One Let us try to understand Mohammed Rafi from the story. In 1981, there was a film ‘Kudrat’. All the songs of the film were sung by Kishore Kumar. Director Chetan Anand wanted Rafi Sahab to sing a song. He believed that only Rafi Sahab can do justice to this song. Whereas, RD Burman wanted to lose it to a new singer. RD Burman wanted this from Rafi sahab for two reasons. All the other songs of a film were sung by Kishore Kumar, so he was hesitant to call Rafi sahab for just one song. Second, he was trying to give a chance to a new singer.
On the request of RD, Chetan Anand listened to the new singer and gave permission to record the song in his voice. The song was recorded and everyone liked it. Chetan Anand still said ‘record the song in Rafi Sahab’s voice only.’ There was no choice, so RD requested Rafi sahab. Rafi sahib gave relief to RD by giving easy approval. The song was recorded. The third gap was recorded. Don’t know in T break how the new singer’s recorded song was heard in Rafi sahab’s microphone. Rafi sahib called the technician and asked ‘Has anyone sung this song before?’
Rafi said- Why do you ruin the life of a new artist at my hands?
The technician said to Rafi sahib – Yes, the bearded person sitting in the corner, he has sung, he is a good singer. Rafi sahab said, ‘What a wonderful song.’ Then Rafi sahib called Pancham da to the singer’s cabin and said, ‘Pancham, tell the truth, this song has been recorded by someone else before.’ Seeing the anger of Rafi Sahab, Pancham da told the story honestly. Then Rafi sahib got angry and said, ‘Pancham, why do you ruin the life of a new artist at my hands.’ After that Pancham da urged Rafi sahib a lot to complete the song, but rafi sahib did not agree and left the recording in the middle.
In this way, the singing of a new and talented singer was saved from ruin. Later, in compulsion, the fourth antara was released in the voice of that new singer. Only three antares were available in Rafi Sahab’s voice. Later that singer became a big singer of Marathi film industry. His name was Chandrashekhar Gadgil. Expressing respect for Rafi and getting emotional, Chandrashekhar says, ‘Aani fourth antara did not sing, fourth antara I did not sing, said’. In this way, Chandrashekhar became a big name in the Marathi industry by singing an antara with Rafi Sahab.
That song written by Kateel Shifai was ‘Every garland of happiness and sorrow is threaded by nature itself. So such was the character of Mohammed Rafi Sahab. Very Sharif, straightforward, kind and will not kill anyone’s rights. Those singers were great, humans were better than him.
Even today this song of Rafi plays in every wedding in North India
No procession in North India goes out without a serpent dance. But it is also true that ‘Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’ is also compulsorily sung in the procession. This song from the movie ‘Aadmi Sadak Ka’ is sung by Rafi Sahab. Another song of his is sung a lot in the processions without distinction of caste and religion. This song is sung by friends in the style of reciting ballads in the glory of the new bride. ‘Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawan Ka Albelon Ka Mastana Ka….’ A hundred gun salute to whoever used this patriotic song for the first time for the groom.
One more story. Hear from Amitabh ‘It was a two-day program. Rafi sahab had sung on the first day. The next morning we came to know that the singer whose program is today is not coming. Rafi sahab had gone to the airport. We ran towards the airport. The plane was just about to take off. Arrived on the plane after requesting the airport authority and told the problem to Rafi Sahab. Rafi sahib immediately came down with us without saying anything. In this way we were saved from getting into trouble. Let us tell you that Rafi Sahab loved Amitabh’s wall very much.
It is interesting to know that even in his childhood, Rafi sahib has relieved the organizers of the event from similar confusion. The thing is old. Rafi was a child then. There was a concert by KL Sehgal in Lahore, undivided India. Rafi, a thirteen-year-old boy, also reached there with his brother to listen to that program. The program was about to begin, that the light went out. Now in such a situation, Sehgal could not sing without a mic, so he stayed in the hotel itself.
