Manohari Singh - The Charming Pied Piper

Written by Shankar Iyer
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He needs no introduction. Music lovers, both connoisseurs and common listeners, throng to listen to the mere sound of his instrument playing.

Be it the Saxophone, Western (Key) Flute, the Clarinet or the Mandolin, there is a magical charm in the way he plays those instruments. There is

unanimous agreement about the man’s extra special expressions, amazing breath control and inimitable tone of instrument playing. His artistry

reveals a very accomplished level of panache, the uniqueness of which has made him, arguably, the best Saxophone player in the country.

It is no wonder that audiences have been constantly wooed by this man’s incredible talent.

 

Manohari Singh or Manoharida, as he is fondly called, has been one of the long-serving musical pillars of the Hindi Film music world.

Born on 8th March, 1929, Manoharida came to Bombay in the year 1958, making his debut in the back-ground score of SD Burman’s ‘Sitaron Se Aage’

in the same year. Of Nepali origin, but in India for practically all his life, young Manohari moved to Calcutta in the 1940s and took up music, originally

playing the flute in a brass band. It was during those times that he was noticed by music composer Salil Chowdhury, who offered him to come to Bombay.

 

Born in a family of musicians, Manohari Singh grew up watching his father and uncles play in night-clubs and films in music studios.

After trying his hand at the Key Flute, the Clarinet and the Mandolin, Manohari Singh finally chose the Saxophone as his forte.

Making his way up with his passionate and stylish playing, Manoharida has today reached the heights of glory that few musicians can only dream to achieve.

 

Shankar Iyer met Manohari Singh at his residence to discover more about the virtuoso, his early days and long music-playing career.

Shankar: Tell us about your childhood days. When did you first get drawn to music?

Manoharida: I was born and brought up in Hooghly district, West Bengal in a family of musicians. My father, Bhim Bahadur Singh, used to play for the Police band during the British era. He played the Flute and the Bagpipe. He also played the Clarinet as did my maternal uncle, who too was a musician. My grandfather was a Trumpet player; he played for music Operas during the British era.

Though, I had done some initial schooling, I was not really interested in studies. There used to be a Key Flute at home. As a young boy of six, I used to attempt playing it, learning to play some simple tunes. Grandfather used to visit us once every week; he encouraged by giving me some money for my Flute playing. This served as motivation to practise the instrument.

Shankar: Were those tunes your own?

Manoharida: Some were my own, some based on English ones. (Hums a tune right away). These were played in the bands; in fact we were lucky to get to see those bands playing live. Also, being a musician himself, father was good at writing notations. He taught me to read notations, besides explaining the subtleties of Flute playing. I slowly picked up the art, often keen to play the instrument when Grandfather visited us home

Shankar:  How did your skill further develop?

Manoharida: My maternal and paternal uncles played for a brass brand at the Bata Shoe Company, Bata Nagar in erstwhile Calcutta. My uncle introduced me to the group’s conductor, a Hungarian, by the name Joseph Newman. I joined the band for a salary of Rs 3 per week! This was in 1942, I worked there till 1945.

The music that was mostly played in the band was classical music from Czechoslovakia. I started playing regularly and learnt a lot from Joseph Newman. He even taught me to play the Piano. Those were the days when we practised day and night, doing nothing else. I remember playing in a couple of concerts along with Joseph’s father, who was an expert Xylophone player. I played instruments like the Piccolo and Polka. Thanks to the stint at Bata Nagar, my foundation to read and play on notations were strongly laid.

In 1945, Joseph Newman joined HMV (His Master’s Voice) and hence had to leave the Bata Nagar brass band. He took us (me and my uncles) along with him. He showed faith in me as a young boy, believing I would pick up music quickly by playing more and more.

I started playing in Bengali and Hindi songs made during those days at HMV. Having learnt to read and play earlier, I immensely enjoyed my stint playing for 8 years in Calcutta. There was the Calcutta Symphony Orchestra too which played the heavy classical music of the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Tchaikovsky. It was here that my playing skills got 
further honed in the company of many talented musicians, like the well-known Violin player Stanley Gomes. The conductor was one Dr. Sunrae, a Frenchman; his deputy was one Mr. Francesco Casanova.

Shankar: Ah, the famous arranger Casanova of Pankaj Mullick’s “Yaad aaye ke na aaye tumhari” fame! Can you tell us more about your years in Calcutta?

