FOREVER MOHD RAFI:
July 31st marks thirty five years, since the passing of one of the Legendary Singer in India....Padmashree Mohamed Rafi, (July 31/80).
Rafi was born in a small village called Kotla Sultan Singh near Amritsar in December 1924.When his family moved to Lahore, he was still a baby.
It is said that a fakir used to come to their locality in Lahore every day and sing. The young Rafi was so fascinated by him that he used to follow him around. His elder brother Hamid was aware of Rafi's love for music and encouraged it. "In fact," says music director Naushad, "A lot of credit for Rafi's success must go to Hamid who knocked on several doors and tried everything to ensure that his brother got work.
The young Rafi was so engrossed with music and singing, he started taking music lessons from his the professional "Ustad Wahid Khan."
It is said that Rafi used to sing for friends and small occasions and as fate would have it,
one day himself and his borther attended a show featuring the "Great" K.L. Saigal. At the time, there was a power failure, and KL refused to sing, as the microphone was not operative, Rafi's brother Hamid, went to the organisers and practically begged that Rafi be given a chance to sing.
He was thirteen at the time, and the performance he gave was so impressive that the music director, invited him to Bombay.
The music director gave him a break, the movie was Gul Baloch,
the song became a hit, but then later, he met another Great "Naushad" and from then on there were no stopping for Rafi, Naushad said "When I heard Rafi, I liked his voice and promised him work in future. I was already doing a film called Shahjehan with Saigal. Rafi, who was a fan of Saigal, came to me with a request: that it was his greatest desire to sing with Saigal. I gave him one line in the song Roohi roohi mere sapno ki rani," recalls Naushad. "The first full song he sang for me was in Anmol Ghadi -- it went like Tera khilona toota balak..." he adds. "Then again he sang for me in Dillagi: Is duniya mein aye dilwalon dil ka lagana khel nahin and Tere koonche main armanon ki duniya leke aaya hoon."
Then like a Godsend came Baiju Bawara features some of the greatest songs by Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mageshkar. The melodies are simply haunting. "O Duniya ke rakhwale", "Insaan Bano", "Mohe Bhool gaye sawariya" and "Tu Ganga ki Mouj me" are timeless classics of Hindi cinema.
Big names in this film: Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Naushad, Meena Kumari.
On his personal life..Rafi married Bilquis his wife, and had four sons and three daughters, it is said that Rafi was a teetotaller, a religious and extremely humble person. He was a devout Muslim. Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo once observed - "He always gave without thinking of the returns". Rafi was also famous for his various humanitarian efforts.
The date of his passing away was perhaps
divinely pre-ordained, for it is said that one who dies in the
holy month goes to heaven. There was no person more deserving of that status than the pious and God-fearing Rafi, who never touched a drop of alcohol, who never told a lie, who never had a harsh word for anyone, and who worshipped his work. A man whose songs wiped away many a sorrowful tear from the eyes of those who were struggling under the burden of life and brought tears of ecstatic joy to many more.
MOHAMED RAFI (1924 - 1980)