Rafi won the heart of the angry public in childhood
The organizers did not understand how to pacify the crowd of hasty and anxious public. Then Rafi’s elder brother Hameed and his music guru Abdul Wahid Khan requested the organizers to give the boy Rafi a chance to sing on stage. The organizers did not have any choice, so the boy reached the stage to sing. The boy Rafi made such a shaman that people started applauding. It was here that Shyam Sundar ji, the famous musician of that era, was also sitting in the audience. He listened to Rafi and was not only convinced of his talent but also gave him a chance to sing.
You must be thinking that how did the organizers trust a thirteen year old boy. There is an interesting story behind it.
A fakir used to pass early in the morning near Rafi Sahab’s brother’s shop. He used to sing songs in a very melodious voice. Wherever he went, Rafi sahib would follow him and roam after him till he left the area. They also listened to his song very diligently. Coming back to the shop, he would repeat the song exactly in the same melodious voice. This was an everyday story. The echo of this wonderful quality of his and the sweetness of his voice started spreading far and wide.
Then his elder brother sent Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan to learn music. Rafi’s discussion started happening all over Lahore. Due to this, he got an opportunity to sing in Sehgal’s event.
Chith made Rafi a star with Naushad’s cigaretteLater he came to Mumbai. This was before independence. After independence, he decided to stay in India and his entire family shifted to Mumbai. Rafi sahab had already reached Mumbai in 1946. Here Naushad gave him the first chance and sang the songs of the film ‘Pehle Aap’. Before that Mohd. Rafi was sung in 1944 for the Punjabi film ‘Gul Baloch’ under the music direction of Shyam Sundar. Naushad’s song ‘Khiluna Tuta’, composed by Anmol Ghadi, gave him recognition in the film world. Then his songs sung in the films Shaheed, Mela and Dulari became very popular.
NS. Rafi became a playback singer. Identified too. But now his identity was not that of such a singer to make the public crazy. He got this chance by chance. It happened that the film ‘Beju Bawra’ was being made. Music composer Naushad was supposed to sing the songs of the film by Talat Mehmood. But one day he saw Talat Mehmood smoking a cigarette. A singer smoked a cigarette, he did not like it. So he gave Rafi sahab a chance. The songs of ‘Beju Bawra’ created so much panic that Mohd. Rafi became the favorite singer of people overnight.
Not only was he a versatile singer, he also had a range of vices. So who was going to stop him after listening to the song ‘Beju Bawra’? The musical journey that started from here was only on 31 July 1980 after his death. Let us tell you that he was born on 24 December 1924.
Talks of Shankar-Jaikishan and Mohammad Rafi
After joining the mainstream, Naushad gave him opportunities to sing many songs. This was also the period of the rise of Shankar Jai Kishan. Rafi Sahab soon became his favorite singer too. While Rafi Sahab was Shankar-Jaikishan’s favorite singer, Shankar-Jaikishan was Raj Kapoor’s favorite musician. But, he liked Mukesh as a playback singer. That’s why Mukesh used to sing in his films. Still, many songs were sung by Rafi Sahab for Raj Kapoor as well. Later Rafi Sahab sang songs with all major musicians including SD Burman, OP Nayyar including Ravi, Madan Mohan, Ghulam Haider, Jaydev, Salil Choudhary, Chitragupt.
It is a classic coincidence that Laxmikant Pyare Lal’s first song was sung by Rafi, while Rafi’s last song was recorded under the music direction of Laxmi Pyare. His guide song ‘Din Dhal Jaye Magar Raat Na Jaye’ sung under the music direction of SD Burman is a wonderful song loved by the people. He paired up with Asha for OP. Rafi and Asha sang a lot of songs during the time of not singing with Lata – ‘Ude Jab-Jab Zulfen Teri.’ In this period, Rafi was also paired with Suman Kalyanpur. The song ‘Yeh Kisne Geet Chheda’ from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen was a very beautiful song.
Talking about the pairing of OP Nayyar and Rafi Sahab, the first thing that comes to mind is the captivating song of Bahare Phir Bhi Aayegi, ‘Aapke Haseen Rukh Pe Aaj Naya Noor Hai, Mera Dil Machal Gaya Toh Mera Kya Kasoor Hai’.
