GHUNGHAROO”.

    Many more…………

  2. sagar81 says:

    Dear Narayanan,

    Sir, you are absolutely right and very clear, but people like SWAMI , AVI and SHANKAR have a mental blockage for RAFI SAAB, their heart knows that he is the best but their BRAINS are DIRTY who doesnt want to accept the TRUTH

  3. P.Narayanan says:

    Dear Swami ,
    Do u know that SPB has the highest respect for Rafi Sahab which he had quoted in the Podhigai( Tamil Channel) ? SPB also mentioned that practically every day he listens to the old hits of the legend of legends Rafi.
    U being his ardent fan u are only insulting n humiliating SPB by ur childish comments.
    Iam a South Indian and I enjoy all the songs of Rafi sab from the late 40s to 80s.
    Regarding Pag Ghungroo… song I personally disliked it and is not worth mentioning .
    U have to be a fair true music lover and listen to the melodious films songs of Rafi like Dosti, chaudavin ka chand, Mera Saaya, Arzoo, Dil-ek mandir,Guide, Neel Kamal to name a few to start in solitude and still if u do not like them u r not a true music lover.
    I also like some songs of Kishore,Mukesh,Talat,Manna dey but RAFI SAHABS SONG ARE THE BEST LIKED.
    Dear Ashwani,
    If u feel that ur biased comments would change the facts .sorry u are mistaken. We are not mannerless to play peeping tom like a rude intruder to other sites. Simillarly we all fans would ask u to confine ur blind opinion to urselves and not to disturb the sanctity of this unique forum

  4. Umar says:

    My request to all Rafi fans,

    Please, Please do not get abusive. Rafi sahab was the Greatest singer and would remain so, even if the likes of Ashwani, who are musically deaf say so otherwise.

    Kishore sung some good songs, flukes do happen. Comparing him, even discussing a comparision is an insult to the talent of Rafi.

    I think the best way forward for this thread is to ignore the musically deaf writting here. πŸ™‚


  5. sagar81 says:

    Khalid Bhai ,
    you are right , these junks come here and say anything which is not at all related to music and also bring a junk called KISHORE MONKEY KUMAR along with them and god knows what songs they bring to compare with RAFI SAAB’s image and quality.

    IDIOTS they are.

  6. Khalid Rashid says:

    Swami must be the biggest goat and donkey all rolled into one. What an idiot bringing the goat bit up you are the father of all goats and donkeys you idiot.


  7. sagar81 says:

    dear swami,

    you IDIOT , the songs which you have mentioned which KISHORE has sung , really proves your category and also tells what kind of person you are.

    swami boss, great simply fantastic , KISHORE’S voice is really constipated , it makes people do constipation :).

    do one why don’t you sleep on KSIHORE’S lap, I think he needs you there not here ?

    We Rafians will live here to listen to his MASTER voice.So swami bhai just ” FUCK OFF ” with all the stuff of KISHORE .


  8. swami says:

    If KIshore voice is constipated voice then i must say that Rafi voice is “Baa Baaaaaaa voice”.

    “Kar chale hum fida” is not only Rafi song, I gave more credit to Lyricist but no doubt Rafi sang very well. Boss we appreciate Rafi also but he is just choice of few illiterate (who concentrate on singing technique) people.

    Is there anyone who can sung
    1. Pag ghungharoo Bandh
    2. Main SHayar Badnaam
    3. Thodi so jo pili hai
    4. E mousam aaya hai.

    Rafi can sing “O duniye ke rakhwale” but i m sure Manna Dey would had sing the same song better than him. But no one can sing “Pag ghungharoo Bandh”.
    The way KISHORE start the song, i smind blowing.
    There are many Tamil song sung by SPB which is out of Rafi’s limit.

    MumbaiGuy, I heard the same soong mentioned by AVI from AAkraman, its fabulous.
    Boss for u may be it is cheap but for me it is a class work.
    Same like “LAL CHHADI MAINDAN khadi” is one of the many cheap work done by RAFI.

  9. MumbaiGuy says:

    Hi Swami,

    Just read all the posts on this thread…

    All you are doing is showing to the world how cheap and illiterate you are. Ladies voice???? You need to get your aural apparatus checked by a physician. Rafi had the best voice out of all the singers, very manly and melodious at the same time. He could modulate his voice to sound different for different scenarios, situations, genres, and actors. Kishore on the other hand had an extremely cheap, constipated, loud and a voice which will suit a cheap pan-walla. Plus, he had a very limited range.

