Mohd Rafi:The great singer

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    imported_abdool
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    Today July 31st marks twenty six 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.

    Mrs Mohd Rafi on Mohd Rafi

    Today,
    when I look back I am grateful for the children we have borne. They
    have been wonderful sons and daughters, and have been my strength for
    the last /// years, after his passing away. But yet there are moments
    when I wish I was 13 years old and Rafi saab was 19. There are times
    when I wish he would come to me like he would nearly every evening, sit
    beside me and ask me, What is troubling you? Tell me your troubles and
    they will all go away.

    The next day, he sat for rehearsal from
    9:30am and was in pain, but he refused to tell us anything till 12:30
    in the afternoon. We scoulded him a

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