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.