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Saturday, September 24, 2016

WHEN RAFI SAHAAB SAT SINGING ON THE FOOT-PATH OF BANDRA!



We all know about the golden voice of Mohammed Rafi Sahaab (1924-1980) who was the most versatile playback singer of the Hindi screen.  Among the thousands of his songs of  various genres, there are also many heart-rending numbers that convey the plight of the poor.   In fact, these songs have kept  alive the memory of those movies which otherwise would have long been foregotten. 

That Rafi Sahaab had a golden heart as well is also generally acknowledged and there are countless stories of how he helped the people in financial distress or how he doled out money for charity.  Incredulous as it may sound, here’s another story by an eye-witness, one Jaffer Wali, who has written about seeing Mohammed Rafi singing on the footpath to raise money for charity.  Jaffer Wali was a Std.V kid at that time.   Based on his information, I am hereby presenting an abridged version in my own words: 

Rafi Sahaab never used to miss his Friday prayers which he offered in the BaRee Masjid at Bandra.  Once, after the Friday prayers, Rafi sahaab as usual walked past the famous Lucky Restaurant down to the petrol-pump to hail a taxi for home.  There he was accosted by three persons of the Sikh community.  They told him that they had come from the Guru Nanak Charity Clinic which was located on the Station Road, Bandra.   They needed some donation immediately.  Now, right on the road, Rafi Sahaab had nothing with him.  Even the coins that he used to carry in his handkerchief  while leaving for prayers had already been distributed to the wayside needy people.  What was he to do?  The enterprising Rafi Sahaab didn’t lose his heart.  He took the Sardars along with him towards the Riyaz Restaurant on the Station Road where old KabbaRi shops existed.  There, from one of the shops he borrowed a harmonium.    Notwithstanding his immaculate white churidar pajama, white kurta and a white skull-cap he sat down on the footpath under the shade of a tree.  For about 15 minutes he played the harmonium, fine-tuning it.  By this time a large crowd had gathered.  Then Rafi Sahaab began to sing to the immense pleasure of the crowd.  He sang three songs.  After each song he would ask the listeners to donate generously in the name of Allah.  The people in the crowd willingly gave what they had in their pockets.  Soon coins and currency notes were piled up before him.  He asked for a sack and the money thus collected was put in the sack.  Then Rafi Sahaab handed over the entire half-full sack of money to the three Sardars who were stunned by Rafi Sahaab’s humility  as well as his  helpful and resourceful nature.  They thanked him profusely and happily departed from the scene.  That’s it!

While on the subject, it would be appropriate to list some of the songs that have come to be termed as “the Beggars’ Delight”.  These songs were commonly sung by beggars and street urchins who begged for money on the streets of Mumbai and in the local trains.  Since those songs were popular,  the beggars did a brisk business.  I especially remember the Vachan’s number, O babu O babu O jaane waale babu ek paisa dede… that was popular for decades together.  One of the songs even talk about the plight of the Rich.   I call these songs as Rich Man-Poor Man Rafi’s Tributes”.      

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
1.   Jaane waaloN zaraa muR ke dekho mujhe… https://youtu.be/TIrUfneOYQ8

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
2.   O jaane waale babu ek paisa dede… https://youtu.be/YikzzB-FkAE

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
3.   GhareeboN kee suno voh tumhaaree sunegaa… https://youtu.be/7L6GWdQlUAU

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
4.   Aulaad waaloN phoolo phalo… https://youtu.be/5fkZQoCN_2c

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
5.   Tumhaare haiN tumse dayaa maangte haiN… https://youtu.be/tPTmsFITtT0

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
6.   Kisee mehrbaaN kee nazar DhoonDHte haiN… https://youtu.be/dl3pZ7MQMsQ

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
7.   hameN bhee dedo sahaaraa… https://youtu.be/TIkwxWo_plk

8.   RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
pehle paisa phir bhagwaan… https://youtu.be/ao0RKj03A2A

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
9.   mehloN meN rehne waale… https://youtu.be/zvWZ4NctdQk

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
10.                tum jo ho so ho lekin Khudaa toh naheeN…  https://youtu.be/IxUBPjIq1cg

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
11.               aaj Gham kal Khushee… https://youtu.be/-AJKKa8wTxE


RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
12.               GhareeboN kaa jeenaa bhee hai koyee jeenaa… https://youtu.be/Av3cMAHMOVI


RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
13.               Yaa keh de hamm insaan naheen…. https://youtu.be/XonM7SJ0u_g


RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
14.               GhareeboN kaa paseenaa beh rahaa hai… https://youtu.be/YLV10MGXWo0


RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
15.               ghareeboN kee Qismat meN ronaa hee ronaa… https://youtu.be/wyrxZzppfMQ


RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
16.               duniya meN ameeroN ko aaraam naheeN miltaa… https://youtu.be/xiiv8bM8oak



RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
17.               koyee ameer hai koyee Ghareeb  hai… https://youtu.be/KmF7LvwT7Aw

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
18.               O daataa de hamko bhee pyaaraa pyaaraa banglaa… https://youtu.be/YaXwrmSpCx0

RICH MAN-POOR MAN:  RAFI TRIBUTES:
19.                ameeroN ke bhagwaan… https://youtu.be/YDbZVka-_h0


NASIR