The melody and music that Mohammed Rafi created and pioneered during the nearly four decades of his career in Hindi music has withstood the test of time and transcended all boundaries.
Considered, and not without reason, as one of the greatest playback singers in the history of Bollywood, the versatile Rafi, a Padma Shri awardee, mesmerised one and all, and still continues to do so, with his haunting melodies.
“Tum mujhe yun bhula na paaoge…” he had famously crooned for Shammi Kapoor in Pagla Kahin Ka and, even 36 years after he left this mortal world he continues to make his presence felt in our lives through his immortal and timeless music. So it comes as no surprise that his devoted fans organised a special music evening to remember the legend on his 36th death anniversary (July 31). The music event, held recently at Siri Fort Auditorium, was organised by the ‘Mohammed Rafi Foundation’ and saw participation of many Hindi film industry singers and actors.
Leading the tribute was popular actor Dharmendra, a self-confessed die-hard fan of the late singer. Regaling the audience with memories of his association with Rafi Sa’ab, Dharmendra revealed that “the first song ‘Mere Dushman’ from my first film was sung by Mohd. Rafi and became really famous. So, he was a lucky charm for me. ‘Main Jat Yamla Pagla Deewana,’ ‘Mere Dushman Tu Meri Dosti Ko Tarse’ and many songs were then sung by him.”
“I was such a huge fan of Mohd. Rafi that I wanted him to sing a song for my son’s debut film but it was too unfortunate that he passed away. Shabbir Kumar was considered as the voice of Mohd. Rafi so I chose him to sing for Sunny in Betaab,” Dharmendra added.
The maestro’s son Shahid Mohammed Rafi, actor Rajeev Khandelwal, Amjad Nadeem and Suresh Kumar Raheja also paid tribute to him by singing popular Rafi numbers and enthralled the audience with their rendition.
Suresh Kumar Raheja, chairman of Mohammed Rafi Foundation and Trishool Shetty (CEO) said, “Every year we remember the melodious voice of Mohd. Rafi with music programmes. He might not be with us today but his songs are for a lifetime.”
The singing maestro who gave hits like ‘Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe’, ‘Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar’, ‘Aaj Mausam Bada Beiman Hai’, ‘Taarif Karun Kya Uski’, ‘Ehsan Tera Hoga Mujh Par’, ‘Aane Se Uske Aaye Bahaar’ and many more, leaves behind a rich and heartwarming legacy of beautiful music and melodies that bring alive emotions of love, despair, hope, humour and fun.