I was happy to see the article on Mohammed Rafi by Mohammed Yahya Ansari (Open Page, Oct. 25). It is unfortunate that the film media have forgotten a highly talented, versatile and unmatched playback singer. No other singer in Bollywood sang for as many music directors as Rafi did. In fact, most of the yesteryear heroes and comedians owe their fame to Rafi.
Rafi was a modest person. He was non-controversial, did not indulge in bickering over royalties, and did not feel let down when top music directors or heroes opted for other singers. Whether or not he is given awards posthumously, the fact remains that he rules the hearts of millions of Indians, young and old.
To understand Rafi as a person of superior qualities, we should know the respect he commanded — and continues to command — for his principled stand of not seeking royalty for his songs, singing free for budding composers and so on. His melodious songs are evergreen, with the demand for songs containing his CDs increasing.
The author’s disappointment is understandable. But the fear that Rafi can be forgotten is misplaced. Singers like Rafi, Mukesh, Manna Dey, and Mahendra Kapoor, to name a few, will never fade out of people’s memory. Rafi saab not being conferred Bharat Ratna or the Dada Saheb Phalke award is not a reflection on his talent or popularity. His voice echoes every day in the hearts of millions.
R. Somasekhara Babu,
The article has truly echoed the sentiments of crores of music connoisseurs that Rafi, the legendary singer, was denied the recognition he deserved.
Besides Rafi, the immortal singer, Kundan Lal Saigal — perhaps not as versatile a singer as Rafi — who laid the foundations of Hindi film music with his voice that was full of soul and life also deserves the Dada Saheb Phalke award.
Seshagiri Row Karry,