Saturday, November 13, 2010

Melodion and harmonica jugal bandhi

We had a nice practice session, after a short vacation of Diwali.
The HCG is going to perform in Gandhidham on 22nd of January. We are going to introduce the melodion in a few songs. Devansh and Aditya have recently got their Suzuki melodions from Abe Thomas.
We specially thank Abe for his continuous support in providing us the best of Harmonicas and melodions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The cardiac surgeon of harmonica

The most horrifying experience for a harmonica player is when his musical instrument gets damaged. Even if one of the notes of the harmonica gets slightly detuned, the whole instrument becomes useless. There remains no option but to buy a new harmonica. This is a very costly proposition.

There is good news now. There is amidst us an expert in the persona of Sripad Helkar, also known among his friends as Devendra. Like a cardiac surgeon, Helkar repairs a broken or detuned reed and gives the instrument a new heart. He has performed such delicate surgery on over a dozen instruments belonging to the members of the Harmonica Club of Gujarat, mine included. The harmonicas repaired by Helkar become as good as new.

After he bought a chromatic tuner, it became easy for Helkar to tune the reeds to perfection. He has also put together a contraption by which he pulls out a defective reed and replaces it with a new one.

Sripad Helkar, picked up harmonica at the age of 10 years, and performed ' Hai Apna Dil to Awara' for the first time in 1980. 'Atit me gum hota Mouth Organ' a programme relayed in 2008 by the local radio station in Jabalpur, M.P. got him recognition amongst the harmonica people.

He has been inspired by Dr. S.S. Ratan a very good harmonica player in M.P.

According to him there are a very few harmonica players in his area. Inspired by the different harmonica clubs in India, he also wants to start a club in Jabalpur.

One can send in the damaged harmonicas to Helkar at the following address for repair:

OFFICE:0761-2678500 , MOBILE-09425001408

Friday, October 29, 2010

Zindagi Milke Bitayenge : Kavit

Kavit is in Ahmedabad for a short Diwali vacation. He surprised many senior members of HCG, in the practice session, in Satyam Mall, by playing lovely songs.
He is learning harmonica from the videos uploaded on the HCG Blog. He learnt this song from Devansh's video.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

नचिकेता देसाई बने सब बच्चो के दादाजी

पुरे भारत में नवरात्रि महोत्सव खूब धामधूम से मनाया जाता है। रात भर सभी लोग डंडिया और गरबा खेलते है।
एक रात मुझे उनकी सोसाइटी में जाने का मौका मिला। मैंने ड्रम्स पर हाथ साफ़ किया और उन्होंने अपनी अदा में हार्मोनिका बजा कर बच्चो से काफी डांस करवाया।
एक छोटी सी झलक......

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tapan rocks

Harmonica Club of Gujarat founder secretary Tapan Bhatt is a rock star. A plastic engineer by education, an interior designer by profession, a pioneer of break-dance who introduced this dance form to Gujarat, a hypnotist who has cracked many a complex crimes for the police, an Information Communication Technology entrepreneur, an ornithologist and breeder of exotic species of reptiles, Tapan is a passionate music lover.

Tapan sprang a surprise during the Navratri festival in my campus, Akbhar Nagar, last night by displaying his skill as an accomplished drummer. Akhbar Nagar, celebrating its Silver Jubilee, had called popular band, Heaven Music led by famous drummer Sunil Patel. The band was in full swing and the residents of the colony, men, women and children, in their traditional attire were swaying to the Gujarati garba songs when Tapan appeared on the stage and requested Sunil to hand over the drum sticks to him.

