9000 musical tributes, commemorations for Rafi

Mohammad Rafi

Rich tributes were paid to legendary playback singer Mohd Rafi on his 30th death anniversary on Saturday.

Over 9,000 musical tribute programmes were organised in July in memory of the singer, said Binoo Nair, President of the Rafi Foundation.

Rafi's fans visited his 'mazaar' at Bada Kabrastan in suburban Santacruz to pay homage. The grave will not be dug, as planned earlier by mosque authorities, keeping in mind the sentiments of Rafi followers all over the world, Nair said.

Earlier this year the mosque authorities had said if Maharashtra Government did not allot additional land to be utilised as burial ground, they will have no other option but to dig the graves of prominent film personalities, including Rafi. "However, this will not happen," Nair said.

'Rafi: Ek Faristha tha woh', a book in Hindi penned by Dhirendra Jain, was released today. Nair said the book will be translated in Marathi, Urdu and English by December 24, the birth anniversary of the singer.

Remembering him, Asha Bhonsle tweeted, "Rafisaab aapki Himalaya ki tarah bulund awaz aur aapka namra swabhav hume phir na sunne na dekhne milega. Aapki bahut yaad ati hai." (your voice touched Himalayan heights...we miss you a lot)."

A musical institute, Mohammed Rafi Academy, will also be launched in Mumbai on Saturday night. Apart from providing courses for singers, the academy will display exclusive pictures, videos and musical instruments of the great singer.

Rafi, born on December 24, 1924, is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the Hindi film music industry ever.

The multiple award winner died at a comparatively young age of 56, but in a career spanning four decades he sang around 34,000 songs, including 9,000 non-filmi ones.

He sang in many languages, including Hindi, Konkani, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Maghi, Mathili and Telugu.

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