तेरी आवाज़ की जादूगरी से, ना जाने किस जहाँ में खो गया हूँ।

By A S MURTY, Secretary,

RAFI FOUNDATION, HYDERABAD CHAPTER

PROLOGUE :
Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad Chapter conducts musical sessions for its members twice a month – on two Sundays for four hours on each occasion. Our members sing songs of Rafi Sahab as also of other legends like Manna De, Talat Mahmood, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Geeta Dutt. Invariably these sessions tend to bring out the best among our singers while some of the forgotten tracks occasionally get heard. This has been going on uninterrupted for the last three years now and sometime in July this year, we had thought of making such musical get-togethers with Rafi bhakts from other centres to join us. Instant response from all our members gave us the idea to talk to our friends in Chennai and Bangalore and spend two days in the company of all the known Rafi Bhakts at one central place – calling the meet as RAFI HOLIDAY. Just as we had been setting our own house in order in Hyderabad, some sort of telepathy (or is it Rafi-pathy ??) developed between us and our friends in Bangalore when B G Raj of Baar Baar Rafi Fan Club, invited us to go over to Bangalore and that they would be too glad to host us. We then contacted our other friends of Rafi Foundation Chennai Chapter in Chennai and both Jagat Tarkas and K S Ramachandran (Chandan to most of us) applauded us for this unique idea and readily agreed to be with us. They assured that some more of their members would join us too and that we should now chalk out the detailed plans for the same. We decided that the month of November would give all of us sufficient time to prepare ourselves, book our rail/road/air reservations and also our accomodation arrangements. The uniqueness of the program was that all those travelling to Bangalore from outside will make their own travel and lodging arrangements, so that these should not consume the time and energy of our Bangalore friends. It would make their task that much more easier and would allow their resources to be utilized fully for the actual event – like booking of a suitable venue, arrangements for TV/Sound System/Music Systems, Mikes/Lunch and Tea/Snacks, etc.

