Mumbai, (IANS) Fans from all over the country fondly wished the late playback legend Mohammed Rafi on his 95th birth anniversary on December 24, but there was not a single greeting for the music idol on social media from Bollywood celebrities till Tuesday afternoon.
All through Tuesday, #MohammedRafi trended as netizens took to Twitter to remember the late maestro. Some fans shared video clips of his songs while others paid tribute by posting his photo. Still others shared links to their blog posts about the music legend.
One user shared a black and white photo of Rafi and wrote: “Remembering the singer with the golden voice today on his birth anniversary. Mohammed Rafi would have been 95 today. Now and forever… #MohammedRafi”.
A fan shared the link to his popular number “Gum uthane ke liye main to jiye jaunga” from the 1968 movie “Mere Huzoor” and tweeted: “The immortal #MohammedRafi would have turned 95 today. A link to one of my favourite songs”.
Another fan shared a collage of black-and-white stills capturing various moods of the singer and tweeted: “Remembering #MohammedRafi on his 95th birth anniversary. He was widely considered to be one of the greatest and influential singer in the Indian subcontinent. He received 6 filmfare awards and 1 national awards. He was awarded with Padma Shree in 1967. Tribute to the legend.”
Another user tweeted: “Tributes to #MohammedRafi Saab on his 95th birth anniversary. In a singing career spanning 35 years, Rafi was regarded as the greatest playback singer of Indian cinema.”
A fan of the singer shared the rare song “Main is masoom chehre ko” from the 1964 film “Baghi Shahzada”, where Rafi lent his voice for another late playback legend, Kishore Kumar.
Another fan shared: “#MohammedRafi Happy happy 95th birth anniversary #RafiSahab..A singer whose singing touches to the soul.”
Mohammed Rafi was born in Kotla Sultan Singh of Punjab’s Amritsar district in 1924. The Padma Shri recipient ruled the Bollywood playback scene in the fifties and the sixties, and recorded unforgettable songs till his death on July 31, 1980.
His iconic hits include “Deewana hua badal”, “Ehsan tera hoga mujh par”, “Woh jab yaad aaye”, “Raat ke humsafar”, “Aaj mausam bada beiman hai” and “Khoya khoya chand” among countless others.
His immensely popular track “Kya hua tera wada” from the movie “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen” fetched him the National Award in 1977.
Mohd Rafi breathed his last in Mumbai at the age of 55.
While it is impossible to pick a handful of hits from Rafi’s priceless ouevre , IANS remembers a few of his eternal songs.
* KYA HUA TERA WADA
The song from the 1977 film “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen”, was sung by Rafi and picturised on Tariq and Kajal Kiran. The emotion of longing is infused in the song, where the boy is questioning his love interest about all the promises that they made, and how he will never forget her.
* MAINE POOCHA CHAND SE
The evergreen melody from 1980 film “Abdullah” still has a special place in hearts of people from all age groups. It is used by boys to woo, express their admiration and also a hit wedding songs for senior couples. Sung by Rafi, the song shows romantic moments between Sanjay Khan and Zeenat Aman, wherein the guy is praising his love interest by saying that even the beauty of moon is nothing in front of his ladylove.
* LIKHE JO KHAT TUJHE
With the song, Rafi gave melodic twist to words composed by Shankar-Jaikishan, which became part of 1968 film “Kanyadaan”. Actors Shashi Kapoor and Asha Parekh brought forward a love story alive with the song, which has many cover versions now and is considered to be a romantic anthem for many.
* CHAND MERA DIL CHANDNI HO TUM
The song was part of 1977 film “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen”, and was picturised on Tariq Khan and Kajal Kiran. It captures emotion of love, where the guy is telling his love interest that she is an integral part of his life by drawing comparisons between the relationship of moon and moonlight. Actor Rishi Kapoor adds a peppy twist to the song. Even after over 40 years, the song is popular. No one can forget the small portion of the recreated version of the song, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Sushmita Sen, in “Main Hoon Na”.
* MADHUBAN MEIN RADHIKA NAACHE RE
The song featured in Dilip Kumar’s film “Kohinoor” (1960), where Rafi did justice to Naushad Ali’s composition. The song infused with rhythm of classical music along with the grace of late Madhubala went on to become a big hit.
* NAIN LAD JAIHEN
The song is from Indian classic “Gunga Jumna” (1961). Rafi once again poured his soul into Naushad Ali’s music with sounds steeped deep into Indian ethos giving it a rustic touc. It was picturised on Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala.
* KHOYA KHOYA CHAAND
Another classic from musical legacy of Rafi, the song featured in 1960 film “Kala Bazar”, which starred Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. The song is used to channel emotion of remembrance, where in Dev Anand is seen wandering around a jungle, remembering his love and how everything would be better if she was also with him.
