Rafi's 96-year-old childhood friend Bakshish Singh also paid a tribute to the late singer. "We organised a function in the village including the one at village school.
A number of people and Rafi sahab's fans thronged to pay tribute," Bakshish Singh's grandson Jodh Singh Samra told PTI over phone. A function was organised in the school in which children took part in singing competition.
Samra, district president of the Youth Akali Dal, said that Bakshish Singh was quite hale and hearty and clearly remembers the days spent with Rafi. "He clearly remembers Rafi Sahab. My grand father told us that he used to call Rafi ji by the nick name of Fika. He had written his name on a mango tree. The two used to spend a lot of time together in the childhood," Samra said.
He said that the village is trying to do its own bit to keep the memory of the singer alive. Rafi was born in Kotla Sultan village, about 30 kilometers from Amritsar in Punjab and about 250 kilometers from here. Born on December 24, 1924, Rafi died of a heart attack in Mumbai on July 31, 1980. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1967.
Rafi, who began singing by chanting the notes that a fakir sung in his village, went on to lend his voice to Bollywood megastars including Amitabh Bachchan, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Dev Anand in his career as a successful playback artist.
He has numerous hit songs to his credit including several duets with famous playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Working with music directors like OP Nayyar, Laxmikant Pyarelal and RD Burman, Rafi delivered some evergreen hits including 'Yeh duniya yeh mehfil', 'Chura liya hai tumne', 'O Haseena', 'Tum jo mil gaye ho' and 'Aaj mausam bada beimaan'.
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