ज़िन्दगी कभी ख्वाब है तो कभी सच्चाई। दो पहलु जो किसी मोड़ पर एक दूसरे के आमने सामने जाते हैं और ऐसी सूरत में ज़िन्दगी बेशुमार रंगीन और हसीन दिखने लगती है। हमने भी देखे हैं ऐसे हसीन और रंगीन ख्वाब जिन्हें सच्चाई में बदलते देर लगी और देखते ही देखते कुछ हमारे सपने सच होने लगे। हैदराबाद में हमारी संसथान है Rafi Foundation और हर महीने के दो दिन हमारे सभी सदस्य चंद घंटे मिलजुल कर हिन्दी फ़िल्म जगत के वोह गीत गुनगुनाते है जो स्वर्ण युग से जुड़े होंयानी की 1950 से लेकर 1980 के दशकों के। मशहूर गायक इस युग के रहे हैं मुकेशजी, मन्नाडे जी, तलत साहब, रफ़ी साहब, महेंद्र कपूरजी, लताजी, आशाजी, गीता दुत्त्जी वगैरह। हालाँकि हमारे इस छोटे से गुट का नाम रफ़ी साहब से जुड़ा है, फिर भी हम उन सभी कलाकारों का कद्र करते हैं जिन्होंने अनमोल गीतों से हमारी निजी ज़िन्दगी में लाखों उमंगें बिखेरी हैं, युगों से। कोई कलाकार किसी और कलाकार के मुकाबले का जरिया नही होता और हम ऐसी तुलनाओं से दूर ही रहे हैं। यह और बात है की रफ़ी साहब की अदायिगी और गायिकी ने हमारे दिलों को गहराई से टटोला है और हम रफ़ी साहब के गानों के दीवाने हैं। ज़्यादातर हम उनके गानों से प्रभावित हुए हैं और रफ़ी साहब हम सबके लिए वोह सूरज हैं जिनकी रौशनी में कभी कमी नही आती। इतना ही नही, इस रौशनी के आगे सभी की ऑंखें चका चौंध हो जाती हैं। अन्य शहरों में रफ़ी साहब के कई दीवानों से परिचित भी होते रहे और उन सभी से संपर्क भी करते रहे। पर इस सिलसिले को कुछ और आगे बढ़ाने की चाह दिल में लगातार चोट कर रही थी। क्या कर सकते हैं हम जिसके बलबूते पर रफ़ी साहब के दीवानों का किसी एक जगह पर मिलन हो और आपस में हम सुब एक दूसरे को और नज़दीक से जान सकें ? साल की शुरुआत में मेरी मुलाक़ात मनीष से हुयी जो बंगलोर केबार बार रफ़ी फेन क्लबके बेजोड़ सदस्य हैं। मैंने पाया की इनके विचारों और मेरे अपने विचारों में कोई दूरी नही, यहाँ तक की हम दोनों की सोच कई विषयों पर एकमत थी। मनीष भी एक ऐसा सम्मलन आयोजित करने की चाह रखते हैं जिसमे देश भर के रफ़ी भक्तों का समागम हो और कई विषयों पर चर्चा हो। और कई दोस्तों से इन्ही दिनों में हमने संपर्क बनाया और देखा की चाहे वोह चेन्नई से हों, या फिर बंगलोर से या हैदराबाद,दिल्ली, कोलकता, वगैरह। यकायक हमारे दिलो दिमाग में एक हसीन से ख्वाब ने जगह बनने की कोशिश की और फल स्वरुप, इसकी एक ऐसी तस्वीर उभर कर सामने आए जिसने ज़िक्र होते ही रंग जमा दिया। मैंने पहले तो हैदराबाद के रफ़ी भक्तों के सामने इसका उल्लेख किया और इन दोस्तों के उस्ताह पूर्वक प्रतिक्रियायों के बाद मैंने बार बार रफ़ी के द्वार पर दस्तक दी। मेरे अनुमान स्वरुप जिस जोश और हर्ष से इस प्रस्ताव का स्वागत किया गया, वर्णन कर पाना थोड़ा कठिन ही है। बेहेरहाल, बंगलोर के दोस्तों से संपर्क करने के उपरान्त हमने रुख किया चेन्नई की ओर जहाँ Rafi Foundation Chennai Chapter के भी रफ़ी भक्तों से हम खूब परिचित थे। निस्संदेह चेन्नई से भी हमें ज़ोरदार समर्थन मिला जिसने हमारे जोश को और बुलंदियों पर पहुँचा दिया। इन्ही दिनों, मेरे अजीज दोस्तज़रीफ़ अहमद ने भी मुझसे फ़ोन पर संपर्क किया और जैसे ही मैंने उन्हें भी इस कार्यक्रम का ब्यौरा दिया, उन्होंने भी तुरंत इसमे शरीक होने का ऐलान कर डाला। बस अब देर किस बात को ? हमने दिनों का कार्यक्रम निर्धारित किया और यह निश्चय किया की चेन्नई, हैदराबाद और दिल्ली के रफ़ी भक्त बंगलोर में एकत्र होकर वहां के रफ़ी भक्तो के साथ दो दिन बिताएंगे। उनकी इस यात्रा को नाम दिया गया – “रफ़ी यात्राऔर बंगलोर में इस जष्न का नाम रखा गया “RAFI HOLIDAY”. ख्वाब की ताबीर यह थी की इन दो दिनों में हम सभी इस जहाँ के बाकी सारे पहलुयों को भुला कर रफ़ी साहब के नगमों की मदहोशी में जा डूबें और इतना लुत्फ़ उठायें की हम अपने जीवन को और सार्थक बना सकें। आख़िर रफ़ी साहब की गायिकी और अदायिगी ही नही बलके उनके सरल स्वाभाव और स्नेह भरी मुस्कान ने भी तो हमको लुभाया है और मार्ग दर्शन दिया है।

Much before we set foot on Bangalore for this great event, came this savvy comment from Bina : “I must say that your amazing enthusiasm is very infectious. It is true we all belong to a universal group now, being as we are, a crazy bunch of fans of Rafi Saab”.



14TH NOVEMBER – BIRTH OF “RAFI HOLIDAY” :

