The Mukesh ”“ Mohammed Rafi Mehfil aroused nostalgia

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By Kersi Meher-Homji

Although the legendary playback singers Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi have passed away over three decades ago, they came back to life last Saturday, 18th of June, at a Mehfil orchestrated by Vinod Rajput at the residence of the Dugals in St Ives, Sydney.

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The concert was a fund-raiser for the  Aasha  Australia charity, a recently formed Foundation that aims to give quality life to Seniors  from the Indian subcontinent  who have dementia or other disabilities.

Vinod was the main singer who nostalgically took us back to our days of childhood from Mukesh’s Dil jalta hai to Rafi’s O duniya ke rakhwaale. The songs were a medley of romantic, patriotic and philosophical songs ”“ all hummable.

Other talented singers were Seema Bhardwaj and Kedar Pagaddinnimath. The accompanists were Sushma Sharma on the guitar and Sharat Sharma on the electric guitar. Sharat’s mastery on the electric guitar reminded me of the experts Hazarasingh and Van Shipley who I had listened to in India in 1960s.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Seema after the concert. It appears separately in this issue of The Indian Down Under.

Vinod started the Mehfil with Mukesh’s immortal songs: Dil Jalta Hai, Sab Kuchh seekha humne, Farishton ki nagri mein , Gardish mein ho taare, Ye mera deewanapan hai, Jhoomti chali hawa, Hothon pe sachai rahti hai, Ai dil dekhe hain humne, Chandan sa badan and Kabhie Kabhie mere dil mein khayal aata hai.  
After a delicious dinner provided by the host and hostess, Vinod continued with the Mohammed Rafi melodies of the century, many were farmayash (requests) from the audience:  Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho,  Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya,  Isharo Isharon Mein Dil  (a duet with Seema),  Main zindagi ka saath nibhata,  Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalman Banega,  Abhi naa jao chod kar (a duet with Seema),  Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani (with Seema),  Uden Jab Jab Zulaphen Terin (with Seema),  Jhooth Bolia (in Panjabi),  Din Dhal Jaye ,  Tumsa Nahin Dekha and O duniya ke rakhwale

Kedar put us in toe-tapping mood with Chand Anhen Bharega,  Saranga Teri Yaad Mein, Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki climaxing with Baar Baar Dekho.

When I returned home late at night I was singing aloud O duniya ke rakhwaale.

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