And, Tapan rocked.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Parimal Garden sings with us on Sundays

जब से हार्मोनिका क्लब ऑफ़ गुजरात शुरू हुआ है तब से हम परिमल गार्डेन में हर रविवार मिलते है और जश्न मनाते है। इस रविवार हमने काफी प्रक्टिस की। इस प्रक्टिस के दौरान हमने ये गीत बजाया जो हर एक के दिल में बसा हुआ है।
' सावरे सलोनी आये दिन बहार के और ऐसे ही हम मिले हर रविवार के दिन '
मनोहर वैद्यजी ने संगीत दिया और बाकि सब लोग जुड़ गए।
हर एक प्रेमी का परिमल में स्वागत है .........संगीत के हो तो और भी मज़ा आएगा !!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Angel got caught on mobile

Devansh was practicing on his newly purchased suzuki make melodica, when I called him to inform about the upload of his song on the HCG blog. On my request , he played a very romantic song " shayad yahi hai pyar ".
Devansh, now a days you are playing only love songs !!!! :-)
Well, a student of sir Howard Levy, has to do some bending in a very nice song called, Angels.
Devansh plays this song along with the singer in the back ground.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Devansh is in LOVE

Yes Devansh is in love with his musical instruments. We all still remember his early days of joining the HCG as a student of Paresh Bhatia.
Today Devansh is getting control over various musical instruments and his sense of music also..
He has been getting support from many senior harmonica players, like Roustom Karwa, Madanji, Sabnaveesji, Manohar Vaidyaji and Paresh SIR.
He is also a student of Sir Howard Levy.
The kids of HCG have made their respectful positions in the club, by not only showing their love for the instrument , but also by working very hard.
HCG is very thankful to Devansh's parents for having faith in us and supporting his LOVE for music.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Man who lives music

Recently, treasurer of HCG, Kumarpal Shah met MR. Meherhomji Godrej in one of the conferences in Aurangabad. He was surprised to see him perform with guitar and mouth organ.
With his permission he recorded three beautiful videos.
Mr. Godrej performs in Hotel Rana International since last three years. He has played with some of the top music groups in star hotels.
We have many such hidden jewels in the country.
We really need to find them out and showcase their talents.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For a few dollors more

Every one becomes good, bad and ugly for a few dollars...............more !!!!!!
Paresh Bhatia plays these tunes beautifully well. Separate the audio track and the cow boy series ring tone is ready on your mobile.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guru Shishya Jugalbandhi

Normally in Parimal, I take the responsibility of causing headache to my friends by trying to bend a few notes :-).
But this time both my and our guru Pareshbhai and our dear Devansh did a good job on chromatic harmonica and demonstrated bending skills .
Ya, the song was beautifully played by both of them. Pl listen to it...........

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aa Laut ke aaja mere : Manhar Majithia

' Life is half spent before we know, what it is '
There are two types of people in this world. Catagory no.1 live life, by the external forces and category no.2 live their life with internal forces and enjoy every bit of it..
There are people, who have the daring to explore and experiment new things, at any age.
There can not be a better example than our Dear Manhar Majithia . I still remember his first day with a Hero brand harmonica, then chromatic, and today with a diatonic.
He is the person, who would always take up the challenges despite of his age and health related problems.
He used to play the SIONARA song in the public performances, meaning he was given the last chance.
One day I just asked him to prepare a good number and play with little more breath control. Today he is in the list of top ten !!!
We really congratulate him for his sincerity, hard work and making all the efforts to live every moment of his life

Friday, August 6, 2010

A date with Madan Kumar's pupils

Mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar wants to devote the rest of his life to teaching this wonderful musical instrument, which is fast becoming extinct, to the next generation. Ever since he closed down his recording studio about four years ago, he has been teaching young music enthusiasts. This is more out of passion and as a mission to popularize mouth organ among the young people than for monetary considerations.

I had been wanting to meet Madan Kumar's pupils for quite some time now. I met three of them at a popular pub-cum-disc in Pune recently. Pub owner Ramesh Khole, his chief chef Mushtaq Pathan and Meera Patole, three of Madan Kumar's disciples took some time off their busy schedule to meet me. Since it was a week day and that too early in the morning, there were not many guests in the pub.

