#madeofgreat Narain Karthikeyan and my boss


There comes a time in your life when you would say yes without looking at any rational things like how far will it hold and will this help you in your career, etc. That moment was when I was offered to join Narain Karthikeyan as his Manager way back in 2004.

Those people who noticed the Formula 1 calendar were considered a bit elitist. This was a sport which is one of super human endurance to say the least. I remember the ode by a Hindu columnist when Narain started his first race at Melbourne Australia. You get to see the bit of the eyes thorough the visor, his head nodding through the corners as if he is enjoying a song on the car at speeds that you can only imagine but cant live in reality.

But this is not about the Narain that we know once he started racing in F1 circa 2005. But well it about those traits that made him scale that peak of being the first F1 driver ever from a billion Indians, truly #madeofgreat.

There is a saying that some are born great and some make themselves great, quite a rarity that these two go together. Born in a family of noble men / dewans if you know there are no titles these days, Narain comes from a family which has a legacy of textile mills, an education conglomerate and ofcourse a champion rally driver as dad. As if these were not enough Coimbatore was also the motorsports capital of the country.

The road to the legacy or history was not an easy one. There is a saying that an overnight success is a result of years of hardwork and dedication to the goal that one is attached to.

Coming back to my learnings, there were many aspects but I will restrict it to few awesome qualities that will hold us to greatness.


There is a story in Mahabharatha. The guru Dronacharya is among his pupils, he has set a target for his wards in archery. So he asks everyone to take an aim. One by one the students take aim and when Drona asks them what do they see, he gets different answers, like there is a tree, there is a branch, there is a parrot and it is green in colour and the like. It was the turn of Arjuna, when asked what did he see, he answered ‘Gruruji, the eyes of the parrot.’

That was knowing what you are upto, being precise and I have seen this focus on mission mode in Narain, the lifetime ambition burning bright, to be in Formula 1. I saw it clear and loud, whenever someone asked him what is he upto. Probably no one had an iota of belief that it would be possible at some time in the distant future. He knew he wanted to be there and as specific as to be in the Formula 1 where his role models Ayrton Senna and Micheal Schumacher raced. The best part he was happy to be racing alongside Micheal Schumacher that year when he made the debut. The icing was Schumi was in his rear view mirror when Narain made the best of the rain hit qualifying and well if you know Narain was always a master racer in the rain. No rain could stop Narain!

Self Confidence

Quite often in life, its with the measure of what others say that we decide our lives, not with what we are or what we could be. I learnt this lesson straight from him. Well there is a a borderline difference about self confidence and over confidence though. It more about not letting others let influence you on your path of success. If you were to be led by others in the country then I am sure we would not have had the first F1 driver in India. You know what you are doing and that’s the most important part of your life. Be very clear on that and well you are confidence personified. The best part is that you cannot put on confidence, and that will show badly. So every time when people almost wrote off he would bounce back with a show of best results to be on podium in the racing series he was on. Never allow any one to affect your self confidence. It has to be intact and it has to be boosted with every step that gets you back.

And when you are confident I am sure the world will conspire to get it done and make it happen. It was the confidence in Narain that saw him go through all the years of hardwork from testing with Jaguar, Honda and Minardi and landing up at Midland F1. It was quite a long way literally if you know he tested for Jaguar in 2001 its so long ago in F1 terms.


Excellence is never an accident and it holds true to the way Narain made it happen. You know you need to be the best in the trade you are at. If you yearned to be a racer you got be racing at the pinnacle of motorsport F1. Nothing less would do. And its an art of fine tuning oneself to reach the goal. Its nearly impossible for Bolt to do what he does on the Olympic arena coming out of bed. It was all hard work and sheer tenacity that holds you there. So too was Narain’s path loaded with hard work and keeping him fit and not losing sight of what he wants to do and where he wants to go. One of those things that surely will #makeyougreat.


As you might be aware this sport of F1 is exacting one when it comes to physical fitness. And I have seen him in action when he had his own national racing teams his affinity to physical fitness was there for all to see. You need to be at the gym / workout everyday. You can skip a day or take time off. Your dream or vision needs to be like that. You know if there is a drop the average of your performance take a hit so much so that you need to work twice that effort to make it average your result.

