An old neighbor of Gopal Varadhan's said she first knew him through his music. It was like that with everyone around Mr. Varadhan, said his mother, Vasu. He was so dedicated to playing his acoustic guitar that, as a teenager, he lined the walls of his bedroom with egg cartons, hoping it would soundproof the room, rather than strum more softly.
He started a ska-inspired band, City Beat, while attending the Bronx High School of Science during the 1980's, cutting a record and playing CBGB in Lower Manhattan.
As it turned out, Mr. Varadhan also had an affinity for numbers and became a successful trader on Wall Street. After starting an unsuccessful Internet company last year, he joined Cantor Fitzgerald's eSpeed division in June.
Mr. Varadhan, 32, never forgot his music. He wrote songs for which his girlfriend, Valerie Toscano, was to compose lyrics.
"He thought that would have been our ultimate collaboration," Ms. Toscano said. "I thought marriage would have been the ultimate collaboration."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 18, 2001.