Ramesh told his disc jockey to shut the music system so that we could have some quiet and peace. I was keen to record at least one number each of Madan Kumar's pupils before the lunch crowd started trooping into the pub. All three of them agreed. Here are the numbers:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Man who plays semi classical songs..Mukul Dutta

Recently I came in contact with Mukul Dutta, a hardcore harmonica player. He plays more than 80 semi classical songs. He has promised us to provide his recordings for the benefit of all the visitors of this blog.

Here is a small introduction, in his own words

Dear Mr. Bhatt,

Thanks for your reply and suggestions. Right now I don't have any CD of mine but I will try to send my photo for your site. But as you said I am giving some details of myself and my association with Harmonica.

Way back in 1962 when my father died. I was 4 years old and I had to go to Motihari (Bihar) with my mother and sister where my grand pa was working as a Mechanical Engineer in Sugar mill there. I am an emotional person and very much attracted to music of any kind from childhood. My grand pa was also a fine Violin player. May be this is the reason I started playing the toy harmonica in 1962 gifted by my grand ma.

Motihari is a very small town and our residence was surrounded by farming land and villages. I used to roam around in farm fields playing my little harmonica in free times. Time passed by and grand pa retired in 1967 and we came back to our own residence in Allahabad. In the mean time I continued playing local made harmonicas.

It was during college period in 1979 I got one Hohner chromatic harmonica (made in Germany) from a friend of mine who stayed in Kualalampur (Malesiya). At present I have one Larry Adler-16 and a Super-64 Chromonica (Hohner made) harmonicas. They are fine instruments. I have nearly 80 semi classical old hindi film songs in my play list. I practice them as well as try to play some classicals also.

I listen mostly Western classical/semi classical songs and Hindi & Bengali semi classicals. My most favourite Western singers are Barbara Striesand & Neil Diamond and Indian singers are Lata Ji ,Asha Ji & Rafi Ji.

I am going to be 53 years in the coming November 8th of this year and working in a private organisation as P.A. to Director. We are three in my family i.e. wife, one son & me. Son is a 3rd year student of Mechanical Engineer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Madan Kumar Blesses HCG

On a personal visit to Ahmedabad, mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar took time off on the evening of July 15, 2010 to share musical moments with the members of the Harmonica Club of Gujarat. As usual, club trustee Bansi Gajjar played the host.

During the evening between 8 to past midnight, Madan Kumar regaled the members of HCG with anecdotes from his more than 50 years of rich musical experience as also played a few numbers. He was humility personified in insisting on listening to the youngest players - Devansh and Aditya and gave them some tips as to how to improve their playing.

Madan Kumar presented to the HCG half a dozen of his yet to be released audio CDs saying, "I authorize the HCG to release these under their banner."

Madan Kumar was formally inducted into the HCG as a lifetime member and patron. Bansi Gajjar pinned the badge of the HCG to Madan Kumar's lapel.

Madan Kumar and members of the HCG later had dinner at the Cama Hotel where too several members as well as the harmonica maestro played a few numbers to the pleasant surprise of other diners.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Evening with the Maestro

Living legend mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar was formally inducted into the Harmonica Club of Gujarat as a life member and patron on July 15, with club secretary Tapan Bhatt pinning the club's badge on his lapel.

Madan Kumar has intimate relationship with Ahmedabad. His wife hails from the city. Moreover, he has fond memory associated with the release of his first HMV record linked to Ahmedabad. He was in the town when he learned about the release of his HMV record which had his photograph on the cover. So when he went to pick up the record from a store, the shop owner immediately recognized him and gifted him his own record. It was only when he showed the record to his wife that she came to know she had married an accomplished musician.

"When I appeared for my first stage show in Pune, I was trembling with stage freight. I closed my eyes as the curtain went up and started playing, thankfully shutting my mind to the fact that I was playing before a large audience of college students. The thunderous applause, after my performance, wiped out my fear and I started giving stage performances thereafter," he recalled.