Manoharida: We played at HMV twice every week. Joseph Newman arranged music for many composers like Kamal Dasgupta, SD Burman, Timir Baran and Pandit Ravi Shankar. We used to play on his notations; this was at the famous HMV studio at Dum Dum. The remaining days were devoted to playing the Flute and Piccolo at Calcutta Symphony Orchestra.

There were a host of musicians who lived in and around Calcutta. Bands like the Governor band and many talented night-club musicians played at the Calcutta Symphony Orchestra. The music playing was of the highest quality. Francesco Casanova also led a Spanish band at a Calcutta night-club restaurant Furfo. He was a highly renowned Flautist. He liked me and taught the nuances of Key Flute playing. He acted as guide to me during the multiple opportunities I got; these helped to build on my playing skills. When I later moved to reside at Calcutta, I began playing more and more regularly at different night-clubs and the Symphony Orchestra.

Shankar: When did you first start playing the Saxophone, the instrument you are most associated with?

Manoharida: The desire to play at night-clubs led me to learning the Saxophone. As I said earlier, after moving to proper Calcutta, I got the opportunity to listen to many night-club musicians. Names like Benny Goodman and Artisio come to mind.  There were also two cousin uncles of mine who were playing for a host of bands in Calcutta. Tegh Bahadur (father of well-known musician Louis Banks) was a top-class Trumpet player for many bands at Grand Hotel, Calcutta. He played in the name of Georgie Banks. The other uncle was Bobby Banks, brother of Georgie Banks. Thanks to them, my desire to play at night-clubs was only increasing.

I began to spend more and more time on the Saxophone. I had already learnt to play the Flute and the Clarinet, which are all of the same Reed instrument family. Watching my uncle and the many night-club players, I began to learn the art of Saxophone playing. It took about 6 months to a year for me to get comfortable with the Saxophone. Slowly, I was also learning the techniques of breath control and instrument blowing that helped to constantly improve my playing.

I began to get opportunities to play the Saxophone at the night-clubs. As with international band players, I had to compulsorily play both the Saxophone and the Clarinet at the shows. Simultaneously, I also began to play for Bengali movies. Sometimes it was the Flute, sometimes the Clarinet and sometimes the Saxophone. I have played for the likes of veterans like RC Boral, Pankaj Mullick (Yatrik), Nachiketa Ghosh, Kamal Dasgupta and Sudhin Dasgupta.

Shankar: Do you remember any popular song of those times?

Manoharida:  There was one private song I remember playing for Kamal Dasgupta; don’t remember the words however. There were many songs where I played the Flute, Clarinet and the Saxophone.


Shankar:
Who composed the music played at the restaurants and night-clubs?

Manoharida: It used to be printed music from America made for night-clubs. Mostly from the popular Jazz genre, it used to be sourced from the music played at night-clubs across the world. Our role was to read the notations and play, even improvise occasionally. All this helped to gain a lot of knowledge that helped immensely in the long run.  When I later came to Bombay, Denis Vaz, SD Burman’s Clarinet player, and Peter Monsorate, the famous Trumpet player, were so impressed by my playing that they recommended me to join Goody Servai’s band at CCI club!

Shankar: When did you think of coming to Bombay?

Manoharida: Conductor Joseph Newman left HMV in 1950 to settle in Australia. I too left HMV in the year 1952, but not before interacting with legends like Salil Chowdhury and Hemant Kumar. I then joined the restaurant Furfo and formed the first Indian band with Violinist Stanley Gomes.

During my early days in Calcutta, I had played a lot for Salil Chowdhury’s (Salilda) songs. He had great liking for me and often asked me to accompany him to Bombay. Though I was keen, I had never got to make the decision. However, I did recommend my Calcutta partner Basu Chakravarti to him. Basu (Basuda as you all know), used to be my neighbor then. He played the Viola and Cello in Bengali film music. It was finally in 1958 that I made up my mind to come to Bombay.

Shankar: What are your early memories of Bombay?

Manoharida: When in Bombay, Salilda introduced me to music composers like SD Burman, C Ramchandra, Chitragupta, Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar and Naushad. It was Burmanda who first called me to play for the movie ‘Sitaron Se Aage’ (1958). However, all the songs had finished recording by the time I reached the recording studio. The background music was being made at Bombay Labs; I played the Flute for it. It was then when I first met music composers Jaidev, Laxmikant, Pancham (RD Burman) and master musician Sumant Raj.

