Hussain Sagar to Hoogly-Harmonica Lovers' trip to Kolkata

This December, harmonica lovers Ramana, Vijay Konda and Rameshwaram (from M.P.) visited Kolkata to meet other harmonica lovers for discussing harmonica. This trip which lasted for 4 days was a memorable experience for them. They met lots of great harmonica players and had interesting harmonica sessions.

The people whom they met were Messrs Bhaskar Chowdhury,Karun Chakaraborty,Premangshu Chatterjee,Sugato Chatterjee,Swarup Mitra,Sukanto Ghoshal,Shubmay Das Gupta,Dr Pankaj Bose,Anupam Pal,Dr Prashant Kumar Bhandopadyay,Dr Debasis Mukherjee and Mr Sumanta Basu.

Shortly, you'll find some articles on these harmonica lovers in this blog. The followers of this blog may have an opportunity to see rare photographs of some great harmonica players including harmonica legend Shri Milon Gupta in due course.

Harmonica lovers' sunday meeting on 26th Dec' 2010

This week, two harmonica lovers from different states visited HaLoH meeting at Indira Park.

Raman Khandelwal from Jaipur (Rajasthan), and Sanath Kumar from Chennai attended the meeting yesterday.

Raman Khandelwal is a virtual member of HaLoH and is one of the publishers of this blog. This was his first meeting at Indira Park. He was very enthusiastic to meet all the HaLoH members. His prime wish was to play the harmonica under the "Bodhi" tree in (as we popularly call it) in the presence of other harmonica lovers.

After watching some harmonica related videos of Kolkata harmonica artistes at on laptop, all the players played their favorite numbers one-by-one. This was followed by herbal tea and sweets before calling it a day.

Harmonica Lover of the week- Sanat Kumar

I am a Structural Engineer. I had done my Bachelors in Civil Engg. from College of Engineering, Kakinada & M. Tech (Structural Engg.) from I.I.T Kharagpur. I am presently working with an MNC in Chennai. My interest in instrumental music was generated from the intermittent melodious instrumental tunes which used to be played during Binaca Geet Mala and other radio programmes of yesteryears. I came across a Hero diatonic instrument quite accidentally on a pavement in the then Bombay during my college industrial tour. At first, I did a fewexperiments with the little instrument by myself and did succeed in being able to play a few easy tunes although not so accurately. One fine day, while I was studying in my hostel room in I.I.T Kharagpur, I heard the tune "Jaago Mohan Pyaare Jago....." being played brilliantly by somebody in the other wing. I just couldn't believe that this song could be played on the Mouth Organ so well. I at once tried my best to play this on my diatonic Hero instrument but soon discovered that it was beyond me. At that time, I knew nothing about the Chromatic or any other types of mouth organ. After this, I gradually got busy with my job and hardly found time for this hobby. It was only about eight years ago when I travelled to Germany that I bought a Hohner Mouth Organ and my interest began to revive. Four years back, I bought a Chrometta 14 Hohner. I recently bought Suzuki SCX-64 & Hohner Puck. I am ignorant of music theory and cannot read any notes. I play only by the ear. My first interaction with other Harmonica playes, like in the case of most others, happened through the net from Youtube postings. This is how I first came across HaLoH which was luckily being formed almost at the same time as my rising interest in the little instrument. My first visit to HaLoH happened when I visited Hyderabad during 2008. I was very thrilled to meet so many like minded Harmonica enthusiasts at one location for the first time in my life. I wished to visit more often but due to very busy work schedule, my second visit had to wait till DEC 2010. I thank all the members of HaLoH for sharing some very memorable time with me. I wish all the members a great time ahead and A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Please do convey my regards to all the members of HaLoH.

