Shrikant Narayan – Limca Book of Records winner : by Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta
Narayan is gifted with a Mohd Rafi like talent with his voice reminding his ardent fans of the glorious Late-Rafi generation and to relive those moments, Narayan lit up the stage at Meadows Club during a recent performance on June 13, 2014.
Immaculately clad in a black pathani dress, Narayan sang Rafi songs to enthrall an eager audience. The evening included some memorable songs like – Tujhe jeevan kee dor se baandh liya hai, Tum jo mil gaaye ho, Chalkaa Ye jaam. He touched an emotional chord with the iconic “O duniyan ke rakhwale” and the crowd erupted in thunderous applause for his performance that evening.
Narayan has been awarded the Maharashtra Kalabhushan award by the Government of Maharashtra and he is also the recipient of the prestigious Jan Parishad Award from the Madhya Pradesh Government.
With a voice that evokes fond memories of the legendary Mohammed Rafi, it is no surprise that he has won scores of supporters all over. Narayan is endowed with a rich and resonant baritone which he has utilized so nicely to reach the hearts of music aficionados not only in India but also in the United States of America. He holds the distinction of performing immortal gems of Rafi for 12 hours at an event “Pukaarta Chalaa hoon main” in Mumbai on Christmas Day 2012. It was Narayan’s passion that led him to sing for twelve hours which ultimately fetched him an award from Limca Book of Records.
When asked about Rafi and the similarities, Narayan was quick to respond – “Rafisaab ke jaisa gana mushkil hee nahin, namumkin hai”. Narayan is an extremely modest and soft-spoken individual with a talent that he has utilized to the fullest. If one listens to him with eyes closed one could visualize Rafisaab singing those vintage melodies. He is also privileged of having Rafisaab’s daughter Nasreen and son-in-law Ahmed Mehraj attending some of his shows. He values their presence at his show immensely and is quite proud of those moments.
When comparing current music to yesteryear, Narayan said, “there used to be lot of rehearsals. It would take a week or longer for one song. Life has become a fast lane. People bring tracks from home and perform. It would take 150 people to make one track and now it may be down to one person. There is a big transition of music.”
Narayan’s all time favorite song is “suhani raat dhal chooki’ – from film Dulari with music by Naushad .
Narayan is a family person and takes keen interest in his 11 year old daughter Vaishnavi and her musical and artistic talent. He is also blessed with a most supportive and encouraging life parter and wife – Maithreyi – banker by profession.