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India, USA, publishing, coming back to India – my interview on WPON, Michigan, USA

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

In my recent trip to the USA, I encountered an unusual situation. I was asked to interview for a local radio station and specifically for a program targeted to Indian settled in the USA. The radio program “Geet Mala” has been running successfully for 40 years (in 2014). When Dr Sid Mittra asked me to consent I wasn’t sure why I should even be interviewed at all.

I met Narendra Sheth at the local Olive Garden Restaurant in Detroit. I could immediately see a passionate Indian who had made America his home for close to 50 years and yet hadn’t forgotten his roots. He spoke about his stint in Ford Motors and we connected instantly. I then heard about his program, his vision, the Indian ex-pat community and most of all, the program that connected thousands of listeners with their Indian roots. I was and remain, truly humbled.

Narendra Sheth took me to his home where he housed his recording studio. What I wasn’t prepared for was the triumph of an Indian living in a foreign land. Narendra took me around his basement where I saw trophies as far as the eye could see. These trophies represented events hosted by Narendra. Dilip Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, R D Burman, Amitabh Bachchan, the list is phenomenal and endless. A particular award was a golden shovel. This was given to him during the ground breaking ceremony of a Jain temple. He was one of 4 recipients. It was given to the four people who were responsible for helping fund, and build the temple in Michigan.

I saw personal notes written by these stalwarts and I was moved by two of them; one written by Jagjit Singh and the other by Mehdi Hasan. These two ghazal singers are perhaps the last of the great ghazal singers mankind will see. I could write a 100 pages of praise for each of them. Narendra asked me to write a message for him on the same page as Mehdi Hasan had written. To say that I was overwhelmed would sound cliched.

To have such a man interview was an honour.

The community is proud of his achievements and here is what another resident of Detroit has to say about the man.

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