    If the extremely cheap sounding patriotic song in Aakraman is what you call a good patriotic song, then you seriously need some help.

    I was also surprised to look at Avi’s mention of patriotic songs, bhajans, and ghazals of Kishore. Avi…everyone knows that Kishore didn’t have the voice, range or the ability to sing meaningful songs, but don’t be forcing it. You are making a joke of yourself by citing such songs like “Haal Kya hai dilon ka” as a qawwali, have some shame before you call these cheap songs as qawwalis. Your standards must be really really low. Plus, the song from Aakraman sounds so cheap…Kishore’s constipated and loud voice sucks in the song. Listen to Kar Chale Hum Fida and you will understand what a true patriotic song is supposed to be. Of course, you will have to grow up before you can appreciate such meaningful songs.

    Swami….there is a difference between a good speaking voice and a good singing voice, but You must be mentally retarded to think that an elephant-like voice is a good singing voice. If that was the case, Amitabh would have had the best singing voice ever, but everybody knows that that is not the case. Just listen to the Oh Duniya Ke Rakhwale song, not the movie version, but the live version from the Around the World tour album and you will understand the range of Rafi’s voice.

  10. sagar81 says:





  11. swami says:


    I think u r not satisfy with the tratement u got in “RAFI-KISHORE SAGA” site.

    Just check movie called AAKRAMAN, There is patriotic song sung by KISHORE and its brilliant.

    But i am great fan of SPB and Rafi is like GOAT in front of him. SPB is greatest n he sang all kind of songs, above all he sang in HINDI also which is most popular.

    I don’t know why u like him(Rafi), His voice is very much like ladies voice.


  12. sagar81 says:

    Dear Ashwani ,

    First tell me are you male or female ? Because they way your post are on this screen doesnt give clear IDEA on what exactly you are , the stupid examples you are giving are hopeless and meaningless, b’coz when you say no one can touch KISHOR actually you are right no one and really not even our RAFI SAAB can touch his MEDIOCRE songs because KISHORE was star when RAFI SAAB was not in competition and RAFI SAAB RULED AND WAS STAR WHEN KISHORE WAS IN COMPETITION, this clearly states the difference, another difference is that if you think BARKING is music then no one here can help you tendency because you don’t have any interest in MUSIC.

    do you remember or ever heard the song from GUMNAAM ” HUM KAALE HAIN TO KYA …. ” I don’t think Kishore would have ever done that song in a charm he would have BARKED like anything but the magic RAFI SAAB delivered that magic we would have missed today , and also one more thing KISHORE use to ask for songs , but RAFI SAAB use to get the songs for his talents, now if you call Kishore’s Monkey Dancing a talent then again as I said no one can help you b’coz YODELLING which Kishore use to do was not a part of MUSIC which he did in PYAAR KA MAUSAM and many more , but listen to the intense voice of RAFI SAAB in the same picture and you will feel the difference.

    If you are a true INDIAN also listen to ” KAR CHALE HUM FIDA ” that song has NO BACKGROUND SCORE but the depth , intensity and touch which RAFI SAAB has given still bring tears and makes us feel proud that we are INDIANS. Did KISHORE in his life sang a BHAJAN , PATRIOTIC song , he was a commercial bluff thats all.

    Anyways I hope you are clear if not let me know later I will give you more examples and try to clear your mental blockage against the true maestro RAFI SAAB.



  13. ashwani says:

    Dear Khalid,

    I am not talking abt u. There r few rafi fans in “RAFI-KISHORE SAGA” wrote like this.

  14. Khalid Rashid says:

    Thanks Rajeev

    Ashwini – I never called Kishore a constipated singer its you who is bringing it up boss.


  15. Rajeev says:

    Hey guys,

    Check out this Manna Dey interview, and he is quoted in the last para saying Ò€œRafi was great. He was the best product of Indian music industry.Ò€

    Manna Dey is a better judge than almost anybody only because he was very very closely involved with Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore, Lata & Asha and was a master in the field himself, and he is calling Rafi as the BEST in the entire music industry.

    Other singers had their strengths and weaknesses, but Rafi, in my opinion, had it all. Manna Dey’s proclamation is yet another proof of RafiÒ€ℒs overall vast superiority over all other singers.

