A small tea-shop in Kerala’s Manjeri will celebrate the 37th death anniversary of legendary singer Mohammed Rafi on Tuesday with a musical treat accompanied by
C.M. Ismail, an ardent fan of Rafi, has decorated his Shalimar tea-shop with the photographs of his idol and installed a gramophone exclusively to celebrate the day. “God has not created another voice to replace Rafi Saab’s,” Mr. Ismail says. He will play Rafi songs on the gramophone throughout the day. Visitors to the tea shop that day will be served free
because “Rafi’s voice is as sweet.”
Mr. Ismail, who spent nearly two decades in the Gulf, has been celebrating Rafi’s death anniversary for the past 10 years in a similar fashion. Last year, people thronged his shop on July 31 to listen to Rafi songs on the gramophone.
Of all the Rafi songs, Mr. Ismail loves to play the 12.5 minute touching tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, “
Suno suno aye duniya walo.
’’ Similarly, “
Tu Hindu banega na Musalman banega
” from the film
Dhool Ka Phool
will be another sure bet on Tuesday. “There is no better song to celebrate communal harmony,” he says.
Other songs he is sure to play are such classics as
Chaudvin Ka Chand, Teri Pyari Pyari Soorat Ko, Baharon Phool Barsao, Dil Ke Jharo Ke Mein, Chahunga Mein Tujhe
Kya Hua Tera Wada
Among those who will visit his tea shop on Tuesday will be a swami from a temple at Karikkad, whose name he refused to reveal.
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