Salaam Pune

I'm sure most of you must have heard about the recent harmonica concert “Melodies on Harmonica” in Pune on 22nd May 2010. I was lucky to attend that concert. Thanks to harmonica lover from Pune-Mr Amaresh Deshpande who arranged me the front row tickets on my requisition through a phone call.

I often heard there is no encouragement for harmonica in India, but I changed my opinion after seeing the crowd outside Yeshwantrao Chavan Natyagruha before the programme. I was surprised to see the crowd, that too for a "ticket" programme! Yes, the programme was not free-of-cost and the people had purchased the tickets for the show. I was one among those curious harmonica lovers waiting impatiently to listen to the harmonica live by the great harmonica players like Shri.Madan Kumar, Shri Nandu Belvalkar, Shri Upendra Laxmeshwar, Shri Shamkanth Suthar and Shri Vishwanath Shirali. The auditorium was almost full with more than 700 people and the most awaited programme started sharply at 9.30 pm as per the schedule.

Programme started with "Papa kehthe hai bada nam karega by master.Sarang Rajguru followed by

"Yehi woh jaga hai" by female harmonica player Miss Girija Shirurkar, "Maine tere liye hi sath rang ke", Titanic theme songs by students of the harmonica institute of Pune, "Aaa Chalke tujhe" by Shri Bhupendra Kumar, "Ye mere dil pyar ka diwana" by Shri Pratap Basale, "Gore gore" by Shri Hemanth Gadre. These are few numbers I can recollect.

Some songs were really good and got standing ovation from the people. They were,-"Inteha ho gayi intezaar ki" (Sharabhi), "Oh hansini", "Gulabi ankhen" by Shri VS Shirali, "O mere sonare sonare" by Shri Madan Kumar accompanied by Shri Nandu Belvalkar on the chord harmonica, "Kya yahi pyar hai" solo by Shri Nandu Belvalkar played with 10 holes Swan chromatic harmonica, "Chakke pe chakka"( Brahmachari) by Shri Upendra Laxmeshwar, "Disla ga bai disla" (A marathi song from film: Pinjara), "Mere yaar shabba khair" played by Shri Shamkanth Sutar and "Apsara ali" (Another Marathi song from film:Natarang) played by Shri Amaresh Deshpande.

Special attraction in the programme were saxophone accompaniment by Shri Anil Karmarkar and the Anchor Shri Sidharth Bendre.

My cousin Mr Ganesh, a software engineer in Pune and I enjoyed our weekend in the harmonica concert by the great players. As a break from all the writing stuff, I thought I'd share a few of my photos with you...

Rendezvous with Shri Michael Pokish, Shri Nandu Belvalkar and Shri VS Shirali :

The next morning, I met Shri Micheal Pokish at his DO-Say restaurant. (He does whatever he says :-)) I was amused when he asked me in Telugu -“challani majjiga thraguthara?" (would you like to have butter milk?). He had stayed in Hyderabad for about 10 years. We went to his home and he showed his grand collection of harmonicas and played few tunes for me on harmonica.

Then I went to "Belvalkar's Anand Dham" to see Mr Nandu Belvalkar in person. Here, I got an opportunity to meet another renouned harmonica player Shri VS Shirali. We had a great time discussing harmonica as well playing some tunes.

Hope you've enjoyed seeing my visit to “melodies on harmonica” photos. If you've never been to Pune Harmonica concerts, I highly recommend it in future for a relaxing break from your work pressure. The climate is warm, the food excellent, the beauty stunning and the people are genuinely welcoming towards their guests.

Salam Pune!


Keyur Shah said...

WOW !!! Look at these people, three full blown institutes teaches harmonica and a "TICKETED" program that pulled a crowd of around 700!!

With due respect I would say - SALAAM PUNE !

Avinesh Kumar Singh said...

Ramana, you are creating lot of opportunities to meet great people !! We all are getting benefited. Thanks. Regards, Avinesh