    Here is the link:


  16. ashwani says:

    Dear Khalid,

    Don’t get angry boss. It is my choice. if you people say KISHORE is a constipated singer then i said what i felt. You should not get hurt.

    It doesn’t look good when Rafi sangs for AMITABH. It is truth. His voices did not suit him but of course he gave few brilliant songs for AMITABH.

  17. Khalid Rashid says:


    How the hell can you say Laal Chadi is worst song. What a class song this is.

    John Jaani (Not Naani) Janardhan is brilliantly rendered by Rafi Saab.

    I suppose being a Kishore fan you cannot see that Rafi did well in Naseeb for Amithab.


  18. Khalid Rashid says:


    How the hell can you say Laal Chadi is worst song. What a clas song this is.

    John Jaani (Not Naani) Janardhan is brilliantly rendered by Rafi Saab.

    I suppose being a Kishore fan you cannot see that Rafi did well in Naseen for Amithab.


  19. ashwani says:

    Dear Manoj G,

    People who are just short of their comments and anlaysis they started doing so as Manoj did. I was not crushed boss.

    Unsecure people like u n Manoj who take this kind of stand and what is point in putting my weakness. I am doing great in my career so why should i care abt u and othe manoj.

    See people have not left Gandhiji, Kishore so what am i?

    Boss u r free to say whom u like n dislike but don’t say only Rafi was greatest. I can’t be accepted.

    I always put my comments when Rafi fans says only Rafi is great. If u r thinking i m wrong so let it be.

    Boss as u r in Singapore, i am in Japan even people here known KISHORE. I can see ur father influence on you. It is fact that people who like DILIP KUMAR, it is difficult for them to digest AMITABH success and same for people who likes AMITABH, they don’t like SRK.

    Dear Manoj, There are many pathic jolly songs sung by Rafi and few of them you ve laready mentioned in ur blog.
    “LAL CHHADI” and “John Naani Janaardhan” is worst but “Badan pe sitare” is great.

    Quawalli sung by KISHORE
    1. DUSHAMan (Sachhai chup nahi sakti…)
    2. ANOKHI ADA and many (HAAL Kya hai dilon ka..)

    1. one song with LATA in “Mr. X in Bombay”

    1. AAkraman

    Haqeeqat is only movie where RAFI sung good patriotic songs. I will give 100% ricist and of couse Rafi sang fantastically.

    Boss. u should write with full proof. U have very little knowledge abt KISHORE..

    Can listen Rafi when u r sad or jolly? NO NOOOOOOOOOO.

  20. Manoj G says:

    By the way, unlike the other Manoj, I must tell you that I have high regards for Kishore, and I listen to his songs almost as much as Rafi’s songs. Even though I consider Rafi to be the greatest, better and more versatile singer than Kishore, I still listen to Kishore the most after Rafi. I especially like the songs that he sang for Pancham Da, but maybe it’s the fact that I am only 21 yrs old that I love the RDB kinda of music. I like Kishore’s yoodling too, although it seems out of place in some songs. My dad, who is a big Rafi fan, tells me that I won’t like the Kishore songs once I grow older. I guess, I will have to see….

  21. Manoj G says:


    I will also like to mention that you have tried to compare Rafi & Kishore in different styles in one of your earlier posts, and you could come up with only 4 different styles?? I must inform you that they are at least a couple dozen more styles prevalent in Hindi playback singing, and Kishore couldn’t even dream of singing at least a dozen of those styles. In fact, it’s funny when Kishore’s fans call him a versatile singer. He was anything but versatile, especially when compared to Rafi. I have hardly heard a good qawwali, thumri, ghazal, patriotic song, or bhajan by Kishore Kumar. Plus, as several people have pointed out, even I am not fond of his loud, rough voice. By the way, when picking a “jolly” Rafi song, why didn’t you pick “Lal Chhadi, Maidan Khadi”, “Badan pe sitare”, or “John Jani Janaardhan” and scores of other happy Rafi songs? Why did you pick one of Rafi’s lesser numbers from “Pyar Kiye Ja” because there are hundreds of Kishore numbers which are much worse. All the great singers have had their share of bad songs, they are all human after all. Just wanted to understand your reasoning behind it.

  22. Manoj says:

    Ashwani…..Sorry, but I should have mentioned it in my earlier post that I am not the same Manoj who you have been arguing with. I don’t live in B’lore like the other Manoj, I am settled in Singapore. Just to differentiate, I guess I will sign off as Manoj G since my last name starts with a G.

