The Mysterious Unsettling Incident

Mohd Rafi Dilip KumarIntroduction

In the annals of Hindi cinema, the collaboration between the legendary playback singer, Mohammad Rafi, and the iconic actor, Dilip Kumar, has been celebrated for decades.

However, a peculiar incident few hours before a musical program in Mumbai left a lasting impact on their association. Let’s delve into the details of this perplexing episode that changed the course of their professional rapport, leaving the fans and enthusiasts bewildered till this day.

The Unsettling Incident

The incident took place before a grand musical event in Mumbai. It was organized under chairmanship of the iconic Actor Dilip Kumar with Musical Maestro Naushad Ali as the Chief Guest and Mohammad Rafi as was to mesmerize the audience with his enchanting voice.

Hours before the schedule, Naushad Ali called up Mohammad Rafi asking if they should together to arrive in time at the program. Rafi Sahab agreed and assured he would arrive at Naushad Ali’s bungalow and then both would proceed together.

On the other hand, Dilip Kumar, unaware of the development, called up Naushad Ali some time later asking him if they could travel together to the venue.

Thus both the legends – Mohammad Rafi and Dilip Kumar – converged upon Naushad Ali’s bungalow and, after some refreshments, came out to leave for the program.

It was then that Dilip Kumar asked Naushad Ali if he would like to join him in his car for the journey without looking at or even asking Mohammad Rafi to join in. This unexpected behavior left Rafi Sahab perplexed and feeling offended, more so since both had perfectly cordial relationship. Mohammad Rafi had given playback for many super hits songs for Dilip Kumar on screen.

Naushad Sahab, sensing Rafi Sahab’s discomfort, diplomatically suggested that Dilip Kumar lead in his Car while he and Mohammad Rafi would follow him in their own car.

While travelling to the Venue, Naushad Ali tried to cool down the unpleasant happening by cheering up Mohammad Rafi. Visibly upset Rafi Sahab said, Naushad sahab, I have never felt so insulted ever in my life like this. I really don’t understand why Yousuf Sahab (Dilip Kumar) did this to me.

Impact on Mohammad Rafi

The incident had a profound impact on Rafi Sahab, leading him to distance himself from Dilip Kumar and stop singing for him. Despite Rafi Sahab’s contribution to the actor’s musical success, Dilip Kumar, riding high on his fame, appeared unaffected by the rift.

The Intervention of Kalyanji Anadji

Music director duo Kalyanji Aanadji stepped in while recording songs for Dilip Kumar starrer Gopi (1970). Mahendra Kapoor had to be roped in for recording the songs. However, when the composition for the bhajan, Sukh Ke Sab Saathi, Dukh Mein Na Koi …, came up, Kalyanji bhai turned to Mohammad Rafi and pleaded him not to let them suffer due to his rift with Dilip Kumar.

Kalyanji bhai convinced Mohammad Rafi by emphasizing that only his divine voice and irreplaceable singing quality could do justice to the devotional song. The softhearted Mohammad Rafi gave in and recorded the song despite his ongoing grievance.

Dilip Kumar’s next film Sagina (1974) was musically composed by S.D. Burman who had all songs of the film recorded by Kishore Kumar.

Then came another Dilip Kumar film titled, Bairag in 1976, the Music of which was being composed by Kalyanji Anandji. Once again, the Music Director duo requested and persuaded Mohammad Rafi to lend his vocals.  This marked a significant shift in the dynamics, showcasing the undeniable talent and influence Rafi Sahab had in the industry as well as his soft, helping nature.

Emotional Web for Naushad

Interestingly, the fallout between Dilip Kumar and Rafi Sahab had a lasting impact on Naushad Ali, who was close to both legends. The incident created a complex web of emotions for the maestro composer, torn between his allegiance to Dilip Kumar and his understanding of Rafi Sahab’s sentiments.

The Last Episode

Rafi Sahab’s demise left a void in the industry, and during his funeral procession, Dilip Kumar’s sudden departure after the Namaaz-e-Janaza left many questioning his action. Dilip Kumar later clarified that he left because he was terrified by the ocean of crowd.

The Shrouding Mystery

With both Mohammad Rafi and Dilip Kumar no longer in this world, the unsettling mystery surrounding this incident persists. The Bollywood fraternity and their fans are left pondering the intricacies of a relationship that went beyond professional collaboration, leaving behind an indelible mark on the history of Hindi cinema.

The incident, deeply etched in the memories of Rafi’s fans, continues to raise the question: What prompted an articulate and refined personality like Dilip Kumar to behave in such a manner, that too with the divine human being like Rafi Sahab?

Courtesy: Youtube Channel CineMaya.

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