Arjun Sagar Gupta offers a sneak peek into the man behind The Piano Man Group
The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.
Arjun Sagar Gupta is the man behind “The Piano Man” group. He is an Electronics engineer, a Fulbright music scholar and is widely reputed for pioneering several distinct brands under the group. The brands include a musical supper-theatre in a jazz bar and Eurasian restaurant. Currently “The Piano Man” group today owns and manages The Piano Man Jazz Club, The Piano Man Bakery, Dirty Apron and The Piano Man Events and Artist Management Company.
Arjun (or ASG as he is affectionately dubbed), is a living encyclopaedia on jazz and a performing pianist with over a decade of professional experience. He entered the F&B industry in 2010 when he started Cake Away, a bakery catering to finer wholesale requirements of restaurants and corporate houses. Though he is not a chef by profession, he has devoted his time and energy to learning the art from bakers and chefs and to develop his skill and minutely analyse food, an ability he feels is indispensable as a restaurateur. He was also invited to apprise the viewers about choicest recipes from The Piano Man on NDTV’s Guilt Free TV show.
His journey with jazz began in his early teens and his love for music grew from an appreciation of the music to an aspiration to play it and then a deep-set desire to share it with people around him. Arjun has been an active member for several years on the board of “Capital Jazz," the organisation behind the “Jazz Utsav”. He was awarded GQ’s 50most influential young Indians in July 2017. In 2019, on International Jazz Day, April 30th, he hosted a preview for his second jazz bar, The Piano Man, 32nd Avenue, Gurugram.
Here are Arjun’s responses to our Proust questionnaire…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Arts and culture, no religion, no politics.
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of ethics.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Spending time or money on myself.
What is your current state of mind?
Focus on my work.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Loyalty, one doesn't need loyalty when there is respect.
On what occasion do you lie?
Only little white lies, to facilitate things I feel are important, never significant lies.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My belly fat.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Helpfulness and respect.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Why should this be any different from my expectations from a man?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Literally, it is literally. Also, methodology and efficiency.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I don't have grades of love.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Tough one. I have a bucket list of 30 odd skills from fine art and flying a plane to tap dancing... But I would love to play the trumpet.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I need 10 more years to achieve it. As of now, obviously, The Piano Man.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A person, any person, to have opportunity to make a difference again.
Where would you most like to live?
Anywhere with clean air and the opportunity to implement ideas, and lots of dogs.
What is your most treasured possession?
My pianos, but I'm hoping to be less materialistic as I get older.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
EDM?... Heh, no really, bland food?
What is your favourite occupation?
Whatever I'm doing.
What is your most marked characteristic?
The ability to stick to my ideology regardless of the situation.
What do you most value in your friends?
Respect, love and the desire to add value to my friends’ lives.
Who are your favourite writers?
Sir Arthur C Doyle, Asimov, Douglas Adams, Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I'd love to meet Art Tatum and Tesla, but I don't identify with anyone, I'm my own person.
What is it that you most dislike?
Stupidity, lack of efficiency.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My teacher John Raphael and my folks.
What is your favourite name?
What's in a name?
What is your greatest regret?
Every missed opportunity.
How would you like to die?
What is your favourite journey?
Life... Nah, that's too corny, exploring new places through the culture, nature and activities they offer, no site seeing plij.
What is your motto?
Avoid excessive avoidance of excesses and always be honest with yourself.
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