Lessons for Life: new podcast series

Aditya Mhatre of the Indicast Podcast Network emailed me after a Mint column about the podcasts I listen to. He introduced me to his podcast network at The Indicast and helped me learn how to do a podcast. We talked about formats and brainstormed about ideas. I’d like to do humour but that’s very hard. Aditya (even though I’ve never met him) generously offered to host my podcasts on his network. Yesterday, while walking my dog, I called him impulsively and told him that I had an idea for a podcast but wasn’t sure it would fly. It’s called Lessons from Everyday Life, and like my column for Mint, I use events and people as a springboard for ideas. We recorded this podcast the same evening. At 10 PM, Aditya called me up on Skype and I spoke into it. There were iterations. When I faltered over sentences, I would just say, “i’d like to redo that,” and repeat it. All the bad stuff has been edited out.

I have miles to go and need to figure out my tone, attitude, humour, confidence and audio=manner. But this is a start. I’d love feedback and having grown up with boys, I have a fairly thick skin. So please, hammer away.

The piece at Indicast’s website

I was also taught how to embed it in my website, so here it is. For now, Aditya and I have a very loose arrangement– actually no arrangement, no contract, nothing. I am doing this to get better at it and he is doing it…well, I don’t know why he is hosting my podcasts.


  1. I meant to post this earlier… but how do you feel about Phaneesh Murthy, yet another Indian “icon” gone horribly wrong … ?


  2. Hmm. Milieu. Quite ze mouzful.

    Maybe it’s just me but I can’t really see it. A guy like Rajat gets all the right milieu invites anyway: state dinners, India PM events! Can’t top that! In this sense I think Rajat has been ‘hot party material’ just like Shah Rukh Khan, and it’s not so much about money as it is about his premiership of McK – the position and the prestige. Now the average rich desi B-school I-banker VP of YYZZ bank – which is all to say completely unrecognizable otherwise – needs millions to buy milieu, not Rajat.

    Let’s say we press the point further and assume that Rajat did it just for the money. I can’t see that either. (The profits from the illict trade were $16-$20M, of which his “cut” may have been a few million; this is just a drop in his total net worth – $150-$200M; and Rajat is smart enough to not to bet his whole “milieu”-garnering position on some tip-off that doesn’t pay very much anyway.)

    (Of course he may have had the hots for KKR, but that’s not something Rajaratnam could do much about anyway.)

    So, if he had the “milieu” and it wasn’t about money, then why? My guess, for what it’s worth, is that he was just talking to a friend (Rajaratnam). I suppose Rajaratnam could have opened some doors for him, but those doors – especially KKR – were open for him anyway.

    I think Rajaratnam and Rajat were eating cookies after dark, and got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    But that’s just me. (I’m swearing OFF Oreo’s immediately, btw, and ambling back to my small windowed office on the 2047th floor of the M&A department of BBCC bank to work on a pitchbook for an industrial paper company we’re about to bite into. Milieu this baby.)


    1. Hi R Gorayan, your observation (that his Rajaratnam related profits are relatively small) is right, but I think he did it to become $1B not remain $200M. Rajaratnam, already $1B plus, was moving in those circles and Rajat probably just traded his social capital (connections and whatnot else) so Rajaratnam can do something for him with KKR.
      The other thing I think is Rajat probably fell victim to his own ego. He thought he was the “gold standard” (IIT, Harvard, McKinsey) and that Rajaratnam was an inferior creature who made money trading tips and tricks. How could the low life bania have a billion while The Most Excellent Order of Rajat only have $150M to his name – this was a great torment in his life.


  3. Shoba, this one drew me in nicely – even as I was listening to your milieu hypothesis, a comment a colleague made to me about Mukesh Ambani, who despite being so successful financially and otherwise, is still driven – in contrast to some of us, who while nowhere in the same universe as Ambani in achievement or wealth, seem to be er., not driven taking it easy! Your milieu comment really struck home there.

    Great to see you doing a podcast. Keep in touch. I can already see shades of All Things Considered!


  4. Very nice, da. Partly I think it’s just the pleasure of listening to your voice 🙂 but it’s also that the flow is smooth, it’s an insightful and interesting topic, and you have a point of view that makes the listener pause and think, oh, hmm, maybe it was the mileu after all. And then the listener at some level is evaluating his/her own mileu as well during the podcast. Nice, nice.



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