It is just coincidence and no other relevance that the Children’s day was chosen to be the day when RAFI HOLIDAY would be born। The dates were discussed among the Rafi Bhakts of Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore almost three months before. Rafi Bhakts from outside Bangalore would have to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. BAAR BAAR RAFI FAN CLUB, Bangalore (BBR) agreed to book the venue for our meet, arrange for tea/snacks and lunch and other infrastructure. We decided that we will spend the day by playing an Antakshri of Rafi Sahab’s songs, participate in a brain teasing Quiz on songs related to Rafi Sahab and also showcase our individual singing talents. Organizing these were entrusted to some very talented and very creative members of the BBR.  We arrived in Bangalore on the morning of 14th November 2009 and BBR was at the Railway station to welcome us. Manish and Ashok came early in the morning with roses for each of us and plenty of warmth and guided us to our respective hotels before rushing off to the venue where they had arrangements to attend to.  On dot of 10.00 a.m. we all started assembling at the Indian Institute of World Culture and after the initial greetings to one another, we went through the introduction session for the next half hour.  In recent times hi-tech methods have been put to good use by BBR for Antakshri and what best then could we all ask for other than an absorbing and scintillating 45 minutes of non stop Antakshri of Rafi Sahab’s songs (audio clips of preludes, interludes, mukhadas, antaras, et el) all compiled by the ever charming Asha who was assisted by Manish.  Eight or nine teams that took part in various rounds had a very entertaining session as eliminations after each round made them play it in a competitive spirit.  Each of the teams had Rafi fans from Hyderabad/Bangalore/Chennai equally spread over, so that at the end it would could not be said that Bangalore won or Hyderabad won.  Winning was not in anyone’s mind and it was the spontaneous participation by the ‘diggaj’ fans made the Antakshri very lively. More than the prizes to the winners, Asha and Manish seemed to take all the honours for such a wonderful presentation of a fun filled Antakshri. A perfect start to the RAFI HOLIDAY was what almost everyone seemed to remark.

Giving final touches are Asha,Manish & Ashok

Giving final touches are Asha,Manish & Ashok

Manish explaining rules of Antakshri to participants

Manish explaining rules of Antakshri to participants

And THIS IS THE SONG, says Bina while Sreesha & Shanti seem to agree

And THIS IS THE SONG, says Bina while Sreesha & Shanti seem to agree

Next we had a very tough but once again an indepth Quiz prepared specifically by the storehouse of knowledge – Vinatha – and conducted this time by yet another charmer from BBR – Bina (many would know her from her various articles posted on websites in recent times).  And here again, two more stalwarts of BBR – Manish and Mukund – so ably assisted her that it looked as though conduct of such programmes comes so vary naturally to them. So much co-ordination between the three made the three big teams (now we did have the Bangalore Team, Hyderabad Team and the Chennai/Delhi Team) compete, clue for clue, with all the knowledge and the knack of remembering at their command. Edge of the seat excitement was to follow as the each of the teams had some known stalwarts and some new finds.  It was neck to neck for most of the rounds before Hyderabad and Bangalore were locked in a gruelling one upmanship in scoring all the right answers.  Some of the questions were very tough for most of us, but not for the likes of Gurumurthy, Krishnamurthy/Narayanan on one side and Sanjay/Padmanabhan/Satyendra on the other.  A see-saw battle for supremacy ensued to culminate in one last burst of round.  Satyendra was the real find of the day here and bereft of being bodily lifted, I am sure he will remain in the hearts of everyone who was in the auditorium on that day.  Still in his 20s, this young lad is a powerhouse of knowledge, taste and passion for Rafi Sahab’s songs.

Lunch time was quickly taken as we still had to see the singing talents of all our friends and some of them have been rated in music circles as some of the best Rafi-exponents.  Manish took the mantle of a perfect host, managing to squeeze in almost all those who had desired to sing.  Lack of enough time prevented him from offering the mike to some of the singers who had prepared for more songs, but that is not only understandable, it was also at the cost of Manish’s own songs. We have all known how good a singer he is, but his modesty and call of duty perhaps prevented him from taking to singing, despite our requests.  He accommodated each and everyone who had wanted to sing on that and we got some of the best renditions possible from Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore.  The highlight of the singing session was an exceptional man – Krishnamurthy.

No better dancer than him.

No better dancer than him.

Now, Krishnamurthy deserves a special mention as he not only performs a perfect tango, but entertains everyone.  He is such a cute that he can add lustre to any mehfil. And Snigdha could not have said no to him when she too joined him to present to us all a perfect (it takes two to tango in any case) vibrating and foot tapping dance.  Great sight to watch such lively and forthcoming attitude from KM and Snigdha – HIP HIP HURRAY.

