Love for the timeless voice

Hobby Club

The love for Mohammed Rafi and his timeless voice has brought this hobby club into being. After bumping into each other at many musicals in the City, three friends, P Narayan, Ashok Dalmia and B G Raj realised that they had one thing in common, Rafi saab. After chatting for hours together they thought of starting a club where they could enjoy and share information about the man, they grew up listening to. “We included other people too, who had a major liking for Rafi. Since then there has been no looking back,” says Raj, the president of the club.

March 2008 saw the conception of the Baar Baar Rafi Club with just 25 people and today they have around 420 members all over the world, out of which 320 members are in Bangalore alone. “The very first thing we did as a club was to organise a musical evening.”

“The event was a hit and that’s when we got 100 more applicants who wanted to join our club,” adds Raj. One fact the club made very clear was that it was not going to be a money-making association. “All members can join for free and if at all we do organise a meeting or an event, the cost of it would be divided equally among all the members,” says Raj while adding, “we only wanted to sit and work on our passion than justify the money we spent.”

Though they do not have any registration fee, they do have certain criterions to become a member. All the interested fans must fill out an application form which is available on request, wherein the applicant apart from basic details, must list out at least 10 Rafi songs and write a short note on him. “This is only to recognise the genuine Rafi fans, because there are many people who want to join for networking reasons,” says Raj.

Rafi has become an excuse for the group members to have a get-together. “There is no regular agenda for our meetings. In fact, we keep looking for some or the other reason to meet,” says Raj. Usually at these meetings, the members sit around and take one song and research upon it or they organise a quiz on Rafi or a game of antakshari which at times goes on for three days at a stretch. One ritual that they do follow every time they finish their meeting is to sing their anthem, Baar Baar Dekho. At the same time they also have special days, where they observe Rafi’s birthday. “On December 24, 2008 we celebrated Rafi’s 85th birthday where we had a cake and 85 candles,” adds Raj. More recently, the club also observed his death anniversary. “We try to think of innovative things to do, after all we have only one gentleman to talk about,” he tells.

Though the main motto of the club is to keep Rafi’s music alive, it also makes sure that the orchestral musicians and singers get an opportunity to showcase their talent. “For every big programme of ours, we go out and source talented musicians and give them opportunities. Some of our orchestral musicians have even played for Rafi saab,” he adds.

The group has a collection of CDs and DVDs from all over the world. “We get global feedback from people about the group. I get emails from Dubai, Denmark, Holland appreciating our initiative and wanting to be a part of it,” added Raj. Rafi’s daughters have also been appreciative about it. “They told us that even though there are many clubs in Rafi’s name, it is our club where they see the most passion. I have gone and met them personally and I think the highlight of the visit was to see Rafi saab’s room. I spent three hours in his room and even held his Filmfare Awards. I can never forget that day,” says he.

Currently, the club aspires to organise a Marathon Rafi Nite where there will be a music concert from 4.30 pm to 10 pm. “We had planned it last year and Shammi Kapoor had agreed to join us, but then it was cancelled due to the terror attacks. We hope to get the concert going again soon,” says Raj.

To join the Baar Baar Rafi Club, send an email to baar.baar.rafi@gmail.com

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry