Ranchi: An ancient musical instrument, brought to St Paul's Church in Ranchi in the 1880s, and lying neglected for so long was repaired recently, thanks to the efforts of some local boys. It was last repaired eight years ago in 2005 when Manish Kachchi along with five of his friends - Lochan Khalkho, Ajit Samad, Ashish Samad, Sahay Dhan and Anand Purti - came together to reconstruct the pipe organ, commonly used in churches or cathedrals.
Explaining the structure of the instrument, Manish Kachchi, one of the six boys who reconstructed itin 2005, said, "A pipe organ has two keyboards, both having 56 keys each, and a pedal with 27 keys. The first keyboard is called a great organ and is used to produce five types of sharp sounds, while the second keyboard, a swell organ, produces six kinds of soft tunes. The pedal is used to give a bass effect." As many as 750 glass pipes are fitted in the instrument in 11 rows to produce 11 different kinds of notes, he added. In foreign countries, one pipe organ comes for Rs 20 crore.
Sharing his experience and problems faced during the reconstruction of the musical instrument, Manish said, "We came to know of the pipe organ during one of our visits to the church. In 2003, our group decided to reconstruct the organ and luckily for us, a group of missionaries from Germany visited the GEL Church in the same year and one of them, Hartmurt Grosch, had vast knowledge about the instrument as he used to play it in a church in Germany."
He added that the German fellow was glad to know that they were interested in reconstructing the instrument and promised to offer all the help he could. "He used to supervise us through the internet and in 2005, he came back to India with spare parts of the instruments. That was when the instrument was completed," said Manish.
The next challenge was to get someone who could play the instrument. There was no one in the city who had any knowledge about the instrument. Manish said, "There was one person I knew who used to play the instrument in one of the churches in Kolkata. He had settled in Ranchi after his retirement. We approached him to play the organ and he readily agreed. But that was only a temporary arrangement. We had to find a permanent solution. I then went to Berlin in Germany in 2006 at my own expense and worked at the Pipe Organ Firm for three years. I came back in 2009 and then started playing the organ in the Ranchi church."
Currently only two persons, Manish and Sahay, are working in the field of reconstruction of pipe organs as the rest of the six boys are busy with their jobs. Manish is often approached by churches across the country to reconstruct or establish a new pipe organ. He said, "Recently, we reconstructed a pipe organ, which was lying at GEL Church here and sent it to a church in Odisha. We also reconstructed a new pipe organ in Khunti. We have also been approached by a church in Pune and we are still thinking about the proposal."
Manish and Sahay Dhan will be establishing a new pipe organ in GEL Church in October this year with the support of Hartmurt Grosch. "He will be coming to Ranchi with the instrument in October. The instrument is used in theatres and auditoriums abroad, but in India it is found only in some churches. Our aim is to preserve such antique instruments in the city," said Sahay.