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I was lucky: Mintu Biswas

Mintu Biswas, 28, Manufacturer, guitar and other string instruments, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Written by Sankhayan Ghosh | New Delhi |
Updated: May 31, 2015 1:00:31 am
city-seeker-main Mintu Biswas, 28, Manufacturer, guitar and other string instruments, Mumbai and Kolkata


Mintu Biswas, 28, Manufacturer, guitar and other string instruments, Mumbai and Kolkata

How did you get into this profession?
My father had a guitar manufacturing factory in Kolkata which shut down in 2000 due to financial constraints. He worked in a guitar shop in Mumbai afterwards. I took on the job after he passed away.

How far did you study?
I couldn’t study after class 10, because of my father’s death in 2005. Being the only son, I had to support my mother and two sisters. Luckily, the guitar shop my father used to work at gave me a job.

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What were your early days in Mumbai like?
It was intimidating. I was 15 and it was the first time I had come to Mumbai. I was lucky and survived on the kindness of two people: a friend of my father’s and the guitar shop owner. He not only gave me a job in my hour of crisis but also had a person accompany me in the nights I used to sleep in the workshop, so I wouldn’t be scared. My first salary was Rs 5,000. I used to eat in a canteen and send the rest home. With whatever I had learnt from my father, I taught myself along the way. I started playing the guitar to understand the instrument better and gave the shop owner ideas about improving its tones. We started making better-sounding handcrafted acoustic guitars.

How did things improve?
I earned a lot of praise from artistes such as Niladri Kumar. Some suggested I go independent and I finally did so in 2010. In 2011, I reopened my father’s guitar factory. I feel good that I’ve been able to make his dream a reality.

What are your future plans?
Artistes here tend to look down upon instruments made in India. I want that to change. I want to learn the guitar again, not to become a musician, but to be able to make the best guitar in India.

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