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A few words...

Manisankar Mukherjee

Wednesday, 09 June 2021. On the passing away of S F Karim. The last living legend of Indian Recorded Music, Mani Sankar Mukherji, better known as Sankar has a few words to share. Karim breathed his last on Tuesday in Kolkata at 66.

1961, I was in Philips India when it decided to shift to Bombay. It was difficult for me, I applied and got a job in 1967 in Dunlop. In 1984 December the Goenka association began in Dunlop. I was worried about my job security, wanted to shift to journalism when the remarkable association with the young Deputy Managing Director Sanjiv Goenka and my legendary association with Rama Prasad Goenka began. Apart from Sanjiv and Dunlop my emotional association with the Goenka’s expanded, it was a tremendous experience, one of my lifelong association with the Goenkas was strengthened with Sanjiv and his father continues.

One of my first exciting Goenka association was about the silent Goenka effort to be associated with Gramophone Company better know those days as HMV with a century of musical legends in India and Asia, that is how I first met Karim Sahib who was a musical legend that was known as HMV legend with almost every great name in Indian music from Ghulam Ali to Lata Mangeshkar, to Hemanta Mukherjee to Sandhya Mukherji and who not in Indian entertainment. There was only one person who was the link, he was S F Karim. Every musician in India knew him - the wonderful heritage which began with Kazi Nazrul Islam, an HMV music legend.

Over the years our friendship grew and I still remember Karim Sahib’s visit to my home on Eid day.

The history is long and unforgettable and how many meetings we had in the HMV studio, musical concerts of national and international repute, meetings at the Park Street MusicWorld and talking to the musical legends of our times. Karim Sahib was our dictionary, who can be called our music encyclopedia - the most famous musician to the new entrant, everyone knew him. His association with Saregama lasted till the last day and we spoke on the phone on this Eid and till Saturday.

He was a bridge, a legend and only 66. The second century of Saregama India is poorer by his passing away. I can only shed my tears and claim that the HMV century will be memorable, unforgettable and certainly incomparable. The last legend was lovable. He will certainly find a permanent place in the history of the recorded music industry of India. All I can add is my tears for a by gone period of glory and the Goenka involvement in the propagation of Indian music since 1985 till today.

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