  23. Manoj says:

    Hi Ashwani,

    You are mistaken that there is any forum to compare Rafi to Kishore on this site. If you pay more attention, it is just an article published in the Statesman, Calcutta edition that is just talking about the Rafi-Kishore saga, and people are just adding comments for the article. By the way, even the author of that article, Ranjan Das, asserts in the article that Mohd Rafi was the greatest playback singer of them all.

    Actually, I just went through this entire thread and realized that you were the first one to start comparing Rafi Saheb with Kishore Kumar, and several people have already pointed your mistake. It shows the inherent insecurity that all Kishore fans have because they know that Kishore was an extremely limited singer with several weak points. By virtue of being the first one in this thread to start the comparison, you have destroyed the decor of this forum. In fact, I just read how Manoj crushed you with his incisive writing, and though I don’t approve what he did to you at all, it almost seems like people like you deserve that kind of treatment because you aren’t respecting the sanctity of a Rafi forum. We don’t need people like you and Raj in a Rafi forum. None of us care to visit a Kishore Kumar forum and remind them of the fact that Rafi is the greatest of them all. We don’t feel there is any need to do so, since we know the facts all too well and don’t bother. Kishore sang some really nice songs, especially with RDB, but is almost nothing as playback singer when compared to Rafi.

  24. ashwani says:

    Dear Abdul,

    I respect ur feeling and don’t have on it. Evrybody has their own like n dislike as u like Rafi and i like KISHORE.

    But i interven when rafi fans says only rafi is great which is not true. As everybody know and u also said that Rafi dominated 50’s and 60’s and KISHORE dominated 70’s and 80’s.

    After such a proof still rafi fans said RAFI is greatest. We don;t have any issue if Rafi fans say RAFI is greatest but they should not put KISHORE at 2nd Place.

    Abdul, i m agree to u and i must say, both r uncomparable.

    Dear Umar, I know who is great and thats why i want to open ur eyes.
    FYI only u people compare RAFI with KISHORE. Proof is, in the same site there is forum

  25. Umar says:


    I don’t think the questions is of likes or dislikes. I myself like some songs of Kishore (however wish that Rafi had sung them). I am biased to wards Rafi, no doubt about that.

    I can understand when someone says that kishore is the best, the criteria being their personal taste. However if someone argues that Kishore is better than Rafi in his ability as a playback singer, in his rendition of songs, then that is simply falsifying facts. I say that after removing my bias.

    The argument is like this …. Person A like the colour blue, and says it is the best color, person B says NO Red is the best. I think they are both right as it is a matter of personal taste.

    Now it becomes a totaly different matter, when the criteria of the color is based on … say what colour the stop light should be. In this case person B is right, as Red has the longest wave-length, so can be seen from the furthest distance, red is a natural colour of hazard and so on ….

    So the facts again …

    For some people Kishore is the best
    For some Rafi is the best
    Based on factual merit, Rafi indeed is the best, in-fact he is so far un-parralleled.



  26. Abdul Wahab says:

    Here goes my opinion……….

    Both are legends and both have their own era. Rafi dominated from 50s to 60s while KK dominated 70s and 80s.

    I love listening to both. KK sang more popular songs with catchy tunes and he is more popular with current generation while Rafi sang wide variety of songs and technically he has edge over KK.

    Let us not get into endless arguments on who is better. One should respect both equally. Personal favourites may be different and though I admire both KK and Rafi but I’m slightly tilted towards Rafi’s vocie…..don’t know why.

    Happy listening.

  27. Umar says:


    I wonder why you came to a Rafi fan website, I guess kishore fan sites and kishore songs did not fulfil your apetite.

    The reason, why Rafi fans don’t go and compare Rafi with Kishore on those site is that we don’t need to.

    It’s like once you know the truth (that Rafi is the bes) there is no need to go wondering elsewhere.

    So there-in is proof itself, that in your own mind you are not convinced that kishore is the best and think that if you keep saying it, it may some how become fact.

    So go back to your Kishore sites, and stay there, I am sure you will not be missed here πŸ™‚


  28. Khalid Rashid says:

    Dear Ashwini

    I only compared him because you started comparing in the first place

    You stick with your opinion and I will stick with mine.