Slowly, I let all composers know that I also played the Saxophone and the Mandolin. One day Pancham asked me to come for a Burmanda recording. Laxmikant asked me to get my Mandolin for the same recording. The song “Achchaji main haari” from the movie ‘Kaala Pani’ was recorded at Bombay Labs; you may remember its first stanza interlude music has two Mandolins. They were played by Laxmikant and me! At the same time, I played the Saxophone and Clarinet in the song “Sach hue sapne tere” from ‘Kaala Baazar’. But somehow, that piece was not noticed much. However, slowly but surely, I was beginning to get opportunities to play the Saxophone.

Shankar: Did any Saxophone player of those times or earlier generation inspire you?

Manoharida: Yes, I was very inspired by Ram Singh’s Saxophone playing. Ram Singh assisted and arranged for Anil Biswas. His Obligado pieces and solo Sax playing impressed me a lot.

Shankar: Which movie or song would you consider your major break during the early days?

Manoharida: With Burmanda beginning to give me more opportunities, my first full-fledged solo Saxophone piece was in the song “Gaa mere man gaa” from Lajwanti. The song was recorded at Raman studio in Dadar.  You can hear the piece in both the antaras of

the song. The piece was noticed by all, especially Laxmikant who even kept that in mind.

I was called to play for the song “Tumhein yaad hoga” in Kalyanji Anandji’s ‘Satta Bazaar’ (1959); Laxmikant and Pyarelal were assisting them. The rehearsal happened at Shree Sound Recording studio. Laxmikant was not very happy the output and called all of us the next day at Mehboob Studio. He requested me to play the rehearsed piece as a Solo piece. I was keen to play the solo piece but asked him if that would be possible. He encouraged me saying he would convince all the others. When the piece was being recorded, Laxmikant stopped Pyarelal and the others saying I would play it as a Solo. My Saxophone piece became an instant hit overnight. I consider that song as a major breakthrough in my career as musician. This was the real impetus that opened my door to the film music world.

Shankar: You were also working as arranger during the same time?

Manoharida: It was from ‘Insaan Jaag Utha’ that I became the official arranger for SD Burman along with Basu Chakravarti. Of course, the tunes were by Burmanda. I also arranged music for movies like ‘Solva Saal’, ‘Baat Ek Raat Ki’ and the landmark 1965 movie ‘Guide’.

Shankar: Were Laxmikant and Pyarelal regular musicians in the Burmanda team?

Manoharida: Laxmikant was. Pyarelal used to occasionally play as musician. I still remember the incident when Pyarelal gave me a 100 rupee note when he heard my Flute and Saxophone pieces in Salilda’s “Ja re ud jaa re panchchi” from Maaya. And Pyarelal himself was playing as group Violinist in that song!

Shankar: You had mentioned Jaidevji. What was his role as assistant to SD Burman?

Manoharida: He used to assist in the making of the music along with musicians Sumant Raj, Laxmikant and Pancham.

Shankar: The song “Na main dhan chahoon” from Kaala Bazaar sounds very Jaidevish to me….

Manoharida: You are right. It was Jaidevji’s tune, his composition. We used to jokingly label his tunes as ‘Jalebis’ as they had a typical twist and turn in them. But what a composer was Jaidev! A totally class act!

Shankar: For a lay listener, what is the difference between the Alto, Tenor and Soprano Saxophone?

Manoharida: Alto Sax is mainly used for infusing melody. The Soprano Sax is one Octave higher to the Alto Sax, the Tenor Sax one octave lower to the Alto Sax. Soprano Saxophones are usually straight, but sometimes have slightly or fully curved necks and bells. The Alto Saxophone is smaller and lighter, and the Tenor saxophone is bigger and heavier. The Tenor Sax has a mellower, deeper sound. Though all three are used as melody instruments, they are chosen depending on the range required, for example in Jazz music. All the three can be used to play Solo pieces too.

Shankar: Did you play all of them?

Manoharida: Yes. Initially, I did play all the three types. You can hear my Soprano Sax in songs like “Mehbooba mehbooba” from ‘Sholay’ and “Kya yehi pyaar hai” (Rocky). I was the main Soprano Sax player those days. Nowadays, I play mainly the Alto Sax. Shyamraj has been an expert Tenor Sax player for the last many years.

Shankar: Are instruments Trombone, Trumpet and Saxophone very different?

