The following write-up is by Santosh Kumar (one of the most ardent fans of Rafi Sahab ever) and only briefly edited by Mr. A.S. Murty with insertion of the list of songs and names of the Rajasthani folk dancers from Dhola Ri Dhani, and the photographs.

Well, I’m not trying to confuse the readers by using the word “Kurukshetra”. No! Neither it has anything to do with a war, nor is it any competition.
It’s all about the story of a “Rang-Bhoom” not a “Ran-Bhoomi”!! It’s all about a musical exhibition of talent under the firmament made up of the “God’s blessings”. Again, to make things clear, I must tell you that the word “God” here doesn’t mean a religious figure. My statement points to an Indian God who has followers/disciples belonging to all religions. Yes! I’m talking about the “God of Singing”, the maestro “Sir Mohammad Rafi”! Hope I made my statement clear, so let’s move on..
I was talking about the “Rang-Bhoomi”  which was arranged in the outskirts of Hyderabad, a place called “Dhola-Ri-Dhani”! Musical warriors and disciples set themselves towards the aforementioned destination, in their respective chariots.

  • Chandar sir and Radha ma’m holding their divine weapons (Karaoke Cds/DVDs) stepped into their chariot named “Swift” and carried Santosh (me) along with them
  • N.R.Padmanabhan sir boarded his chariot named “Maruti 800″  and headed towards the destination. Satyendra and Yashwant joined him.
  • Other musical warriors like Ramakrishna sir (with his nuclear weapon “Harmonica”), Padmanabhan couple, Subhrammanyam duo, the great commander in chief (A.S.Murty sir and his consort) and spectators headed towards the “Rang Bhoomi”  in a Pushpak Viman otherwise known as “Bus” arranged by the management of Dhola-Ri-Dhani.

Assemblage at Dhola-Ri-Dhani
Chandar sir and his troupe were the first to reach the destination. They directly went towards the venue and started to test the auditorium and the weaponry (Sound boxes, sound system) and started fine-tuning them when we, the youngsters – Satyendra, Yashwant and Elias – stepped inside the open air auditorium. Soon everybody dispersed to have a survey of that beautiful place. That was around 3:30 PM. Soon other members arrived at the venue.

Soon decoration of our God’s idol, (read “Rafi Saab”) begun, and few people started to make necessary arrangements on stage. Meanwhile everyone was waiting with bated breath for one more army, the “orchestra troupe”.
I want to mention one important thing here; which is, despite the existence of security checks at the main gate, none of us were scrutinized. One single word, “Rafi”, worked wonders, and made a smile run across the faces of the security personnel. “Rafi Saab”, this word could do such a magic, I never knew that!

“Birds of a feather tend to flock together!!”
This section header seems weird isn’t it? We’re discussing about a musical event and we’re not supposed to divert the topic to discuss/learn English idioms, phrases and proverbs!! Hold on a minute!
It’s very much sync with the current narration and no way deviates us away!

Well, we’ve been hearing this proverb for ages, but on 25th Dec 8 I could see it practically! When all of us were hanging around the stage doing something or the other, two ladies, out of whom Mrs Sumitra Shastry, was a septuagenarian, the mother of Bhanumati ji (name of the lady accompanying her), entered the venue. The elderly lady was not even able to walk properly. They were just gazing around at the strangers when Murty sir went forward and talked with them. Bhanumati ji was holding a cutting of a news paper in her hand.

It was a very pleasant awe mingled surprise for everyone when we heard the following words from the mouth of Bhanumati ji, who is a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya. She said, “Hum logone is programme ke bare mein ek newspaper mein padha aur yahan chale aaye. Hum log Rafi Saab ke bahut bade chahne waale hain, hum log to bachpan se unke hi gaane sunkar bade hue hain! Humare ghar mein unke hi gaane sune jaate hain aaj bhi”.

Those sweet words filled everyone with utmost happiness as like as the sweet sound of cukoo ripens mangoes.
They were humbly welcomed inside by Murty ji and they were asked to be seated and enjoy the programme.
Meanwhile Orchestra troupe made their entry and they started fixing up their systems.

Mortal Combat Begins

Again there isn’t any combat among the musical warriors. All were set to combat today’s noise polluted environment by releasing their divine weapons in the air, which were designed by our god, Rafi saab long back. Each weapon released, made uncanny positive effects on the audience and the foreign crown present near the vicinity started getting mesmerized, and got themselves gravitated and pulled towards the Rang-Bhoomi under a divine trance of Rafi saab’s weapons (read Songs).
The first Rafi-enthusiast to exhibit his devotion towards our God was Yashwant who took the stage by storm when he rendered a beautiful, soulful and divine Bhajan of Rafi Saab – Duniya Na Bhaye Mohe Ab To Bula Le from the film Basant Bahar .