* AYE WATAN
The song from “Shaheed” (1965) is a famous Hindi patriotic song. Rafi used music and sound to narrate the determination of devoted people, coming together from different states, and how they are ready to fight for their country without any fear with lyrics like “Aye watan aye watan humko teri kasam, teri raahon mein jaan tak luta jaayenge”.
* DIL DEKE DEKHO JI
The fun song from “Dil Deke Dekho” (1959) was picturised on late Shammi Kapoor. With peppy music and energetic beats, Rafi used his wide varied style to capture the emotion of the guy trying to convince the girl to fall for him. It is still a popular choice for many.
* SAR JO TERA CHAKRAYE
The song is from old classic movie “Pyaasa” (1957), which featured Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman, Johnny Walker, Mehmood and Tun Tun. The song is one of the most playful numbers from Bollywood. In the song, Johnny Walker is seen as masseur who sings about the benefits of getting an oil massage to the people of the city.
His other iconic hits include songs like “Deewana hua badal”, “Ehsan tera hoga mujh par”, “Woh jab yaad aaye”, “Raat ke humsafar”, “Aaj mausam bada beiman hai” and among countless others.
In this era of recreations and remixes, a slew of singers have been keeping Rafi’s magic alive by resinging his evergreen songs, adding a dash of EDM and trance music.
Actor Kunal Kapoor’s “Noblemen” is one of the latest films which saw the recreated version of Rafi’s famous track “Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye” from the late actor Guru Dutt’s film “Pyaasa” .
The recreated version of the song is composed by Shri Sriram and KC Loy and sung by Suraj Jagan with lyrics by KC Loy.
According to Siddharth Anand Kumar, Vice President, Films and TV, Saregama, Rafi’s song allowed them to give the classic a modern but relevant twist to the film.
Not only this, actor Anil Kapoor last year paid tribute to the iconic singer by reprising his hit song “Badan pe sitare” in the film “Fanney Khan”. Singer Sonu Nigam, who is often called a clone of Rafi, lent his voice to the remixed version.
The new version had many tweaks to the lyrics of the original song. The word “aashiq” was replaced “fanney” in the second stanza.
Talking about Sonu’s love for Rafi, the former considers the legend his “guru”. And he was initially avoiding to recreate the song because he did not want to mess with it.
“I basically was avoiding doing it because I don’t like to tamper with original songs anymore. I’ve done enough of versions in the past. And this was Rafi sahab’s song. Who wants to mess with it? He is my guru, he is my musical father. But Anil Kapoorji insisted and he requested me to do it. He said he was playing an ardent follower of Rafi sahab in the film, and that’s why he wanted me to give him my voice,” Sonu had told IANS.
“Fukrey Returns” also witnessed the recreation of Rafi’s popular song — “O meri mehbooba” from the 1977 film “Dharam Veer”, featuring Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman.
Unfortunately, the remixed version did not go down well with the listeners, and they had slammed the singers of the new song — Neha Kakkar and Yasser Desai — for distorting the original. The song is composed by Prem and Hardeep.
Rafi’s most romantic songs — “Ye chaand sa roshan chehra” and “Gulabi aankhen” — were also recreated in the film “Student Of The Year”. The new versions were composed as disco-themed numbers by retaining only a few lined from the original lyrics. Both revamped versions of “Ye chaand sa roshan chehra” and “Gulabi aankhen” were composed by Vishal and Shekhar.
The popular music band SANAM, which is best known for singing the unplugged versions of classic renditions, tried their hand at recreating Rafi’s “Gulabi aankhen”.
The band tried to give a modern touch to the song. They shot the song at scenic Maldives, imparting cool romantic vibes through the new version.
SANAM’s recreated version was loved by people a lot. The song’s video has garnered over one hundred twenty-eight million views on YouTube till date.
The recreation of Rafi’s “Gulabi aankhen” did not stop here. The song was recreated in the Sonakshi Sinha-starrer “Noor”, too. The new version, titled “Gulabi 2.0”, is recreated by Amaal Mallik and also sung by him along with Tulsi Kumar and Yash Narvekar. It is a peppy track in which Sonakshi is seen grooving to the tunes in a short pink dress.
While several singers have tried to recreate the hit old classics of Mohammed Rafi, many tried not to retouch them and kept the tracks in the iconic singer’s original voice.
In the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Mohabbatein”, for instance, some instrumental portion of Rafi’s hit song “O haseena zulfon waali” was used at the end of “Aankhein khuli ho ya ho band”, on which the veteran Helen danced along with SRK.
The title song of “An Evening In Paris” in Rafi’s original voice was also in Karan Johar’s Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma starrer “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”.