Today is Rafi Sa’ab’s Birth Anniversary and I had made a commitment last night to publish a post on him today. I managed to do it in literally the last minute: I published this post at 23:59 on 24 December 2017. Why did I have to keep the commitment even if in this token form? It’s because I owe a lot to the voice of the great Mohammad Rafi. No. I am not a singer. Neither do I regularly listen to music in general or to Mr Rafi’s songs in particular. Yet, there are songs, his songs, when they reach my ears, in his voice or in mine, I feel good. Or, when I feel good I search opportunities for his songs to be played or sung. He is not the only one I like. There’re Lataji (Ms. Lata Mageshkar) and Kishoreda (Mr. Kishor Kumar) too, and Hemantada (Hemanta Kumar) in Bangla, yet, this post is to be about Rafi Sa’ab. And then, although I know there are many who may not agree, Rafi Sa’ab’s voice had a soothing quality that is generally not found in male voices.
It’s probably that soothing voice of hers that makes Lataji the greatest of all female Hindi playback singers. Also, probably the same soothing voice makes Rafi Sa’ab my favourite male Hindi playback singer. His songs with the two Burmans (Mr. Sachin Dev Burman and Mr. Rahul Dev Burman), Mr. O. P. Nayyar, Mr. Naushad, Shankar-Jaikishan, Laxmikant-Pyarelal etc. have been a source of pleasure to me for as long as I can remember enjoying vocal music.
Few of his songs that I must specially mention here are:
“Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko”, “Chand mera dil chandni ho tum”, “Chaudahvi ka chaand ho”, “Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaya to kya hai”, “Lagta Nahin hai dil mera ujde dayar mein”, “Pukarta chala hun main gali gali bahaar ki”, “Isharon isharon mein dil lene waale”, “Teri bindiya re”,