HaHa! Not everything is hunky dory my friends!
The harmonium got here, nicely packed in a beautiful wine colour carrying case.
But when I proceeded to play my much longed for Bhairavi ohhhh my god... The whole lower octave lower C to lower B# was almost have a tone off the mark in the bass reeds!!!! Unbelievable!!!! I checked all the notes thoroughly and thank heavens the rest of the notes were OK. But what to do with the entire lower octave!!!! I wrote to Inni Singh immediately to enquire ... no reply so far. I can hear you SitarFixer... "same as it ever was" So I gathered all the various resources I'd been collecting over the years, including some vague recollections of the harmonium handbook, the harmonium repair and maintenance page by Brian Godden and some other bina youtube postings, went to the nearest Chinese hardware shop and got meself a handy set of engraving tools for €3,25. Rushed back home, said a prayer and rolled up my sleeves. After nearly 4 hours of back breaking, neck rolled inside the box exercise, scraping away tiny tiny lines of brass off each bass reed I am pleased and relieved to say that the harmonium has finally come to life . I played for two hours straight and made it mine in the process. We're blood brothers now as I managed to cut myself in the process. It will still need quite a lot more doing to it as the inside is surprisingly totally untreated, unvarnished.
So to DMS's credit, thanks guys, thanks for charging me more than twice the normal amount (the packaging included a receipt indicating that the price of the harmonium was 6000 rupees = 116 USD!!! I paid 410 dollars, which even if you include UPS is quite a sizeable mark up for what is essentially a build-your-own harmonium kit, not to mention the extended "waiting in limbo" period. But isn't that part of the adventure, the journey rather than the destination!!! hahaha
But what can I do anyway, going to India for me is impossible. I've been applying for a visa for the last two years. Two years ago I left my passport at the embassy for 3 months and they didn't give it. Now my passport has been there for two months, and there's no sign they'll grant me a visa. Why? Because my grandparents and my dad were Pakistani!!!! So there you go. If I want a harmonium, like it or not I have to pay the big price... perhaps I'll try making one myself next time! Got a good crash course thanks to DMS.
That said, two weeks later, I find the instrument is still not in tune!!!!! Alas
Best wishes to all!
Last edited by Maan
on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.