Thanks & Regards,

Sanath Kumar,



Saying Hello! to HaLoH

It was a great excitement to me when i planned a trip to meet Harmonica Lover of Hyderabad Ramana after visiting Keyur bhai in Ahmedabad last month.When my train reached Hyderabad, it was 12:30 midnight. Ramana was there to receive me. It was the most touchy moment i felt ever. There were endless talks about harmonica till 6 am. I learned his practice methodology on harmonica. He is one of the most talented players. On sunday 24th Oct, I went to meet HaLoH members at Indira park. There, I meet Shri Vinayakji who was a student of Great Milon da. He gave me some great tips under "Bodhi" tree. I met several magnificent players like Mr.Rajkumar, Mr.Vijay Konda, Mr. Avinesh Singh, Kailashnath ji,,Mahendra Gala ji, Soni sahab and each of them has his own style of playing harmonica. I thank Ramana and all HaLoH members to make my trip memorable with love and great learning experience.

Please watch this video which showcases my meeting with HaLoH team and my harmonica rendition in the background.

Thank you

Rameshwaram Bhardwaj,


Zindagi kaisi hai paheli-Ramana


22nd Nov'10-Celebrating Milon da's 80th birth anniversary

Last night Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad Shri Vinayak B., G.Rajkumar and I celebrated 77th birth anniversary of Milon da at my home. We had a great time from 9 pm till midnight. Milon da is the man who popularized harmonica with his melodies and taught harmonica to many harmonica lovers including Shri Vinayak B.


Harmonica just doesn't sound sweet but gives sweet bond of friendship.

Excitement had been building up every moment since KK(Kromatic Khandelwal) informed me that the train he had taken from Jaipur to Mumbai would stop at Ahmedabad. He was a bit hesitant to inform me about his journey as he was not sure if the train would reach Ahmedabad in time and he didn't wish to disturb me in late hours.

Harmonica is the reason we became friends. I remember, he was first to call me after the unhappy strategic incidents. For me KK is knowledgeable, warm and very friendly topped with maturity. It's hard to resist not to be his friend. Today I feel as if we were together in school. After Ramana and Rameshwarm Bhardwaj, time had come to see Raman Khandelwal. I almost ran through stairs as I heard the announcement of Raman's train arrival. He was there standing near the door of his coach and jumped as he saw me. We hugged and talked a lot over and above harmonica. I took some photos with him for my memory. Of course, KK has promised me to come along with his family but this was our first meet and hence carries lot of values to both of us. Harmonica just doesn't sound sweet but gives sweet bond of friendship.




Harmonica our passion!

Shri Inderjit Singh Soni, Visits harmonica lovers meeting regularly to improve his harmonica playing skills and also encourages others to play the harmonica.We are uploading his video clipping this week.


Another day with Shri V.S. Shirali

Today, I want to share with you- my experience of a date with fabulous harmonica player Shri VS Shirali on my recent visit to
Mumbai with few photos and videos I captured for the benefit of the harmonica lovers and visitors of this blog.

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of Shri Shirali and he treats me like his son. He is a very nice person with abundant knowledge of music. Apart from harmonica, he is a great keyboard and Guitar player. I adopted lot of things from him during our 8 non stop hours of discussion about music and harmonica. He says "In our generation we had the priority to be a musician first and a technician next... but these days the current generation people want to be a technician rather than being a musician. It is not a good sign".
He took me to his mentor- legendary sax player of
India Late Shri Manohari Singh’s home where I conveyed my condolence to his family members as he passed away recently

I do hope you'll enjoy watching these videos. You can read more about Mr Shirali at the link given below.


