Wellknown distributor,writer and producer Showman Mehmood Ali of Pen & Camera International will produce the web series of the life and times of legendary singer Mohammed Rafi Sahib.
To be made in fifty episodes of 20 minutes each, each year will cover ten episodes and it will star Fuzail Shahid Rafi, grand-son of Mohammed Rafi as the young Rafi while Shahid Rafi, son of Mohammed Rafi will play older Rafi. The shooting will begin this month itself after the finalisation of the director and other cast and credits.
On the cold night of December 24, 1924, in a home in Kotla Sulan Singh, Allah Rakhi( Rafi’s mother) lay shivering and moaning in labour, wiating to give birth to her seventh child. Throughout his childhood, Rafi was called Pheeko who wore the clothes his elder brothers had outgrown. Circumstances compelled Rafi;s father to move to Lahore where he opened a small dhaba(roadside hotel).Rafi’s elder brother ,Mohammed Deen started a barber shop in Noor Mohalla, Bhatti Gat in the same city,with Rafi lending nhim a helping hand.
Meanwhile,Mohammed Deen’s friend,Abdul hameed recognised Rafi’s talent and encouraged him to sing. Later, he was convinced the reluctant family to allow him to take Rafi to Bombay. In 1944, the two arrived in an alien city from where Mohammed Rafi slowly won over the heart of an entire nation.
Rafi’s association with Dilip Kumar, the first superstar of Bollywood films began in 1947 in the film JUGNU where Rafi sang a memorable duet Yahaan badla Wafaa Ka with Noorjehan.Incidentally, rafi also played a small role in this film. Then onwards, the Dilip Kumar-Rafi combination gave as many as 77 songs. From DEEDAR ( Huye Hum Jinke Liye Barbaad’ and Meri Kahani Bhoolne Wale’),AAN (Dil Mein Chhupaake Pyar Ka Toogan), Maan Mera Ehsaan,Takra Gaye Tumse and Mohabbat Choome Jinke Haath ( Rafi’s version) became immensely popular. UDAN KHATOLA had some wonderful numbers of this actor-singer combination- ‘Mohabbat Ki Raahon Mein’,’Na Toofan Se Khelon’ and the haunting ‘O Dur Ke Musafir.’The year 1957 was the focal point of Dilip Kumar’s career as well as that of Rafi with B.R. Chopra’s NAYA DAUR. This film had memorable Rafi-Asha duets such as ‘Maang Ke Saath Tumhaara’, ‘Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri’ and ‘Saathi Haath Badhaana.’ This was followed by LEADER( ‘Apni Azaadi Ko Hum Hargiz Mitaa Sakte Nahin,’Tere Husn Ki Kya Taafrif Karoon’, Mujhe Duniya Waalon Sharaabi Na Samjho, DIL DIYA DARD LIYA ( Dulruba Maine Tere Pyar Mein Kya Kya Na Kiya’,Saawan Aaye Ya Na Aaye, Guze Hain Aaaj Ishq Mein’),RAM AUR SHYAM,AADMI and SANGHARSH, all starring Dilip Kumar and songs rendered by Rafi. Kalyanji Anandji brought Rafi back in BAIRAAG in 1976 and the songs Saare Shaher Mein Aap Sa Koi nahin,Peete Peete Kabhi Kabhi Yun Jaam Badal Jaate Hain and Main Bairaagi Naachoon Gaaoon are still remebered and enjoyed.
Then came the Guru Dutt era with BAAZ in 1953, followed by a series of cinematic treat which had golden voice of Rafi in films like MR & Mrs. 55(1955), PYAASA (1957), 12 O’ Clock( 1958, directed by Pramod Chakravorty for producer G.P. Sippy),KAAGAZ KE PHOOL (1959), CHAUDHVIN KA CHAND (1960) and SAHIB BIBI AUR GHUMAL ( 1962). Rafi sang a record 36 songs for the Guru Dutt banner . Guru Dutt also picturised the portions of Mala Sinha and Tanjua in the immortal romantic number Aap Ke Haseen Rukh Pe Aaaj Naya Noor Hain from the film BAHAREIN PHIR BHI AAYEGI which was completed by his younger brother Atma Ram and Dharmendra replaced Guru Dutt as the main hero.The last time Rafi sang for Guru Dutt from the film SAANJH AUR SAVERA ( Taqdeer Kahan Le Jayegei ) which was an instant hit.
Major Twist Came With Shammi Kapoor
The year 1961 was once again the year to be remembered as India’s first colour film JUNGLEE was released and it had the famous song Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe which was the much talked about twist that Shammi Kapoor brought in the film and the song became a world wide hit. It was soon followed by songs like Baar Baar Dekho in CHINA TOWN, Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra(KASHMIR KI KALI),Chakke Mein Chakka (BRAHMACHARI) , Badan Pe Sitare (PRINCE) all had Shammi Kapoor acting 0n-screen and Rafi emoting it in his rendition.
Mohammed Rafi became the voice for almost every Bollywood hero viz. Dev Anand ( Abhiu Na Jao Chhodkar ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi ,Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chaha Gaya from HUM DONO, the title song from TERE GHAR KE SAAMNE- Ek Ghar Banaaoonga , filmed on Dev Anand and Nutan with its innovative visuals of Nutan inside a wine glass, reflecting the imagination of the intoxicated character portrayed by Dev Anand is still regarded to be a classic romantic duet, filmed by Vijay Anand.
For the Jubilee Kumar Rajendra Kumar ( Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko Kisiki Nazar Na Lage from SASURAL, Baharon Phool Barsao Mera Mehboob Aaya Hai from SURAJ, Tum Sabka Chhodkar Aajao and ‘Dil Ek Mandir Hain’ from DIL EK MANDIR and many more.
For Dharmendra ( ‘Chhalkaye Jaam’ from MERE HUMDUM MERE DOST, Mere Dushman Tu Meri Dosti Ko Tarse from AAYE DIN BAHAAR KA, ‘Aaj Mauam Bada Beimman Hai’ from LOAFER, ‘Main Jatt Yamala Pagla Deewana’ from PRATIGGYA and many more.
Rafi sahib had also sung for all the heroes of the sixties, seventies and eighties viz. Sunil Dutt,Bharat Bhooshan, Biswajit,Shashi Kapoor,Rajesh Khanna,Rishi Kapoor,Vinod Mehra, Anil Dhawan and many more.
Besides singing in 14 lanuages (Assamese,Konkani,Bhojpuri,Oriya,Punjabi,Bengali,Marathi, Sindhi,Kannada,Gujarati,Telugu,Maghi,Maithali and Urdu),
Rafi Sahib also recorded two songs in English – Although We Hail From Different Lands,Remember Friends The World Is One, an adaption of the tune Baharon Phool Barsao from SURAJ and ‘The She I Love Is A Beautiful’ , adapted from Hum Kaale Hain Toh Kya Huaa Dil Waale Hain from GUMNAAM.
The film AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, produced and directed by Manmohan Desai had the rare distinction of having Rafi,Kishore,Mukesh and Lata singing for one composition- ‘Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyaar- the only time the four musical greats lent their voices for one song. This film also had three more immortal songs of Rafi- ‘Parda Hai Parda’, still ranked as one of the best quawalis, ‘Tayab Ali Pyar Ka Dushman’ and ‘Shirdi Wale Sai Baba’.