Manoharida: Yes, there is difference in the sound they produce. Salilda used these instruments very well, using them as solo instruments. For example, you can easily distinguish the sounds of the Trumpet in “Zindagi kaisi hai paheli” (Anand) and the Saxophone in “Ja re ud ja re panchchi” (Maya).

Shankar: You later teamed with Basuda to give music for films like ‘Sabse Bada Rupaiya’ and ‘Chatpatee’. What is the essential difference between a composer, arranger and an assistant music director?

Manoharida: The composer gives the overall sketch for the song; its canvas. Assistants contribute their     bit; they are part of the sitting team while the music is being made. The arranger’s job is to write notations, fill in the necessary harmony go give songs a structure. You can say he is the one who decorates the song.  So, in effect, all of them are involved in some creative work, they can all be called composers.

Shankar: Did your long association with RD Burman start with ‘Chhote Nawab’, his first movie?

Manoharida: No, I played the Saxophone and the Flute in ‘Chhote Nawab’. Laxmikant-Pyarelal were the arrangers for the movie. It was from Pancham’s 2nd movie ‘Bhoot Bangla’ that I started my innings as his arranger. Though Laxmikant-Pyarelal were official arrangers for the movie, I arranged the title song of the movie.

Shankar: What was it that made your tuning with Pancham special?

Manoharida: Pancham regarded me as a very talented and knowledgeable musician. He was happy to have found me. And we together formed such a formidable team – Maruti Rao, Basu, me, Kersi Lord, Bhupinder Singh, Devichand Chauhan, Bhanu Gupta, Tony Vaz, Homi Mullan, Sunil Kaushik, Ramesh Iyer, Ranjit Gazmer and the others. We used to be there for most music sittings together.

Shankar: How were songs made by Pancham?

Manoharida: We had sittings for the song situations. The director used to explain the situation – romance, dance, cabaret etc; we created music as per the requirement. Thanks to the knowledge I had gained while playing for HMV, Symphony Orchestra and the night-clubs, I could contribute meaningfully to the different song situations. Even today, well-known musician and arranger Kersi Lord, acknowledges my huge experience at the night clubs as a major input to my arrangement skills, especially the brass section.

Shankar: What do you think was Pancham’s composing style? What were his strengths as composer?

Manoharida: Pancham was a god-gifted composer. He composed such great tunes; he was made of a very special composing talent. As a composer, he always wanted to do something new and different in his songs. He made it a point to distinguish his songs with a trademark / unique Pancham ‘Punch’. For example, adding a Maadal note or a Whistle piece to a song, mixing different rhythm patterns, or 3 to 4 Tablas for a song…..these were his ideas!. Moreover, all his tunes were equally great. I should not be saying this but some composers were wrong in labeling him as a ‘Western’ composer because he was equally proficient in giving Indian based songs. Take for example the scores of ‘Amar Prem’, ‘Aandhi’ or ‘Mehbooba’ (“Mere Naina Mere Bhadon”).  Nobody can say he was only a ‘Western’

composer. Today, the industry is inspired by his work. This shows he was at least 20 years ahead of his time. And moreover, his music is fresh till this day!

Shankar:
You were extremely close to both Burmans. What was Burmanda’s composing style like? How much was his influence on Panchamda’s style of composing?

Manoharida: They were very different in styles. Burmanda was heavily inspired by folk music and nature; though he also showed keenness to give new colors to his nature-inspired music. Once, he was so impressed with the natural Cotton making sound that he insisted that the same sound be used in one his songs!

Shankar: What was the secret about Pancham’s excellent song recording quality?

Manoharida: He had great knowledge of sound recording. He himself used to sit for all sessions, and do the balancing too. He always put in his best to get the desired recording quality.

Shankar: What do you have to say about Salilda and his musical compositions?

Manoharida: Salilda was another great man. He had so much knowledge and information of music. He was very learned; in fact a double graduate. He was also a very good story-writer I think he should have got more recognition for his talent…

Shankar: You had a long association with OP Nayyar too. When and how did that begin?

Manoharida: It was arranger Sebastian who offered me to play the title music of Shankar-Jaikishan’s ‘Junglee’ and the popular “Awaaz deke humein tum bulao” from ‘Professor’.  We shared a special rapport; he was a great fan of my playing style. He was the one who introduced me to Nayyar saab in the early 60s.

Shankar: What are your thoughts on Nayyar Saab the composer?

Manoharida: Nayyar Saab’s music was of the highest romantic order. His music was mostly Indian; the Punjab musical color was more dominant though. His music was made for the youth and will always remain evergreen.

