This Man Has Turned His Home Into a Museum for Mohd Rafi
Arun Gautam is perhaps Mohd Rafi's biggest fan. He has turned his home into a museum for the legendary singer.
Camerapersons: Shiv Kumar Maurya, Ribhu Chatterjee
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
"Welcome to the world of Mohd Rafi. This is Mohd Rafi’s museum. It is said his soul is here."‘Rafi’ Arun Gautam, Resident, Delhi
There’s an unmissable excitement in Arun Gautam’s voice, almost like a child who wants the world to see his latest toy. He’s perhaps singer Mohd Rafi’s biggest fan.
As he ushers us into the two-room museum on his terrace in Delhi’s Patel Nagar, we are transported into a different era. It’s almost like a time machine, the ‘Rafi’ museum.
It’s not a culmination but a work in progress, a die-hard love for the legendary singer that has blossomed over the last five decades.
"When I was just seven years old, during ‘Children’s Day’, they used to show us films. We were taken for a film called Brahmchari. The film had some lovely songs by Rafi. One day the same songs were playing on the radio. So I asked my dad who this singer was. That’s when he told me that it was Mohd Rafi. Since that day, I have been in love with Rafi. I am 57 now. It’s a love affair of 50 years."‘Rafi’ Arun Gautam, Resident, Delhi
Rare photos, film posters, memorabilia, the government officer has built up a rare collection of all things ‘Rafi’. His most priceless collection is Rafi’s personal tie and the visiting cards that was given to him by the late singer’s family. From Rafi’s first song to the last, all his records can be found at this museum.
"Some of these records are from my father’s collection. From Rafi’s first to the last song, I have all his records. Before vinyl records, there were the ’78 records’. I travelled across Kolkata, Indore, Raipur, Mumbai, and Delhi to collect these. Today, I have a rare collection of ‘78’ records. The ‘78’ rpm records are made of a special stone and each record has only one song on it. It’s very rare to find these records these days."‘Rafi’ Arun Gautam, Resident, Delhi
Just like the legendary singer, ‘Rafi’ Arun Gautam has built a fan following of his own. Almost 60 thousand people follow his YouTube channel that is dedicated to Mohd Rafi. The channel has got almost 18 million views. It has become a platform for playing Rafi’s songs, for telling his stories, and for reliving his life.
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