STORY OF SELF-LEARNING
I had nothing to do in my illness so I picked up Harmonica
“In the illness I would not feel like doing anything. Once while watching YouTube on my mobile, I came across this “Ye Dosti..” song. When I use to hear this Sholay movie song in childhood, I used to think that I should try and play this instrument.”
My story of learning harmonica is a bit strange. It was because of my father that I developed an interest in music. He used to sing Bhajans (devotional songs) and I probably picked up the basics from there. Then as a child, I also learnt classical also for a couple of years. But eventually due to academics I had to give up music.
Years later, when I was preparing for my Medical degree, I fell ill with Dengue. I kept it a secret for my family and was dealing with it myself only. In the illness I would not feel like doing anything. Once while watching YouTube on my mobile, I came across this “Ye Dosti..” song. When I use to hear this Sholay movie song in childhood, I used to think that I should try and play this instrument.
I had no money to buy this instrument. I borrowed from my friend and ordered one ‘Tower’ harmonica from Amazon. Then I watched video tutorials of Rohit Sahay – a very good teacher of harmonica. Then I joined ‘Harbrother group’ from where I learnt a lot. Since I had some knowledge of Classical, I kept applying that in my learning. I would give credit to not one but many persons who helped me in my learning of this instrument, like Manas Pattnaik from Orissa who helped me a lot. Later I joined a group named ‘Harmonica Showcase’ where I got chance to learn from some fine Harmonica players like, Swarup Mitra, Sukanta sir, Sunil Patil, Apurva Bhatt.
Songstar – my best Harmonica was gifted by Manas sir, which will be there with me forever. Similarly, I’m now associated with almost all the groups where there are Harmonica players. We keep learning from one another.
To tell about the Notes & Sargam’s Instrumental Music Contest, I would like to thank Mr Vijay Sapkaye who follows their website, informed me about this contest and asked me to participate in it. I enrolled myself for this and am happy that I did so. I never thought that this online contest would be so well organized. I was in doubt that how would they judge so many instruments, what would be their criteria of judgment and all. I was a little tensed. But that journey was very nice. Everything was perfectly managed. I met many other instrumentalists. I look forward to being a part of more such competitions. Thank you, Notes & Sargam! I’ll be there with you always.
(Reproduced from the audio message from Retikesh Mali)