12 December 2020

The stories about my sanity are largely exaggerated…

If you thought that my car is old – it has a cassette player – try this:

In a bit of head turning lunacy, I got myself a turntable (vinyl record player). I had been thinking about it for quite some time – but a discussion with Ashok Deb last Sunday at the Chalupa post-run coffee get together – led to a firm resolve on my side. Thinking no further, ordered a Japanese turntable (Denon). Which duly arrived on Wednesday. Assembled it and set it up last night.

Just the mere sight of it brings back too many memories. As a child, I was fascinated by this device – which we called “record player” for some reason. Way back in December 1974, we had visited my mother’s elder sister. They had a “record player”. Uncle (who I last saw in 2014) had shown me the device. He put a Hemanta Mukherjee vinyl on it and let it rip. I was fascinated by how the thing would keep going round and round and somehow produce an amazing sound. (I was 8 years old then). But uncle would not let me touch the vinyl. I figured they must be very important.

Much later, I found out that my school mate – Ashoe Das – had turntable too. I became a regular feature on Sundays at his house at 11AM. His parents used to love me and his dad allowed me a lot more freedom. He showed me how to load the vinyl, put the pin on it (I was always scared of putting the pin down lest I scratched the vinyl), how to change the speed etc. None of those folks are alive any more. I would have absolutely sent them this picture.

This week, I had to sit down and learn the basics of a turntable – you know direct motor versus belt (I got the belt), maintenance of the cartridge and all that. My next problem was how to get LP records. The problem is I do not listen to Western music. At all.

I spent an hour at the Vinyl shop in Alpharetta and came home with a Saxophone (jazz) record. That is all I am listening to all day.

Do you folks know where I might get good LP records – could be instrumental, Hindustani classical, Ghazal/Qawali and such?

Meanwhile, I am getting inexplicable thrills every time the thing starts rotating and the arm loads itself!!

Posted December 12, 2020 by Rajib Roy in category "Music/Poetry

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