the dancing duo - Wow, what a sight

the dancing duo – Wow, what a sight

Jagat Tarkas too deserves a special mention among the Rafi Bhakts. From Chennai came this ‘whistling wizard” who plays the songs of Rafi Sahab to such fine perfection by whistling that one is struck in awe. This is a real class art.  Whistling can be a tough proposition and would not come easy for all.  It takes months of training and regular ‘riyaz’ (traits associated with Rafi Sahab again).  It requires a lot of will power (lung power ?).  Thanks Jagatbhai for your presentations.  Then one more name required special attention – not just for his singing abilities, but much more than that. He is an adept sketcher and had started sketching Rafi Sahab on his canvass some months ago when we had asked him to send a soft copy which we can download and get laminated.  We were dumbstuck when he presented not one, but three full size portraits of his immaculate work to Chennai/Bangalore and Hyderabad friends (all of 6′ x 6′).  That is Hemanth Sharma from Bangalore.  Generally it is believed that if one is good in one form of art, he would be good in most others too. But this young lad (again in his 20s maybe) is a perfectionist. Kudos, young man. Rafi Sahab is really proud to have fans of your ilk.

We missed out seeing the documentary of Rafi Sahab, as there simply was no more available time. We had to cut down on some of the songs of our singers too for this very reason.  Nevertheless, the moment was celebrated also for the birth of the RAFI HOLIDAY on 14th November by cutting of a large cake, specially ordered, by Rafi Fans from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi.  The evening was rung off by singing in rattling unison by everyone the BBR signature tune – BAAR BAAR DEKHO HAZAAR BAAR DEKHO YEH DEKHNE KI CHEEZ HAI HAMARA DILRUBA. We bid goodbye to all our friends around 7.30 p.m. with a promise to meet once every year for the RAFI HOLIDAY and to take this mega event to various other cities in the country.

15TH NOVEMBER 2009

As some more of our friends were in Bangalore whom we could not meet on the 14th, Hyderabad friends alongwith Zareef Ahmed from Delhi, Shailaja,  and Srinivas Iyer (from Chennai but now in Bangalore) all met with these friends at the palatial flat of Anoop Kulkarni the next day.  Again 10.00 was the appointed hour and most reach around that time. We were greeted by Ramesh and Padma Kurpad, Ravishankar, Anoop, his wife and CIYA (what a lovely baby – she soon became the darling of Sivaram, Elias and Satyendra) and other friends.
RAFI BHAKTS - present and future

RAFI BHAKTS ENJOYING THE SESSION AT ANOOP'S HOUSE

RAFI BHAKTS ENJOYING THE SESSION AT ANOOP'S HOUSE

Initial introductions were quickly gone through and we started the singing session in right earnest.  Ravishankar opened the session with a devotional song on Lord Vinayaka, invoking the blessings of the almighty for the success of the continuing RAFI HOLIDAY.  Turn by turn, then all of us took to singing with the MAGIC SING, Karaoke Tunes on CDs and now from meragana.com too.  Sumptuous lunch and all the arrangements by Anoop and other friends left nothing to chance. Almost everything that we had needed was there.  Then came the biggest shower of camaraderie from Suman. Each of those present were gifted with a set of 7 CDs of Rafi Sahab’s songs.

painstakingly prepared, Sumanbhai gifts set of 7 CDs of Rafi Sahab songs to each. What a tremendous effort.

painstakingly prepared, Sumanbhai gifts set of 7 CDs of Rafi Sahab songs to each. What a tremendous effort.

What a painstaking effort Sumanbhai, listening to these songs will last a life time.  Continuous singing gave all a good chance to present all their songs in abundance as on this day we dispensed with Antakshri and Quiz.  No speeches were made and every one had only one thought, to sing and listen to the golden songs of Rafi Sahab.  That Rafi Sahab can be such a binding thread was the silent feel each of us got.

Some of our friends in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai were left on a very high note after this unique experience and some quipped as under :

M V Devraj : The Rafi Holiday programme was indeed a great event. It was a
pleasure and a privilege and I feel honoured to have met all the Rafi
bhakths from Hyderabad,Chennai and Delhi.November 14,2009 will remain in
memory for ever

A S MURTY :  Wah Wah Wah Bina, kya baat hai. 14 November ke is jashn ko to hum waise bhi na bhula paate, aur ab aapka likha padhne ke baad is jashn ki rounak aur bhi  badh gayi hai. Aap sabhi ka tahe dil se shukriya
ki hamari zindagi ka ek din aapne itna zyada khoobsoorat bana diya.

