I remember it like it was yesterday. As soon as the hosts of the house party heard I was taking classical Indian singing lessons, they busted out their harmonium – a rectangular, box-like organ instrument. With wide-open, nervous eyes, I glanced over at my father, vigorously shaking my head. He nodded towards the Indian keyboard with a stern expression that said, ‘I pay good money for these weekly lessons…you’re going to perform!’ The truth is I neither enjoyed singing nor performing publicly. In fact, I hated it; I just never had the courage to tell my parents. Riddled with anxiety, I sat in the middle of the living room and started to play the harmonium while fumbling through 1950s Bengali lyrics. The notes were wrong. My voice was off-key. I could feel the singe of silent, stunned stares from aunties and uncles. Two minutes felt like two hours. A mixture of anger and embarrassment drove my father to pound back one glass of Johnny Walker after another. My memory of this traumatizing event is as vivid as a Renoir oil painting. I was 10 years old.