Bharat Ek Khoj should be part of History Classes

Caught a few minutes of the Shivaji episode of Bharat Ek Khoj, based on Nehru‘s The Discovery of India, last night on Loksabha TV. Even after 25 years of its production and first airing, it made captivating viewing. Should be mandatory course material in our schools. Compelling and interesting lessons in Indian mythology and history.

Enjoy the starting track here.

Is Summer Internship a qualification?

When I was in business school 20 years ago, we chose a company for summer internship based on our area of interest and to learn how companies work et cetera. If we had a doubt between two companies, we chose the one that paid a higher stipend. It was simple.

Today, I am told students get all confused when choosing a company for summer internship. Apparently, it’s now a qualification. On a hunch I checked the LinkedIn profiles of a few people with 2-4 years experience and I did find summer internship listed as a qualification.

I must admit, I am a bit perplexed.

Insurance cheaper online?

A friend told me you get to pay lower for your car insurance renewal if you renew online instead of thru an agent. I saw an ICICI Lombard billboard claiming the same. I went to the ICICI Lombard website this morning, filled up the requisite details [they are my current insurers] and the website returned a quotation over 2.5 times what I had paid last year.

I noticed they had not applied a no-claim-bonus and I cant understand why, since as my current insurers, they would be aware that I haven’t claimed any insurance through the past year. But even that would not explain the 2.5x policy premium.

I think asking an agent to send a proposal is in the only way to know. So much for trying to do simple things digitally.



Young movie maker needs your help

Received this message from Manav Vigg, a young Delhi based movie maker, who had just finished his first feature film, along with friends. Read and help in whichever way you can.


Dear Friends,

WITH LOVE, DELHI! is my 1st Bollywood film as Film Producer, a dream that I, like millions others, cherished since long but it was unbelievably tough to make it as I did not have a single contact in Bollywood and was just a middle class Chartered Accountant with hardly any financial backing to make a film :(.

However, dreams do come true and as a team we did it: I am extremely emotional and proud to present you the 1st look trailer of the film on youtube – (or simply search “with love delhi” on youtube) – awaiting your comments on the same. If you like this 1st look trailer, we would be obliged if you can please forward this mail to everyone on your mail’s contact list and post the link on your Facebook wall, Twitter page etc., we really need your support!

USP of Cast & Crew
Introducing Ashish Lal and Pariva Pranati as the lead pair, this film has its Lead Actor, Producers, Director and Writers engineers from IIT Delhi who have joined hands with some of the most talented Bollywood cast and crew viz. Padma Shri Tom Alter (2008 – for his distinguished contribution in the field of Arts), National Award Winner Seema Biswas (1996 – for Shekhar Kapur’s “Bandit Queen”), veteran Kiran Kumar, National Award Winner Cameraman S.Sriram (2000 – for his film “Blindfolded”), Filmfare & Star Screen Awards Winner Editor Namarata Rao (2011 – for Love Sex Aur Dhokha & Band Baaja Baaraat respectively), a veteran music scholar Music Director Sanjoy Chowdhury and an experienced Associate Producer Ravi Sarin (2011 – awarded Best Line Producer of Delhi).

The Story Behind the Curtains
Have you seen the 3 Idiots? Are they Aamir Khan (after engineering from a top institute, teaches kids in Ladakh), Sharman Joshi (after engineering does job on his own terms) and Madhavan (after engineering opts for wildlife photography)? Yes, but that’s in reel life, in real life they’re Ashish Lal (Engineer from IIT Delhi – now a Film Actor), Ashutosh Matela (Engineer from IIT Delhi – now a Film Director) and Manav Vigg (Chartered Accountant – now a Film Producer)!

These 3 Idiots, sar se paun tak shudh middle class, with not a single contact in Bollywood (didn’t know even a spot boy 😦 ), have made a full length commercial feature film: WITH LOVE, DELHI!, a suspense thriller cum romance Bollywood film. Arranging crores to match the standards of a good Bollywood film was possible only through scores and scores of friends and relatives who supported us, some with 50k to some with 20lacs but each to the best of their financial abilities. Who says people don’t support, especially not financially, for passionate dreams of others, they do!

With the financial support of so many friends and relatives, we’ve made a humble attempt to create a quality film with a sensible and entertaining storyline. We really hope that in case you find this film interesting and of good quality, please forward this mail or share the youtube link on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Thanks a ton…all we 3 Idiots can say is “Hey Bhagwan, Katrina aur Kareena ko bhi behen ki nazar se dekhenge, bas yeh film hit kara dena” :))!

Trucks and trucks of love,
Team WiLD

Manav Vigg,
RedMat Reves Films Pvt. Ltd.,
Mumbai & New Delhi.

P.S. – Link to Facebook page ( ), Youtube Channel ( ) , Blog on how 3 middle class guys managed to make the movie ( ) and Twitter account (!/RedLal


Testing two extremes in one week.

Last week was a terrific week for me.

Wednesday and Thursday,  was @ ad:tech New Delhi [well, technically Gurgaon], listening to many highly accomplished people, meeting several young entrepreneurs and managers, discussing how marketing is changing and how digital is changing the way we practiced marketing as we knew it.  A lot of globally renowned speakers gave gyan, made very strong company pitches, and talked about their version of the future. I could not attend several talks, but heard many good things about them later. How can we make more money, what new app I am building, what multiple I am able to get from my VC, why marketers are not spending enough on digital and therefore losing out, why digital should not be used as much for brand building as for performance kind of questions dominated the super charged atmosphere. You really cannot blame me if I thought I was already in the future. My ego got its much needed message every time someone who I didn’t know nodded at me and wanted my name card and wouldn’t believe I have actually been on vacation for the last 4 months and wasn’t really involved in any income generation and wealth creation activity.

Then on Friday, I attended a day long conference on Impact Evaluation of Developmental initiatives, organised by a research company called Sambodhi whose name I was ignorant of until 3 weeks ago. Here I sat through deep discussions on the challenges of fixing accountability when it comes to developmental work. I saw case studies of poverty alleviation, Vitamin A supplementation programs, mid-day meal program, nutrition initiatives in Ethiopia, Bangledesh, and of course, India, and other issues. I met sociologists and anthropologists and other Ph.D’s, who have dedicated their lives to social sector work. I listened to bureaucrats, researchers, statisticians, professors and officials in development funding organisations and NGOs, talk with contagious passion about public health, nutrition, education, and measurement. I met people from organisations I wasn’t even aware existed. As you might have guessed it, no one knew me in this conference and very few knew what the QR code on my name card was meant for.. So much for the ego.

As I reflect on the two conferences and the three days, I cannot help but wonder how ‘social’ meant two absolutely different things in the two events. It’s almost as if I has swung between two entirely different worlds in three days.

Quite a fascinating experience.