Dastaan-e-Rafi: An Exclusive Documentary Film On Mohammed Rafi's Life


The documentary Dastaan-e-Rafi is a tribute to the greatest Indian singer which is an excellent combination of his interviews and songs, and reveals a lot about the life of Mohamed Rafi.

Rajani Acharya took almost five years to complete the 120-minute documentary film and he seems to be thriving in his job as it beautifully portrays the personality of the playback singer and has enlightened many concealed parts of his life.

The documentary has memories from Rafi' family members such as his daughters Parveen and Nasreen. It also includes what his colleagues of that era such as Dilip Kumar, Shammi and Manoj Kumar think about him.  Besides, these legendaries, Jeetendara, Randhir and Rishi Kapoor who also had lisping on his songs expressed a lot about him. Whether it's a family member or a colleague, Rafi's integrity is testified by everyone. They tell us how generous was Rafi with time and money and how concealing were his charity acts towards needy people.

The producer and co-director of the documentary revealed it was his longtime dream to make a film which he had done only once. He reminded of “Sholay” and said he wanted to do something like Ramesh Sippy did with his film in 1975.

Explaining when he got the idea of making a documentary on one of the greatest playback singers of Indian film industry, Acharya said his family friend Sujata Dev was willing to pen down Mohammed Rafi's life in a book. He suggested her to work with him on the project and she agreed. Sujata met lots of people associated with the singer and interviewed them. They had clearly decided about the outlines of the project; and therefore, whatever they shot was included to Acharya's film while whatever Sujata penned down at her end, she made it to the biography. The best part of the project was that both the partners didn't interfere in each other’s work.

Rafi was a gem whose songs were always liked by music lovers across the world. Undoubtedly, people still love to listen to romantic songs in his magical voice. Rafi's “Khoya Khoya Chand” is Acharya's all time favorite which also inspired him to become a director. He wanted to include this song to his film but unfortunately couldn't get its rights for the documentary. "Khoya Khoya Chand", according to the director, has a reflection on his youth and it reminds him of the memories of his time when he was a young man and was used to make all efforts to charm the girls.

According to the director, he had no problem with interviewing Rafi's family members and even his relatives and friends were cooperative. Acharya said while he was in the making process of the documentary, he discovered a few things about Mohammed Rafi which he didn't know before. The playback singer had helped lots of people in their times of crises. There were lots of stories where he met people whom Rafi had helped in their bad time. These human stories also helped the director shape his film in a beautiful way as he feels each story was greater than the stories of Rafi’s career achievements and his songs.

Acharya believes God had assigned them to come up with this project. It was sometime quite difficult to manage lots of people in line to get their views and experiences with Rafi. Many people demanded to get paid in return of the interview and Acharya along with his partner had to use their contacts to avoid such demands. After such a hard work, they eventually got what they wanted but they didn't compromise on the quality even when some of the interviewers gave them tough time. 
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