Learning, and enjoying it.
I attended the Army High School in Bangalore (class of 1986), and then studied Physics at St Joseph's College of Arts and Science. When the popular television series Cosmos by Carl Sagan was shown on TV, I became fascinated by it, and wanted to become an astronomer. I joined the amateur astronomy club which met at the Visveswaraya Museum, and also became an undergraduate assistant to a professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, in Koramangala.
After college, I went to Pondicherry to get an MBA, but my heart was really in science, so I continued my education abroad first in astronomy (MS) and then in climate science (PhD, Geophysics). As an astronomer, I studied star formation, and developed a technique to spot new stars as they are formed. For my PhD and during my subseqent employment, I studied Antarctic and Arctic clouds, especially their relationship to global warming and climate change.
I returned to Bangalore in 2004/5. Since then I have been working mostly on urban development issues, and on technologies to strengthen public administration, which I have pursued along with my colleagues in the social technology company, Mapunity (of which I am one of the founders), and through academic research efforts - I have a research appointment at the IIM, Bangalore and at the CiSTUP in IISc. I also have an Adjunct Faculty appointment with IIIT, Bangalore.
I also have a parallel interest in media. Between 1997 and 2004, I used to write a regular column for rediff.com, and during this time I became interested in public interest media. Along with a friend of mine, I started publishing India Together, which included positive development stories that were sent out to various Indian student groups in US colleges. This has since grown into one of India's largest public affairs magazine, and I continue to edit it. Recently, I have been working with a few others to develop a hyper-local online information platform for cities, focusing on neighbourhoods, and leveraging governance information for public participation.
I have been associated with the anti-corruption initiative, CORRUPTION SAAKU, from its inception, and have played an active part in IAC's demand for the Jan Lokpal Bill in Karnataka. I have participated for many years in various initiatives of Lok Satta Andolan, beginning with the campaign for electoral reforms. I worked for a year or so with Dr JP in the Administrative Reforms Commission, and it was during that period that I became interested in the broad spectrum of governance and administration. I am an Ashoka Fellow - a global social entrepreneurship recognition, which I was given in 2009. I have worked with many civil society groups in the city from time to time, on a variety of urban issues.
I live in Arakere-Puttenahalli area, off Bannerghatta road. My wife Sapana and I have two young daughters, Aditi and Mahiti.