A visit to Shirdi- Meeting with harmonica lover Shri Kiran Parikh

From Mumbai, I visited Shirdi for Baba’s darshan and I came in contact with Shri Kiran Parikh, a businessman from Kopargaon 10 km from Shirdi. The moment I contacted him from Shirdi, he welcomed me to his residence inspite of his busy schedule and played a good host.
Shri Kiran Parikh, a brilliant harmonica player has been playing harmonica for over 30 years. He began playing the Chinese make 'Hero' instrument. He is a great fan of Shri Bhanu Gupta, who was an assistant to legendary composer R D Burman. He also went to Mumbai to meet harmonica maestro Firoze Damri and learnt some techniques of harmonica from him. He has a good collection of various kinds of harmonicas. He also has some customized harmonicas suitable for playing some Indian ragas. I'm very fortunate to see some of the rare harmonicas in his collection. We had a great musical session for about 90 minutes in his music room which is fully equiped with Karaoke CDs. Though he plays all kinds of effects like tongue slap, Octave etc he loves to play clean single notes on a Hohner 270 harmonica. He prefers to play semi classical and rare old Hindi melodies. He says he is now going to perform about 200 stage harmonica shows in and around Maharashtra state. Even after leaving his place, he called me to know about my welfare I am very happy to meet this harmonica lover and love to meet him again at the earliest. He has also promised to visit Hyderabad to share his passion with all the Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad.


An evening in Tata Theatre with Rustom Karwa and “Harmoni-Kats”

On 29th June, I received an Invitation from “Harmonica genius” Shri Rustom Karwa to attend B.P.FESTIVAL CONCERT which was organised by ‘National centre for the performing Arts” in cooperation with B.P.Charitable Trust (in aid of Music education & Musician’s Welfare)

to celebrate Independence day and Parsi new year. Shri Rustom Karwa was going to perform some complex pieces of Western numbers on harmonica. As a harmonica lover, I could’nt afford to miss this wonderful opportunity. So, I was there as his guest for this concert on Sunday, August 15th 2010 at 6.30 p.m. in Tata Theatre, located at Marine Drive, Mumbai. It is the one of the most prestigious auditoriums of India with 2000 seating capacity.

As soon as I reached the theatre at 6pm, Rustom Ji’s family members received me, handed over the ticket for the show which was booked in advance by Rustom Karwa ji for me. We entered the hall by 6.15pm. The theatre ambience and stage arrangements were beyond my expectations. Thanks to Rustom ji-he arranged me the seat at exactly middle of the theatre along with his family members. He is not only a harmonica genius but a man of good heart. I would like to share some information about this legendary harmonica player with people who do not know much about him.

Shri Rustom Karwa was addicted to music at the age 14 years.He learnt to play harmonica and reading/writing music from a blind teacher-Shri Behram Irani. Since 1965 he is a regular broadcaster over AIR and has played for Bollywood under top music directors like Laxmikant Pyarelal. He contested for All India Bank competitions representing The Central Bank of India and secured first prize in ten successive competitions. He also teaches keyboard, guitar and theory of Music for the Trinity College, London.

More information on Rustom Karwa can be read in the link given below.


The programme started by 6.30 pm with our national anthem Janaganamana, followed by mind blowing musical performances which included my most awaited item- performance on the harmonica by our own Rustom Karwa. He played two songs as a soloist- Hora staccato and La Cumparsita.

Hora staccato (1906) is a virtuoso violin showpiece by Grigoraş Dinicu. It is a short, fast work in a Romanian dance style, and has become a favorite encore of violinists, especially in the 1932 arrangement by Jascha Heifetz. The piece requires an exceptional command of both upbow and downbow staccato. The character of the piece also demands the notes be articulated in a crisp and clear manner so that the vibrancy of music comes out.

La Cumparsita is a musical piece written by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, an Uruguayan musician, in 1917. It is among the most famous and recognizable tango songs of all time. The title translates as "The little parade" and the original lyrics begin: "The little parade of endless miseries..." It was composed in the music room of Club Nacional de Football, and played for the first time in Confiteria La Giralda, a cafeteria located where the Palacio Salvo now stands in downtown Montevideo.The song was used in Orson Welles 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds (radio).Adolf Wege and his orchestra recorded it in Berlin on January 30, 1948. In the Olympic Games of Sydney 2000, the Argentine team marched to "La Cumparsita". This originated protests and official claims from the Uruguayan government. La Cumparsita is very popular at Milongas.