ALKA JAIN : We could meet lovely people from Hyderabad, Chennai,and Delhi.At the end of the day no one wanted to leave the venue though everybody was very tired. We knew that it was not an end but starting of a bigger group of
Rafi bhakts in various cities who will always look for oppurtunities
to meet each other.
Once again Hip Hip Hurray to ADABRAFI and RAFI HOLIDAY.

N R PADMANABHAN : The biggest takeaway from this Rafi Yatra has been that we have evolved as friends with direct interaction. So many perceptions have changed and so many angles have got added to our previous notions of people with whom we used to exchange mail with. It is surprising though that the perception in most cases is not at variance with the reality !!

ANANYA : I am proud to be a part of this talented
group……….and it was a real honour to have met in person Mr A S
Murthy, N R P, and all the members of Hyd, chennai and Delhi.

Wish Rafi Holiday is twice in a year :) Jai Ho BBR

SHANKAR DONGRE : Hello  Bina,, Aap ka tho jawab nahi. you rocked the show. your presentation was excellent. we got introduced to all Rafi club members of Hyderabad, Chennai
& Delhi. *Thanks to the organisers of Rafi Holiday*.  I am eagerly waiting
for next Rafi Holiday.

MV KRISHNAN (from a distant Mumbai) : It is our bad
luck to have missed such a wonderful opportunity to meet up with Rafi bhakts
from Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and of course the fulcrum of this
group-Bangalore. The way NRP and Murty have described the occasion, it was
indeed a Grand Success.

HV GURUMURTHY : Yes, it was a grand and as they say now very
often, ‘hatke’ evening, when Rafi Bhakts from Hyderabad, Chennai and  Delhi
joined the Bangalore Bhakts and throughout the day were singing ‘gun-gaans’
of Rafi Saab. It was a SANGAM of Moosi, Coovam (I mean the river), Yamuna
and Cauvery. Our politicians are still talking about interlinking rivers,
but we Rafi Bhakts have already symbolically done that.

Others to send their comments were BG Raj, Ashok Dalmiya, Jagat Tarkas, Ravishankar, Satyendra, K S Ramachandran (aka Chandan), Suman Gupta, Achal Rangaswamy, Srinivas Iyer, etc. P Narayanan, the affable Rafi Bhakt known throughout the length and breadth of the country remarked that perhaps this was the only instance of fans of any legend organized such a grand event, just to be in the company of one another. S Chandar too sent in his comments though with a suggestion that we must have more time for singing and we must also maintain silence and listen to the songs when others are singing. Too many programmes resulted in  lesser time for singing  on the 14th Nov 09 and yes, being the first time, we did have sometimes some extra noises when songs were going on.  Many more have sent in their comments, sweet and short ones though. We could not accommodate the names of all our friends who were part of the RAFI HOLIDAY on the 14th & 15th November 2009 as also the complete list of songs rendered on these two days for lack of space here.  The article has already become too lengthy and inclusion of all names, however much that we would have liked to do, would have resulted in this narration overshooting the space generally accepted for a brief article.  Bina and Ramesh Kurpad have already aired their small write ups on this mega event wherein most of the names have been covered already.  Zareefbhai has posted many photographs on this website which depict the various moods that the RAFI HOLIDAY presented on both the days.


EPILOGUE :

The stupendous success of RAFI HOLIDAY leads us to believe that we can have such events year after year and at many more centres in the country.  Rafi Fans in other cities who get to read these may be interested in organizing such events within their area, so why not start now ?  In the coming years we will be visiting you and also inviting you to be with us all.  The concept of RAFI HOLIDAY is simple. It will be a congress of all the Rafi Bhakts with the sole intention of enjoying their holiday sinking in the depth of the most melodious of songs of Rafi Sahab. No speeches, no official functions, no garlandings. All the Rafi Bhakts are born equal and will remain so.  That will be the forebearing principle on which such an exercise will be undertaken.

== हम  दिल  का साज़ बजाते हैं, दुनिया के होश उड़ाते हैं, हम सात सुरों के सागर हैं, हर महफ़िल में लहराते हैं. ==

रफ़ी साहब की पेश की हुयी इन पंक्तियों से मेरी इस व्याख्यान को विराम दे रहा हूँ और आपसे यही विनती है की भूल चूक को माफ़ कर, आप सभी हमारा साथ दे ताकि आने वाले वर्षों में देशभर के सभी रफ़ी भक्त वोह कार्य कर दिखाएँ  जो रफ़ी साहब जैसी ही बेमिसाल और लाजवाब हो.