"When we look at the great amount of work that he has left behind, we must be astonished now," superstar Amitabh Bachchan has said about legendary singer Mohammed Rafi. And that is the gospel truth. No discography on the phase of this planet could match what Rafi has left behind for us - a gift for humanity. We are observing the singer's 93rd birth anniversary and Google India was one of the firsts to pay a tribute to him today, by launching a doodle dedicated to him.
If you look at your Google homepage right now, you'd see a very meticulously drawn artwork of Padma Shri award winner Mohammed Rafi. Click on it and your landing page will be every information about him. The singer is popular for songs like Kya Hua Tera Vaada, Aaja Tujhko Pukaare Mera Dil, Yeh Reshmi Zulfein, Parda Hai Parda...and sorry we'd be here all day if we listed down his most memorable songs. He was an enigma, to cut it short.
He passed away July 31, 1980, due to massive heart attack, when he was just 55 years old. Amitabh always speaks highly of Mohammed Rafi. At an event in 2012 he had revealed that how Rafi used to sing differently for different actors. “Before singing a song for a particular actor, he used to ask, ‘Which actor am I singing this for?’ Then he would alter his voice or do something. Whether he was singing for Shammiji (Kapoor), whether he was singing for Dilip saab (Kumar), you felt that yes, this is Dilip Kumar singing or Shammi Kapoor singing. This is a quality which is very rare among the playback singers,” he said.
Rafi didn’t get fame within a night. There was a lot of struggling that occurred before his voice was recognised. One intresting anecdote about his life is how yesteryear actress Suraiya gave him a place for practicing. The story goes like this that in the early years of his career, the singer travelled to Marine Drive to perform his music practice. He stayed in Bandra and every day at around 4:30 AM, he drove to Marine Drive so he could perform his riyaz in peace.
Little did he know that the then renowned actress Suraiya, also stayed in the same vicinity where he performed his morning music sessions. She used to listen to the music everyday, oblivious of the singer. One day on enquiry, she discovered that the melodious singer who performed in her vicinity was none other than Mohammad Rafi himself. To her amazement, Suraiya asked Rafi why he would come all the way to Marine Drive to practice. To this, the honest singer said that the place where he stays is too crowded and his early morning riyaz would not let others sleep.
In order to have a peaceful singing session, the artist used to travel all the way to Marine Drive. Suraiya, who was an ardent admirer of Rafi, asked him to practice at her place instead. Thereafter, all of Rafi’s morning riyaz sessions took place at Suraiya’s residence for the next one year till he got himself a bigger house. The legendary singer has carved a niche for himself that not many singers of our time can live up to. Everybody looks up to the rich voice of the late singer who gave fans a variety of music, with his voice.
When Rafi passed away, over 10,000 people attended his funeral. The Government had announced 2-days public holiday in his honour, as per reports.
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