Thank you to the individual who informed me (well, actually informed a bunch of people) that December 24 is Mohammed Rafi’s birthday (born December 24, 1924). I think Rafi must be everybody’s farvorite male Bollywood playback singer ever. Looking at messages from people who are really involved in Indian music (and/or grew up on it), I see that some revere Rafi as a true “gift from God” (or even a god himself, the way a few people praise him). I don’t think I have the knowledge of vocal talents in this area to elevate him above everyone else in such a way, but I certainly do like the way he sings.
Rafi was in so many movies, it’s very hard to narrow it all down to one favorite or exemplary clip (even for someone like me who probably doesn’t know a fraction of all that’s out there). Instead, what I decided to do is just post the one that I feel like watching the most right now. And even that was a close decision, though I was certain about which movie it would be.
Among the soundtracks that came to mind, I really like the film Kohinoor (which, by the way, was made in 1960, before even I was born). I guess the classic from that is Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re, and it would make sense for me to post it, since I did post a clip of that song last month, being covered Bangla-style by Suzana Ansar. But there’s another song from that film and soundtrack that I’ve gotten to like even more… Like Stella_1 from Parties, Sarees and Melodies, I’ve developed the greatest fondness for “Tan Ragloji Aaj Man Ranglo.” This one doesn’t focus on Rafi’s voice completely the way the other one does, but I think that a duet between Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar can be even better than Rafi by himself, and I like the chorus too. And the film clip is so much fun to watch – what a festival!