For the love of Rafi

By Poornima Koonath
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For the love of Rafi
Saleem Zamaan

A die-hard fan of the legendary Bollywood singer hosts a tribute concert

“Rafi and I were one. Since he passed away, only 50 per cent of me has remained!”
— Naushad

Mohammed Rafi doesn’t need any introduction. For 36 years he wooed, mesmerised and titillated the listeners with his songs. He has sung it all and done it with unparalleled elegance and flamboyance—be it ghazals, geet, bhajans, romantic numbers, bhangra, or nazmsor classical numbers. Be it the seductive “Chaudhvin ka chand ho……” or the sprightly “Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe……”, Rafi Sahib manoeuvred the nuances with ease and deftness. His mellifluous songs caressed the soul no matter what the mood or occasion. He provided a melody for every situation and he got his listeners to love, to laugh, to cry, to ponder or to muse. Known as ‘the Voice’ in the music industry, no other singer has been able to match his stature and his talent.

Recreating the Rafi-Dev Anand magic in Sydney is Saleem Zamaan, a dedicated Rafi fan has been paying an annual homage to the great singer since his death in 1980. After an extremely successful Rafi-Shammi Kapoor tribute last year, Saleem has decided to celebrate the legend’s songs from the golden era of Hindi cinema featuring Dev Anand. He will be accompanied by other popular singers from Sydney, Pushpa Jagadish, Sirisha Telugu, Yezdi Bhagwagar and Humayun Kabir-ZawKhin. The hallmark of all Saleem Zamaan concerts is the ‘farmaaish’ session. This session will also include some popular songs rendered for Dev Anand by other legendary singers like Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar to cater to the several requests from fans who are attending this double-tribute. To be held at the brand-new cinema theatre at the elite Bankstown Sports Club, this is a concert not to be missed!

For the love of Rafi
Saleem Zamaan, a dedicated Rafi fan

It is believed that Rafi had a very strong contribution in the success of Dev Anand films in the 60s as some of the most popular Rafi songs were picturised on him. Mohd. Rafi and Dev Anand’s association with music composers like OP Nayyar, SD Burman, Jaidev, Shankar Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhury and lyricists Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Shailendra, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Hasrat Jaipuri and Neeraj has created some of the best memorable songs in Hindi cinema.

It was in 1956 that composer OP Nayyar for the first time used Rafi Sahib’s voice for Dev Anand in Guru Dutt Productions’ ‘CID’. Since then many music directors followed suit. Burman used Rafi’s voice for most Dev Anand songs and some of the films that created great evergreen songs are Nau Do Gyarah, Kala Bazar, Kalapani, Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Guide, Jewel Thief, Teen Devian, Gambler, to name a few. After Mohd. Rafi’s passing Dev Anand said, “Rafi is indeed immortal and always feel he is around and in our hearts and soul. I admire his voice and range. All the songs he sang for me like this faster one ‘Jiya o jiyakuchbol do’ and many more were the best and I can’t write them all. Rafi was) a great soul very quiet and fine person.” Rafi’s style was so unique that he has left behind a legacy and a vacuum that has not been filled to date by any singer.

The concert is on 9th September at The Theatre, Bankstown Sports Club starting at 6 pm.

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