Never let it go, I have never seen him miss his gym session and when people ask me why is he not stopping from racing some series or other, it helps you be in the thick or thin, except the format is different but you need to be fit in the rightest way if I may put it. Keep doing it till we achieve the result, making it worthwhile.


There is a saying that the moment you think you are humble it gone for a six, well the last part going for six is my contribution, its gone thats it. Be humble at all times I don’t have to narrate any incident because he is one, whatever the achievement, it was like that equilibrium of that lotus leaves that waves cannot override.

I know I can write on many of the traits of Narain say charity and the like, but these have had me in good stead and helped me overcome my personal challenges quite often. That everlasting impact is what I have been able to pass it on to those who I have come in contact, so the life becomes better for the future.

It been a nice way of looking back and thanks so much to this hashtag #madeofgreat. Do check out more here http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

I leave you with this video too!


PS: its no sheer coincidence that TATA Motors was his principal sponsor that day when he made over 1.2 billion Indians proud, probably only TATA Motors could identify someone #madeofgreat.

Get your hands on the Super Budget Friendly Xolo Era HD!


The name of the game in the smartphone industry is to provide phones stuffed with state of the art features at extremely jaw dropping prices. A lot of manufacturers have entered the market with this tactic with lead players like Lenovo and Xiaomi providing brilliant specifications at rock bottom prices and the segment between 7k-10k has quite a few offerings that would tempt users to empty out their pockets. However, it seems that Indian tech giant Xolo is soon to further drop the bar when it comes to price whilst still maintaining quality hence making the competition all the more stiffer.

The newest entrant in the budget friendly smartphones is Xolo Era HD and it doesn’t disappoint! Check out its features here:


Xolo’s design is quite similar as seen in other high end phones and comes with a smart finish giving it an overall sleek look. The phone has a wonderful body which is extremely light weight and easy to use as its 8.1 mm in thickness making it very comfortable. It comes in a Rocky Grey color making it look all the more ethereal and elegant to use. You can get your hands on this stunningly sleek phone with flipkart coupons to get great deals on it and show off your prized possession.


The phone has a stunning 5 inch HD display which brings colours to life and you will instantly fall in love with its vivid display. The phone has an HD IPS Display with a resolution of 720×1280 seen on more expensive phones and its TruView Display makes the experience all the more rich. With its NTSC Technology, the colors are 85% more accurate and vibrant. The viewing angles on the screen are pretty spot on as well.


The performance of this phone is what makes it a winner as it has absolutely no lag thanks to its 1.2GHz Quad Core Processor with a 1GB RAM. It can support heavy games and runs apps smoothly making multitasking seem effortless. You can listen to music, watch movies, shop online and do countless activities on this phone without any interruptions. As for memory, the phone has 8GB memory which can be expanded to 32GB with an internal card slot. This helps you easily store images and data without any issues giving you brilliant usage. You can get your hands on this phone with shopclues coupons and get great deals to further make the price irresistible


The phone offers a stunning 8 MP primary camera which helps you capture every detail in stunning quality. The phone has a 4P lens which makes sure you get brightly lit photos under various lighting conditions and its LED flash helps you lighten up even the dullest of rooms and make beautiful memories. As for selfie lovers, the phone offers a beautiful 5MP front camera to help you take the perfect selfies and group shots no matter where you go with your gang.

Era camera


The overall verdict for Xolo Era HD is that it’s a beautifully designed phone with absolutely brilliant specs at a price that will not disappoint. Its entry into the budget friendly segment of smartphones will surely toughen the competition more making other companies follow suit, but if you’re looking for a budget friendly phone which can perform all the functions of a high end phone, this is the best on the market to suit your pocket comfortably.

The Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar – a book review


Publisher Rupa Publications India
ISBN-10 8129134756
Number of Pages 260 Pages
Publication Year 2015 June
Language English
ISBN-13 9788129134752
Binding Paperback

Mahabharatha – the epic unparalled has be retold umpteen number of times and we have this coming up by authors who give it a perspective that’s new and sometimes create a story in a story. Here Aditya in his foreword very clearly says its an attempt to see a modern era description that was set in the Mahabharatha days. May be this war happened and it still is happening in a different way.