  29. ashwani says:

    Dear Khalid,

    Only you people compare KISHORE with RAFI because you are not sure abt Rafi’s positionin front of KISHORE.

    If you rememebr we are at RAFI dedicated site and we are talking abt KISHORE.
    You can’t find the same thing at KISHORE dedicated site.

    It shows KISHORE is far ahead of RAF

  30. Khalid Rashid says:

    Its true that we cannot compare Rafi saab to Kishore because Rafi saab was the best full stop what else do you want me to say.


  31. ashwani says:

    Dear Raj,

    You are 100% true, but Rafi fans will not understand it. Raj, very well said.
    I spend my saturday and sunday with Only KISHORE whenever i m at home.

  32. Khalid Rashid says:

    I am a Mohd Rafi fan and all I will say is that I will not compare him with anyone else not even someone like Kishore because Rafi saab was GOD.


  33. Raj says:

    Friends, let accept the fact that kishore miles haed of rafi and rafi was second best. Kishore is god and a human being(rafi) cannot be compared to god.

  34. Raj says:

    Rafi fans clearly know that rafi cannot be compared to kishore simply beacuse kishore was in a league of his own. So when they(rafi fans) run out of arguments, they harp on the same string(rafi was trained and ishore untrained).

  35. Raj says:

    Kishore is kishore. Kishore was simply magic. You can listen to kishore for hours together, but the same cannot be said about Rafi. For one to become a good musician, he or she does not need to learn classical music. What is needed is depth and pain, which kishore had in plenty. Kishore was a sheer genius and by comparing him to a mere mortal like rafi, you guys are doing great injustice.

  36. ashwani says:

    Dear Umar,

    As you said Rafi never tried yoodling because he knew that he could not do. Pls. don’t justify his inability to yoodling but KISHORE attempted Semi-Classical songs. There are many.

    Dear Usha, why you people are so biased toward Rafi. You remember that KISHORE sang for BHARAt BHUSHAN and Rafi sang for SHASHI KAPOOR, FYI KISHORE was tremendous according to me and many MDs. That was the first song when people started comparing RAFI with KISHORE.
    I personally believe KISHORE sang 100 times better than RAFI, may be u differ.

    OK, You remember KISHORE sang for older man in “PYAAR KA MOUSAM”, and I am 100% sure that u don’t remember RAFI sang for MEhMOOD’s father in KUNWARA BAAP and KISHORE sang for MEHMOOD. I am sure u don’t remember “DHARAMA” where KISHORE sang for NAVIN NISCHAl and RAFI sang for PRAN (played father of Navin Nischal). πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Dear USHA, don’t get biased and try to get the real facts.
    There is proven case study which shows KISHORE was greatest among all singers, Technically Rafi many great but noone can touch KISHORE.
    It is like, sanjeev kumar who was much better actor than AMITABH but people remember AMITABH.


  37. Umar says:


    I repect your prefrence of Kishore, that’s fine as it is a matter of taste. I don’t think there is such a thing as bad or good taste we are all different.

    However if you are trying to measure the quality/ability of a singer than comparing Rafi to Kishore is a fultile excercise.

    You are right Kishore did yoodling better than Rafi, only because Rafi never attempted to yoodle, being a singer he must of thought it better to sing rather than yoodle to cover-up ones weeknesses in the singing arena.

    So if yoodling is your yard-stick of measurement I think you are better looking at the newer generation of singers who have no tone, tune or ability but on a good day can yoodle better than Kishore.

    I think the measure of Rafi’s ability can be estimated from the fact that great singers (and I do mean great) fail to sing his songs to the same level let alone better it, even though it should be easier to copy than to sing with no reference.



  38. usha says:

