Monday, February 16, 2009

Rustom Karwa : The Man who lives music

" Yes, we can meet outside the church at Kemps Corner. I am wearing a peacock blue shirt and I sport a french beard." I was delighted that Rustom Karwa, harmonica maestro agreed to spare some time to meet me.

Rustom has been playing harmonica since childhood. He formed his small band comprising chord harmonica player Nani Sukhadwala and base player Adi Billimoria.

Rustom has played in many Hindi movies. These include Ek duje ke liye, Iman aur Dharam, Aashik hu baharo ka, Chhailababu, Mr. India, Saudagar and Vishwatma to name just a few. Whenever you hear someone whistling in any of the songs, chances are the man doing it is Rustom. Besides playing harmonica, Rustom whistles his way into the heart of the music lovers.

No wonder, Rustom has been a favourite of music directors like Laxmikant Pyarelal, Usha Khanna and Anu Malik who have used his whistling and harmonica playing skills to embellish their music.

"Blow your harmonica as if you are blowing out a candle and see the difference," says Rustom, letting me in into the secret of playing this delicate musical instrument. He had many secrets to share but we had very little time on hand. However, he was kind to play a few numbers and share his experiences with me for almost two hours while sitting in the Gaylord restaurant near the Churchgate station.

Rustom can carry out minor repairs of harmonica, a service he provides to his fans and followers. Though harmonica is his first love, Rustom believes that to play any instrument one must have an ear for music and an eye for details.

Rustom played the popular number 'Lara's Theme' from the film 'Dr Zhivago' specially for me to capture the video for the Harmonica Club blog.

I have also captured a clip of his whistling - but of that sometime later.