Madan Kumar has a unique style of playing mouth organ. He uses a variety of techniques to embellish his rendition - vamping, tremelo, chording, tonguing, bending. "Play by your soul," he advices his students.

Madan Kumar bestowed on the Harmonica Club of Gujarat a priceless gift in the form of giving the club the right to release his audio CDs under the banner of HCG. The club would soon release the CDs, comprising some of the special numbers by Madan Kumar at a function.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hai Apna Dil To Awara - Solva saal ( 1958 )

During my recent visit to New Delhi, I met our dear friend Mr. Ashok Bhandariji. It was a business trip and I was accompanied by my very close friend Rajendra, an NID student and a product designer by profession.

We have been talking over the phone for quite a long time, but this was the first occasion, to experience his magical playing with mesmerizing effects.

Nachiketa Desai and Ashokji shared the same room, during their college days. They used to play Harmonica in those days.

During the Harmonica Satsang ( with a chilled beer ), we actually experienced the emotions that he adds to his playing. Unfortunately none of us was carrying a camera.

During the meeting he appreciated the way Sabnaveesji plays. Surprisingly I got this unique Saaz aur Avaaz video from our senior member Sabnaveesji, which I would like to dedicate to Ashokji.

Long Live our friendship and let us keep the harmonica flag fly high...........

Saturday, June 26, 2010

He graced the HCG

It was an exciting moment for me when the plane touched the ground of SVP International air port at 12 noon on the 24th of May 2010. In fact my effforts were so many before, to meet all the members of H C G but due to some reason or other it was getting postponed. But this time I was so happy to note from Tapan Bhai that HCG is releasing a set of two audio CDs exclusively on Harmonica played by its members. Out of shear excitement I offered my participation which was accepted by all the HCG members with due fondness. I made up my mind that this time I should not miss this golden opportunity of participating in a gala event.

it was Mr Ramana of HalloH also with me from hyderabad. I was very warmly received at the Ahmedabad airport by both the founders of HCG, Mr Nachita desai & Mr Tapan Bhat. Our stay was arranged in the Gujarat Vidyapeeth guest house A/C room After finishing the nice Gujarati lunch we were taken to the recording theatre. After a rehearsal two songs of me & two songs of Ramana were recorded. In the evening had the delicious Moghlai dinner hosted by Nachiketa Jee. The next day the host was Paresh Bhai. My third song was recorded. Had Panjabi meals with Paresh bhai & his son. Evening we had visited the famous Sabarmati Ashram of the father of our nation.

Now comes the real BANG & BLAST. In the evening we were taken to the residence of Mr Bansi gujjar very popularly & affectionately addressed as Bansi kaka. It was 8.30 PM of 25th may the commencement of BAITHAK . Slowly members started pouring in. At the commencement of the session the hall was the thrill of consisting all the harmonica players Nachiketa Ji, Tapan Bhai, maestro Paresh Bhatia, Dronacharya Manohar Vaidya sahab, Younis Bhai, Mr & Mrs Munir chalis hazaar with their two sons, Amaresh Bhai, Kumar Pal shah jee, the two twinkling stars ayushman Devansh & Ayushman Aditya. Finally the host was our dear Bansi kaka. Songs went on rolling one after the other to the excitement of all the people there. I found myself so free & informal as if I know each person from years even though I met them for the first time there. THIS IS THE POWER OF MUSIC WHICH BINDS US & MAKES FEEL THAT THERE IS NO CASTE, CREED OR RELIGION IN ITS WAY. Tapan Bhai was making us more thrilling by showing his bending techniques while playing the song Yaad Kiya dil ne kahaan ho tum being accompanied by Devansh & Aditya. Manohar ji was absolutely perfect in giving the interlude by his harmonica to the songs rendered by Devansh, Aditya & Paresh Bhai. Our dear Bansi kaka got totally sank in this musical atmosphere that he went on giving his whistling accompaniment to each & every song & that too with perfect timing. I was totally emotional & speechless due to the love & confidence that all the HCG members showed on me. At the end of this musical session We had to move for our dinner at 12MN.

