Me, Dad and Rafi

It was beyond 11pm that night and I suddenly woke up to some music floating around.

Trying to focus on the music and what’s happening so late at night, I woke up. I see this fatherly figure hunched over the radio, as though the radio is the life-giving thing for him. Wondering what’s happened to Dad, I tried to call him. But, he hushed me up and asked me to keep quiet and listen to the music.

The voice was so familiar, my favorite of all times. I was introduced to that wonderful voice, by my Dad, through his many famous Hindi songs, from many movies. Its none other than Md. Rafi. Β I am still crazy about his voice, as I was then. Β I started liking a song, because of Rafi and they way he modulates his voice and they he laughs and sings some words….its an amazing experience to listen to him.

Generally, Vividh Bharathi broadcasts end by 11pm with Mann Chahe Geet. But, it was well after 11pm and my mind was quickly trying to remember, what are the other stations which broadcast after 11pm. But nothing came to my mind.

I got up slowly and went near Dad. It was Vividh Bharathi. Β When I tried to touch him, I realized that he was crying. Oh dear, now what happened to Dad !! Everyone else was asleep at home and I didnt know what to do.

Slowly I nudged him to see me and questioned him with my eyes, “Whats happening ? Why are you crying ?”

He pointed a finger at the radio and asked me to listen. It was Rafi, all right, but those songs were not songs from movies. I was amazed and totally engrossed in his voice, which can melt a rock, according to me.

They were ghazals by Rafi. That silent night, that fantastic and versatile voice, that moment of listening with my Dad, make it so memorable to me, even today.

Vividh Bharathi used to broadcast 1 hr of Rafi’s ghazals on his Death Anniversary, at 11pm. And that was the day, I saw my Dad cry, listening to Rafi.

The surprising fact is that Dad doesn’t understand Hindi much, especially those with Urdu dialects used in ghazals. Yet, he was spellbound by the voice, re-iterating the fact, that music is beyond language.

I remember well a particular statement which Dad made, after listening to those heart-warming ghazals – “If I had met with Rafi, I would’ve fallen at his feet, for the divine voice he has”.


Today is Dad’s 45th day pooja. And I remember my Dad today, by listening to Rafi. Its the perfect way to remember my Dad, is what my heart says today.


29 Replies to “Me, Dad and Rafi”

  1. Is it a coincidence that you write a post on the language on music when we have just lost Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , who could relate to anyone, regardless of language with his music. We are richer for having had people like these in our lifetimes. And what a fitting tribute from a daughter to a father, who lived music, loved music, and taught her the magic of music ! My namaskars to his memory…


    1. Partly coincidence, partly inspiration….

      This has been in the drafts and I’ve been wanting to post it and after seeing Pt’s death news and also becos today’s Dad’s 45th day puja, this post got published finally.

      I bow before you, for the way u make me feel with ur words. πŸ™‚ Hugs and Thanks. πŸ™‚


  2. Such a lovely post.

    Rafi is THE BEST — and I love all those songs, mainly coz of his voice. His ghazals, i’ve never heard.But i most definitely WILL, now!

    Hugs, Ums! πŸ™‚


  3. I love Rafi’s voice too, and could imagine how soothing it should’ve been to listen gazals! I’m sure it’s the best way to send tribute to your dad, for whom music was his life!
    Hugs to you dear!


  4. Hi Uma

    My dad is also an ardent fan of Rafi. I remember the day when Rafi died – my dad did not touch food and water the whole day. All our childhood, we woke up listening to Rafi’s songs on Sunday Mornings…and it still is. My dad spends his retired life listening to rafi’s songs on vivdh bharti and reading books. No one can better understand that night (that you spent with your dad listening to Rafi) than I. I can almost see you both, sitting besides radio. God bless you. My tribute to your dad.



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