    Dear Ashwani,
    I persoally feel that u have started the thread by hurting all Rafi fans by mentioning that k.k is ahead of Rafi which is biased n uncalled for in this excellent website of the greatest singing legend late Rafi.
    If you consider all the above MDs as legends then statistically who is the most dominating singer out of the two. Pl infer unbiasedly.
    Also when you hear lovely songs of RDB with Kishore do not compare them with some other songs. You have to listen to songs from Dulari, dosti, pyaasa,chuadavin ka chand,professor,basant bahaar, baiju bawra,kohinoor,haqeekat,aadmi,khilona,kala bazaar,naya daur,aarzoo,sasural,dil ek mandir etc and not to infer anything from the few songs of both the legends.
    In my opinion I liked Tum bhin jaon kahaan of Rafi better than Kishore and also if I am not wrong Rafi s voice was picturised on the younger romantic hero Shashi kapoor and Kishore s voice was for the older Bharat bushan.
    In the hit duet of Yaadon ki baraat I liked Rafi svoice over loud voice of Kishore. This is ture of song from Dostana and hence your personal choce should have been kept at the other forums.
    There are many legends in the film industry say that Rafi is the greatest including Manna dey who had mentioned in the Blore radio city that all aspiring male singers consider Rafi as the idol n simillar to Lata in the female category.
    For me like millions of fans Rafi sab who has been awarded by the Punjab govt as the singer of millenium is THE BEST WHO MAKES OUR HEART SING AND IT IS TRUE TUM MUJHE YOON BHULA NA PAAOGE…….
    Regards n Love to u

  39. ashwani says:


    Nice to read abt ur opinion abt Rafi and KK. As you said pick Rafi songs randomnly so i picked up few songs as follows and comparing the same style songs sung by KISHORE:

    R1. RaamLaal Murdabad ..(Pyaar Kiye Jaa) …Pathetic ………JoLLY Rafi
    K1: Le Jaayenge-2 dilwale dulhaniya.. (Chor Machaye Shor) ….Jolly KISHORE

    R1: Chhal Kaye Jaam..(MERE HUMDUM MERE DOST)….Drunk Rafi …Fabulous
    K1: Chingri Koi Bhadake (AMAR PREM)…. Drunk KISHORE …. Fabulous

    R1: Wadiya Mera Daaman..(ABHILASHA)…..Romantic Rafi ….Great
    K1: Kehna Hai Kehna Hai..(PADOSAN)….Romantic KISHORE ….Great

    R1: Babul Ki duaye leti ja ..(Neel Kamal) … Sad Rafi …Great
    K1: Babul ka ye ghar Gori….(DAATA) ….. Sad KISHORE …Great

    Umar, I have compared almost all styles of songs picturise in Hindi Cinema except Classical(Rafi has edge over KISHORE) and Yoodling(KISHORE has edge over Rafi)

    I like to hear both legends but i am more inclined to KISHORE as he touches my heart more. According to me both are not comparable and if someone tries to do so they are really novice.


  40. ashwani says:


    Heading 400 people doesn’t mean you are good. There are non-deseved people who lead the company and they made ompany to struggle to pick up the same position. There r many company and many people like you had succeded to do so.

    I am not mentioning the company name but i am sure you must be knowing them as you are in YAHOO.

    Manoj, I ‘ve never critized you personally first, It was you who started this immature talk.

    I never bother abt u and why should I πŸ™‚

    Manoj, You are head of 400 people but still working under somebody. FYI i am owning a company and its doing great since last 8 yrs.

    God Bless You.

  41. Umar says:

    Having read most of the debate above, I feel somewhat compelled to reply.

    For those comparing Rafi sahab with Kishore ! get a life, it is like comparing a nursery entrant (kishore) with a Harvard graduate.

    I have read lots of articles to date where people compare Rafi sahab to a number of singers. Firstly when a comparison is made, the rules of comparison should be set out. In the case of Rafi v Kishore it is obvious that we are comparing the playback singing.

    For playback singing amongst the normal singing skills one must also have a voice that can transform to match the personality of the actor on the screen. Kishore had a natuarly jolly voice, Mukesh had a naturally sad voice and therefore they struggled to sing sad and jolly songs respectively. Rafi on the other hand had a very neutral voice that became intensely sad at will and extremely jolly in an instance.

    The other main thing with playback singing is the ability of the singer o “act”, just as the actor uses his/her facial expressions to deliver an emotion, a playback singe needs to do the same with his voice, having being listening to Rafi for years, I still often forget that it is him singing, meaning that there is a singer behind the voice. Kishore does manage that in some songs, however I would struggle to count past the fingers on my first hand.

    You know the thing that tops it all is that if you ever have the good fortune of seeing Rafi sing live, what you see defies what you hear. Seeing him sing O Dunye ke Rakhwalay, with out breaking a sweat in fact with more ease than most of us have in talking leave me to simply conclude in my mind, that he was God gifted period.

    Now here is something I know very few (in fact I have never heard this mentioned before) may know. Pick a Rafi song at random, listen to it and try and find the end of the verse. You will find that Rafi’s voice naturally fades away and it is really hard to judge when, as it simply blends into silence; unless off-course the song demands for there to be a sudden end to the note.

