At the Rajiv Chowk metro intersection, you can often hear the golden oldies of the sixties played on the mouth organ by a skinny old harmonica player.
Years ago, Munindra Sagar, a street music performer, entertained people at busy bus stops in the capital. It has moved to subway stations now. In a city like Delhi, most people seem lost in their own world and, against all odds, they keep walking around picking up the fragmented pieces of life. At a time when tensions are rising and sorrows are waiting to be shared, here is Sagar playing songs from yesteryear to embalm his listeners. He plays music for all, but most emphatically for those weary faces returning from mundane jobs.
Sagar, originally from Haridwar, used to teach English at an institute in Green Park, South Delhi, for a living. He spends most of his day displaying his artistic prowess in upscale Connaught Place where he can be spotted playing to audiences of varying ages on his handy six-inch harmonica that he carries without fail in his breast pocket.
The sixty-plus-year-old musician with a passion for black and white cinema was deeply impressed and influenced by Bollywood comedian Johnny Walker of the 1960s. He learned the harmonica at the age of 13 and achieved virtuosity in it without never have a teacher.
The Mofussil town of Bareilly, where he went to school, didn’t have much to offer. He desperately wanted to own the instrument. his wish was granted after many years when his cousin presented him with a blue colored Hero made in China, his first most prized and close to his heart.
“I started playing without a teacher, the mouth organ can be learned in six months but it takes perseverance and patience. Indeed, I learned by listening to Madan Kumar Ji, the legend of the harmonica. I have always played the Chinese brand which actually I had a sore mouth and buying an expensive one was a distant dream. I got a job as a teacher in an institute and bought my first diatonic harmonica made in Germany with my first salary Sagar remembers the past.