Mumbai: On the occasion of late playback singer Mohammed Rafi’s 90th birth anniversary yesterday, Asha Bhosle reminisced about the “benevolent” talent’s “humility”.
“The beauty of Rafi sahab is that right from the door of the studios, he would start wishing everyone, ‘Aadab’. He would never fight with anyone. If anyone said something to him, he would stay quiet and would not answer. I would get irritated. I would ask him why he would not answer back. He would then tell me to let it go, there was no point in replying. Woh Allah Ke aadmi the! (He was God’s man).
“He would never praise himself, the pride of his popularity would not even show on his face,” the singer said during a radio interview on a 92.7 BIG FM show Wednesday morning.
Rafi was born on December 24, 1924. He died at the age of 55 on July 31, 1980, following a massive heart attack, leaving behind a wealth of over 5,000 songs, which he had rendered during his 35-year-long singing career.
During his lifetime, Rafi was conferred with the Padmashri, National Film Award, Best National Singer Award, and many Filmfare Awards, besides a number of other national and international honours.
Asha, who was recently honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), also says she is saddened that with his death, all other promises and chance of future collaboration with him, also met an abrupt end.
“The sad part is the day he passed away, a day before that, we were recording for a movie and he said, ‘Dekho, humne kitne gaane saath mein ga liye, apna toh aise hi chalega’ (Look at the sheer number of tracks we have sung together! It is going to go on like this.) We were to meet again the next day, but he passed away. He was a good man,” she further added.
The singer, who is lovingly called ‘Asha Tai’ by many, is known for bringing in a revolution with songs like ‘Dum maro dum’, ‘Piya tu ab toh aaja’ and ‘Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko’.
With Rafi, she is credited wth having sung numbers like ‘Bahut shukriya’, ‘Abhi na jao chhod kar’, ‘Uden jab jab zulfein teri’ and ‘Aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera’.