    The bottom line, anyone comparing another singer to Rafi is in my opinion a Novice, whosoever that maybe.



  42. Manoj says:

    Hi Ashwani,

    I couldn’t respond to your message earlier as I was on a business trip. Anyways, you are again just blabbering like a 4-year mentally challenged child, and you should realize that’s it is you who lacks any maturity, education, and class. Don’t worry about me at all. I have no intentions of blowing my own trumpet, but let me just give you a reality check that one doesn’t become a head of a 400-people division of one of the biggest internet companies around if one is not mature enough or if one doesn’t understand other people’s likes and tastes. So, don’t waste your time trying to criticize me just because you are feeling hurt. You know that I treated you like I did only because I wanted to teach you a lesson, and the lesson is that you are too incompetent, illiterate, and immature to even critique singers like Rafi. I did what I did intentionally because you deserved the treatment. You will learn! At least, I hope for your sake and your career’s sake that you do.


  43. ashwani says:


    I know where i am standing and fyi I am doing great in my field. Pls. try to get mature as good human being and donÒ€ℒt dither to admire others thought and likes.

    God bless you.


  44. Manoj says:


    You have made it crystal clear that you are such an immature, uneducated, illiterate, pathetic, and low-standard person. I wrote what I wrote just to teach you a few lessons since you are such a stubborn soul despite all your apparent flaws. I don’t regret anything I have said at all. I have seen a lot of life and know very well what I am doing πŸ™‚ Ashwani…it’s the worst combination to be so weak and be stubborn at the same time, and unfortunately you are just that. If you want to take any learning from this experience, just do some self-introspection and try to improve in the many areas that you are so deficient in. Believe me, it will do you a lot of good in life and in your career. God bless you!!!

  45. ashwani says:


    It is good that you know music and you play few instruments. Does it means that you know everything. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ sad.

    I can see fire under your ***. I know KISHORE is much-much better than Rafi in all aspect and i don’t want your opinion on this. And nobody can stop me saying so, you “IDIOT”.

    Manoj, Again and again you are displaying pettiness by saying “IDIOT” first.

    I thought not to respond ur blog but after reading ur comments, i decided to offer heartfelt suggestion to you.

    Don’t waste your time in finding flaw in me and pls pls. pls.. join some classes which will help you to get mature as good human being.

    Anyway God bless you.

  46. Manoj says:


    A couple other things:

    1) I hope that you have gone through the links that I sent you where you can see the quotes of Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Manna Dey etc. Unlike you, I have provided some concrete evidence that people who are accomplished in music hail Rafi as the greatest ever. Mind you, these are just a few of the numerous people in the music world who believe that Rafi is/was the best ever. All you get excited about is that Lata called your KK a “sampoorn kalaakar” πŸ™‚ You moron….this was another of your several other irrelevant statements since she is not calling KK the greatest ever and we are only talking about the greatest singer. I guess you can’t understand the meaning of statements and their implications with that little brain of yours. Instances like these just go to show the magnitude of your immaturity.

    2) Secondly, I wanted to quickly address your point that your posts have been pathetically written because you know that you are not writing to your boss or your senior. I totally understand that these kind of forums are informal and I give everything that benefit of doubt. I am leading a division with a few hundred people under me. So I am also extremely busy with my work and life activties, and have very li’l time in my daily time to surf the internet and write on forums like these. All my posts have been written up within a couple of minutes. The point I am trying to send across to you is that we all commit typographical and slight grammatical errors especially when writing on informal forums like these, and I understand that fact. The difference with you is that you make it crystal clear from your writing that your mistakes are not typos, but are just a sign of your lack of education and poor understanding of the language. You make it very evident from your mistakes that they are not stemming from the fact that you are writing in an informal forum, but that you just don’t know anything at all!!!!! Instead of arguing with me, you need to get some real education.

  47. Manoj says:


    Shame on you… talk, speak, and write like an eight-year old. Your incompetence and cheapness is glaringly evident in the way you write. You need to go to some decent school and get some education. I have come across, met, and competed against thousands of stupid ignoramuses like you and they all know by where they stand now. You just have a big mouth, but it’s very obvious from your writing style itself that you are one really cheap and low-standard person, and you stand totally exposed!!

