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HFGK Digitization - The story so far.....

by 'Hamraaz'

The story goes back to October 1993 when I did not know how to start and use a computer but still purchased one [PC-386, a 32-bit personal computer with a 20-MHz 80386 CPU that could run PC-98 series software at more than twice the speed of 16-bit machines] with the thought that now onward, I shall compile all information relating to Hindi films and its songs directly on the computer.

Immediately, I announced in my Listeners' Bulletin, Issue no. 93 - November 1993 [a quarterly newspaper/Estd. October 1971] that all the information given through Hindi Film Geet Kosh volumes would be digitized, and did so without knowing how to operate computer, what database means and what programming is! But I compiled all information for Volume 3 directly, though slowly, on computer in a span of about 3 years and published revised edition of Geet Kosh, Volume-3 [1951-60] in April 1997. With this experience in hand, I started to think about storing all information of other volumes of Geet Kosh on computer. It all began in December 1999 when I met a music lover and computer literate at Ahmedabad, who came forward with a proposal to manage data entry of all volumes. As was expected, it took too much time to enter data, but unfortunately, it remained incomplete. Meanwhile, technology changed and even data of Volume-3 was not useful anymore due to software compatibility problems. Thus, this project continued without any concrete results in succeeding years. I vividly remember having pursued 5-6 programmers to come out with an application for making data entry. I strongly felt that without dedication for the project, nothing can be achieved except spending and wasting lot of time and money. The last attempt made between 2012 and 2014 with great pomp and show was most shocking because despite paying lacs of rupees, it proved a most bitter experience in my history of compiling film related information. Finally, it struck me that unless I myself get actively involved in this huge project, it will never see the light of the day.

Having brought out Geet Kosh, Volume-6 [1981-85] in early 2018, the exercise of digitizing data of Geet Kosh volumes started slowly. Meanwhile, with a good background of programming, Dr. Surjit Singh [MI, USA] once again came forward with lot of dedication, love and passion for the project. I took the responsibility of preparing database with lot of updates I had collected during the last 4 decades and naturally, Dr. Singh took up the task of developing the website with his skill of programming.

The result is before you. After compiling and publishing Geet Kosh volumes in printed book format, it was next dream project that has become true in my lifetime! It is more than enough for me and hopefully, for the music lovers too.

We were planning to finish all the work of data entry, addition, checking, editing and improving for all six volumes before making it available to the public. But, recently it came to our attention that the defective and incomplete copies of our last, very expensive but failed, project are being sold at exorbitant prices. So, we have decided to present the data as it becomes available. So, you will see regular updates.