The daughter-in-law of celebrated singer Mohammed Rafi has come up with a memoir detailing her life in association with him. Married to Rafi’s son Khalid and settled in London, she regularly visits Mumbai. Though she barely went to college and initially wrote the book for her grandkids, Yasmin is glad to have expressed her thoughts. In a chat with CS, the bespectacled lady spoke about what it meant to be part of Rafi’s family:
Come to think of it, I must be the biggest Rafi fan ever. I believe nobody will ever match his voice. I used to croon his songs in school and at home. And then at the age of 19, I got married to his son! I looked up to him as a father, not a father-in-law. He was the kindest person I knew and the most soft-spoken too. He just didn’t know how to be harsh with words.
Inspiration or dedication?
My kids insisted on a memoir. They wanted me to share my views and experiences because they wanted me to contribute something to the literary world. Once I’m gone, who will know how it was to stay in a house with one of the most legendary singers ever. In the beginning, I was hesitant but I’m glad my family supported me.
Speaking of legends...
I have this picture in our London home in which I’m sitting in the middle and Rafisaab and Balasaheb are on eachside. They had a lot of respect for each other. Talking of the alleged apology letter Rafisaab wrote to Lataji, I’m quite certain he never did. We stayed in the same house so I can tell you that. In fact, I think he never even went to the extent of saying sorry. But yes, he was indeed happy when the royalty issues were solved and he was singing with her again.
If Rafi were alive...
He would have felt very frustrated and his health would have suffered a lot listening to the kind of songs that are in vogue nowadays! He never took
anything for granted and continued riyaaz even at the very pedestal of his singing career.