Shankar: There are a few stories on Nayyar Saab’s love for his musicians. Is that true?

Manoharida: Yes. He used to openly admit musicians’ contributions saying “These are my ornaments”. Even as recently as three years back, he acknowledged Kersi Lord and me on stage saying “These are the people who have decorated my music”. He strongly felt for musicians and always believed they were important to his success.

Shankar: What are your memories about playing for composers like Roshan and Madan Mohan?

Manoharida: I have played many songs for Roshan and Madan Mohan. They both had a distinct style of music. Both gave high quality and pure Indian-based music. They distinguished themselves with many small but definitive characteristic touches they gave to their creations.

Shankar: You also worked with the likes of Ravi and Chitragupta….

Manoharida: I have worked a lot with them too. The song “Aage bhi jaane na tu” from ‘Waqt’ had become hugely popular in those days. I had also arranged music for N Dutta, though I don’t remember any movie names now.

Shankar: Did you ever work for composer Hemant Kumar?

Manoharida: Yes, I remember having played the Flute and Mandolin in some of his songs. In fact, I played the Clarinet in his Bangla score ‘Lukochuri’.

Shankar: You teamed frequently with Shankar-Jaikishan too. What was their album ‘Jazz Raga’ about?

Manoharida: I think HMV had requesed Jaikishan to compose a Jazz album. He summoned Rais Khan, me, Sumant Raj and Dilip Naik to work together for the album.

Shankar: How would you remember your association with composers Usha Khanna, Chitragupta, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal?

Manoharida: Yes. I played for all of them. It was terrific to work for these talented artistes. I also worked with Ravindra Jain and arranged music for his film ‘Chor Machaye Shor’. I could not continue with him though…I got busier and, also, Ravindra Jain’s music style had changed with time...

Shankar: You had mentioned in one of your earlier interviews that “Main aaya hoon” from Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s ‘Amir Garib’ was the most challenging Saxophone piece that you ever played……

Manoharida: Yes. I must say I got immense satisfaction playing that fabulous Saxophone piece in the superbly composed song. It will remain an immortal creation, very close to my heart.

Shankar: What about the later composers like Bappi Lahiri, Rajesh Roshan, Hemant Bhosle and Raam Laxman?

Manoharida: I have played for all of them. In fact, we were the initial arrangers for Bappi Lahiri’s music.

Shankar: Illaiyaraja, the south Indian maestro, had collaborated with RD Burman’s musicians for ‘Sadma’...

Manoharida: I worked with him too, not only in 'Sadma', but in a few Tamil movies too. To me he is the perfect music director who knows the range of every instrument, knows to write notations in the way they need to be written for instruments. He is truly, a great composer.



Shankar: Which fellow musicians of your time do you have great respect for?

Manoharida: We had excellent musicians during our times. I have great regards for all of them. George (Trumpet), Bhupinder (Guitar) and Kersi Lord (Accordion) quickly come to mind

Shankar: What does today mean to a veteran and stalwart musician like you?

Manoharida: For the last few years, I have been doing various music programmes and shows. I am fortunate to have earned the love and affection of all music-lovers. People enjoy my Saxophone playing; this has encouraged me to play more and more.

Shankar: Have any of your children, taken to music?

Manoharida: My eldest son used to play the Violin. My younger son plays the Keyboard. But, they have not been able to make it big in Hindi Film Music.

composer. Today, the industry is inspired by his work. This shows he was at least 20 years ahead of his time. And moreover, his music is fresh till this day!

Shankar:
You were extremely close to both Burmans. What was Burmanda’s composing style like? How much was his influence on Panchamda’s style of composing?

Manoharida: They were very different in styles. Burmanda was heavily inspired by folk music and nature; though he also showed keenness to give new colors to his nature-inspired music. Once, he was so impressed with the natural Cotton making sound that he insisted that the same sound be used in one his songs!

Shankar: What was the secret about Pancham’s excellent song recording quality?

Manoharida: He had great knowledge of sound recording. He himself used to sit for all sessions, and do the balancing too. He always put in his best to get the desired recording quality.

Shankar: What do you have to say about Salilda and his musical compositions?

Manoharida: Salilda was another great man. He had so much knowledge and information of music. He was very learned; in fact a double graduate. He was also a very good story-writer I think he should have got more recognition for his talent…

Shankar: You had a long association with OP Nayyar too. When and how did that begin?