As you are aware both are very difficult numbers and tough to play on the harmonica, our Rustom Karwa rendered these numbers effortlessly with ease.As you are aware both are very difficult numbers and tough to play on the harmonica,I’m uploading both original and Rustom ji’s harmonica piece for your enjoyment. Please bear with the poor video quality as these were shot by my mobile.


Meeting with Harmoni-Kats

Most of us not aware of this Indian harmonica Duo called Harmoni-Kats who are Mr Sarosh Sanjana and Darius Engineer. Sarosh Sanjana a post graduate in Nuclear physics and retired as Chief Marketing Manager from TATA SSL has been playing harmonica since late 1950’s. Darius Engineer a graduate in Physics and MBA from Bajaj Institute of Management, currently the Hon.Secretary for Indian Acadamy of Model Aeronautics, Mumbai has been playing the harmonica since late 1960’s.

Both learnt to play harmonica under the legendary harmonica player of India-Late Shri Phiroze Damri at St.Xavier’s High School, Mumbai. They took part of in many music shows and competitions. Both have formed as a duo called Harmoni-Kats which performs at select musical shows. They are regular contributors for at the shows organized by B.P.Salon orchestra. At this show Harmoni-Kats performed a medley of Ten songs and it was a quiz for the audience. The person who recognized the maximum number of songs was adjudged the winner of this quiz. I could recognize 9 songs but had not participated in the quiz because the answers had to be filled up behind the ticket and submitted to the jury but it is my interest to preserve all the concerts tickets which I attend. J Harmoni-Kats further rendered two numbers- Hava Nagila,Spanish Gypsy Dance which received standing ovation from the audience.

HaLoH conveys its fond regards to Shri Rustom Karwa and the Harmoni-Kats.


Music has no boundaries

If you are a harmonica lover,And regular visitor to YouTube then you must have listened to the renditions of a person with the ID-zafarsgallery”. Most of us wonder who this mesmerizing harmonica player is? Today, we are publishing about Mr Zafar Ahmad, from Lahore Pakistan in his own words…

HARMONICA --- The magical instrument.

The chromatic harmonica (commonly known in our world as the " Button wala Baja") is perhaps the world's smallest complete musical intrument. Difficult to play because you cannot see the notes, you only play them with the feel of your mouth position. Whereas, playing simple songs can be learnt comparatively easily, songs with a classical touch and much use of the slide are quite complicated. Being a reed instrument, creating the "meend" and "murkani" needs much practice and skill.

I started playing a simple mouth organ (not a chromatic one) at the age of ten. It took me a few months to play the simple song "lara lappa lara lappa laaee rakhda". I have played harmonica for more than 50 years, and the magic of it has not diminished, in fact, its still on the rise. To advance my skill in playing, I also learnt to customise my harmonicas so that they are better tuned, are more airtight and have a better tone. To be able to play minor and subtle notes and "murkanis" I have also had training in basic classical singing. The most difficult songs are the most challenging for me. Playing songs like "Mohe bhool gaye saanwaria", "Rasik balama" and "Jyoti kalash chhalke" give me great pleasure. In fact, most of the old indian songs are my favourites. I have a small recording setup in my home where I make most of the song tracks. I use keyboard , acoutic tabla, dholak, violin and flute usually.

Though music is my passion, I am a professional photographer specialising in landscape, portrait and promotional photography. I also run a printing press wherein I print calendars (based on my photography) for my various clients.

I am based in Lahore.

(Associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Britain).


HaLoH thanks Mr Zafar Ahmad for giving this opportunity to introduce him to all the harmonica lovers who visit this blog.

Guzar jaye din-Arijit Mukherji


Weekly meeting of HaLoH

As usual, the weekly meeting of Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad was held on Sunday morning at Indira Park. We are uploading some of the pics which were taken at the park.

Shri Vinayak giving harmonica lessons to a harmonica lover at the park

Avinesh Singh a fan of Big B(handari) fully engrossed in playing a tune on his harmonica.