Mohammed Rafis 29th death anniversary

Artists paid glowing tribute to the legendary singer of Indian film industry Mohammed Rafi on his 29th death anniversary today.
He was one of the most versatile and talented singers. Though he passed away three decades ago on July 31, 1980, he continues to live in the hearts of millions of his fans in India and abroad, Samaa reported.
However, this humble and shy man’s journey from a small village, Kotla Sultan Singh, to the position of popular singer was not an easy one. Rafi was born on December 24, 1924, and was fond of singing from childhood.
As singing was not considered respectful those days, he ran away from home to Lahore, where he got training under maestros such as Bade Gulam Ali Khan and Ustaad Abdul Waheed Khan. Rafi sang on All-India Radio before he entered cinema.
Memories of the great music legend Mohammad Rafi, however, seem to be fading away in this own village, as nothing that belonged to him has been preserved.
His ancestral house has also not been preserved. The ‘kutcha house’ of Rafi was demolished by a farmer to construct his own dwelling.
Interestingly, Rafi had written his name on the trunk of a mango tree in the village when he was a child. Before leaving for Lahore, he told the villagers not to cut it because it would remind them of him and it still stands there.
Rafi was truly a singer for the masses and not for any particular class. His voice appealed to all, the old, young, rich, poor, men and women. He was always ready to entertain jawans at the border whenever approached.
Pandit Nehru once invited him to Delhi to hear him sing. “That was the happiest moment of my life” said Rafi. No wonder then that his patriotic songs like Kar chale hum fida (Haqeeqat) and Watan pe jo fida hoga (Phool Bane Angaray) are still popular.
Rafi brought cheers and smiles to millions of his fans through his songs. In his songs like Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, Rafi tried to inspire the dejected and give hope to those who had lost faith in life and God.
On July 31, 1980, a massive heart attack silenced this peerless singer forever. But his songs keep him alive in the hearts and minds of millions of people across the globe.

Copyright Reuters, 2009