Manoharida: It was arranger Sebastian who offered me to play the title music of Shankar-Jaikishan’s ‘Junglee’ and the popular “Awaaz deke humein tum bulao” from ‘Professor’.  We shared a special rapport; he was a great fan of my playing style. He was the one who introduced me to Nayyar saab in the early 60s.

Shankar: What are your thoughts on Nayyar Saab the composer?

Manoharida: Nayyar Saab’s music was of the highest romantic order. His music was mostly Indian; the Punjab musical color was more dominant though.

His music was made for the youth and will always remain evergreen.

Shankar: There are a few stories on Nayyar Saab’s love for his musicians. Is that true?

Manoharida: Yes. He used to openly admit musicians’ contributions saying “These are my ornaments”. Even as recently as three years back,

he acknowledged Kersi Lord and me on stage saying “These are the people who have decorated my music”. He strongly felt for musicians and always believed they were important to his success.

Shankar: What are your memories about playing for composers like Roshan and Madan Mohan?

Manoharida: I have played many songs for Roshan and Madan Mohan. They both had a distinct style of music. Both gave high quality and pure Indian-based music.

They distinguished themselves with many small but definitive characteristic touches they gave to their creations.

Shankar: You also worked with the likes of Ravi and Chitragupta….

Manoharida: I have worked a lot with them too. The song “Aage bhi jaane na tu” from ‘Waqt’ had become hugely popular in those days. I had also arranged music for N Dutta, though I don’t remember any movie names now.

Shankar: Did you ever work for composer Hemant Kumar?

Manoharida: Yes, I remember having played the Flute and Mandolin in some of his songs. In fact, I played the Clarinet in his Bangla score ‘Lukochuri’.

Shankar: You teamed frequently with Shankar-Jaikishan too. What was their album ‘Jazz Raga’ about?

Manoharida: I think HMV had requesed Jaikishan to compose a Jazz album. He summoned Rais Khan, me, Sumant Raj and Dilip Naik to work together for the album.

Shankar: How would you remember your association with composers Usha Khanna, Chitragupta, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal?

Manoharida: Yes. I played for all of them. It was terrific to work for these talented artistes. I also worked with Ravindra Jain and arranged music for his film ‘Chor Machaye Shor’. I could not continue with him though…I got busier and, also, Ravindra Jain’s music style had changed with time...

Shankar: You had mentioned in one of your earlier interviews that “Main aaya hoon” from Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s ‘Amir Garib’ was the most challenging

Saxophone piece that you ever played……

Manoharida: Yes. I must say I got immense satisfaction playing that fabulous Saxophone piece in the superbly composed song.

It will remain an immortal creation, very close to my heart.

Shankar: What about the later composers like Bappi Lahiri, Rajesh Roshan, Hemant Bhosle and Raam Laxman?

Manoharida: I have played for all of them. In fact, we were the initial arrangers for Bappi Lahiri’s music.

Shankar: Illaiyaraja, the south Indian maestro, had collaborated with RD Burman’s musicians for ‘Sadma’...

Manoharida: I worked with him too, not only in 'Sadma', but in a few Tamil movies too. To me he is the perfect music director who knows the range of every instrument, knows to write notations in the way they need to be written for instruments. He is truly, a great composer.



Shankar: Which fellow musicians of your time do you have great respect for?

Manoharida: We had excellent musicians during our times. I have great regards for all of them. George (Trumpet), Bhupinder (Guitar) and Kersi Lord (Accordion) quickly come to mind

Shankar: What does today mean to a veteran and stalwart musician like you?

Manoharida: For the last few years, I have been doing various music programmes and shows. I am fortunate to have earned the love and affection of all music-lovers. People enjoy my Saxophone playing; this has encouraged me to play more and more.

Shankar: Have any of your children, taken to music?

Manoharida: My eldest son used to play the Violin. My younger son plays the Keyboard. But, they have not been able to make it big in Hindi Film Music.

