The Great Sahabs
By Nita Chicooree-Mercier
In October, when Best FM was first aired on MBC radio, it was a such a pleasure for music lovers to be able to listen to the old songs any time in the day. Someone observed that such music alleviates stress and makes you forget tomorrow`s worries. It brings such joy at the end of the day when the music still resounds in your ears and floats around, a heavenly blessing. So many times have we paused to wonder how on earth could such maestros keep on composing songs and music for decades.
The man was a genius. Looking back, we probably never gave much thought to his personality; he always appeared smilingly on the stage in TV programmes, and on cassettes and CDs. We took his smile for granted. Youtube is very handy when it comes to reviving unforgettable past moments. Just try watching closely the interviews he gave years ago. Mohammed Rafi steps down from the car which takes him to the studio, smiling and greeting everyone in all humility. He was also filmed in his home with his wife and his children. An aura of profound goodness emanates from his whole being. You can’t help thinking that the man was blessed by God with a golden voice, he was God-sent to fill the hearts of millions of people with joy. Thank you, Sahab.
Dosti for ever
Raahi manwa dukh ki chinta… excellently sung and acted by the handsome Sudhir Kumar in one of the greatest films on friendship that the Indian film industry has ever produced. Jaane walon zara… mein insaan houn, the begging scenes staging Sudhir and Sushil Kumar are so moving they arouse powerful emotions over and over again every time you listen to them. Mohammed Rafi is also shown in a remake of the song, always wearing that broad joyful smile on his face. By the way, one must admit that such beautiful songs can scarcely be heard these days.
Listening to classical music for hours, what a good way to end the year. Sitar, flute, tabla, kirtan, bhajan, ghazals and so many maestros. Ravi Shankar’s music is soul-elevating, pure and ethereal. The soothing effect is a blessing as our whole being melts with the divine sound. In these great moments, life appears in all its splendour, swathed in sound and beauty. Amid everyday’s worries and our discontent and powerlessness with the issues which undermine life in its various aspects, we are given the opportunity to enjoy what is best in life, listen to heavenly music with our beloved ones, close relatives or friends. And we can do it on a daily basis. Thanks to all the great musicians and singers.
* Published in print edition on 30 December 2010