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After almost three decades of his sad demise a memoir is being published by his daughter-in-law Yasmin who is also a hard core fan of Rafi.  While some would argue if Rafi was a greatest artist of Hindi film industry Rafi remains the most distinguished male playback singer of Bollywood.  He sang for almost four decades and right till the week before he got a severe heart attack.

In his biography Yasmin Khalid Rafi recounts his early days and puts some light on his private life.  According to her, Mohammad Rafi was a very simple, quite and calm man.  He was very humble and kind in nature.  He was a deep fond for cars and never hesitated to show for his passion for automotives.  During the days when Yasmin got to spend time with Rafi he usually recounted his olden days.  He talked about his childhood and those early days in Lahore where he grew up as a kid.  He used to sing at a Dargah at Lahore.  Once during a concert of K. L. Sehgal who was an established singer of that time electricity failed and audience was going restless, to calm the people Rafi was requested to sing on stage till things go alright.  Rafi performed and impressed K. L. Sehgal.  Praising Sehgal said that he will be a great singer one day.

Such a legendary singer Rafi was but he never wanted his children to follow the path that he had trodden. He knew it would be quite difficult for his kids to achieve what he has achieved in his life. So he never wanted them to be an average singer and carry a burden of expectations on their shoulders for nothing.  He sent his all four kids to boarding school early when they were too young.

Famed music director Naushad Ali described Mohammed Rafi as Indias new Tansen.  In a singing career spanning 35 years, Rafi came to be regarded by many as the greatest playback singer the Hindi film industry has ever known. Apart from Naushad, Rafi worked with all the well- known music directors of his time, including S D Burman, Shankar-Jaikishen, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and O P Nayyar. One of his hallmarks was his ability to sing in a variety of styles, ranging from classical and patriotic songs to qawwalis, ghazals and bhajans, though he is best known for his romantic songs and duets.  He became the voice of most of the actors across the decades including Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.  He won six Filmfare awards and the Padma Shri in 1967.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Yasmin Khalid Rafi was born in 1951 in the city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh. At the age of 19, Yasmin immigrated to England after her marriage to Khalid Rafi in 1971.  She has spent most of her life as a housewife and bringing up her four children. She is also a proud grandmother to six grandchildren. Five years ago, Yasmin came up with the inspiration to write a book on her legendary fatherin-law something for coming generations of her own family, and for all those ardent Rafi fans around the world.

MY TAKE:  An intimate portrait of one of the best-loved singers the world has ever known.  I confess, I love to listen to his songs till now as his voice always had a soothing effect.  The book has been written in a very simplified and expressive manner.  It really touches you when you are apprised that even being such a great singer he led such a simple life.  He may not be between us but his voice would remain in the heart of music lovers for ever.


AUTHOR:  Yasmin Khalid Rafi

PUBLISHER:  Tranquebar Press

LANGUAGE:  English


PRICE:  Rs. 250

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