Mohd Rafi's native village remembers the legend

Legendary playback singer Mohammed Rafi's native village Kotla Sultan in Punjab's Amritsar district remembered him on his 32nd death anniversary today, with scores paying a tribute to him.

"We organised a function in the village. A number of people and Rafi sahab's fans thronged to pay tribute," Rafi's childhood friend Bakshish Singh's grandson Jodh Singh Samra told PTI.

Samra, district president of the Youth Akali Dal and SGPC member, said village sarpanch Kuldeep Singh along with sarpanches of some neighbouring villages took part in the function, that also had many school children participating.

"A singing competition was also organised for the children," Samra said.

He said that government should help the villagers set up a library, which will have a collection of Rafi's songs.

Rafi was born in Kotla Sultan village, about 30 kms from Amritsar in Punjab and about 250 kms from here. Born on December 24, 1924, Rafi died of a heart attack in Mumbai on July 31, 1980. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1967.

Rafi, who began singing by chanting the notes that a fakir sung in his village, went on to lend his voice to Bollywood megastars including Amitabh Bachchan, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Dev Anand in his career as a successful playback artist.

He has numerous hit songs to his credit including several duets with famous playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

Working with music directors like OP Nayyar, Laxmikant Pyarelal and RD Burman, Rafi delivered some evergreen hits including 'Yeh duniya yeh mehfil', 'Chura liya hai tumne', 'O Haseena', 'Tum jo mil gaye ho' and 'Aaj mausam bada beimaan'.

Samra recalled that Rafi was a simple man who used to speak from his heart and help everyone in need.

He said that the village is trying to do its own bit to keep the memory of the singer alive.

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