Bombay Meri Hei , first-ever Indo-pop hit (1969)
In Bandra Gymkhana, Mina Kava who was a Parsi had his band, the “Music Makers”, which was staffed with the best-known performers of Bombay’s jazz world: pianist Toni Pinto, trumpet player Chic Chocolate and saxophonist Norman Mobsby.
In 1969, the recording company HMV asked Kava and the Music Makers to write a song about the city in which he lived.
Like all the songs he made in English, the lyrics had been written by his formidable wife Naju, and carried a whiff of Edwardian innocence about them.
It had bilingual lyrics, and ranged Indian instruments alongside Western ones, and had an insanely addictive melody. It accomplished something none of Kava’s previous recordings had managed: It made money!
The voice that invited listeners to sample Bombay’s delights – idli-dosa, hot samosa, among them – belonged to Uma Pocha. Her younger sister Usha Uthup was already finding her way through India’s pop music world