Woman sings her way into record books

Dhari betters her Guinness record by singing non-stop for 99 hours

Woman sings her way into record books

Swaradhika Dhari Pancham Da giving a performance. Photo/K Bharwad

Dhari, 34, accomplished the feat of completing over 99 hours of non-stop singing at the famous Tana Riri musical festival in north Gujarat recently—just a month after she went into “The Guinness Book of World Records”  for completing over 80 hours of non-stop singing.

This was not the first time she broke the record. In 2008, she set a record by singing non stop for 69 hours. “The Guinness Book” had already recognised her for these efforts and was revising the same with her latest performance.

During her record-making effort, Dhari sung 109 ragas and 232 bandish. “It is indeed not an easy task to sit for so many hours, to keep awake and also sing with the same rhythm,’’ admits Dhari.

“It is the motivation and the commitment towards singing that enable me to reach this scale,” she says.

Her guru Bhupendra Pandit, who has been training her from the last one decade, admits that she is indeed one of the students of his academy who has made him proud. 
“The habit of performing for long hours started as a passion for Dhari,’’ said Pandit.

Tribute to guru

Every year during Dasara she performs for 24 hours at a stretch as a tribute to her guru on his birthday.

“On my 61st birthday, three years ago she decided to dedicate 61 hours of non-stop singing as a tribute,’’ says the proud guru. That is the time when we realised that none in the world holds the record of non-stop singing, he says.

Guinness book observer Amruta Shah, who was present during Dhari’s previous feat and also during the Tana Riri festival, says: “The first thing that one admires in her is the rhythm she maintains. Day or night, there is no variation in that.  

“She has definitely improved in the last two years and there is scope that she will further break her own record,’’ said Shah.

Dhari says non-stop singing has been straining her throat and doctors informed her of the health hazards that she might face for taking such a risk, but she went ahead. Whenever she faced problems with her throat she would rectify it with warm milk and turmeric. “During the 99 hours of performance, I was only on liquid diet and days before that also a diet regime had to be followed,’’ said Dhari.

She says that now she will not attempt towards breaking her record in singing but will try new avenues like playing non-stop santoor or other instruments.

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