Colombo, December 16 (newsin.asia): Never in their wildest of dreams did Mohamed Rafi, who was born on 24 December 1924, music director Naushad Ali born on 25 December 1919, and thespian Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) born on 11 December 1922, imagine that one day all three will be dominating the silver screen in India – Rafi with his golden voice Naushad with his unforgettable tunes and Dilip Kumar with his sensitive portrayal of characers.
Rafi whose 91st birth anniversary falls on 24 December, is indeed the best singer of all times in Bollywood. He lives eternally, his songs today are just as popular as they were during his lifetime.
We have been listening to umpteen number of his songs day in and day out and yet it is difficult songs for sharing on his birthday. Should it include “Suhana hi Raat”, Baharon phool Barsao’, Oh Duniya ke raku wale”, Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil”, Raushan Tumase Duniya” Jo Waada”?
The list is endless. There have been hits right through his career. And they have been mesmerizing –indeed, listening to Rafi is like rowing down a river on a moonlit night.
Very significantly he was associated with all the leading actors of Bollywood in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, which starts with Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Rajender Kurnar, Raj Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee, Biswajeet, Guru Dutt, and extends up to Big B, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, and so on.
Even comedians like Johnny Walker, Mehmood were indebted to the maestro, for Rafi would modulate his voice to suit them.
Article after article has been devoted to Rafi, the legend of legends. If we look back at what he had left for us we will realize that he had created a tradition which is difficult to follow However, he undoubtedly enhanced the standard of many singers of later generations.
Singers like Anwar, Shabbir Kumar, and Mohammad Aziz, struggled to maintain the style of the “Rafi Gharana” and were categorized as clones of Rafi.
He won the National Best National Singer Award and six “Filmfare” Awards. In 1967, he was honored with the “Padma Shri”. His singing career spanned about 35 years. Rafi is noted for his ability to sing songs of different moods and varieties: They ranged from classical numbers to patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers, qawwalis to ghazals and bhaians
But he is best known for his romantic duets songs. As a playback singer, his ability to mould his voice to the persona of the actor lip-synching the song was exceptional.
Rafi is primarily noted for his songs in Hindustani over which he had a strong command. But he sang in other Indian languages including Assamese, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Magadhi, Maithili etc. He also recorded a few songs in English, Persian, Spanish and Dutch
Mohamed Rafi, Mana Dey, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh formed a quartet which dominated India’s tinsel world for a couple of decades.
Rafi had sung the most number of duets with Lata Mngeshkar – 425. But there were also some beautiful songs with Asha Bhosle as well. Versatile Music Director O.P Nayyar (OPN) once said: “ If there is no Rafi there will be no OPN.” And playback singer Mukesh said: “No one can match Rafi.”
(The featured image at the top shows Mohammed Rafi with thespian Dilip Kumar)