Saturday, October 17, 2009

Magic with a Puck

Puck is among the smallest of harmonicas from the stable of M Hohner, Germany. It is a small wonder which produces melodious music. The instrument has only ten holes and does not have half notes. With cupping and by bending notes, an expert can play many a tunes which only a chromatic harmonica can produce.

Here is a popular number from the film 'Aradhana' played on Puck by Ashok Bhandari.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Behti Hai Ganga Vahan Mera Dhaam

Ashok Bhandari and I met in Banaras in 1974. We were studying in the same class in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). He was staying in a hostel, while I lived with my parents. I had been playing harmonica since I was 7-year-old. Ashok had just started learning harmonica. He was particularly fascinated by my playing the Jewel Thief song, 'Yeh Dil Na Hota Bechara', which involved changing scales quite frequently.

Since then, a lot of water has flown down the Ganga river. Ashok not just learned harmonica but became a maestro. He became a professional magician and used to always end his magic shows with a few numbers from Hindi film on the harmonica.

Here is a song from the film 'Jis Des Mein Ganga Behti Hai':

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Magic with Mouth Organ: A La Ashok Bhandari

I met Ashok Bhandari, my college mate, after 35 years. Three years ago, he had found me through the Internet and since then we have been in touch with each other over phone, e-mail and chat. I had seen his performance on Youtube. Some harmonica players, after watching his videos, had expressed doubt that Ashok used some digital editing tools to create special effects.

However, when I met him face to face at his studio apartment in Delhi and heard him play I was wonderstruck by his talent and skill.

Listen to the Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago that he played for me:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ajeeb Dastaa Hai Ye: Dc Ab Rp Ak

I still remember their first visit to Destination 5 in Ahmedabad. Paresh Bhatia had asked me to attend the programme on his behalf, as he had to go to Dubai.
I used to play 'Ham Honge Kamyab' song with many mistakes. But soon after the programme I managed to meet Apoorva Bhatt and he immediately invited me to Vadodara promising that he would surely teach me some techniques. And Harmonica got a special place in my life.
Strangers became friends!!!!
There is a long story in between this but some other time .......
Ajeeb Dasta hai ye................
Dilip Sinh Chavan, Apoorva Bhatt, Rupesh Parmar and Amjad Khan......