More than three years of artistic deprivation caused by the devastating floods and COVID-19, Palakkad regained its nostalgic affiliation to immortal songs of Mohammed Rafi through the Swaralaya on Tuesday night.
The Rafi Night organised by the Swaralaya, the leading cultural organisation that upholds ‘dance and music for harmony’ as its motto, turned out to be an apt and mega restart of musical activities for the audiences in Palakkad.
The event marked the inauguration of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Swaralaya. Kicking off the year-long cultural celebrations, Kerala Chalachithra Academy chairman Ranjith praised the Swaralaya for its commitment to promoting humanity through dance and music.
The mega event held at Club 6 Convention Centre here saw the distribution of the Swaralaya Vijaya Jayaraj Award to veteran singer Cochin Ibrahim.
District Collector Mrunmai Joshi released a book on renowned singers, Vasantha Gayakar, penned by Swaralaya secretary T.R. Ajayan, and published by Lipi Publications.
Swaralaya president N.N. Krishnadas presided over the function. V.K. Sreekandan, MP, A. Prabhakaran, MLA, Kathakali maestro Kalamandalam Sivan Namboothiri, poet P.T. Narendra Menon, and Carnatic singer Sukumari Narendra Menon, were present.
Musician Mannur Rajakumaranunni inaugurated the Rafi Night by rendering a few lines of his choice. The two hours that followed the inaugural session were a treat to the ear as singer Jamal Pasha, Pradip Somasundaran, Preetha, Sunil Haridas, and Prathibha rendered some of the evergreen hits of Rafi Saab.
“After a gap of three years, it was such a wonderful musical fiesta,” said C.K. Ramakrishnan, one of the senior members of the Swaralaya. Mr. Somasundaran opened the songs with Yaad Na Jaaye from the film Dil Ek Mandir.
When Mr. Pasha from Saudi Arabia stole the show with songs like Kya Hua Tera Wada, Din Dhal Jaaye and Parda Hai Parda, Mr. Somasundaran proved his prowess with evergreen songs like Madhuban Main Raadhika and Teri Aankhon Ke Siva.
When Ms. Preetha and Ms. Prathibha lent female duet support in songs like Deewana Hua Baadal, Kya Dekhte Ho, Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke, and Raat Ke Hum Safar, Mr. Haridas did Kishore Kumar’s role perfectly in songs like Bane Chaahe Dushman and Yaadon Ki Baarat.
“It was a wonderful experience to sing before such a refined audience,” said Mr. Pasha, who flew down from Jeddah for the programme.