The Kurukshetra war was going nowhere, and the reason was both sides were doing well for themselves. The story opens on 10th day when Bhishma is laid to a bed of arrows by his favourite grandson Arjuna with Shikandi propping up as a shield in front.

This narrative is by three characters, Yudhishtra, Radheya – Karna as we know and Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna. Aditya weaves a wonderful narration taking us through the minds of Yudhishtra, Radheya and Abhimanyu. A stark contrast in terms of their mental makeup and how they look at the war from their positions makes for an interesting read.

A fast paced story of the three days at war that actually changes the course of the result makes for a nice gripping read. The authors authority on the subject comes through the descriptions of the war field the people and the special ways they have been celebrated.

The author shows a mirror in terms of the characters trying to assert themselves even in the face of immoral and ambitious search for glory. Sometimes as they say its not the means but the end. Goaded by that there is a lot of unethical war room strategies and execution that are there, like the way Abhimanyu is killed by everyone you can think of on the Kaurava side.

The best is how the mental make up of all the three characters show up in times of crisis and how they react to the same situation and well everyone had an agenda of their own as much as we do it today.

A nice read and well presented with first person account makes it easy to go with the flow. At times you are in the battle field, at the council hall meetings and walking alongside the characters. Loved the simple and effective prose which actually makes you feel like you are being with the characters.

A classic retelling without losing the charm of the characters, riding with their ambitions, anxieties, fear and sometimes with a hope for the war to be over. Things could have gone either way and this 13th day sets the course for the next 5 days when the war is completed. If you are fond of mythology and its retelling, you will need to read this book.

Buy the book here on Flipkart http://www.flipkart.com/thirteenth-day-story-kurukshetra-war-english/p/itme7cenauf5zxg3?pid=9788129134752


What India reads! A page on Flipkart app

The book lovers have a new tool, well a page on their book section on their favorite shopping app  from folks at Flipkart. The book was the first love of flipkart, well things have changed but then they have tried to please you the book reader with this page!

“What India Reads” is all about what you read or would like to read. The app is designed basis genres for now and will soon feature what celebrities and authors read as well.

The idea of the app is to make readers aware of what books are right at the top and also to help them discover books they might have not known of earlier. There are sections to it, the genres and you could check out the books on the shelf, read about it and well get to buy them ofcourse.

Screenshot_2015-10-21-15-21-53 Screenshot_2015-10-21-15-21-43 Screenshot_2015-10-21-15-21-38

Screenshot_2015-10-21-15-21-35 Screenshot_2015-10-21-15-21-53

The chances are you can check out the best of the titles and the promising ones, as you see the title rise to prominence in a day or so post launch.

There is an all book offers that will let you know what are the offers that you have at the present moment.

I was wondering on a title Aarushi under Autobiographies, may be it was a a mistake so i clicked on it to find the Autobiography titles there. Not Aarushi.

The pages instead of going to normal pages at Flipkart could be better be designed to the flow of the app interface for the What India reads page and continue with the shopping experience. I am thinking native probably because of my work and professional background.

Another aspect could have been that they have a notification for you to check the What India reads page updation of new titles so that I get to go there quite often.

A nice attempt from Flipkart, hope it helps the readers in you and me and as a start it definitely looks nice to have it.




Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert #bookreview



Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing (IN)
ISBN-10 9384898996
Imprint Bloomsbury India
Language English
ISBN-13 9789384898991
Binding Hardcover

This is a beautiful book which makes you relevant for what you are. Quite a engrossing read, and contrary to make you feel flamboyant, it makes you confident about who you are and how you can be yourself create a magic in your life and then spread it out.

This book is classical read, making you better at what you are good at. Though the book has been divided into parts, its an easy read from any page and you will have a match of frequency if may call that when you read. You will feel the words for what they are especially because they are true and infact workable things unlike being sold off as aspirational in a way.

The books is divided into parts – Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, Divinity. In each of these parts, the author takes us through personal experiences and stories of the well known and some of those who didn’t want to be well known and gives us a picture of what lie in us, its not that fame or coveted status that the inner urge is looking for. It could be the overcoming of the fear and persist with courage on doing what you want to do without any fear and enjoy doing that.