    All you have done is name some Rafi-KK songs and have claimed like an idiot that KK sounds better in those songs. Of course, you a die-hard KK fan with cheap tastes and you will like him better. It’s something very subjective, and I have not felt that KK has ever in his life sounded better just because he had a much inferior voice than Rafi. Beyond that, even though I have been exposed to more songs than a moron like you, I don’t need to mention a list of songs….you idiot!! I can list thousands of songs if I want to, but I am mature enough to know that there is no need when I know the difference between the Greatest Rafi & Ordinary Kishore is humongous!! You think you know music only because you have listed some common songs which everybody has heard. I am singer myself, play 3 instruments pretty well, and understand the nuances of music unlike cheap and scummy people like you. We will talk next after you have been to some decent school and got some education. Just having a big mouth is not going to get you anywhere because you will be exposed in front of people who are educated and have substance. Also acquire at least some semblance of class, learn how to write and communicate, and if possible also learn to sing and play some instruments. After you have done all that, then only you even get the right to critique the GREATEST Rafi-Saheb.

  48. ashwani says:


    There is no points in finding my weakness. I am doing best in my skill/domain and people know and admire me very well.

    Please don’t share your childish opinion abt me.

    I have enough information on KK and Rafi and after joining this forum i thought i will get more info on him and i can write more abt KK but you (ONLY YOU) are getting very personal which shows your background.

    I come to the conclusion that there is no point in responding your comments hereafter because you are like a HORSE who just run in one direction without knowing the destination.

    Please don’t mind it. You are forcing me to write this.

  49. ashwani says:


    It is ur opinion abt me, u r free to do so.
    And For ur information i am best person to judge myself. You are nothing.
    I am not writing a letter to my boss or someone senior where i have to show my written skill.

    You are free to write on my written skill which is pathetic according to you πŸ™‚ but again i am telling, in all aspect/field, my knowledge is better than you. It has been proved in all blog, i know you can’t digest it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    You can ask any third person who doesn’t know much abt Hindi music, to read my blog on KK and RAFI, and you are right person to do so because you are in Bangalore. Don’t ask him abt my written skill, ask him abt my thought because we are in this forum to express our thought. It will open ur eyes.

    Again and again you are proving tha you have pathetic knowledge on all topic and “etiquetteless”, For your information, i have invented this word especially for you, It means you are “shameless person who can go at any extent to prove himself right”.

    Pls. save ur energy to prove RAFI greatest instead of wasting on me.

    Hope you understood it.

  50. Manoj says:

    Hi Ashwani,

    Till now, I used to be amused at you, but now I feel pity for you because you are such a loser!! Firstly, you destroyed the sanctity of a Rafi forum by being the first person in this entire thread to call Rafi as the second-best when all the Rafi fans and a lot of other people too know fully well that he is the greatest ever. You must be really stupid even to think that you will be able to sway a Rafi fan who knows music and understands the musical notes to ever believe that your KK is the best. I never go to your KK forums and write a post calling him the second-best because I have more class and etiquette than people like you. I know to respect people’s boundaries and spaces. If you want to encroach into my space, of course I will defend my space and shoo you away. I guess you are not even mature enough to understand that.

    Your lack of any kind of class, cheapness, and lack of education is glaringly evident even in the way that you write. I haven’t mentioned it so far but your writing style and written communication skills are pathetic to say the very least, and it reflects on the kind of person you are and your lack of education and class. We all commit typographical errors especially when writing on informal forums like these, but it’s evident from your writing that your mistakes are not typos, but are just a sign of your lack of education. You can’t even spell “balloon” correctly, and I know it’s not a typo because you have used the word more than once and that you haven’t got it right even once!! Plus, what the hell is “etiquetteless”????? There isn’t a word like that… are such a fool!! Poor you….I can only pity and despise a despicable person like you. Plus, you are shameless and cheap to keep arguing with me that your KK is the best singer. Again, please don’t do it in a Rafi forum. I am just pushing back on you because this is a Rafi forum, and not the best place to fight for the supremacy of some other singer. And if I have to get a li’l personal in defending a forum dedicated to the greatest singer of our country, so be it!! Plus, I have no qualms in getting a bit personal. I have nothing to hide or be ashamed about since I am not illiterate, cheap, incorrigible, despicable like you. Again, I have absolutely nothing personal against you, but you are forcing me to expose your personality by being shamelessly persistent and argumentative.

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