New Delhi: The Google has honoured one of India’s finest singers of all time Mohammed Rafi, who turned 93 on Sunday, with a doodle. Born on December 24, 1924, he gave his voice to a large number of Bollywood songs that are sung by his fans even today.
In the early 1930’s, a little boy named Pheeko would wait for a traveling fakir to stop by his home village of Kotla Sultan Singh and follow him on his rounds, imitating his chants as they went along. Later, living in the cultural and film hub of Lahore, Pheeko hummed songs during work at a relative’s barber shop. Customers noticed his talent – as did his brother, who arranged for Pheeko to train under Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan in the face of immense opposition from their father.
Pheeko grew up to be Mohammed Rafi, the king of playback singing in India. Pheeko has nearly five thousand songs to his credit across a range of genres (including romantic ballads, rock and roll, and classical music) and languages (including Hindi, English, Arabic, Persian, Sinhalese, Creole, and Dutch).
The dreamy romance of ‘Chaudhvi ka Chand’ won Rafi his first Filmfare award in 1960, to be followed by five more. In 1977 he was awarded the National Award for ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada.’ He was feted by the Indian government with the Padma Shri in 1967.
Today’s Doodle by Mumbai-based illustrator Sajid Shaikh depicts Rafi as the king of playback singing in Bollywood. It shows the journeys of famous Rafi songs as they progressed from the studio, onto the silver screen and into the hearts of fans forever.