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  • The unmistakable sound of 8PM IST begins with the pounding of piano keys to the tune of Take the A Train – a Billy Strayhorn composition, played by none other than the Duke Ellington Orchestra. This was the Voice of America's Jazz Hour hosted by Willis Conover. My introduction to this unusual but seductive music came over our crackly short wave radio. I must have been 14. It transported me.

    There wasn't much music in our home then. On some days an hour of Hindi music, then the news, then the magic hour on the radio.

    My attraction to Jazz was the beginning of a life-long propensity towards the unpopular. When everybody was zigging, I zagged. Not in rebellion or even consciously. Just intuitively. It felt natural and pleasurable to listen to Jazz, not Pop or Bollywood. Play Basketball, not Cricket. Be interested in the Arts, not Math and Science. My siblings became engineers and doctors. I, a designer.

    I've followed my bliss even when it meant swimming upstream.
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