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When Mohammed Rafi stopped his car and gave away the slippers he was wearing to a man on Mumbai streets


Mohammed Rafi died 42 years ago on July 31 at the age of 55. He remains one of the most well-known and significant Indian musicians of all time. Apart from his evergreen songs, Rafi was also known for his humble nature and disliked publicity of any kind. Also Read| Mohammed Rafi’s son reveals that his father, Kishore Kumar were ‘good friends’, not rivals

His close friends and family members often recounted stories of his grounded nature and how he never sent back anyone he met empty-handed. His daughter Nasreen Ahmad once recalled how he gave the slippers he was wearing to a man he spotted on the Mumbai streets

In a conversation with Star of Mysore in 2017, Nasreen said, “Once he saw a man trying to stand on one leg alternating as the Bombay heat was so much. He just asked the driver to stop the car, asked him to give the pair of slippers that he (Rafi) was wearing.” Rafi’s son-in-law Meraj Ahmad added, “On another occasion, he spotted Khan Mastana, a forgotten singer on the road, stopped the car, took him to the house, bathed him, gave him food and sent him back.”

Nasreen also recounted that his father never used to count money before giving it to someone, and would just put his hand in the pocket and hand over whatever he got. She also said that the singer never used to socialise, which is why his children never met any of the popular actors he used to sing for in films. He did, however, invite the who’s who of the film industry to Nasreen’s wedding in 1971.

Mohammed Rafi’s second wife Bilquis Bano once revealed that her husband’s dislike for publicity also gave his children a reason to dislike him. In a rare interview with actor-writer Patrick Biswas in September 1988, Bilquis had said, “They hated going to the movies with their father, because it was always the case of, ‘Let’s enter after the film begins and we’ll leave before it ends’. The kids always complained that they didn’t know what the start and end was!”

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