A very engaging read and you can take time to enjoy the stories and go back to the book at your pace. I think that is an essential trait for a self development or a motivational book. If they can achieve that sense in you that you want to re-read and grasp it for the better the book has achieved its objective. And who doesnt love stories, and for those from the land of story telling, its just a bonus.

Filled with inspirational anecdotes and slice of life incidents it makes you sit up and think afterall it could be possible, well that would be the first step to shedding the fears what ever that could be.

I am sure you will enjoy the read and I must mention that this is the first time I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert and I can see how the other titles must have impacted a lot of people.

I will be failing in my duty if  I dont thank Flipkart for the book and in case you want to check out on a copy for yourself please click here: Big Magic


MixRadio and Samsung to bring free personalized music streaming to millions

India, 21st October 2015: MixRadio has today announced plans to bring the world’s most personalised music streaming service to millions of music fans by pre-loading the MixRadio music service to Samsung devices in India.
The deal represents a significant move forward for the adoption of music streaming in India. MixRadio has already introduced over 20 million people in the region to music streaming, and this deal will allow millions more to access a highly personalised music experience for free.
MixRadio has been analysing data on music listening in India for over 10 years, it’s catalogue spans 13 genres of Indian music including Bollywood, Telugu, Tamil to Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya and Marathi. This depth of local understanding combined with an extensive international catalogue allows MixRadio to deliver the easiest, most personal and most fun music service available.
MixRadio will initially be pre-loaded on the new Samsung Z3, launching today. Music lovers will be able to access MixRadio’s catalogue of over 30 million tracks and thousands of curated mixes at the touch of a single button, straight out of the box. MixRadio will join other major apps available on Samsung’s new operating system, Tizen and will not be available on any other Android devices in the region.
Karan Grover, GM for MixRadio in India, comments, “Samsung chose MixRadio over other music services because of our long heritage in India, rich catalogue and highly evolved personalization engine. We have the breadth of both international and local catalogue, plus the depth of data on that catalogue, to allow us to deliver an unparalleled personalized music streaming experience to music lovers on Samsung devices. We are delighted to be bringing the world’s simplest and most personal music streaming service to millions of new listeners through this partnership”.
Jonathan Dworkin, CMO of MixRadio, adds “At the heart of what we do is a desire to deliver people more of the music they love – music they know and music they have yet to discover. We understand that mobile is now the means for people to connect with their music, so to deliver a great service you have to be genuinely mobile first in your approach. MixRadio has been mobile first since its inception and are excited to be drawing on this experience to deliver the best possible streaming experience to music fans in India through our new partnership with Samsung”.

Media and its narratives – a sad state of affairs


Watched TV after a long time, especially the news. Felt happy that I was not watching them all this while. So much of distorted reporting.

Sometime in my life, I wanted to be a Journalist, it was the most noble career after teaching, Infact I did take to the stage as a news reporter in my fancy dress competitions quite a few time during school days and rocked the stage at Mock Press during college days. Somewhere felt advertising was a calling and then left the journalistic urge fall by the wayside.

Looking back, now its a revelation in a way,  that the journos were the conscious keepers of the society, and you look up to them. But today its more of a propaganda made right with vested interest and leading questions to get something that they want for TRP. When news channels look at trp you can be sure what goes for a six, the values that instill in a sense of propriety that they owe to the viewers and the country.

I dont want to talk of Radia tapes and other stuff, but you know even in this profession there is this haves and have nots. But the regional players are much better off than their English counterparts when it comes to being committed.

The English media thinks out of the NCR/Delhi and they have no sense about the rural areas. That’s why you have Arushi case being peddled so much to tarnish the image of the investigators and the judges. I was happy to read an article on Ink Magazine about how the English Language media scuttled all that was done by the Noida Police during the first few days.

That the narrative can be led to what they want is the biggest bane that English Language Media has done to the fabric of the nation.

Now with Social Media they are fast losing relevance and very sad that some channels with less than 1% access to the population is dictating the narrative.

