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Son to launch Rafi Academy on July 31

On Mohammed Rafi's 30th death anniversary, Rafi's son and grandson are planning a memorial with the sons of Naushad, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni and Mahendra Kapoor.

entertainment Updated: Jul 29, 2010 13:43 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

On July 31, Mohammed Rafi’s 30th death anniversary, an academy will be launched in his memory. Actors like Rishi Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, singer Nitin Mukesh and Kishore Kumar’s family, composers Anandji and Pyarelal are expected to be at the launch on Saturday at Juhu’s Novotel Hotel.

Rafi’s son, Shahid, says that the idea for the academy came to him about three months ago. He informs that his father’s fans still come home on his birth and death anniversaries, asking to be shown into his music room. Here all his instruments, trophies, photographs, collection of records and his telephone have been lovingly preserved.

What an idea!
“I thought why not place the memorabilia in a museum. Also, start an academy where music, art and culture is taught to young children and shows are performed through the year in memory of yesteryear greats,” he says.

Mohammed RafiThe sons of other singers and musicians, including Raju Naushad, Ruhan Mahendra Kapoor, Javed Shakeel Badayuni and Andalib Majrooh Sultanpuri, have joined hands with Shahid and his son Firdaus on the project. Andalib and Shahid had studied briefly, in the same school and class, then lost touch. "Only recently, we got together to discuss the academy that would be a memorial to our fathers," Shahid points out. "Inshahallah, by this time next year, we will be meeting at the academy."

Total recall
Shahid remembers his dad as a soft-spoken man whose world revolved around his work and home. “Any free time he had, he would play cricket or carrom with us. During the kite flying season, we’d hold his chakra (wheel) while he flew a kite,” he says.

Ask him to pick a Rafi favourite and Shahid insists that it’s impossible. But he recalls his father coming home after recording Chal mere bhai… for Naseeb looking excited. “Guess whom I sang with today?” he asked. When told that it was Amitabh Bachchan, the kids flooded him with queries about the superstar. “We wanted to know if Amitji was really as tall as he looked in the movies and if his voice was as deep,” recalls Shahid. “Little did we realise at the time that dad was a superstar himself.”

First Published: Jul 29, 2010 13:01 IST