At the dinner table it was altogether a different experience. After the food was ordered Bansi kaka has started his second session of singing being accompanied by all of us. It was again a renewed thrill & excitement. I pulled out my harmonica & played a few numbers. There was loud applause & Wah Wah. What an enjoyment it was indeed ! ! ! It took me back to my engineering college days the days of 1970 to 1974. This session was closed at 1.45 AM & we were back to our room by around 2. 15 AM. I had to part from all my HCG friends to retire for the night & get ready to catch the next morning flight.

The next morning ( 26th may ) the flight was at 10 AM. While the wheels were leaving the ground my eyes were not listening to me & I had to wipe them off several times . These rolling tears give a cool whisper in my ears , telling that I too am a member of the HARMONICA CLUB OF GUJARAT.



Friends we received this mail from our senior member shri Ramkrishna Sabnaveesji from Hyderabad. The mail is copied word to word without any change. It was a wonderful occassion to have him with us.

Two living legends Manohar Vaidya and Sabnaveesji met for the first time at Bansikaka's residence, where both of them shared a lot of music with everyone present.

We thank him for being part of the project and Harmonica Club of Gujarat...Thank you so much from all of us.................

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yogesh Tamta

Yogesh has been in touch with Apoorva Bhatt since quite a long time. During his visit to Ahmedabad, he visited the Harmonica Corner in Parimal Garden and played a few songs on his CX12.
He accompanied us to studio where Apoorva Bhatt was supposed to record his songs.
Yogeshji, welcome to HCG....
'sar mera chakaraye'

Apoorva Bhatt

First round of recording is coming to an end. We have recorded almost 20 songs. We will start the second round of recording very soon.
Apoorva Bhatt gave us a surprise on last Sunday by bringing Yogesh Tamta from Lucknow. Yogesh plays harmonica since his childhood. He has been in touch with Apoorva Bhatt for quite a long time, and showed his interest of meeting the members of HCG. Yogesh is basically an R & D man and has designed harmonicas with his knowledge in meteorology. He showed us his diatonic harmonica, which he had tuned to play many songs with chromatic notes. He has also prepared the documentations as to how the reeds made from different materials sound differently from each other.
He became the member of HCG there and then only............
Immediately after the Harmonica Satsang in Parimal we went to the recording studio, where Apoorva Bhatt recorded two lovely songs.
This is Just a small clip taken with mobile phone....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Veteran from Hyderabad comes calling

The Harmonica Club of Gujarat had the privilege of playing host to veteran mouth organ player from Hyderabad, Ramakrishna Sabnavees recently. Sabnavees has been in contact with several of the club members ever since the formation of the HCG more than two years ago. A self-taught man, Sabnavees is a great fan of Mohammed Rafi whose many lilting songs he plays on the harmonica.

When we informed Sabnavees about HCG's latest initiative of coming out with an audio CD of songs played by the members, he was thrilled and expressed his desire to visit us while we recorded the songs in a studio. "Sabnavees sahab, would you mind playing a few songs for the CD of HCG?" asked club secretary Tapan Bhatt. "Of course not, in fact, I shall be more than happy to be a part of the team effort of the HCG. I consider myself a member of the HCG," he said.

Sabnavees took leave from his office and came to Ahmedabad. During his two-day stay, he not only recorded a couple of songs for the CD but also played his favourite numbers to the accompaniment of congos by master musician Paresh Bhatia at an evening gathering at Bansi Gajjar's bungalow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The magical moments

This photographs were taken during my visit to the crocodile breeding centre, Chennai.

