It has been 33 years since Mohammad Rafi has passed away, but he still reigns over the hearts of people across the world. Perhaps, a voice as magical as that of the extremely simple and humble Rafi Sahab has never been born nor would it ever be. He used to rightly say, there is nothing in my voice that I can call mine; it is all a blessing bestowed upon me by God!
In India which has been a poor country for many years, films and their songs have always been the primary medium of entertainment. And especially the old film songs from the 50s and 60s have veritably been embedded in the hearts of the people. And in that era, the playback of nine out of 10 songs for nine out of 10 male protagonists had been sung by Rafi Sahab only. Firstly, his sweet voice and to top it, his expressive rendition! Truly, his voice transported his listeners from this world into a world of heavenly bliss. There are hundreds of thousands of people who revere Rafi Sahab as God in India. Many have even made his temples in their homes. It is solely due to his magical voice, that today, even after 33 years of his death, musical nights are held throughout the year in every nook and corner of India in his memory. The singer may be anyone, the songs are inevitably Rafi Sahab’s. I don’t think the nation has showered love in such magnitude on anyone else. Even today, his voice shares the happiness and sorrows of millions of people.
Remembering the master of such a mesmerising voice brings peace and contentment to my heart. Truly Rafi Sahab, the lyrics of one of the songs you sang aptly express this truth in a few words…
Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paoge
Jab kabhi bhi sunoge geet mere
Sangh sangh tum bhi gungunaoge
I salute you Rafi Sahab…!
– Deep Trivedi