THE FULL CACHE OF WEAPONERY
1. Duniya Na Bhaye Mohe _ Basant Bahar YASHWANT
2. Dil Mein Chhupa Ke Pyar Ka- AAN – Subramanyam
3. Jaiye aap kahan jaayenge – MERE SANAM – Mrs Radha Chandar
4. O Duniya ke rakhawale ” BAIJU BAWRA” Sheikh Elias
5. Maine Rakha Hai Muhobbat “SHABNAM ” Santosh
6. Mujhe Kitna Pyar Hai Tumse “DIL TERA DIWANA” ASM & VIJAYA
7. Tere Bin Soone Nayan Hamare “Meri Soorat Teri Ankhen”  N R P
8. Pukarta Chala Hun Mein – S Chandar
9. Likhke jo Khat Tumhe – R Padmanabhan
10. Hum Ko Man Ki Shakti Dena (Guddi) – Mrs Meenakshi Padmanabhan
11. Parda Hai Parda Hai   “AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY” – Yashwant
12. Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Huye “PRINCE” – Satyendra
13. Choudvin Ka Chand Ho – “Chaudvin Ka Chand”  Subramanyam
14. Tumhi Mere Mandir  “KHANDAN”  Vijaya
15. Ude Jab Jab Zulfe Teri ” NAYA DAUR” S Chandar & Mrs Radha
16. Jaane Walon Zara ” DOSTI – Harmonica recital by Ramakrishna
17. KOI SAGAR DIL KO BEHLATA NAHIN (D D D L) – N R P
18. Rang Aur Noor Ki Baarat – GHAZAL – Sheikh Elias
19. Jaane Wale Zara Hoshiyar “RAJKUMAR”  A S Murty
20. Ik Na Ik Din Yeh Kahani  “GORA AUR KALA” – Santosh
21. John Jani Janardhan ” NASEEB” – Sheikh Elias
22. Huyen Hai Hampe Ashiq Hum ” MERE SANAM”  Harmonica  S R K
23. Yeh Parbaton Ke Dayre “VAASNA”  R Padmanabhan & Mrs Meenakshi
24. Ankhon Se Jo Utari Hai Dil Mein ” P W D L H”  Mrs Radha Chandar
25. Hum Intezar Karenge ” BAHU BEGUM” – S Raghavendra Rao
26. Aajkal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche ” BRAHMCHARI “  S Chandar & Mrs Radha Chandar
27. Yesh Desh Hai Veer Jawano Ka  ” NAYA DAUR – ASMurty, Yashwant,S Chandar & Shaikh Elias
28. Bole Re Papihara  “GUDDI “  Mrs Radha Chandar
29. Chhup Gaye Sare Nazare ” DO RAASTE “  Ms. Sheela & Krishnamurthy
30. Dance by NARSING (a dwarf dancer of Dhola Ri Dhani) on the song HUM KALE HAIN TO KYA HUYE DILWALE HAIN. He was accompanied by Naresh (dressed up as a lady) for this wonderful dance item.

Excellent rendition by our members was interspersed with compering by A S Murtyji. He has abundance of ammunition under his belt, what with innumerous sher-o-shayari to describe almost every song.

Within no time, entire auditorium was almost filled with spectators. It would be surprising to note that the no. of external visitors was greater than the members of this event. That was again mostly due to the trademark associated with the event, “Mohammad Rafi”!!
It was around 10 in the evening when the musical talent exhibition culminated. But that wasn’t the end, there were two guest warriors who proved to be above all of us by releasing nuclear weapons mesmerizing all of us. They were Dhola-re-Dhani staff viz.,

  • Naresh, who dressed like a girl and danced fabulously. She (read He) was accompanied by a little artiste, a dwarf -NARSING . They danced on a famous Rafi number, “Hum kale hain to kya hua dilwale hain’
  • Next was the turn of another hero – Bhati. He exhibited his superb skills of physics. He was a master of Newtonian mechanics. He danced with 2 cycle wheels in his hand and circled them on various parts of his body; with such an ease and expertise, that had there been Newton in the vicinity, he would have been taken aback at that spectacular act of balancing object movements