I have used a harmonica tune played by Shri Ashok Bhandari. Both the tune and the baby that I am holding fascinate me. I wanted to ckeck the pressure of baby crocodile by putting my hand in its mouth, of course covered with a thick jute cloth. Unfortunately, i was not allowed to do that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

99% me Ghadi varna Chhadi

Master Kavit again, with 3 idiots in the background. He spent a very few minutes to get ready with this song.

Rishwat to khud Baap ne lena shikhaya, 99% marks laaoge to Ghadi varna Chhadi.......................... :-(

Master Kavit : Riding easy

Master Kavit played ' Ye Dosti ' on a Diatonic Easy Rider. Kavit is basically from Nadiad, 60kms from Ahmedabad, He was inspired by the Harmonica Club of Gujarat. Today he owns a Hering special 48, and a few diatonic harmonicas. He is now focusing mainly on how to get the maximum out of Diatonic harmonicas. He has performed in his school and old age homes also.

He has promised to play Indian Ragas on his Easy Rider for us..............

Friday, April 9, 2010

Saz aur Avaaz : Part 2

The other day, we had a guest Mr. Salim malik, also known as Voice of Mukesh. Businessman Mr. Malik used to sing in his college days, and thereafter due to very heavy business load, left singing for many years.
Satisfied with the achievement in business, he decided to develop his forgotten hobby again after almost 20 years. He started with a professional training under Mr. Bhuprndra and now is a well known singer again.
He is invited by many business and corporate houses, private meetings etc.
Aditya and Manohar Vaidya accompanied Malik on their harmonicas.
That was a Funday !!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unique blend of SAAJ and AWAAJ

On 7th March. 2010, Mr Sandeep Patankar a member of HCG accompanied with him his 2 aunts(father’s sister) at the Sunday practice session. Mrs. Kamal Thakar, an accomplished classical singer who performs occasionally as radio artist and stage shows, sang some old filmi compositions accompanied by her younger sister Mrs Asha Damle with harmonica being played by our maestro Vaidyaji. Mrs Kamal Thakar has graduated in music in 1962 from Khairagarh University -the only music university during those days with B.Music(Honours). She is married to Mr Srikant Thakar –himself a claasical singer belonging to a family of musicians, who was working with All India Radio and retired as Chief Producer. Mrs Asha Damle also sings as a hobby but has excelled as educationist- herlast assignment as the Principal of Dr Radhakrishna School –a renowned school at Borivali-Mumbai .Mr R G Patankar their –father was also a accomplished tabla and harmonium player who worked with Blind School for music and a Litho artist by profession.

Many Thanks to Mrs. Thakar and Mrs. Damle.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wah Taj, Wah Rajesh

He is a photographer by profession and a mouth organ player by passion. When on a short visit to Ahmedabad, Rajesh Goswami, the official photographer of the Indian Army based in Agra, heard about the Harmonica Club, he dropped out of the sight-seeing tour his host had arranged. Instead, he came to meet the members of the club at music teacher Paresh Bhatia's office-cum-residence.

The music session, which began at 11 in the morning continued well past 3 in the afternoon. Rajesh regaled us with some old melodies. "I want to first listen to you," he said before agreeing to play the mouth organ. Club secretary Tapan Bhatt obliged and played his favourite number, "Yaad kiya dil ne kaha ho tum."

While waiting for Tapan, who postponed his scheduled visit to an industrial estate to grab the opportunity of meeting the visitor, I asked the usual 'where, when and how' Rajesh picked up the harmonica. "About 30 years ago, mouth organ was quite popular among the young people and widely used by music directors in the Bollywood films. I was in the school when I first heard our neighbor Shivanand Mishra play mouth organ," Rajesh said.

He pleaded with Mishra to teach him how to play the instrument. "First, you need to have a mouth organ only then can I teach you," said Mishra. With Rs. 35, Rajesh bought his first harmonica, a made in Germany instrument without a scale changer. "Mishraji too had a plain mouth organ, without a scale-changer."