Memorable songs in which Manoharida played:

 

    Song Name  Instrument   Movie (Year) Music Director
 Tumhen Yaad Hoga Saxophone Satta Bazaar(1959) Kalyanji Anandji
 Achhaji Main Haari Mandolin Kaala Pani (1958) S. D. Burman
 Gaa Mere Man Gaa Saxophone Lajwanti (1959) S. D. Burman
  Ruk Ja O Jaanewali Flute Kanhaiya (1959)   Shankar Jaikishan    
Zindagi Bhar Nahin
Saxophone Barsaat Ki Raat (1960)
Roshan
Sach Hue Sapne Tere

Saxophone

and Clarinet

Kala Bazaar (1960)
S. D. Burman
Apni To Har Aah Saxophone Kala Bazaar (1960) S. D. Burman
Mujhko Is Raat Ki Saxophone Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960) Kalyanji Anandji
Ja Re Ud Ja Re Panchchi Flute and Saxophone Maaya (1961) Salil Chowdhury
Title Music Saxophone Junglee (1961) Shankar Jaikishan
Awaaz Deke Humein Saxophone Professor (1961) Shankar Jaikishan
Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon Flute Non-film Patriotic (1962) C. Ramchandra
Dil Tera Diwana Saxophone Dil Tera Diwana (1962) Shankar Jaikishan
Woh Bhooli Dastaan Saxophone Sanjog (1961) Madan Mohan
Aye Dil Ab Kahin Saxophone Bluff Master (1963) Kalyanji Anandji
Yeh Kisne Geet Cheda Saxophone Meri Surat Teri Aankhen (1963) S. D. Burman
Mujhe Duniya Walon Saxophone Leader (1964) Naushad
Hai Duniya Usiki Saxophone Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) O. P. Nayyar
Shokh Nazar Ki Bijliyan Saxophone Woh Kaun Thi (1964) Madan Mohan
Jo Pyar Tune Mujhko Diya Saxophone Dulha Dulhan (1964) Kalyanji Anandji
Jaag Dil-e-Diwana Saxophone Oonche Log (1965) Chitragupta
Yeh Hai Reshmi Saxophone Mere Sanam (1965) O.P. Nayyar
Kyon Mujhe Itni Khushi Saxophone Anupama (1965) Hemant Kumar
Dil Jo Na Keh Saka Saxophone Bheegi Raat (1965) Roshan
Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu Saxophone Waqt (1965) Ravi
Aye Phoolon Ki Rani Saxophone Aaroo (1965) Shankar Jaikishan
Gaata Rahe Mera Dil Saxophone Guide (1965) S. D. Burman
Tere Mere Sapne Saxophone Guide (1965) S. D. Burman
Humsafar Mere Humsafar Saxophone Suhag Raat (1965) Kalyanji Anandji
Aji Rooth Kar Ab Saxophone Aarzoo (1965) Shankar Jaikishan
Bedardi Balma Saxophone Aarzoo (1965) Shankar Jaikishan
Woh Hanske Mile Humse Saxophone Baharein Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966) O. P. Nayyar
Sapnon Mein Agar Mere Saxophone Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1966) Madan Mohan
Huzoor-e-Wala Saxophone Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966) O.P. Nayyar
Yehi Woh Jagah Hai Saxophone Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi (1966) O.P. Nayyar
O Haseen Zulfon Wali Saxophone and Flute Teesri Manzil (1966) R. D. Burman
Raat Akeli Hai Saxophone Jewel Thief (1967) S. D. Burman
Aye Sanam Jisne Tujhe Saxophone Diwana (1967) Shankar Jaikishan
Duniya Kare Sawaal Saxophone Bahu Begum (1967) Roshan
Aaj Tumse Door Hokar Saxophone Ek Raat (1967) Usha Khanna
Jeevan Ke Do Rahe Saxophone Chhoti Si Mulaqat (1967) Shankar Jaikishan
Mera Pyaar Bhi Saxophone Saathi (1968) Naushad
Aao Huzoor Tumko Saxophone Kismat (1968) O. P. Nayyar
Hui Shyam Unka Saxophone Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968) O. P. Nayyar
Mon Mataal Saanjh Sakaal Saxophone Bengali non-film (1968) Salil Chowdhury
Yeh Parbaton Ke Daere Saxophone Vaasna (1968) Chitragupta
Aaj Kal Tere Mere Saxophone Brahmchari (1968) Shankar Jaikishan
Pyar Hua Hai Jabse Saxophone Abhilasha (1968) R. D. Burman
Gar Tum Bhula Na Saxophone Yakeen (1969) Shankar Jaikishan
Roop Tera Mastana Saxophone Aradhana (1969) S. D. Burman
Gunguna Rahe Hain Saxophone Aradhana (1969) S. D. Burman
Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan Mandolin Pyaar Ka Mausam (1969) R. D. Burman
Jaane Kaisa Hai Saxophone Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool (1969) Laxmikant Pyarelal
Meherbaan Mehboob Saxophone Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool (1969) Laxmikant Pyarelal
Yeh Shyam Mastani Saxophone Kati Patang (1970) R. D. Burman
Jis Ghar Mein Tera Saxophone Kati Patang (1970) R. D. Burman
Jee Bhar Ke Dekh Saxophone Deedar (1970) Usha Khanna
Gulabi Aankhen Saxophone The Train (1970) R. D. Burman
Mujhse Bhala Yeh Saxophone The Train (1970) R. D. Burman
Kis Liye Maine Saxophone The Train (1970) R. D. Burman
Wo Tere Pyar Ka Gham Saxophone My Love (1970) Daan Singh
Aye Dekho To Yahan Key Flute Raaton ke Raaja (1970) R. D. Burman
Gujar jaaye din Saxophone Annadaata (1971) Salil Chowdhury
Phir Ud Chala Saxophone Tere Mere Sapne (1971) S. D. Burman
Mere Diwanepan Ki Saxophone Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971) Laxmikant Pyarelal
Chudi Nahin Hai Mera Saxophone Gambler (1971) S. D. Burman
Zuban Pe Dard Bhari Saxophone Maryada (1971) Kalyanji Anandji
Tu Pyaar Tu Preet Saxophone Paraya Dhan (1971) R. D. Burman
Darpan Jo Dekha Saxophone Upasna (1971) Kalyanji Anandji
Devta Maana Saxophone Albela (1971) Shankar Jaikishan
O Meri Sharmeeli Saxophone Sharmeeli (1971) S.D. Burman
Reshmi Ujala Hai Saxophone Sharmeeli (1971) S. D. Burman
Nahin Nahin Abhi Nahin Saxophone Jawani Diwani (1972) R. D. Burman
Deewana Karke Chhooge Saxophone Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972) R. D. Burman
Aao Na Gale Laga Lo Key Flute Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972) R. D. Burman
Saanson Mein Kabhi Saxophone Parchhaiyan (1972) R. D. Burman
Gir Gaya Jhumka Saxophone Jugnu (1973) S. D. Burman
Bahut Door Chale Jaana Saxophone Heera Panna (1973) R. D. Burman
Vaada Karo Nahin Chodoge Saxophone Heera Panna (1973) R. D. Burman
Hai Bichua Das Gayo Re Saxophone Jheel Ke Us Paar (1973) R. D. Burman
Ab Ke Sawan Mein Saxophone Jaise Ko Taisa (1974) R. D. Burman
Ghunghroo Ki Tarah Saxophone Chor Machaye Shor (1974) Ravindra Jain
O Hansini Saxophone Zahreela Insaan (1974) R. D. Burman
Main Aaya Hoon Saxophone Amir Garib (1974) Laxmikant Pyarelal
Mere Dil Se Ye Nain Saxophone Zahreela Insaan (1974) R. D. Burman
Title Music Flute Sholay (1975) R. D. Burman
Mehbooba Mehbooba Saxophone Sholay (1975) R. D. Burman
Matlab Jo Samjhe Saxophone Barood (1976) S. D. Burman
Mere Dil Ne Tadapke Saxophone Anurodh (1977) Laxmikant Pyarelal
Suhani Chandni Raatein Saxophone Mukti (1977) R. D. Burman
Gumsum Kyon Hai Sanam Saxophone Kasme Vaade (1978) R. D. Burman
Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai Saxophone Rocky (1980) R. D. Burman
Aye Khuda Har Faisla Saxophone Abdullah (1980) R. D. Burman
Ye Rut Hai Haseen Saxophone Harjaee (1981) R. D. Burman
Koi To Aaye Re Bada Saxophone Faisla (1981) R. D. Burman
Jaane Kyon Aisa Saxophone Shraddhanjali (1981) Hemant Bhosle
Hoga Tumse Pyara Kaun Key Flute Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981) R. D. Burman
Tu tu Hai Wohi Saxophone Yeh Waada Raha (1982) R. D. Burman
Ekta Deshlai Kathi Jwalao Saxophone Bengali Puja Album in 1983 R. D. Burman
Bhebhechi Bhule Jaabo Saxophone Bengali Puja Album in 1985 R. D. Burman
Jaane Do Na Saxophone Saagar (1985) R. D. Burman
Saagar Kinare Saxophone Saagar (1985) R. D. Burman

Note: This interview was originally taken for and appeared in swaraalap.com
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