More so the worrisome factor is the trends of twitter setting the narrative, some 100 people tweet and make it a narrative. The fact that even 20% of the people dont have access to internet is lost on those who want to talk on every issue under the sun. Talking of which its the media savvy standup comics who are lending the commentary on the society, make it a sorry state of affair.

Hmmm so much to write after a long time. Will get on more frequently!

Pic Courtesy http://www.niemanlab.org/images/hashtag3-cc.jpg

Brutal by Uday Satpathy – a book review



As you start reading the first page you know you are in for a treat, thriller treat. Somethings in the air and Uday Satpathy makes an awesome start to a tale that gets better as you turn the pages.

As the cover states, this is an author who holds a lot of promise and that coming from none other than Ravi Subramanian, the John Grisham of India is a matter of fact. The book is brutal to the fact that it moves fast and gets you on to the last page. I did this in two train journey of 2 hours each. That’s how gripping it is. Very simple and easy to follow narrative is one of the most important aspects of a three part book. The author holds your attention till the last page and you heave a sigh that it ended but then it has ended so fast.

When you have been through a racy, thriller being with the characters and be in the dark as much they were, you know the author has made his mark. The impressive thing about the novel is its narration and the way it takes turn to deliver the thrilling sensation. Connecting dots and getting to the root of the problem, we have characters that symbolizes that to a great extent, press reporters and a financial analyst turned data analyst.

Stray incidents are not just stray incidents anymore. There might be too much underneath an incident that it never asks for its attention. Such incidents form the basis of this novel.

The characterization of Prakash Sinha and Seema are intertwined to give us two different roads of journalistic perspectives in a way. Working on the minds of these two journalist and getting ahead of the villains if you call them is what the story is all about.

Another aspect is the way the story is set and the very thought that fiction might turn true is one of the biggest plus of this book, there has been a lot of research in the way its is presented and like I said the dots being connected to understand what is in store makes for an interesting and compelling read.

There are lot of characters in this book, though they hold your attention, we could have done with a bit less possibly. The main characters of course have a pivot of their own.

An important and significant mention here is that Brutal is India’s first  crowd sourced and crowd curated book. Bloody Good Books in a initiative of Rashmi Bansal and Niyati Patel and it has started off with a big bang I should say. Having been a fan and an avid reader of Rashmi Bansal I am sure we are headed for better titles and great stories in the future.

Thanks Bloody Good Books for sending a e-copy of the book.

The Lumia 535 Smart Buyback Offer” Buyback at Rs. 5,999*

Lumia Buy Back offer

Lumia has announced a buyback offer!

What’s the offer?

  • Exchange your old phone and buy new Lumia 535 for Rs. 5,999*
  • The offer is valid from 7th August 2015 for a limited period till stock lasts.

This offer is available on purchase of Lumia 535 at all the authorized re-sellers of Lumia devices across India.

What’s more?

Consumers can also get a cash back* of up to Rs. 3,600 in their Mobikwik wallet

Devices that the offer is valid on:

  • Lumia 535, 540, 640, 640 XL, 730 and 430.

The cashback offer can be redeemed over a period of one year, Rs.300/- per month. Use code <LUMIA300> to avail the offer.

#AchieveMore with Lumia 535

  • Front camera: 
5MP wide angle
  • Flash type: 
LED flash
  • Processor type: 
Quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Maximum talk time (3G): 
13 h

Achieve more with built-in OneDrive, 5 MP wide-angle front facing camera & 5″ (12.7 cm) screen.

Lumia 535 comes packed with premium features, the Lumia 535 Dual SIM sports a colorful design, easy readability in sunlight on a large five-inch display and a quad-core processor for a smooth smartphone experience. And if the built-in 8 GB of internal storage up to 30 GB of free OneDrive storage isn’t enough, bulk up to an additional 128 GB by adding a microSD card.

The Lumia 535 Dual SIM comes with the latest version of Windows Phone. And with regular over-the-air updates, you’ll always have the newest software. In class or at work, with Microsoft Office built in, and quick access to your files through OneDrive, viewing and editing your documents is easy. And you get up to 30 GB of free OneDrive storage – upload your photos and share them with friends in a private folder.