Agra being a hot tourist destination, many foreigners visited the city of the Taj Mahal. Rajesh befriended a foreign tourist and managed to get his first scale-changer harmonica from Germany. Since then, there has been no looking back. Rajesh became a star harmonica player in Agra, having won several cups and medals at various music competitions.

He had bought a Chrometta 8 mouth organ with him. It was amazing to watch him play half a dozen popular numbers on that single octave instrument. Here are a couple of them.

1. Gore Gore O Banke Chhore

2. Khayi Ke Paan Banaraswala

3. Na Maangu Sona Chandi

4. Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tribute to Mother

Tapan Bhatt, founder of the Harmonica Club, went through a trying times after his mother suffered a heart attack. She was kept in the intensive care unit of a hospital for more than a week before she underwent a bypass surgery.

A practitioner of hypno-therapy, Tapan diverted his attention to playing music and when among the youngest members of the Harmonica Club, Devansh Shah told him about the song 'Meri Maa' from the film 'Taare Zameen Par', Tapan started practicing the song at home.

On February 14, 2010, the Valentine Day, Tapan attended the Sunday Morning session of the Club at Parimal Garden. I had heard from Devansh and others about Tapan playing this very melodious and sentimental song. So, I persuaded him to play the song for the HCG blog. I took him to a corner of the park besides the lake and made him sit under a tree. He played on the harmonica along with the original song in the background.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

For Old Times Sake

Nilesh Amin had promised me he would send me his video recording on his return to the US. But, I caught him off guard before he left the Indian shores. He was on his way to the US and stopped over at my place for a few hours. I literally caught him by his neck and forced him to play a song. I offered him one of my several harmonicas of different scales. He was at a loss what to choose. I gave him one at random. He was game and played whatever song came to him at that particular moment. I was dumb founded when he played a song, which I had never tried so far. I was his guru, once upon a time, I tried to solace myself and tried to pick some holes in his playing.

We then decided to play a song together. Please don't judge us by the quality of our playing. Catch the spirit.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nilesh plays harmonica whenever he feels lonely

I met Nilesh Amin after 30 years. We used to play harmonica when in college. "Remember, you taught me how to play the song, 'Main Shayar to Nahi' from the film 'Bobby', which was a rage among the youth then?" he recalled during our brief meeting in Vadodara, his home town today.

I used to often spend days on end at Nilesh's place. He was studying for his engineering degree from the M S University of Baroda and I was a youth activist. Our common passion was harmonica and we used to spend long hours trying out the latest Hindi film songs.

Nilesh had come down to Vadodara to perform the last rites of his father Vishnubhai Amin, a freedom fighter and an alumni of the Gujarat Vidyapith founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Nilesh's mother, Kusumben Amin too was a student of Vidyapith and a freedom fighter.

Nilesh is the sole survivor of the Amin family today, having lost both his parents and his two younger siblings - a sister and a brother.

He had migrated to the USA in the late 1970s after his graduation. He lives in Sunny Vale, near San Jose, California. Both his sons were born there.

When I told him that I picked up harmonica after almost 30 years in 2006 when I was living alone in Bangalore, Nilesh told me, "Mouth Organ is the best companion to overcome loneliness." He said whenever he feels sad and lonely, he plays mouth organ.

Nilesh has promised to send me the video recordings of his mouth organ numbers after he returns to Sunny Vale.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Harmonica lover from London comes calling

Hello Mr. Desai
Thank you for your email. I am pleased to provide my profile as seen below.

I am a Guajarati born in Sabarmati, Ahmedabad. After schooling in Nadiad I did inter science in Ahmedabad. When completed my Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Diplomas in Vallabh Vidyanagar I went to Tanzania. After working as Electrical Engineer for 5 years I came back to India and introduced a new concept of Electrical services centre in Naroda Industrial Estate, Ahmedabad and worked there for 5 years. Then I moved back to Tanzania and worked there as Electrical contractor for 7 years. Finally I moved to UK in 1985 where I worked as R&D Engineer with Nordson UV Ltd until retired from work in 2007. I live in UK and visit my brother in Ahmedabad every 2 years.

