Worldwide group of vintage music buffs coming to city

Worldwide group of vintage music buffs coming to city

 An online group of vintage Indian music buffs has completed 25 years, and is converging in Bengaluru this weekend to celebrate the milestone.

RMIM, as the group is called, was created in 1992 on Usenet, a text-based medium predating the World Wide Web (www). Its members were soon bonding over old Hindi film songs. Two years later, they met offline in New Jersey.

Over the years, they have met in cities as far-flung as San Jose, Denver, Washington DC, New Jersey, Ottawa, Portland, Suffolk and Chennai. With spam plaguing Usenet, and the advent of 'social media,' Whatsapp and Facebook now host their online discussions.

RMIM (short for is meeting in Bengaluru on April 8 and 9 at the KAS Officers Association on Bhagavan Mahavira Road (Infantry Road). The sessions, on various aspects of vintage music, are open to all music lovers.

“We are also honouring music composer C Ramachandra, whose birth centenary falls this year,” said Chetan Vinchhi, one of RMIM’s earliest members. A US resident when it was founded, he now lives in Bengaluru.

Members of the group have met and interviewed industry stalwarts such as Anil Biswas, Shamshad Begum, Manna Dey and Gulzar. “The group has been a platform for music lovers, collectors and amateurs to share, collect and collaborate,” Shailendra Diwan, another member actively hosting the Bengaluru event, said.

Songs from the middle of the 20th century dominate RMIM discussions, but the group imposes no period restrictions.

Since 2006, the group has been announcing the RMIM Puruskaar to recognise good music. Some eminent scholars and music collectors have already confirmed their participation in this year's event.

“A very important productive effort of RMIM is a compilation of the words of a large number of Hindi film songs. It's an ongoing effort and can be found at,” said Ashok Dhareshwar, a member who divides his time between Washington DC and Bengaluru.

Most meetings end with the distribution of a souvenir: an album of songs on a theme or by an artiste.

‘A natural choice’

Chetan Vinchhi, longtime RMIM member, talks about the two-day event.

Why did you choose Bengaluru for the silver jubilee celebrations?

l The last meet was held here in 2012. Bengaluru has a fairly large number of enthusiastic and passionate RMIMers and RMIM-types, so it is a natural choice.

How many people do you expect this time?

About 60-70 members and guests from the four corners of the country. A handful are coming from the US. Additionally, we expect dozens from around the globe to join the live online streaming of the event.

Greek connection

In its early years, RMIM hosted a Greek scholar, Dr Helen Abadzi, researching the influence of Indian film songs of the 1950s and 1960s on Greek music.

Members spent many weekends listening to obscure Greek songs and mapping them to their beloved Hindi songs. The work was later published as a book.

Some RMIM initiatives

First-ever digital song book
Awards for Hindi film music
Surveys to determine best songs
(so far, covered prominent music directors and Lata Mangeshkar).

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