Tracing ‘Tryst With Destiny’

Tracing ‘Tryst With Destiny’

Every year,on August 15,Isar Qureshi’s house in Bopodi is abuzz with guests,including his friends,neighbours and relatives

Every year,on August 15,Isar Qureshi’s house in Bopodi is abuzz with guests,including his friends,neighbours and relatives. Filled with excitement to be transported to an era of which they have heard and read about,the crowd settles in seats for a common reason — hearing the Long Play (LP) record of Jawaharlal Nehru’s landmark speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’. The speech was delivered by India’s first Prime Minister at midnight on August 14,1947. The LP of the speech was released in 1965 by His Master’s Voice (HMV) with the permission of AIR. Some of the city-based record collectors are proud possessors of the rare LP of Nehru’s famous speech.

Recalling how he got hold of the rare LP,Qureshi says,“I was around 12 years old when I overheard a conversation between my father and his friend about Pandit Nehru’s Independence Day speech. The person was saying he was unable to understand why Nehru gave his speech in English. According to my father,the speech not only addressed the country but the entire world. The answer made a big impact on my mind.”

After a few weeks,during a casual meeting with a friend,Nabi came across the collection of LP records,which belonged to his friend’s father. Browsing through the LPs,Qureshi saw the cover of an LP that had Nehru’s photograph on it. It was the LP of Nehru’s speech,Tryst With Destiny. Little Qureshi couldn’t stop himself from requesting his friend’s father for the record. “Luckily he agreed because he was planning to get rid of his collection. The LP is in working condition and I play it every Independence Day,” says Qureshi,now 42,who works as a leadership training consultant for Dale Carnegie India.

During this time last year,Qureshi was in Kabul for the US-AID project. He carried with him his turntable and LP and played it on August 15. “The attendees at the event,which included officials from various countries,were pleasantly surprised,” recalls Qureshi,adding that he also has the LP of the speeches of Adolf Hitler,Mahatma Gandhi,Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and John F Kennedy.

Media professional Suhas Ganpule’s romance with the LPs began in 2000. Though initially he collected LPs of old Hindi film music,in 2003,he came across an LP of Bose in Kolkata. “Since then,I started collected LPs of other genre also. The same year,in Bhendi Bazaar of Mumbai,I found the LP of Nehruji’s speech ‘Tryst With Destiny’. I was thrilled when I heard it for the first time,” says 48-year-old Ganpule. Every year,friends and family gather in his house to hear the record on his vintage LP player.