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Srikant Narayan sang 101 Rafi songs in 13 hours as a tribute
Fans of Mohammed Rafi were in for a real treat on December 25, as a bouquet of his melodious songs was presented to them. On the occasion of late iconic singer's 88rd birth anniversary, singer Srikant Narayan, popularly known as the 'Voice of Rafi' for his excellent renditions of Rafi songs, paid rich tributes to the late singer by performing from 12 noon to 1:20 midnight, and rendering 101 immortal solos and duets, thus creating a new singing record. Rang Sharda auditorium at Bandra in Mumbai witnessed a huge crowd of almost 8000 people as the show was held in four sessions of three hours each to accommodate as many fans as possible. A huge screen was also put up in the premises to a packed audience.
Called Marathon Mohammed Rafi Nite, the event, organised for the first time ever, was presented by Prasad Mahadkar of Jeevan Gani and managed by Rajesh Subramanian of Musicolor. Legendary host Ameen Sayani and late composer Naushad were awarded the 2012 Mohammed Rafi Award. Music arrangement was by Avinash Chandrachud and Chirag Panchal with a team of 14 brilliant musicians giving able support to the singer.
Some of the memorable compositions from evergreen films like Suhani raat dhal chuki, Jaane kya dhoondthi, Rang aur noor, Madhuban mein Radhika, Kar chale hum fida, Yeh mera prem patra, Kabhie khud pe, O door ke musafir, Yeh mehlon yeh takhton, O duniya ke rakhwale, Bhichde sabi bhari bhari, to name some, were sung by Srikant; he was ably supported by singers Sarita Rajesh and Mona Kamat in duets like Achchaji main haari, Dil tera diwana, Bekhudi mein sanam, Diwana hua badal, Kuhu kuhu bole, and many others.
Srikant Narayan, a die-hard fan of Rafi saab, regaled the audience with his soulful rendering without betraying any sign of fatigue — on his face or his voice. He said, "It's a humble attempt and a sincere tribute to my idol. I do not want to prove anything. It is just my passion and love for Rafi saab that made me take up this challenge."