I used to play Harmonica in my college days in 67/68 but lost the touch with harmonica during my working years. In January 2008 when I had some free time I picked up Harmonica after a big break and uploaded some tunes on YouTube for fun and my personal pleasure ( The very old harmonica I had is packed up and not repairable (Hohner 64 Chromonica 16 Holes). 4 moths ago I bought 12 Holes Seydel Chromatic Deluxe in “C”.

These days I am improvising on some Bollywood songs based on Bhairavi and gradually move to other Ragas. I have no formal training in music and harmonica playing. I do self study for learning music and improvise on Harmonica.

I am pleased to know that there are so many Harmonica players in Ahmedabad. During my next visit I would like to see you and others.

Best regards

Shirish Swami

Here is a number played by him:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Krishna connects from Nagpur

The Members Connect feature on the Harmonica Blog has begun to give excellent results. Music lovers visiting the blog are now able to connect with one another. It was a pleasant surprise to get a message from Krishna from Nagpur who sent me a lovely photograph of a squirrel. Here it is:

From Kathmandu with Love

I was online one day about two weeks ago when someone buzzed me through the google chat window embedded on the Harmonica Blog. He was Bhakta Magar from Kathmandu, a graphic designer working for a MNC IT company. He wanted my help in getting the tune of the song 'Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahan Ho Tum' played on harmonica. "I can't download this song from the Blog,Sir. Please help me get the song, I want to make it into the ringtone of my mobile," he said.

I emailed him the song. Next day, Bhakta came on the chat again and asked me to send my photograph to him. He wanted to give me a surprise. I didn't oblige him.

Today, I got this surprise gift from Kathmandu - my grandson, Maitreya's photo embellished by Bhakta. Incidentally, Maitreya completed 5th month today. Thank you Bhakta Dada, says Maitreya.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My grandson's toy

My five-month-old grandson, Maitreya, loves to listen to music, specially that produced by mouth organ. He invariably stops crying whenever I start playing mouth organ. In fact, this gives me an excuse to play mouth organ, defying the scornful look of my wife who has suffered my music for over 35 years.

I gave my 'Puck' and 'Chrometta 10' to Maitreya to play with. To my pleasant surprise, he held the harmonica just the way I hold it while playing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Love all Serve all

Makar Sankranti - Festival of Kite flying
HCG has been flying the kites of LOVE to SERVE the under privileged people in the society with the unbreakable threads of UNITY.

Friday, January 8, 2010

They are more than Harmonica Players

The HaLoH team
During my visit to Bengaluru, I happened to meet Avi and Chandrasekhar for some time. My intention of getting a few karaoke tracks from Mr. Mohammad Azam Fiaz, the one who is very much known on esnips for his Karaoke tracks, was discussed with Avi in CCD. We decided to bargain with Mr. Azam and share the amount between two clubs so that we would have many tracks at almost no prize. When we met Mr. Azam in his office, learning about both the clubs he streight away gave the cd containing all the tracks that he had developed by very hard work. He also promosed to make any karaoke we wanted.
I also went to Hyderabad where I met Mr. Sabnaveesji, a very close friend of HCG. Sabnaveesji came from very far to a place where I had some official work, waited till I finished my job and then took me to his residence for lovely dinner. We had lovely time at his residence. He also promised to come to Ahmedabad during a harmonica workshop.
Ramana, one of the HaLoH members also came to meet me on the same day I arrived in Hyderabad. We had a nice musical session at Mr. Mahendra Gala's residence followed by very heavy snacks. Despite his busy schedule Ramana spent almost two days with me. Ramana also promised to come to ahmedabad to meet all the members.
These people are not just Harmonica players or lovers, they are more than that.........!
Many thanks to all of them.