You will not be able to forget me like this, whenever you listen to the song Mere, Sang Sang Tum Bhi will humming (Special on Mohammed Rafi Sahab)

-Sulena Majumdar Arora

Who breathed life in the whirlwinds of love, whose magic of silky voice filled the intoxication in love that lovers used to hum their songs to express their love, from heartache to love, that great personality if alive today Had he been, he would have been 97 years old. I am talking about Muhammad Rafi Sahab, whose memory is not only on his birthday or his death anniversary, but music lovers keep coming every moment, every moment.

It is my bad luck that I could not see the career life of Mohammad Rafi sahab. But still I would say that I also had the good fortune of seeing him up close, once during the summer vacations of my convent school in Kanpur, classmate friend of my father Mr. H P Majumdar, the famous film director Mukul Dutt (‘Aan’). ‘Milo Sajna’ fame) had invited all of us to visit Mumbai. When we came to Mumbai, he introduced us to music composer SN Tripathi ji and my mother Sanjukta, who was a big fan of Muhammad Rafi, requested him to introduce him to Mohammed Rafi. I was eight years old when we went to meet Rafi sahab in a recording studio.

Rafi sahib was such a simple, serious and gentle person that he had given us a lot of hospitality even in the midst of his busyness. We saw that during the break, he just kept on eating some biscuits while the others in the team were having a huge breakfast. When he was recording, my sister and I were getting up from our chair and peeping in the glass recording cabin of Uchak Uchak, then Rafi Sahab got disturbed while singing and came out and asked both of us to sit in one place with great love. And gave us his biscuit. What did we know at that time that this is the great singer whom the world worships as a singer. Years later we shifted to Mumbai, by then Mohammad Rafi sahab had said goodbye to this world. Then when I joined Mayapuri, I used to meet SN Tripathi Dadu often.

I heard the words of Muhammad Rafi sahib from his mouth. He had told that Muhammad Rafi never used to smoke cigarettes and because of this he got a lot of love from the great music director like Naushad in Bollywood because Naushad also did not like to smoke cigarettes. Actually Naushad liked Talat Mahmood’s voice very much but once during the recording, even after Naushad’s refusal, Talad ji could not hide the demand for cigarettes, on which Naushad got angry and signed Mohammad Rafi for his song and since then Rafi Sahab became Naushad’s favorite.

Tripathi Dadu had told that there was no one else in Bollywood like Mohammed Rafi, but that did not mean that there was no fire in him. He did not think twice to speak openly on what Rafi Sahab felt bad about. Rafi sahab had rejected the campaign launched by Lata Mangeshkar in which Lata ji demanded royalty for each song and asked Rafi sahab to support him as well. The rest of the singers and singers were silent on Lata ji’s talk but Rafi sahib was the only one who fumed by saying “Why look at royalty when they are getting exorbitant price for the song? When a film flops, when we do not become a shareholder of the loss caused to the producer of the film, then why should we become a shareholder in the profit?’

Lata ji and Rafi sahib fought over this for years, but rafi sahib did not care at all, for years both of them did not sing songs together. When people explained that his career would suffer due to this tussle, Rafi sahib had said, “As much as I have a loss, Lata ji also has as much.” When Lata ji’s name was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the singer who recorded the most number of songs, even at that time Rafi Sahab challenged it by calling it a wrong figure. Tripathi Dadu had told that Rafi Sahab never gave importance to money in life and he sang songs without taking a single rupee on the request of many new and weak filmmakers. Not only this, Rafi Sahab used to send money for livelihood every month, handling the miserable lives of many old musicians.

When Kishore Kumar created a stir in the seventies with his naughty voice, it was said that Muhammad had stopped getting work due to Kishore Kumar’s stamina, although this was completely false news. In fact, Muhammad Rafi’s health had deteriorated and he had an infection in his throat, so the doctor advised him not to sing for some time. In such a situation, Kishore Kumar got a chance and Kishore Kumar got the songs which Mohammad Rafi did not sang. But after some time when Muhammad Rafi Sahab’s throat infection was cured, he again returned with such a bang that the world kept watching.

He again gave super hit songs in the seventies like ‘Tum mujhe yun bhula na paoge’, ‘Yeh duniya ye mehfil mere kaam ki nahi nahi’, ‘Jhilmil starsar ka aangan hoga’, ‘Kan mein jhumka’, ‘Yoon hi’ Do you talk to me or do you have any intention of love’, ‘This is the drapery’, ‘I remember so much’, ‘My mind is your thirst’, ‘Chadti Jawaani Teri Chaal Mastani’, ‘Chalo Dildar Chalo’,, ‘You have stolen your heart’, ‘Na tu land ke liye’, ‘Teri bindiya re’, ‘Today the weather is very dishonest’, ‘Whatever you have found, it seems that where you got it’, ‘Your streets I will not take steps’, ‘What happened to your promise’. There were similar reports once again that he had stopped getting work.

While that too proved to be a completely false news, in fact, when Mohammad Rafi Sahab returned after performing Hajj, someone told him that he should now give up film singing because he has become a Haji. Due to the effect of this, he himself gave up singing and at that time many new singers had become silver in his absence, but then all the great musicians and film producers of Bollywood unitedly met Mohammad Rafi and asked him to sing again. insisted upon. In this way, his light never faded in the sky of Bollywood music. He kept singing till his last breath. Some say that his last song is ‘Sham Phir Kyun Udas Hai Dost’, hours after which he died of a severe heart attack, some say that his last song is ‘Shahar Mein Charcha Hai’. Whatever the song may be last but the truth is that no one will be able to forget Muhammad Rafi till the end of his life. His voice is immortal, it is ajar and will remain so.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an India-based Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Successful Startups like Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV & Branding Panther. Shivam has done his Master's in Computer Applications.

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