When Moloy Ghosh was in school, his family had a nasty neighbour who played loud music even during the children’s exams. His parents’ repeated pleas only prompted them to turn the volume up further.
The silver lining, says Ghosh, was that his neighbour’s choice of songs was quite good, and listening involuntarily to lilting numbers from old Hindi films, Ghosh developed a love for music. “At age eight, I even signed up for formal training in Rabindra-sangeet. Today, I cannot thank my neighbour enough,” says Ghosh, now 42 and an entrepreneur who retrieves music from old gramophone records. “Music has pulled me back from the brink.”
Ghosh’s trials started in his teens, as he battled dysgraphia, a form of dyslexia, which made school and college extremely difficult.
He nonetheless struggled through a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA and found a good job, in the marketing department of a multinational corporation. Then, four years ago, he contracted Hepatitis B and the doctor said he was too weak to continue in his stressful line of work.
With no career and no savings, he decided to fall back on his training in Rabindrasangeet and teach music to children out of the Ghaziabad home he shares with his wife.
There was just one hitch — all his classical music was on old gramophone records, and he could find no one to either fix his gramophone or transfer the music to CDs.
Finally, he decided to do the conversion and re-mastering himself, using special software bought from the US. But there was still a problem: The software was not attuned to Indian instruments. That’s when Ghosh’s engineering background came in handy. For four months, he tinkered with the software, incorporating new acoustic effects.
“The digitised sounds are now quite close to the master records’. And when I saw how well it worked, I decided to take up music restoration instead of teaching,” says Ghosh.
He now converts old records and audio cassettes into CDs for clients across the country, advertising his services through social networking websites such as Facebook.