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Getting Help and Helping Others

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Once I was staying with friends in Bombay who took me to a village wedding. Among the musicians was a teenager with a violin. I was struck by two things about him. First, he played the complex raga scales with a fluid elegance that was awesome. The second striking thing was that he didn’t put the violin under his chin as Western musicians are taught to do. He held it upright, like a small cello resting on his knee. I asked if this was the local style of playing and learned that it wasn’t. This young man had inherited the violin from an uncle and, by trial and error, learned how to play it. He never had ...

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