When Rafi gave his voice to Kishore Kumar
He harmonized with every major musician. Gave voice from behind the scenes for every big and small artist of his era. There was variety in his voice, there was sweetness, apart from this he had a deep understanding of the technique of playback singing. Due to this, he used to modulate his voice according to the voice of the artist. Just by listening to his song, it was known that which artist is making it a reality on screen. He had no match in mixing the voice with the voice of the hero. The names of more than a dozen superstars are included in the list of heroes of Rafi Sahab.
These included almost everyone including Guru Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Devanand, Bharat Bhushan, Jani Walker, Joy Mukherjee, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jitendra and Rishi Kapoor. The most interesting name of this list is Kishore Kumar. Rafi has also sung for Kishore. Despite being rivals, both respected each other. Both have also expressed this. Be it dholak, drums or guitar, Rafi sahab was comfortable with every instrument and was able to deliver the best. The song ‘Ude Jab Jab Zulfen Teri’, which is a fan of ‘Naya Daur’, is mainly on the rhythm of Dholak.
The song ‘O Haseena Zulfon Wali’ from the third floor has amazing drums. Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin has a guitar rhythm in ‘Chand Mera Dil, Chandni Ho Tum’. Rafi is not called such a versatile singer. Mohammed Rafi, who was awarded the Padma Shri, received Filmfare Awards many times. Giving a list of his songs is not possible here. He has sung more than 26 thousand songs. Solo and Dwight too.
Let us tell you that his dispute with Lata was not personal. Lata wanted singers to get royalty, while Rafi did not want it. Apart from mainstream songs, he has also sung ghazals, bhajans, patriotism, classical songs and qawwalis. In the year 2017, Google honored him by creating a Google Doodle on his birthday. When he sang songs of alcohol, it seemed as if someone was drowning in drunkenness and if he sang bhajans, it was as if there was the voice of a godly gentleman. When singing songs full of classical music, it seems that the master of classical music is singing.
Another story of Rafi Sahab related to the film Deedare YaarOne more story. One film was Deedare Yaar, Jeetendra and Rishi’s film. It was decided to give Rafi Sahab four thousand rupees per song in this film. The film got delayed and the last song was recorded after about four and a half hours. Jitendra says Kishore Kumar was also singing in it. After recording, the production man came and told me how much amount to give to Rafi sahab. I said give as much as you are giving to Kishore. Kishore had to give twenty thousand, so he was also given twenty thousand. After a while his brother-in-law, who was also his secretary, came to my house.
Said – Rafi sahib is angry with you. Called immediately, asked what was the matter. Rafi sahib angrily said in Punjabi, ‘Oye jeete, bahu paisa wala ho gaya hai.’ He kept four thousand and returned sixteen thousand. ‘That was how our Rafi sahab was.’ Jeetendra says about his singing, some people sing with the throat, some sing with the heart, Rafi Sahab used to sing with the soul. Mohammad Rafi was a university of music from which a lot can be learned. After his departure, many people tried to sing like him. Rafi may not have become that but some of them have definitely achieved a position. These mainly include Sonu Nigam, Mohammad Aziz and Udit Narayan.
According to Dharmendra, Rafi Sahab should sing the songs of ‘Main Chahta Tha’ Betaab. But they had gone. Then we looked for the same voice. Sung by Shabbir, sings well. But what is that.. Rafi sahab will not be born again.’ Due to Corona, these banners are not visible in the cities and towns this year, which used to show on 30 and 31 July every year. On which was written ‘Ek evening Rafi’s name.’ No one else this phase will also pass. On his death anniversary, the gathering of his songs will be adorned again with huzoom. Here you will also hear the magic song of Rafi Sahab’s voice, which has been knocking on our hearts for the last many years, ‘You will not be able to forget me like this, whenever you listen to the song Mere, Sang-Sang you will also hum, you forget me like this’ Won’t be able to
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